EEOC May Obtain Private (And Arguably Unnecessary) Employee Information

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Employers served with an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) subpoena requesting private employee information – regardless of its arguable relevance – may nevertheless be compelled to respond, according to a decision from late last year by one of the country’s most influential appellate courts. In the decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit permitted the EEOC to largely define its own need for employee data based on an expansive view of what information might be relevant to the its investigation. Continue reading this entry

Hybrid Visa Offers Alternative to Limited H-1B Visa

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For an ever-increasing number of U.S. employers, the start of another calendar year also means H-1B season has arrived. However, given the competitive nature of the H-1B program, many employers are turning to an alternative and infrequently utilized hybrid visa, the “B-1 in lieu of H-1B,” to obtain professionals with specialized skills. Continue reading this entry

DOL Asserts “As Broad as Possible” Joint Employer Standard for Wage and Hour Enforcement

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In new guidance issued on January 20, the Department of Labor (DOL) has aggressively interpreted its authority “as broad as possible” to hold employers responsible for wage and hour violations committed by separate “joint employers.” This guidance, issued by David Weil, the administrator of DOL’s Wage and Hour Division, makes clear those businesses sharing employees or using contractors or temporary staffing agencies may become legally responsible for wage and hour violations committed by another employer. Continue reading this entry

When Seemingly Indefinite Leave and Non-Cooperation Makes a Leave of Absence Unreasonable

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A recent decision from the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia provides a result that employers may often think they do not see enough in labor and employment law: a common sense solution to a situation that confronts them often – what to do under federal (and potentially state) statutes requiring reasonable accommodation for an employee on what becomes a virtually indefinite leave of absence. The decision shows that there are indeed limits to what may be required of an employer under these laws in terms of having to provide a limitless leave of absence. Continue reading this entry

Five Suggestions to Create a Transgender-Inclusive Workplace

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To get ahead of the curve, employers should start adopting more inclusive policies aimed at accommodating transgender employees. To date, 19 states and the District of Columbia have adopted laws prohibiting discrimination in employment and public accommodations based on both gender identity and sexual orientation (another three states only prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation). As we have previously reported, federal contractors are prohibited from discriminating against employers based on gender identity or sexual orientation. The EEOC has also sued private employers for Title VII discrimination based on sex when an employer fired a transgender employee. Even Congress has recently considered Title VII-like protections for employees based on their gender identity or expression. The trend toward protecting workers and others based on their gender identity is gaining momentum, and employers should be paying close attention. Continue reading this entry