Posts from January 2016.

The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) brought broad speculation that a large percentage of employees would qualify as “disabled”  as defined under the amended ADA and employers would have to focus attention on engaging in the interactive process to identify a reasonable accommodation. While it is true that the ADAAA has increased the importance of engaging in the interactive process to review possible accommodations, it is still equally important to consider whether the employee is a “qualified individual with a disability” under the ADAAA.  The 7th Circuit’s ...

Any federal government contractor or subcontractor can testify to how much work really goes into complying with Affirmative Action obligations. Here is just a quick, non-exhaustive checklist to highlight many of your affirmative action to-dos:

  1. Are you “listing” your job openings with the nearby unemployment agencies?
  2. Are you asking your job applicants to self-identify their gender, race, veteran status and whether they are disabled or not?
  3. Are you asking those individuals that you have given an offer of employment to self-identify again their veteran status and whether ...

A federal appellate court unanimously found that an individual’s difficulty with lifting his right arm above his shoulder, constituted a disability under the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, which amended the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), Cannon v. Jacobs Field Services North America, Inc., Case No. 15-20127 (5th Cir., 1/13/16).

In this case, a construction firm offered the plaintiff, Michael Cannon, a job as a field engineer. Cannon participated in a pre-employment physical, which revealed a rotator cuff injury. The doctor cleared him for work, but only with ...

The Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division (“WHD”) issued an Administrator’s Interpretation today that establishes new standards for determining joint employment under the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (“MSPA”) and the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The issue of joint employment and who is the employer, for purposes of liability, is one that has become increasingly more contested and is part of the DOL’s crackdown on issues ranging from independent contractor status to the proposed rules regarding exempt/non-exempt ...

The recent Appellate Court decision in Oliver v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, et al., 2015 IL App. (1st) 143836 WC, serves as a reminder of the dangers employers face when they do not properly investigate alleged work accidents.

Most of us in the comp world know that an injured worker has 45 days to provide an employer notice of a work accident. However, in the Oliver case, the employer asserted that the accident had to be reported the day it occurred. As a result, no investigation was performed and benefits were quickly denied.

Not surprisingly, the Appellate ...

Finally!  As of 1/3/2016, Illinois statutorily enhanced employers’ rights to conduct business through enacting statutory misconduct as a basis for terminating an employee and denying unemployment benefits.  Other jurisdictions may follow suit to protect business rights.

Statutory misconduct now includes:

  • Falsification of employment information (application, references, education/work history, SSN) is now terminable misconduct and allows denial of benefits.
  • Failure to maintain reasonably required licenses, registrations, etc.

EMPLOYERS BEWARE!  Not even the magical Mickey Mouse can escape lawsuits.  Former employees of the Walt Disney Company filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), intending to sue the house of Mickey Mouse (and now even Yoda’s) for replacing them with foreign workers. Not only are former employees complaining because they were laid off, but they are also accusing Disney of hostile treatment.  Two employees recently recounted to ABC news how they were given 90 days to train their replacements in order to receive the bonuses they were promised. The ...

The New Year is here!  Economic signs are trending up, and indicate that hiring will be picking up in 2016.  Because federal and state employment laws prohibit discriminatory job postings, and the administrative agencies are cracking down on both unintentional and intentional discrimination, care must be used to avoid drawing the attention of the government and other opportunist inquiries by simple “help wanted” posts.

What’s wrong with the ‘cool dude’ request?

It implies that the preferred candidate is: male, younger, a drinker, and has free time.  This discriminates ...

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

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