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

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.

While diversity, equity, and inclusion have slowly made their way to the forefront of many employers’ minds, two dimensions of diversity are often overlooked in these discussions –neurodiversity and ability diversity. More than 1 billion people, 15% of the global population, live with a disability. Thus, employers must ensure that neurodiversity and employees and applicants with disabilities are properly represented in DEI initiatives.
Continue Reading Creating Inclusive Workplaces for Neurodivergent and Employees with Disabilities

While many employers maintain “Professional Dress and Hygiene” policies in their Employee Handbooks – or as stand-alone policies – managers, supervisors, and human resources personnel are rarely trained on how to implement those policies. The common result is, unfortunately, that these policies are applied unfairly or more strictly toward Black and other racially diverse employees. Very seldom do we see policies that specifically prohibit braids, dreads, locks, twists, or knots anymore. Instead, these policies often state that employee hairstyles must be “professional” (very helpful),“neat,” and well-managed,” for example. Keeping your policy language broad can be helpful by giving your managers, supervisors, and HR personnel deference, but it can also result in disparate treatment if the decision-maker has conscious or unconscious biases about what is viewed as “professional” and make determinations under the policy relying on those unfair biases.
Continue Reading Hair Discrimination – Does Your “Professional Dress and Hygiene” Policy Make the Cut?

As anticipated, Governor Polis signed into law last week Colorado’s new limitations on restrictive covenants, which includes noncompetition, nonsolicitation, and confidentiality covenants.  Our Colorado employment team has already issued a legal alert that provides detail about the bill.  FAQs:  Colorado Further Limits Restrictive Covenants.
Continue Reading Colorado Cracks Down on Restrictive Covenants

Predictability and fairness are typical pillars of employment law. Where predictability allows both employers and workers to understand and navigate the rules and regulations that are applicable to them, fairness provides a constant level of security to all parties. Recently, the Texas Supreme Court used an unpredictable procedure to reach what it calls a “rule of fairness and right.”
Continue Reading Conditioning Payment on Continued Employment: Texas Supreme Court Rules Company Owed Fired Executive Commissions

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