Most employers are well aware that the Americans with Disabilities Act (and similar state laws) require employers to engage in the “interactive process” when an employee requests a disability accommodation. But in actual day-to-day practice, human resources professionals and others tasked with fulfilling this obligation often find themselves stumped. “Interactive process” is a vague term, and there is a lack of clarity regarding what it means for an employer to engage in this process. As a result, employers sometimes skip this step, particularly in situations where the accommodation requested would likely cause undue hardship or simply is not possible. But these are the scenarios in which it is most important to engage in the process, as failure to do so can cause liability that could easily have been avoided with a simple discussion.
Now that spring is in the air, it might be a good time to dust off your 401(k) plan document and do a quick checkup. This post walks through five issues we recommend considering as you jump into your spring cleaning:
Double-Barreled Rulemaking. Last month, we commented on the Department of Labor’s (DOL) March 7, 2019, proposed rulemaking to increase the salary test threshold for overtime exemptions, potentially making another million or so people eligible for overtime pay. Next, in a companion rulemaking proposal, issued March 28, 2019, and summarized in our post last week, the DOL announced that it seeks to clarify how the “regular rate” is calculated for the purpose of calculating overtime.
Now What? Whether and when the new salary change will take effect is unknown—but it could be later this year, barring litigation delays such as we saw with the Obama administration’s attempt to effect similar changes. Applying the same calendar math, the regular rate changes could take effect later this year or in early 2020. Either way, it would be worthwhile for HR professionals to think ahead.
The ever-evolving legal landscape surrounding marijuana legalization has in recent years continued to cloud the waters with respect to workplace drug testing programs. However, beyond the complex issue of whether employers must provide accommodations for medical users in states where marijuana is legal, employers must also remain vigilant in evaluating whether their drug testing policies run afoul of various anti-discrimination laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
As we recently reported, federal Judge Tanya Chutkan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia recently ordered the EEOC to move forward with stalled Obama-era requirements that employers who are required to file annual EEO-1 reports provide certain pay data with those reports.
At the time of our last article, it was unclear whether the EEOC would have the tools in place to commence such collections by May 31, 2019, the date on which the agency’s regular gender, race and ethnicity data collection is due. Now, in a required April 3, 2019, filing with the court, the EEOC has stated that it will have the portal for collecting this information from employers available starting later in the summer, with a September 30, 2019, pay data filing deadline.