Informed Employer: EEOC's Increased Focus on Pregnancy Discrimination Informed Employer: EEOC's Increased Focus on Pregnancy Discrimination

Informed Employer: EEOC's Increased Focus on Pregnancy Discrimination

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2014 Proving to Be Big Year for Pay-for-Performance
It's not exactly news that the trend in executive compensation for the past several years has been toward pay-for-performance models, but the depth of that trend may have been overblown. In fact, it's 2014 that is proving to be the year when pay for performance is settling in once and for all as an overriding theme in executive pay, according to Dave Hofrichter, executive compensation partner with Aon Hewitt.
(Source:, 2014-08-08) Read the full article
Obama Announces Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order
The Obama administration announced an executive order intended to improve working conditions for employees of federal contractors, requiring companies to disclose federal labor law violations before procuring a contract. The key provision of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order requires prospective contractors to disclose labor law violations from the past three years in connection with 14 federal laws providing protections covering wages and hours, safety and health, collective bargaining, family and medical leave, and civil rights.
(Source: Bloomberg Businessweek, 2014-07-31) Read the full article
Wisconsin High Court Upholds Law on Collective Bargaining Rights
Wisconsin's collective bargaining reforms, which prompted protests from organized labor, do not violate the free speech and equal protection rights of public sector union workers, the state's Supreme Court ruled. The reforms, passed in 2011 by Republican lawmakers, severely limit the bargaining power of public sector unions while forcing most state workers to pay more for benefits such as health insurance and pensions.
(Source: Reuters, 2014-07-31) Read the full article
Silicon Valley Hiring Conspiracy Settlement Insufficient, Judge Says
There is “ample evidence” that Silicon Valley was engaged in “an overarching conspiracy” against its own employees, a federal judge said, and it should either pay dearly or have its secrets exposed at trial. Judge Lucy H. Koh of the United States District Court in San Jose rejected as insufficient a proposed $324 million settlement in a class-action antitrust case that accused leading tech companies of agreeing not to poach one another’s engineers.
(Source: The New York Times, 2014-08-08) Read the full article
More Companies Starting to Offer Freelancers Benefits
Companies such as TaskRabbit, which matches freelance helpers with odd jobs, boast they are transforming the world of work, giving people the freedom to do what they like when they like, yet that flexibility comes at a cost: Such work typically lacks the safety net of benefits, wage protections or job security afforded to those with more permanent arrangements. That may be changing as groups and companies that serve freelancers start to fill the benefits gap, offering access to insurance such as disability and liability coverage and work-policies that make project work a little more stable and predictable.
(Source: The Wall Street Journal, 2014-07-29) Read the full article
ACA Requires Employers to Provide Space for New Nursing Moms
Under the Affordable Care Act, employers must provide time and space for new mothers to express milk for their babies until the child turns one year old. This requirement has been "sort of on the books for a while," Dr. Richard J. Schanler, director of neonatal services at Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York in New Hyde Park, told Reuters Health -- but the ACA provision makes the rule concrete.
(Source: Reuters, 2014-08-05) Read the full article
Small Firms Still Face Big Challenges from Affordable Care Act
Smaller employers aren't required under the Affordable Care Act to offer coverage for their full-time workers -- as larger firms must do by 2016 or face penalties, for instance. But many startup entrepreneurs and owners of small ventures are nonetheless facing big changes to how they obtain their own health coverage, as well as to the benefits they're able to offer employees.
(Source: The Wall Street Journal, 2014-08-06) Read the full article
Despite Fall in Positive Drug Tests, Workers Still Abusing Some Meds
Though the number of employees testing positive for most illegal drugs is on the decline, those testing positive for amphetamines and some prescription drugs has tripled in the last 10 years.
(Source: MarketWatch, 2014-08-07) Read the full article
Woman Sues Company After Being Fired for Legal Marijuana Use
A woman in New Mexico is suing a company she says fired her for failing a drug test, even though she had a state-issued medical marijuana card. The ex-employee, Donna Smith, says Presbyterian Health Services' decision to terminate her employment violates the New Mexico Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination against people with serious medical conditions.
(Source: Bloomberg Businessweek, 2014-08-07) Read the full article
EEOC's Increased Focus on Pregnancy Discrimination


Byron Myers

Over 30 years after issuing its first enforcement guidance on the Pregnancy Discrimination Act ("PDA"), on July 14, 2014 the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") issued a new enforcement guidance on the PDA that arguably expands the obligations and potential liability exposure that employers face in dealing with employees who are, have been or may become pregnant. The new guidance was passed by the Commissioners by a three (Democrat)-to-two (Republican) private vote. The new EEOC guidance addresses several significant issues including the applicability of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") to conditions involving or related to pregnancy, an employer's obligation to provide light duty work assignments to pregnant employees, and the coverage of prescriptions for contraceptives under employer health insurance plans.

Read the full article here.


Ice Miller to Sponsor SHRM VIP Breakfast with Tom Peters

Ice Miller is proud to sponsor the 2014 SHRM VIP Breakfast on Wed. August 27 at 8:00 AM at the Indiana State Museum with special guest Tom Peters. Peters will also serve as the conference closing keynote speaker.

Read more here.


Download your 2014 labor guide here!

How can you attract and retain top employees who will grow with your business? Download your 2014 labor guide HERE!


Healthcare Employers Look No Further – New Guidance on H-1B Visas for Nurses

Historically, the H-1B visa category has not been a viable option for employers seeking to hire foreign nationals in nursing positions because this visa category is limited to "specialty occupations" that require a minimum of a bachelor's degree in a particular discipline and most nursing positions do not meet this requirement. Although the U.S. Department of Labor long ago established nursing as a shortage occupation, employers have virtually no way to immigrate foreign nurses on an immediate and temporary basis without the H-1B program. There are some notable exceptions for certain nursing positions; however H-1B visa success for nursing has been very limited and subject to a case by case analysis.

Thanks to a new policy memorandum recently issued by USCIS, H-1B options for foreign nurses may be a little more clear. In the memorandum, USCIS acknowledges that the field of nursing is evolving and that employers are showing a preference for specialized nursing practices such as addiction, cardiovascular, critical care, emergency room, genetics, neonatology, nephrology, oncology, pediatric, peri-operative and rehabilitation, as well as a demand for advanced practice registered nurses including certified nurse-midwives, certified clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse practitioners and certified registered nurse anesthetists.

Read full article here.


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