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Posts by Jill K. Luft

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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By Jill Luft, Camille Toney on October 15, 2015 at 4:14 PM

Employers avoid higher wages for now, but the city is set to appeal the decision

Just hours before a St. Louis minimum wage ordinance was to take effect Oct. 15, St. Louis Circuit Judge Steven R. Ohmer struck it down. Ohmer determined that the city ordinance violates state law and declared it void and unenforceable.

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By Jill Luft, Kevin McLaughlin, Audrie Howard on June 30, 2015 at 3:35 PM

Hourly minimum rises to $10 on July 1, 2015, and will reach $13 in 2019

conceptual sign with words minimum wage increase  ahead over blue skyChicago’s Minimum Wage Ordinance takes effect July 1, 2015, raising the minimum wage to $10 per hour for non-tipped employees and $5.45 for tipped employees.

It provides for subsequent raises each July 1 until the hourly minimum wage reaches $13 for non-tipped employees in 2019. The full text of the ordinance can be found here.

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