Posts from May 2014.

Earlier this month, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued proposed regulations revising the COBRA notice requirements to align with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and make clear to workers that if they are eligible for COBRA, they have the option to choose to purchase coverage on the exchange instead. The DOL also issued two new model COBRA notices to help employers comply with the revised notice requirements.

The updated Model General COBRA Notice is similar to the previous model notice, but includes a new page of instructions for administrators, as well as additional information ...

If you are an employer, the latest rash of formal agreements between the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and various government agencies (local, state and national) warrants some real attention.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), announced that it will start advising employees who fail to timely file whistleblower retaliation complaints under OSHA that they may still have time to seek relief under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).  While Section 11(c) of the OSH Act only allows 30 days for an employee to ...

The Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District recently determined that an employee who refuses to sign a proffered non-compete agreement, which was required as a condition of employment, and voluntarily leaves employment was entitled to unemployment benefits.  The court determined that “good cause” existed and warranted entitlement.

David Darr began working for Roberts Marketing Group in October of 2012, selling final expense life insurance.  Shortly thereafter, on January 24, 2013, the employer announced that it was implementing a new non-compete ...

The internet can be an excellent resource, but it can also be a very dangerous resource. Recently, the EEOC issued an advisory letter addressing a sample ADA policy and sample forms for responding to an accommodation request that were posted on a state agency’s website. Although the sample policy and forms were posted by a state agency, the EEOC advisory letter identified several parts of the sample policy and forms that would be considered as violating the ADA.

The EEOC advisory letter specifically states that setting absolutes in how circumstances are addressed in an ...

A federal court in Indiana ruled recently that a GE manufacturing employee could present her ADA claims to a jury despite concern that accommodating her disability posed a safety risk. Cindy English’s permanent restrictions prevent her from reaching above her head. She was awarded a repair operator position based on seniority but GE’s medical staff concluded her restrictions prevented her from performing the job.

English suggested she could perform the job if she used a stool. GE considered allowing English to demonstrate whether she could perform the job using the ...

On April 29, 2014, a three-member panel of the NLRB certified a union as an exclusive bargaining representative despite election-related threats being made by pro-union employees.  The case is ManorCare of Kingston, PA, LLC & Laborers Int’l Union of N. Amer. Local 1310, NLRB No. 04-RC-109516 (Apr. 29, 2014).  Specifically, at least two pro-union employees threatened that they would “start punching people in the face,” damage people’s cars, and otherwise physically harm coworkers who voted against the union.  These threats were then repeated to other employees.

On May 1, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (“board”) issued a news release regarding the board’s decision in Purple Communications, Inc., to invite briefs on the issue of overruling existing board precedent on employees’ use of company e-mail systems.

Current precedent allows employers to restrict employee use of an employer’s e-mail system to business purposes only.  One consequence of a properly enforced business-purposes-only rule is that employees have no right to use their employer’s e-mail system for union organizing efforts or other ...

On April 28, 2014, the Senate voted to confirm Dr. David Weil as administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD).  It has been over a decade since the Senate has confirmed a WHD administrator.  President Obama’s nomination of Dr. Weil has been controversial and his confirmation was approved on narrow margins with a vote of 51-42 in favor of the nomination.

Dr. Weil’s nomination drew scrutiny because of a report he submitted to the Department of Labor in May 2010 entitled Improving Workplace Conditions through Strategic Enforcement:  Report to the Wage ...

Welcome to the Labor and Employment Law Update where attorneys from SmithAmundsen blog about management side labor and employment issues. 

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