On August 1, 2022, the California Court of Appeals issued an opinion that will put a stop to website accessibility discrimination cases against online-only businesses brought pursuant to the state’s Unruh Act. The case, Martinez v. Cot’n Wash, Inc., clarified that websites standing alone are not places of public accommodation under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Continue Reading Some Clarity At Last: California Court of Appeals Holds Websites Are Not Places of Public Accommodation Under the ADA

Key Point

  • Federal contractors and subcontractors who filed Type 2 EEO-1 Reports for the years 2016-2020 are advised that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) intends to release the data from such filed EEO-1 Reports unless they file written objections asserting Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) objections by no later than September 19, 2022


Continue Reading OFCCP Intends to Release Contractor Provided 2016-2020 EEO-1 Data Unless Contractors File FOIA Objections to Protect Confidential Information

In a recent decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit clarified that an employer can violate the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) by discouraging an employee from taking FMLA leave, even without actually denying an FMLA leave request.

In Ziccarelli v. Dart, Plaintiff Salvatore Ziccarelli argued that his employer, the Cook County Sherriff’s office, violated the FMLA by discouraging him from taking FMLA leave. Between 2007 and early 2016, Ziccarelli took varying amounts of FMLA leave every year. By September 2016, he had used 304 of 480 of his available FMLA leave hours for the year. He then enrolled in an 8-week treatment program for PTSD that year. In his lawsuit, he alleged that he called the Sherriff’s Office’s FMLA manager, Wylola Shinnawi, to discuss using a combination of his FMLA leave, sick leave, and annual leave to attend the program. He said that Shinnawi told him that he’d already taken a significant amount of FMLA leave, and that he should not take any more FMLA leave, otherwise he would be disciplined. Ziccarelli chose to retire, stating that he feared he would be fired if he took additional FMLA leave.
Continue Reading Seventh Circuit Issues Decision Addressing Employer Interference With FMLA Leave

On July 19, 2022, in the decision, Mothering Justice et al., v. Dana Nessel et al. (Nessel), the Michigan Court of Claims (Court)  held that in 2018 the Michigan Legislature unconstitutionally amended two voter-initiatives, the Earned Sick Time Act, PA 338, and the Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act (IWOWA), PA 337, by amending the proposals in the same legislative session that the Legislature enacted the two initiatives. The Legislature’s tactic of adopting and amending the voter initiatives subverted the constitutional protections against “legislative interference with the People’s constitutional right of initiative.” The Court’s holding nullified the amendments to the initiatives, 2018 Public Act (PA) 368 (IWOWA) and 2018 PA 369 (renamed as the Paid Medical Leave Act), and reinstated the original, more expansive terms of PA 338 and PA 337.
Continue Reading Michigan Court Reinstates Minimum Wage and Sick Leave Initiative Unconstitutionally Amended by State Legislature

Workplace violence has become a hot topic in today’s discourse; however, workplace violence is not just headline fodder for media outlets. The trend is well-documented and especially felt by the healthcare industry which continues to experience the brunt after the onslaught of COVID-19. In 2018, 73% of all nonfatal workplace violence incidents involved healthcare workers. A late 2020 survey reported that 20% of nurses reported they were facing an increase in workplace violence after the COVID-19 pandemic began. Another study reported a 14.6% increase in workplace violence at New Jersey hospitals over the prior three years.
Continue Reading Code Blue! — Violence in the Workplace

In light of the wave of substantial changes to Colorado’s employment laws, a recent less significant change may have escaped the attention of your human resources team. Recently passed Senate Bill 22-234 reshapes how unemployment benefits are administered and funded in Colorado. One of the new law’s provisions requires employers to provide employees with additional information for unemployment benefits upon separation, including identifying the reason for separation.
Continue Reading Colorado Expands Employer’s Separation Notice Obligations

In a world radically changed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the way we communicate in the workplace has been permanently altered with the integration of online communication platforms. Effective communication is essential to human functioning, including within the context of organizations and business entities. But the common workplace communication method changed swiftly when communication technologies replaced in-person communication that once typified office settings. While the integration of online communication platforms was a major contributor to the survival of many businesses, is it possible that these same communication platforms have the potential to exacerbate underlying differences among a diverse and remote workforce leading to increased employment litigation?
Continue Reading Can Differences in Communication Styles Among a Diverse Workforce Contribute to Discrimination Claims?

On June 10, 2022, Illinois amended its Child Bereavement Leave Act (“CBLA”) to include unpaid leave for employees following an “unexpected lack of parenthood,” and deaths of other family members, including stepchildren, spouses, domestic partners, siblings, parents or stepparents, parents-in-law, grandchildren, or grandparents. The new legislation is known as the Family Bereavement Leave Act (“FBLA”).
Continue Reading Illinois’ Family Bereavement Leave Act: What Employers Can Learn from the Prairie State.

For some, the gym is a sanctuary – an oasis. For others, the gym can be a nightmare, and an emotionally draining experience. Sexual harassment in fitness facilities is a rapidly growing problem, and one that can leave a lot of gym members feeling uncomfortable and frightened. How do we combat this? Do we encourage people to switch gyms? Do we tell people to just “ignore” the harassment? What obligations do gym-owners have to address such conduct?
Continue Reading Employer Obligations on Addressing Sexual Harassment in Fitness Facilities

On May 12, 2022, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) released a new technical assistance document to address concerns over the use of algorithmic software and AI in the hiring process. In this document, the EEOC warned employers who are using this type of software that they may be violating the American with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and provided some examples best practices. The following summary will help you navigate this new and exciting field of employment software.

Continue Reading AI and Algorithmic Fairness: EEOC Launches Initiative on Employer Use of AI in Hiring Processes