The Supreme Court recently ruled that the burden an employer must meet in denying a requested religious accommodation is “substantial” and not merely “de minimis.” Employers will now have a harder time denying religious accommodations. Continue Reading Supreme Court Increases Employer’s Obligation in Religious Accommodation Requests
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides a process by which an employee or a small group of employees can sue for unpaid wages, often in the form of overtime, and can also claim to be representing all others “similarly situated.” Continue Reading Sixth Circuit Adopts New Certification Procedure Under the FLSA
Can an employer be held liable for sexual misconduct at a private party that takes place after an employer-sponsored holiday party? A recent Tennessee Court of Appeals case appears to say “yes” and thereby presents a new concern for employers considering employer-sponsored events.
In Phelps v. State, an employee sued her employer, the State of Tennessee, for sexual harassment and retaliation claims under the Tennessee Human Rights Act (THRA). The instances of alleged sexual harassment included serious sexual misconduct (including a sexual assault) at an after-party following a State-sponsored Halloween party. The court ruled that the State could be liable for these “after-party” events, even though they took place after hours and away from the place of employment.
The U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark decision on Monday, June 15, in the case of Bostock v. Clayton County, ruling that the prohibitions against discrimination “because of sex” contained in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) extend to protect gay and transgender employees against workplace discrimination. Justice Neil Gorsuch delivered the opinion of the Court with Justices Alito and Kavanaugh each issuing dissenting opinions. In each of the three consolidated cases upon which this opinion was rendered, an employee had been terminated from employment for being gay or transgender.
The three employees brought suit in three different jurisdictions. In one case, the Eleventh Circuit ruled that Title VII’s protections did not prohibit employers from firing employees for being gay, and dismissed the lawsuit. In the other two cases, the Second Circuit and Sixth Circuit ruled that Title VII did provide the alleged protections and had permitted the cases involving those two employees to proceed. These inconsistent rulings, therefore, set the following question before the Court:
Is it legally permissible under Title VII’s language prohibiting discrimination “because of sex” for an employer to take an adverse action against an employee merely because the employee is gay or transgender? Continue Reading Supreme Court Rules that Title VII Protects LGBTQ Employees
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued new guidance regarding an employer’s obligation to record all COVID-19 illnesses among workers if the illness is “work-related.” This new obligation went into effect on May 26, 2020, and supersedes guidance issued in April.
Employers are responsible for recording cases of COVID-19 if all of the following requirements are met:
- The case is a confirmed case of COVID-19, as defined by the CDC.
- The case is work-related, as defined by 29 CFR § 1904.5.
- The case involves one or more of the recording criteria set forth in 29 CFR § 1904.7 (e.g., medical treatment, days away from work).
When is a COVID-19 Illness Work-Related?Continue Reading Employer’s Obligation on Reporting COVID-19 as a Work-Related Illness – Updated OSHA Guidance
Join us for a complimentary seminar where we will review a broad range of topics pertaining to significant legislative and regulatory actions and court decisions that occurred in the area of employment law over the past year.
7:00 a.m. – 7:30 a.m. Registration and Breakfast
7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Program
Topics will include:
7:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. Registration and Breakfast
8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Program
Our panels will cover a broad range of topics, including:
I’m excited to be speaking next week at the 2019 MidSouth Employment Law Conference. My session entitled, “Anatomy of an Employment Lawsuit,” will provide attendees with an informative, step-by-step breakdown of the employment lawsuit process, practical guidance for managing litigation, and best practices to foster a company culture which limits the occurrence of such suits…
The Supreme Court ruled on April 24, 2019 that an arbitration agreement which is ambiguous as to whether the parties had agreed to class arbitration was insufficient to require a party to participate in class arbitration.
In the 2011 case Stolt-Nielsen S.A. v. Animal Feeds Int’l Corp., 559 U.S. 662 (2011) the Supreme Court decided that “silence” in an arbitration agreement regarding the issue of class arbitration meant that a party could not be compelled to engage in class arbitration. In the more recent case of Lamps Plus, Inc. v. Varela, an employee had sought to compel his employer to arbitrate on a class basis claims arising out of the release of personal data belonging to its employees.Continue Reading Supreme Court Rules on Enforcement of Class Arbitration
Join us in Nashville on January 29 for a complimentary seminar reviewing 2018 employment law developments and looking forward to issues likely to be further addressed in 2019.
7:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. Registration and Breakfast
8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Program
This event will be held at our Nashville Bass, Berry & Sims office.