Employment & Labor Insider

Employment & Labor Insider

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Tag Archives: Ellen Kearns

The ADA: Four issues to watch in 2018

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination, Family and Medical Leave Act, GINA, Pregnancy
Last month, I had the pleasure of speaking to the Federal Bar Association about hot topics under the Americans with Disabilities Act with my blogging buddy Bill Goren, proprietor of the Understanding the ADA blog. If you haven’t visited Bill’s blog, you should — he covers all aspects of the ADA, including Titles II and III, as well… Continue Reading

BREAKING: Obama overtime rule is struck down

Posted in Wage-Hour
I’m reading the decision as we speak, and we’ll be back soon with analysis from our Wage and Hour gurus, Jim Coleman and Ellen Kearns. But meanwhile, here is the Opinion and Order from U.S. District Court Judge Amos Mazzant, and here is the Judgment. The judge granted a motion for summary judgment filed by the business… Continue Reading

Weekly catch-up

Posted in Immigration, Politics, Pregnancy
President Trump endorses the RAISE Act, which would clamp down on legal immigration. The RAISE Act legislation, among other things, would give immigration priority according to a skills-based “points” system and to individuals who speak English. If enacted in its current form, it would be expected to reduce legal immigration to the United States by about 50 percent.… Continue Reading

Thinking out loud about medical marijuana and reasonable accommodation

Posted in Drug Testing
(When I think out loud, beware.) Ellen Kearns’ discussion of last week’s decision in Barbuto v. Advantage Sales and Marketing, in which the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that employers may have to accommodate employees who use medical marijuana, got me thinking about whether we need to revisit some of our assumptions about marijuana in the… Continue Reading

Weekly catch-up

Posted in Constangy News, ConstangyTV, FOCUS, Immigration
Constangy is #1 midsize law firm for women! Law360 has ranked us number one among law firms with 150-299 attorneys. Firms were not even eligible to be ranked if they didn’t have at least 49 percent female attorneys, so we are the creme de la creme. Heather Owen, proprietor of FOCUS, our women’s leadership blog, has… Continue Reading

Please vote for us for the ABA Web 100: Reason #4

Posted in ABA Blawg 100
Reason No. 4: We have an all-star team of co-bloggers. To wit (in alphabetical order): Ken Carlson, Cara Crotty, Louise Davies, Tommy Eden, LaLonnie Gray, Billy Hammel, Ellen Kearns, Damon Kitchen, Angelique Lyons, Bob Ortbals, Alyssa Peters, Kristine Sims, Sandra Sok, Jill Stricklin, Spring Taylor, Stephanie Underwood, Heidi Wilbur, and Jon Yarbrough. (Thanks, you guys!)… Continue Reading

Well, that’s weird. Trump DOL will pursue appeal of overtime decision

Posted in Politics, Wage-Hour
The U.S. Department of Labor submitted its brief today in Nevada v. U.S. Department of Labor, the case involving the challenge to the Obama Administration’s overtime rule. Some very quick background: The overtime rule, which would have more than doubled the salary threshold for administrative, executive, and some professional exemptions from the minimum wage and… Continue Reading

Weekly catch-up

Posted in Franchise, Independent Contractor, Politics, Wage-Hour
Trump DOL removes Obama DOL guidance on independent contractors, joint employment. On Wednesday, Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta removed two Administrator’s Interpretations on independent contractors and joint employment issued during the Obama Administration. Here is our Client Bulletin, which I wrote with Jim Coleman, co-chair of our Wage and Hour Practice Group. The quick and dirty:… Continue Reading

What should employers do about overtime now? Ask the wage-hour lawyers.

Posted in Wage-Hour
As most readers know, the U.S. Department of Labor’s overtime rule, which was set to take effect yesterday, was preliminarily enjoined (temporarily blocked) on November 22 by U.S. District Court Judge Amos Mazzant III. The injunction in Nevada v. Perez applies nationwide, but the court’s decision is not final, and the DOL appealed yesterday. An article… Continue Reading

Court blocks DOL overtime rule: The fuller story

Posted in Wage-Hour
NOTE FROM ROBIN: As I posted last night, the U.S. Department of Labor Overtime Rule, which would have taken effect a week from tomorrow, has been preliminarily enjoined. I am re-posting here a client bulletin by Jim Coleman, co-chair of our Wage and Hour Compliance and Litigation Practice Group, and me. This went out to our clients… Continue Reading

Employment and labor law developments (and a few other things) I’m thankful for

Posted in Affirmative Action, Discrimination, Elections, FOCUS, Gender Identity Discrimination, Labor Relations, Public Sector Employment, Settlements, Sexual Orientation
This has been a weird year for me. (And, no, I’m not even thinking about the election!) But I have much to be thankful for, and I hope you do, too. BREAKING THING TO BE THANKFUL FOR: Yesterday evening, the U.S. Department of Labor’s new rule governing white-collar exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act was struck… Continue Reading

Massachusetts expands protections to transgender individuals

Posted in Discrimination, Gender Identity Discrimination
As of October 1, “places of public accommodation” in Massachusetts will be prohibited from discriminating based on gender identity. That is, persons accessing a “place of public accommodation” must be permitted to use gender-segregated locations (such as restrooms and locker rooms) consistent with their gender identity. Any place that is open to and accepts or solicits… Continue Reading

Weekly catch-up

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination, Equal Pay, Franchise, Wage-Hour
Massachusetts has had a “comparable worth” law forever, but Gov. Charlie Baker just signed some amendments that will make it easier for women (and men) to assert pay equity claims. In addition to making it easier for plaintiffs to prove that two jobs are “substantially similar,” the law prohibits asking for salary history before a conditional offer of… Continue Reading

Too many RULES, man!

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act, GINA, Only in California, Wage-Hour
“Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the rules . . .”* Of course, the mega-topic this week was the U.S. Department of Labor’s Final Rule on white-collar exemptions to the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Ellen Kearns, co-chair of our Wage and Hour Practice Group, wrote a great Client Bulletin… Continue Reading

Your overtime rule news portal for today

Posted in Wage-Hour
Vice President Joe Biden is expected to announce the official release of the U.S. Department of Labor’s new overtime rule this afternoon in an appearance at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream in Columbus, Ohio. I’ll post the rule, which will change the white-collar overtime exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act, as soon as it’s available. Meanwhile, the DOL… Continue Reading

Is obesity a “per se” disability? One court says no.

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination
A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled this week that obesity is not a “disability” within the meaning of the Americans with Disabilities Act — even as amended in 2009 — unless the condition was caused by some underlying physiological disorder. In addition, if the individual develops a medical condition… Continue Reading

Who was naughty, and who was nice in employment law this year

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination, Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act, GINA, Harassment, Labor Relations, Lawyers!, Pregnancy, Protected Concerted Activity, Retaliation, Safety, Social media, Telecommuting, Wage-Hour
Who’s been naughty and who’s been nice in labor and employment law? Here are my picks for 2015. Feel free to add your own in the comments. NAUGHTY! The National Labor Relations Board, for being naughty in too many ways to mention. Its rules on employer handbook policies, including confidentiality and social media, are unrealistic… Continue Reading

Overtime exemption rule now coming in July 2016?

Posted in Wage-Hour
NOTE FROM ROBIN: Ellen Kearns is head of our Boston Office and co-chair of the firm’s Wage-Hour Practice Group. The new overtime white-collar exemption rule will be issued approximately July 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s fall 2015 regulatory agenda, which the Office of Management and Budget published just before Thanksgiving. I had earlier… Continue Reading