Employment Law Lookout

Insights for Management

By Abigail Cahak and Noah Finkel Seyfarth Synopsis: The DOL has reissued a long-awaited opinion letter withdrawing its previous 20% tip credit rule and making clear that “no limit is placed on the amount of [related but non-tipped] duties that may be performed,” so long as they are performed “contemporaneously with the duties involving direct service or for a reasonable time immediately before or after” direct service. For about a decade, restaurant employers have faced…
By Mark A. Lies, II,  Adam R. Young, and Daniel R. Birnbaum Seyfarth Synopsis: The flu and cold season is now approaching. Employers face concerns about how to respond to highly infectious diseases when an employee reports such illness. Seasonal illnesses have the potential to infect employees and shut down operations because of employee absence due to illness. Employers must consider methods to keep their employees healthy and productive while not running into…
By John Ayers-Mann and Patrick J. Bannon Seyfarth Synopsis: Although an employee can prove discrimination by showing that an employer’s reasons for adverse action are pretextual, the Eleventh Circuit finds that an employee must do more than merely contest the proffered reasons to survive summary judgment. A recent Eleventh Circuit decision illustrates that Plaintiffs in discrimination cases face a difficult path to trial. Hornsby-Culpepper pointed to the fact that male employees were given raises around…
By Brent I. ClarkJames L. CurtisAdam R. Young, and Craig B. Simonsen Seyfarth Synopsis: Last month at the 2018 National Safety Council (NSC) Congress the speakers noted that “safety programs shouldn’t end when employees walk out the door and get into a vehicle to drive.”  The session was presented by Karen Puckett, the Director for the Center for Environmental Excellence Division of Enterprise Development at the University of Texas at Arlington,…
By David S. Baffa, Noah A. Finkel, and Joseph S. Turner Seyfarth Synopsis: Congress has once again proposed legislation that would seek to ban mandatory workplace arbitration of employment claims, despite a string of United States Supreme Court decisions upholding arbitration and class/collective action waivers as a lawful and appropriate mechanism to resolve workplace disputes.  H.R. 7109, the Restoring Justice for Workers Act, was introduced by Representative Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and Representative…
By Randel K. Johnson Seyfarth Synopsis: Seyfarth Shaw’s Government Relations and Policy Group invites you to join Senior Political Strategist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Scott Reed, for a post-midterm election analysis and a discussion on what to expect going forward. Scott Reed is a well-known figure in Washington, D.C.’s corridors of power and was recently named by Politico Magazine as one of the top “Politico 50” ideas changing politics and the people behind them. He has…
By Paul Galligan and Ryan B. Schneider  Seyfarth Synopsis: In Judge v. Shikellamy Sch. Dist., No. 17-2189, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 27229 (3d Cir. Sep. 24, 2018), the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals adopted a new approach to constructive discharge cases where an employee alleges coerced resignation in lieu of disciplinary proceedings. Background Plaintiff Holly Judge, a tenured school principal in Shikellamy School District, resigned after she was arrested for driving while intoxicated. The…
By Brent I. ClarkJames L. CurtisAdam R. Young, and Craig B. Simonsen Seyfarth Synopsis: This week at the 2018 National Safety Council (NSC) Congress the speakers on this Executive Forum noted that “automation, wearables, augmented reality, virtual reality, drones, big data, machine learning, the Internet of Things – emerging technologies are now almost too numerous to keep track of.”  This Executive Forum offered an in-depth look at the tools and trends…
By Paul Galligan and Tara Ellis Seyfarth Synopsis: Employers Continue to Labor over Pregnancy Accommodations. Earlier this month, Plaintiff Caroline Ruiz filed suit in the Southern District of New York against her former employer New Avon LLC, contending that Avon failed to accommodate her high risk pregnancy, and instead hastily terminated her employment upon learning she was pregnant. Caroline Ruiz v. New Avon LLC, et al., 1:18-cv-09033. Ruiz, the former Global Head of North…
By Linda Schoonmaker and John P. Phillips Seyfarth Synopsis: In a recent decision, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that the use of the N-Word in the workplace one time is sufficient to trigger a hostile work environment. Additionally, the Eleventh Circuit held that an employer may be held liable for workplace harassment when the plaintiff admitted that she did not complain of harassment until her final day of employment (and when the employer…