Informed Employer: Do the Math: Court Takes Account of Economic Impact of Temporary Job Reassignment Informed Employer: Do the Math: Court Takes Account of Economic Impact of Temporary Job Reassignment

Informed Employer: Do the Math: Court Takes Account of Economic Impact of Temporary Job Reassignments

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Supreme Court Rules U.S. Steel Employees Need Not be Paid for Changing Clothes
The U.S. Supreme Court has handed a victory to employers by ruling that a group of unionized steel workers does not have to be paid for the time they spend "donning and doffing" safety gear before and after their shifts. The unanimous ruling came in a case involving workers at a U.S. Steel Corp plant that was closely watched by industries that employ workers who wear safety clothing.
(Source: Reuters, 2014-01-27) Read the full article
High Court to Hear Labor Case Involving In-Home Care Providers
The U.S. Supreme Court was scheduled to hear arguments in an Illinois case that could drive a stake through the heart of public employee unions. At issue are two questions: whether states may recognize a union to represent health care workers who care for disabled adults in their homes instead of in state institutions; and whether non-union members must pay for negotiating a contract they benefit from.
(Source: NPR, 2014-01-21) Read the full article
Lawmakers in at Least 30 States Pushing Minimum Wage Bills
Minimum-wage increase proposals are getting the maximum push from Democrats in statehouses in more than half of U.S. states, highlighting the politically potent income inequality issue this year. Lawmakers in at least 30 states are sponsoring or are expected to introduce wage hike measures, according to a national review by The Associated Press.
(Source: Fox News, 2014-01-26) Read the full article
Restaurant Industry Opposes Moves to Boost Tip Wages
As some Democratic senators and President Obama push to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, from $7.25, they are also backing increases to the tip wage (at $2.13, it is 29 percent of the minimum wage). Once again, the restaurant industry is fiercely opposed to a mandated increase.
(Source: The New York Times, 2014-01-26) Read the full article
Companies Boosting Interest in Workplace Wellness Programs
As businesses look for ways to blunt the impact of rising health costs, many are investing more in workplace wellness -- especially initiatives that help prevent chronic diseases down the road. Wellness programs have been around in various forms for years, in place at about half of employers with 50 or more workers, according to nonprofit research group RAND Corp., but such programs are getting renewed attention amid health care reform, with the Affordable Care Act promoting wellness programs to lower costs.
(Source: The Baltimore Sun, 2014-01-18) Read the full article
Obama Administration Delays ACA Equal Coverage Provision
The Obama administration is delaying enforcement of a provision of the new healthcare law that prohibits employers from providing better health benefits to top executives than to other employees. Tax officials said they would not enforce the provision this year because they had yet to issue regulations for employers to follow.
(Source: Insurance Journal, 2014-01-22) Read the full article
Many Companies Wipe Out Workers' Own Cellphones After Leaving
Many healthcare organizations that have bring your own device policies and procedures in place to ensure the device and, more importantly, the data on the device are secure. As part of those policies, organizations will stipulate that can remote wipe the entire device or just the “walled off” portion that’s linked to their network, which sparked an interesting debate as to what’s fair play for employee-owned devices.
(Source: HealthIT Security, 2014-01-22) Read the full article
Michigan Governor Seeks to Bring in Immigrants to Boost Detroit
For Detroit, a city that has watched a population in free fall, officials have a new antidote: immigrants. Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan announced plans to seek federal help in bringing 50,000 immigrants to the bankrupt city over five years as part of a visa program aimed at those with advanced degrees or exceptional abilities in science, business or the arts.
(Source: The New York Times, 2014-01-23) Read the full article
Employee Fraudsters More Likely High Performers, Popular
It may come as a surprise to some that the typical fraudster in the workplace is not the bad-attitude ne'er-do-well that slinks off into the corner when faced with new responsibilities and additional tasks. Rather, the high-performing extrovert that never takes a vacation is more likely to perpetrate a fraud against his employer.
(Source: Insurance Journal, 2014-01-23) Read the full article
Do the Math: Court Takes Account of Economic Impact of Temporary Job Reassignments


Germaine Winnick Willett

"Not everything that makes an employee unhappy is an actionable adverse action," is an employment law gem that employers love to quote, and with good reason. When applicable, the argument that the harm allegedly sustained by the employee does not rise to the level of an "adverse employment action" can win the case even if the facts otherwise signal that illegal motivation may have been involved. Courts have often rejected an employee's claims of discrimination or retaliation based on an altered schedule, an office move or even an expansion of job duties, reasoning that the complained-of action was not sufficiently adverse. Lest we be lulled into a false sense of security, however, the Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit recently handed down its opinion in Alexander v. Casino Queen, Inc., in which it recited its decision that the plaintiffs, two former cocktail waitresses, were entitled to take their case to the jury despite the fact that their primary complaint arose from the fact that their manager periodically changed the location within the casino where they served drinks.

Read full article here.


Update on New Invitations to Self-Identify for Federal Contractors

As most federal contractors know, the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued new affirmative action regulations related to protected veterans and individuals with disabilities that become effective on March 24, 2014. One requirement of the new regulations is to begin asking applicants to self-identify as protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. There have been a few recent developments related to these invitations that federal contractors need to know. First, the form that must be used to invite applicants and employees to self-identify as an individual with a disability has finally been released. Second, it is now clear that federal contractors can postpone implementing these new invitations until their first plan year that begins after March 24, 2014, giving contractors more time to put the necessary processes into place.

Read full article here.


Immigration News: H-1B Visa Annual Quota

The H-1B visa category is the most common classification available to foreign professionals working in the United States. This category, however, is subject to an annual quota, which is generally exhausted each fiscal year. In recent years, the quota has been reached in a matter of days or weeks, leaving thousands of foreign professionals without any immediate opportunity for U.S. employment authorization.

Read full article here.

To learn more, please contact Christl Glier or any attorney in Ice Miller’s Immigration Group.


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