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By Lauren Daming on April 13, 2017 at 1:30 PM

Hands protecting group of cardboard cut-out figuresIn late March, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit revived a lawsuit brought against Home Depot by the mother of a pregnant employee who was killed by her supervisor at a non-work event. Reversing the district court’s decision to dismiss the lawsuit as not stating a viable claim under Illinois law, the Court of Appeals found that Home Depot had a duty to protect its employees from the criminal acts of the supervisor, a known sexual harasser.

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By Lauren Daming on February 21, 2017 at 1:25 PM

Image of St. Louis, Missouri City HallA St. Louis city ordinance took effect Feb. 13 protecting employees against discrimination on the basis of their “reproductive health decisions.” Ordinance 70459 prohibits employers from taking any adverse employment action — such as termination or demotion — against an employee due to the employee’s decision to use drugs, devices or medical services related to reproductive health that the employer does not agree with, including contraceptives, fertility treatments or abortion.

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By Lauren Daming on January 30, 2017 at 9:53 AM

People joining in tug of war.Last week, 60 business groups and four states joined the fight against the Department of Labor’s new overtime rule by filing amicus briefs in the Fifth Circuit asking the court to uphold the district court’s injunction blocking the rule from taking effect.

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Business shoes moving from 2016 to 20172016 was a busy year for employment law developments on a national level, and 2017 promises to follow suit. To help employers navigate the changes, here is a summary of major developments that may affect your business this year.

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By Lauren Daming on June 22, 2016 at 2:15 PM

Following new rules issued on employer wellness programs, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on June 16 released an example of how employers should communicate with their employees about the medical information those programs obtain.

In May, the EEOC issued final rules clarifying that Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) allow employers to use incentives to encourage participation in wellness programs that include disability-related inquiries and/or medical examinations as long as the programs are voluntary and the incentives do not exceed certain limits. Now, the EEOC has provided an example of how employers that offer these wellness programs may notify their employees about the specifics.

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By Lauren Daming on June 6, 2016 at 11:41 AM

Circuit split: Do class and collective action waivers in employment agreements violate the NLRAOn May 26, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued its decision in Lewis v. Epic Systems, agreeing with the National Labor Relations Board’s position that mandatory arbitration agreements that prohibit employees from bringing class or collective claims violate the National Labor Relations Act. It was the first appellate court decision to accept the board’s stance, breaking with the Fifth Circuit and teeing up the final resolution of the validity of class waivers for the U.S. Supreme Court.

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By Lauren Daming on May 18, 2016 at 1:52 PM

On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released the final rule updating the regulations defining and limiting “white collar” overtime exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). These rules apply to workers who fall under the executive, administrative, or professional exemptions from the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime protections. The rule will go into effect December 1, 2016, giving employers over six months to adjust.

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By Lauren Daming on May 17, 2016 at 1:14 PM

On May 16, 2016 the EEOC issued final rules amending the regulations and interpretive guidance implementing Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) with respect to employer wellness programs. These changes clarify that employers may use incentives to encourage participation in wellness programs that include disability-related inquiries and/or medical examinations as long as the programs are voluntary and the incentives do not exceed certain limits. Additionally, the rules confirm that employers may provide incentives when employees’ spouses—but not children—provide certain health information.

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By Lauren Daming on January 13, 2016 at 12:27 PM

On Jan. 11, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to accept review of Smith v. Aegon Companies Pension Plan, a case in which the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit found forum selection clauses in ERISA plans to be valid and enforceable. The holding of the Sixth Circuit, the only court of appeals to have considered this issue, allows ERISA plan sponsors to designate the federal courts in which their participants may bring claims arising under ERISA. Plan sponsors, particularly those with participants scattered throughout multiple states, often favor this approach because it brings uniformity to the treatment of their plans.

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By Lauren Daming, Lauren Harris on September 9, 2015 at 9:49 AM

Whether it’s using a company laptop at home or accessing social media and other personal sites via an office desktop computer, the lines between an employee’s personal and work lives are increasingly blurred.

A businessman is holding the document from inside computer's screen.As revealed by the recent Ashley Madison website hack, many employees across the United States use business computers and business email accounts for very personal reasons — reportedly over 15,000 email addresses used to register accounts were linked to government or military servers. However, dealing with an employee who “cheats” on an employer’s computer, Internet or email use policy may not be as simple as it seems.

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