Management's Workplace Lawyers

May 2016 E-update

May 31, 2016

EEOC Releases Final Rules on Employer Wellness Programs

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued final rules on how the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act apply to employer wellness programs that require medical information from employees and their spouses.

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OSHA Issues Revised Workplace Injury and Illness Reporting Rule

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has released a final rule revising the workplace injury and illness reporting requirements for employers. The rule is intended to improve workplace safety by making establishment-specific injury and illness information available to the public, and by providing additional protections to workers for reporting work-related illnesses and injuries.

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Congress Passes the Defend Trade Secrets Act

Congress has passed and President Obama intends to sign the Defend Trade Secrets Act, which provides companies with the ability to bring suit in federal court for the misappropriation of their trade secrets, including by current or former employees.

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Supreme Court Update

The U.S. Supreme Court has issued several decisions of interest to employers this month. These cases address issues of constructive discharge and entitlement to attorneys’ fees under Title VII, and the ability to sue under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

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NLRB – Removal of Union Literature.

The National Labor Relations Board overturned an election, even though the employees overwhelmingly rejected the union, because the Board found that company supervisors committed an unfair labor practice when they removed discarded union literature from the employee break room.

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EEOC – Fact Sheet on Transgender Bathroom Access.

In May 2016, the EEOC issued a Fact Sheet regarding Bathroom Access Rights for Transgender Employees under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which the EEOC has asserted prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity.

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Disability – Applications and Recruiting Accessibility.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) recently announced the launch of TalentWorks, a free online resource to assist employers in making their web based job applications and recruiting technologies accessible to job seekers with disabilities.

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Sex Discrimination – Gender Identity.

In a non-employment case with possible employment implications, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, which covers Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, held that discrimination based on “sex” incorporates gender identity.

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TOP TIP: What the EEOC Thinks about Leave and the ADA

Managing employees’ health-related leaves in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act poses challenges for employers. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued a resource document, “Employer-Provided Leave and the Americans with Disabilities Act,” that seeks to educate and provide guidance to employers and employees about leave as a reasonable accommodation.

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