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Posts by Jill K. Luft
By Lauren Harris, Jill Luft on June 23, 2023 at 2:30 PM

A new federal law goes into effect June 27, 2023, related to covered employers’ obligations to provideWoman with hand on belly pregnancy accommodations to employees and job applicants.

As we previewed in our 2023 Federal Employment Law Forecast, Congress passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) as an amendment to the government funding bill, which President Biden signed on December 29, 2022. The law charges the EEOC with issuing regulations interpreting the PWFA, although the EEOC has not yet indicated when it will do so.

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By Amy Blaisdell, Scott Cruz, Jill Luft on June 17, 2020 at 2:00 PM

Firing an employee for being gay (i.e. sexual orientation) or transgender (i.e. gender identity) is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court said in a ruling issued June 15, 2020.

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By Jill Luft on May 21, 2020 at 11:00 AM

The U.S. Department of Labor has issued revised enforcement guidance addressing when an employee’s COVID-19 diagnosis is a recordable illness on the OSHA Form 300 under OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements. (See Revised Enforcement Guidance for Recording Cases of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), May 19, 2020.) Effective May 26, 2020, all covered employers[1] are responsible for recording cases of COVID-19 if it the case is confirmed to be COVID-19, is work-related, and involves one or more of OSHA’s general recording criteria (e.g. the illness results in the employee’s death, days away from work, restricted work or transfer to another job, medical treatment beyond first aid, or loss of consciousness, or the employee has a significant illness diagnosed by a licensed health care professional).

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By Jill Luft, Lauren Harris on April 14, 2020 at 12:15 PM

Almost two weeks after the effective date of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), many employers are still not certain what information and documents they should obtain from employees who request emergency paid sick leave and/or expanded family and medical leave. To recap, there are six reasons an employee can take emergency paid sick leave.

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By Lauren Daming, Katherine Fechte, Lauren Harris, Jill Luft on April 2, 2020 at 4:30 PM

New Rules signOn April 1, 2020, the Department of Labor released a temporary rule issuing regulations under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) effective immediately through December 31, 2020. Employers who have been wrestling with compliance with the FFCRA’s paid leave provisions will recognize much of the material in these regulations from the DOL’s informal guidance or from the CARES Act’s amendments to the FFCRA*. The regulations also include some helpful clarification:

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By Jill Luft on March 29, 2020 at 2:40 PM

Q&A logo on FFCRAAs employers gear up for the coming workweek in which April 1 falls, now is a good time to highlight three U.S. Department of Labor publications issued last week regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).*  

The DOL’s second and third sets of FFCRA Q&As

Two days after issuing its first set of Q&As (#1-15) relating to the implementation of emergency paid sick leave and paid expanded FMLA leave (read more here), the DOL published its second set of Q&As (#16-37) on March 26. On March 28, the DOL published its third round of Q&As (#38-59). These most recent installments answer many questions that have been on the minds of employers (and their lawyers) since the FFCRA was signed into law March 18. The full text of the DOL’s Q&As can be found here. Condensed, significant highlights follow.

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By Jill Luft on April 12, 2018 at 9:50 AM

Words "Out of Office" written on a piece of paper held up by a businesswomanAs we reported last fall, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals determined that a multi-month continuous leave of absence is beyond the scope of a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. The case was Severson v. Heartland Woodcraft, Inc., 872 F.3d 476 (7th Cir. 2017). After exhausting 12 continuous weeks of FMLA leave for a serious back condition, Severson informed his employer that he would need to remain off work for another two to three months. The Seventh Circuit reasoned that the ADA is an antidiscrimination statute, not a medical leave entitlement, and an employee who needs long-term medical leave cannot work and is therefore not a qualified individual under the ADA.

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By Jill Luft on April 3, 2018 at 2:50 PM

Stethoscope on top of a BibleThe U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) earlier this year announced that it would create a new division within the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) to enforce certain federal laws to protect religious freedom and the rights of conscience of workers in health and human services. This new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division will provide an avenue for HHS to more aggressively enforce laws protecting the rights of conscience and religious freedom.

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By Amy Blaisdell, Jill Luft, Audrie Howard 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 Jill Luft on July 18, 2017 at 3:40 PM

U.S. Department of Homeland Security LogoOn July 17, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a new version of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Changes to the Form I-9 instructions are fairly minimal and include:

  • The Department of Justice "Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices" is now called the "Immigrant and Employee Rights Section.”
  • The words “the end of” have been removed from the phrase “the first day of employment” in the description of the day on which the Form I-9 completion is required.
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