Employment Law Alert

Employment Law Alert

News and Updates on Employment Law

Monthly Archives: January 2011

Supreme Court Broadens Retaliation Lawsuits Under Title VII

Posted in Discrimination
The U.S. Supreme Court has just decided that an employer cannot "get back" at an employee who has complained about discrimination by going after other employees related to, or in a close relationship with, the complaining employee. By ruling in favor of a man who was fired after his fiancée complained about alleged sex discrimination at the same company, the Court's decision in Thompson v. North American Stainless, LP has expanded Title VII anti-retaliation jurisprudence to encompass employees who themselves do not engage in "protected activity" as defined by the statute. Finding that the fiancée fell within the "zone of interests" of protection afforded by Title VII, he thus qualified as a "person aggrieved with standing to sue." The decision is significant for employers because it establishes important precedent authorizing retaliation claims by employees other than the employee who made the original complaint of discrimination. Employers should make sure that their written anti-retaliation policies make clear to managers and supervisors that, after a claim of discrimination has been made, it is against company policy to retaliate not only against the employee making the claim but against any employee related to, or in a close relationship with, the complaining party.… Continue Reading

Focus on Training in 2011

Posted in Policies/Handbooks
2011 should be the year in which all companies renew their commitment to training employees. Specifically, all employees should be trained on important company policies, such as the anti-harassment and discrimination policies, and human resources employees and supervisors should be trained on consistently problematic topics such as performance management, accommodating disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act and leaves under the Family and Medical Leave Act and similar state laws.… Continue Reading

EBSA Provides Additional Guidance Regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

Posted in Employee Benefits
The U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration ("EBSA") recently provided additional guidance on its website regarding implementation of provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), implementation of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). This guidance, which is provided in the form of Frequently Asked Questions and responses, was prepared jointly by the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and the Treasury.… Continue Reading

New York Employers Must Comply with Wage Theft Prevention Act Effective April 12, 2011

Posted in Wage & Hour
On December 14, 2010, New York Governor David Patterson signed the Wage Theft Prevention Act ("WTPA"), a new law that significantly changes the wage and hour landscape for all New York employers. This amendment to the New York Labor Law targets those employers who engage in "wage theft" by underpaying employees. In application, however, the WTPA will affect all New York employers by imposing burdensome notification and recordkeeping requirements, expanding the scope of penalties for violations, and increasing opportunities for employment litigation through strengthened anti-retaliation provisions. In compliance with these new amendments, New York employers will need to amend their payroll practices on or before April 12, 2011.… Continue Reading