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With an enduring fascination with scientific concepts and their applications and a strong background in labor and employment law, Tracey helps healthcare, life sciences and education clients ensure compliance with employment laws and regulations. Tracey has extensive experience with age, gender, race and disability discrimination; wrongful termination; human resources policies and personnel issues; and a wide variety of contracts.

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

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

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 Friday, June 24, in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization,  the United States Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade and held that the United States Constitution does not protect a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy.

After Dobbs, some employers are considering adding or altering abortion-related benefits provided under their employer-sponsored group health plans, including coverage for travel related-expenses.  Although it is currently unclear whether and to what extent employers may offer those benefits without potentially violating applicable state law, below are some immediate action items and considerations for employers:
Continue Reading Potential Impact of Dobbs on Employer-Sponsored Health Plans

In a unanimous 8-0 decision, in Southwest Airlines Co. v. Saxon, the U.S. Supreme Court (Court) held that airline cargo ramp supervisors that assist with loading and unloading cargo constitute a class of workers engaged in foreign or interstate commerce and are exempt under the from the scope of the Federal Arbitration Agreement (FAA). Justice Thomas authored the opinion on behalf of the Court (Justice Barret was recused from the case) and set forth a two-part analysis that (1) defined the relevant “class of workers” and (2) determined whether the class of worker is “engaged in foreign or interstate commerce.”
Continue Reading SCOTUS Nixes Forced Arbitration Clause in Southwest Employment Contract of Cargo Ramp Supervisor

A new COVID-related bonus from the State of Minnesota is coming “to thank those Minnesotans who worked on the frontlines during the COVID-19 peacetime emergency.”  Certain employers who employed frontline workers in Minnesota have affirmative, required steps to take to make their employees aware of the opportunity.
Continue Reading Required Notice Posting for Employers of Frontline Workers in Minnesota

Not surprisingly, simple solutions to complex issues are often elusive. Yet on rare occasions, the solution is in plain sight. Doubtful? For employers struggling with the issue of a remote employee’s eligibility for job-protected leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), there is a very simple answer. And, unlike the analysis we discussed in our commentary about wage and hour issues for remote employees, the answer does not depend on the location of the remote employee.
Continue Reading Employer Compliance Guidance: Remote Worker Eligibility for FMLA Benefits

In the last quarter of 2021, 69% of the 2.050 employees surveyed by Global Workplace Analytics and Owl Labs reported working remotely during the pandemic. One third of employees expressed a strong preference for continuing to work remotely, including changing jobs if necessary. Clearly with help from technology, working remotely is rapidly becoming the new normal for many employees. In response to employee preferences in a tight labor market, employers are pivoting to incorporate remote work into their business models. The pivot can morph into a legal hurdle, though when an employee’s remote work location is outside the state in which the employer is located (employer’s home state).
Continue Reading Employers with Out-of-State Employees: Method for Assessing Differences in Wage & Hour Obligations

Most individuals are familiar with online video games such as FIFA, Minecraft, Fortnite or maybe, Last of Us permitting players to play and communicate with others online while seated at their Xbox or PlayStation consoles. Augmented Realty (AR) games, such as Pokémon-GO, superimpose a digital setting into the players’ own real environment, incorporating virtual components into the real world and increasing the level of physical activity.

Continue Reading That’s So Meta – Workplace Harassment Issues in a Virtual World