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By Amy Blaisdell, Camille Toney on January 12, 2018 at 4:15 PM

Words "NEW RULES" spelled out with block letters on a table.In a surprising move, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that the Final Rule, changing the claims procedure for ERISA- governed disability plans, will become effective on April 1, 2018. The DOL previously delayed the Jan. 1, 2018 effective date to allow additional time for comments and data submissions and to give the DOL time to amend or rescind the Final Rule. In a press statement released on Jan. 5, 2018, the DOL stated that while it received numerous complaints about the New Rule, only a few of them provided substantive criticism. 

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By Amy Blaisdell, Audrie Howard, Jill Luft on November 10, 2017 at 10:52 AM

"ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act" written on a piece of paper with a pencil and stethoscope on top.A recent Seventh Circuit case held that additional leave beyond what is otherwise required by leave entitlement laws is not a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act. This holding provides important guidance for employers. Continue reading for the details of this case and our recommended best practices in light of its holding.

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By Amy Blaisdell, Camille Toney on October 12, 2017 at 4:17 PM

Word "delay" written on a clockTaking a page from the fiduciary rule playbook, today the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) proposed a 90-day delay of the implementation of the amended ERISA claims procedure rule for employer-sponsored disability plans (“Final Rule”). The Final Rule was scheduled to take effect for ERISA disability benefits claims on January 1, 2018. The proposed delay would postpone the Final Rule’s application to April 1, 2018, giving the DOL time to decide whether to amend, modify or rescind the Final Rule.

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By Amy Blaisdell, Heather Mehta on January 18, 2017 at 3:40 PM

Supreme Court buildingThe U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 17 ended a yearlong legal challenge to the enforceability of a forum selection clause in an ERISA-governed benefit plan, when the court denied the plaintiff’s petition for writ of certiorari. The case is Clause v. U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 719 (Jan. 17, 2017).

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By Amy Blaisdell, Lauren Daming on July 15, 2015 at 6:00 PM

Contractors DatabaseThe U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on Wednesday aimed to clarify the test it uses to determine whether workers are classified as employees or independent contractors for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

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By Amy Blaisdell, Audrie Howard on June 30, 2015 at 4:36 PM

Employers called to submit comments in next 60 days

Time - money. Business concept.After months of internal debates and conferences, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released the long-anticipated proposed overtime rule today. If implemented, the proposed rule will significantly expand overtime pay for Americans under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

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By Amy Blaisdell, Lauren Daming, T. Christopher Bailey on March 26, 2015 at 10:43 AM

5388576411_700edd78b2By a 6-3 majority, the Supreme Court created a potentially new standard by which employers’ accommodations given or denied to pregnant women will be judged under the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”).

In Young v. UPS, the plaintiff, Peggy Young, was deemed unable to work her part-time driver position once her physician placed her on a 20-pound lifting restriction. Young was placed on an unpaid leave, and returned to work after the birth of her child; however, Young subsequently filed a lawsuit against UPS alleging the company violated the PDA in refusing to accommodate her pregnancy-related lifting restriction and not assigning her to a light duty position. 

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By Amy Blaisdell on December 31, 2014 at 1:21 PM

What is the Illinois Pregnancy Fairness Law?

Pregnancy_Posting_redoEffective January 1, 2015, the Illinois Pregnancy Fairness Law provides workplace protections to all expectant mothers, regardless of an employer’s size. The Illinois Pregnancy Fairness Law amends the Illinois Human Rights Act, adding “pregnancy” as a protected class under state law. “Pregnancy” is defined broadly to mean “pregnancy, childbirth, or other medical or common conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.” Accordingly, effective 1/1/15, the IHRA prohibits discrimination on the basis of “pregnancy” against applicants and employees and also requires employers to provide accommodations to expectant mothers to enable them to perform the job the job held or sought unless the employer can establishing that doing so would cause an undue hardship on the ordinary operation of the business. The Illinois law also prohibits retaliation against individuals who exercise their right to an accommodation under the law.

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By Amy Blaisdell on October 13, 2014 at 3:52 PM

j0399041In the last few months, several court decisions have found large classes of workers to be improperly classified as independent contractors rather than employees. These class action cases are filed in federal and state courts throughout the country seeking the payment of minimum wage, overtime, penalties, attorneys’ fees, employee benefits and expenses, among other damages. Although FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. has been at the heart of several recent decisions, the issue is not isolated to FedEx nor to delivery drivers. Rather, a survey of recent cases and agency actions makes it clear that the judiciary, Internal Revenue Service, United States Department of Labor, and state agencies are all looking with exacting scrutiny at independent contractor relationships and are erring on the side of finding workers to be employees. Consequently, all companies that use independent contractors – regardless of their size – should think about the impact of the emerging cases on their workforces.

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By Amy Blaisdell, Camille Toney on June 28, 2013 at 7:21 PM

Reassignment_LaborBlogLast month the United States Supreme Court refused to resolve the circuit split that has evolved over the issue of whether there is an affirmative duty under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") to accommodate a disabled individual through reassignment to another vacant job, without regard to whether there is a more qualified applicant for the same job. (The ADA prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating against individuals with disabilities and requires employers to engage in an interactive process with employees and applicants to determine whether there is a reasonable accommodation that will enable an employee to perform the job held or desired.)

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