On July 13, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued a revised proposal to expand data collection through its Employer Information Report (“EEO-1”). Through EEO-1 reports, the EEOC and the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) have been able to identify possible discriminatory practices and conduct pay discrimination investigations through the race, gender, ethnicity, sex, and job category pay data collected from employers across the country.
On April 19, 2016, the District of Columbia Circuit, held that Orchestra musicians were employees, not independent contractors. Lancaster Symphony Orchestra v NLRB. The National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) guarantees employees, but not independent contractors, the right to join a union. In making the determination as to whether a person is an employee or an independent contractor, the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) considers ten factors:
The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) provides that “[n]o covered entity shall discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability because of the disability of such individual in regard to job application procedures, the hiring, advancement, or discharge of employees, employee compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.” 42 U.S.C. § 12112(a). Discrimination includes “not making reasonable accommodations to the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified individual with a disability who is an applicant or employee, unless the covered entity can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the business of such covered entity. . . .” 42 U.S.C. § 12112(b)(5)(A).
On August 12, 2015, the Third Circuit – the federal appellate court with jurisdiction over Pennsylvania – held that an employer’s decision to suspend an employee with pay was not an “adverse employment action” under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Because this was an issue of first impression in the Third Circuit, Pennsylvania employers need to be aware of the case.
Recently, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals – which covers Pennsylvania and New Jersey — ruled in Hansler v. Lehigh Valley Hosp. Network that if an employer does not permit an employee seven days to cure an insufficient medical certification, the employer may have interfered with the employee’s rights under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). Medical certifications are one of the trickiest areas for employers when it comes to FMLA compliance, so let’s take a deeper look at this case.
Many employers who provide health coverage to their employees have initiated wellness programs within the workplace over the years in order to reduce health care costs. These wellness programs may include initiatives to motivate an employee to become healthier through exercise, weight loss, nutrition and smoking cessation, among other vehicles. These programs may also include medical examinations and biometric screenings which measure an employee’s health risk factors. Often there are incentives to participate in these programs in the form of discounts on health care premiums.
Effective December 31, 2014, the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) now includes institutions of higher education (“colleges”) in its definition of “school,” resulting in an expansion of required background checks and other changes to child abuse reporting and training. One of the biggest reasons for this expansion is the increase in youth programs and enrollment of high school students on college campuses.