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Informed Employer: Analyzing Disability Issues in a Post-ADAAA World? Informed Employer: Analyzing Disability Issues in a Post-ADAAA World?

Informed Employer: Analyzing Disability Issues in a Post-ADAAA World?

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Survey Finds 38% of Employees Called in Sick with Lame Excuses
If you called in sick to work during the last year even though you felt fine, you're not alone. Thirty-eight percent of U.S. employees did it -- using such lame excuses as being stuck under a bed -- according to an annual survey by CareerBuilder, the largest online job site in the U.S.
(Source: USA Today, 2015-10-16) Read the full article
More Firms Providing Health Benefits Through Private Exchanges
The private exchange approach to health benefits continues to grow rapidly, catching the attention of more employers that are keeping health costs at lower rates than in the past. A snapshot into this momentum comes from benefits consultancy Mercer, a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, which announced growth of more than 40 percent this year in the number of active employees and their families who are using Mercer's online portal to shop for benefits.
(Source:, 2015-10-19) Read the full article
Most Employers Taking Steps to Manage Costs of Aging Workforce
LIMRA designed a study to discover what strategies employers are contemplating for managing the benefits costs of an aging workforce. It found that 73 percent of respondents are already planning to manage the additional costs of employing older workers.
(Source: BenefitsPro, 2015-10-12) Read the full article
Employers Finding Workplace Clinics Fared Better on Absenteeism
For large employers, workplace clinics are shaping up to be a formidable asset. A survey by the National Business Group on Health, released serendipitously at the beginning of flu season, found that companies with on-site clinics for all or most of their employees fared considerably better on absenteeism than those without.
(Source: IndustryWeek, 2015-10-16) Read the full article
More Firms Seeking Regular Employee Evaluations Instead of Annual
More feedback, more often is the future of the dreaded performance review. Meeting with the boss once or twice a year to assess your past, present, and future is beginning to seem quite quaint.
(Source: Bloomberg, 2015-10-12) Read the full article
Studies Show Companies Not Giving Annual Pay Raises
A recent study proclaimed troubling news for workers: For the fifth year in a row, employee bonus pools will come in below target, according to benefits consulting firm Towers Watson, and 2015 bonuses will be funded even less than last year. That means companies have fallen short of their financial goals, so expect whatever end-of-year gift you were hoping for (planning for?) to be a disappointment.
(Source: USA Today, 2015-10-10) Read the full article
1/5 of Small Biz Owners OK with Workers Using Medical Marijuana
Now that marijuana has become legal in 24 states for medicinal or recreational purposes, a new telephone poll by Employers, a national small business insurer, found that small businesses have mixed feelings about its presence in the workplace. One in five small business owners (19 percent) said they would allow an employee who has a doctor's prescription for medical marijuana to use it while at work, while nearly two-thirds of small business owners (62 percent) said they would not.
(Source: Claims Journal, 2015-10-14) Read the full article
LinkedIn Latest Employer to Offer 'Discretionary Time Off'
LinkedIn is the latest employer to offer what's known as "discretionary time off," or "DTO" in corporate HR-speak, but there are limits to the new policy. Workers can't create an alternative work schedule, such as three-day weeks, they can't take six months off and they need to work out their days off with their managers.
(Source: The Huffington Post, 2015-10-12) Read the full article
N.Y. Restaurant Group to Eliminate Tipping at 11 Sites
In a sweeping change to how most of its 1,800 employees are paid, the Union Square Hospitality Group will eliminate tipping at Gramercy Tavern, Union Square Cafe and its 11 other restaurants by the end of next year, the company's chief executive, Danny Meyer, said. The move will affect New York City businesses that serve 40,000 to 50,000 meals a week and range from simple museum cafes to some of the most popular and acclaimed restaurants in the country.
(Source: The New York Times, 2015-10-14) Read the full article
Analyzing Disability Issues in a Post-ADAAA World?
Paul Sweeney

Shortly after the passage of the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), many commentators asserted that courts and juries would (or should) no longer scrutinize whether a plaintiff was "disabled" as defined by the statute and would (and should) instead focus on the alleged discriminatory practice or action. In reality and application, it has not been so simple for employers on the front end. Should a questionable claim of "disability" or request for accommodation under the ADA still be carefully reviewed to determine if the individual has a disability as defined in the statute? Absolutely. The ADAAA certainly has not eliminated the need for a preliminary analysis of "disability" on a case-by-case basis.

Read full article here.


Keep Calm and Transfer Appropriately

Recently, Europe’s highest court invalidated the US-EU Safe Harbor agreement (“Safe Harbor”) in the landmark decision Maximillian Schrems v. Data Protection Commissioner. American companies have relied upon Safe Harbor for more than a decade to transfer personal data, including critical customer and employee data, from the European Union (EU) to the United States. This decision now requires those companies to re-evaluate their transfer programs to determine other legal bases for appropriate transfer.

Read the full article here.


Ohio Senate Panel Considers Bill to Allow for PTSD Claims for First Responders

An Ohio Senate Committee is currently considering legislation that would provide workers’ compensation benefits to peace officers, firefighters and emergency medical workers who are diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) arising from their employment regardless of whether they have suffered any physical injuries. Current Ohio law does not provide compensation for a psychiatric condition unless the worker has a related physical injury or was forced into sexual conduct. The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation estimated if 18% of first responders filed for PTSD-only claims, the change could cost employers $182 million annually and may double premiums for public employers. Other states, including North Dakota, Connecticut and South Carolina, have considered similar legislation.

For more information, contact Jennifer McDaniel or any member of Ice Miller’s Workers’ Compensation Group.


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