The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced that it will resume issuing charge closure documents again, effective August 3, 2020. On March 21, 2020, the agency temporarily stopped closing charges, which includes furnishing right-to-sue notices. These Notices give complainants 90 days to file their lawsuit in court or lose the ability to litigate federal claims. The EEOC’s reasoning for suspending charge closures was to avoid “negative impacts” on complainants’ and respondents’ “ability to protect and…
On July 17, 2020, the USDOL’s Wage and Hour Division published a “Request for Information” (RFI) in the Federal Register, seeking input for its examination of the effectiveness of the current regulations in meeting the FMLA’s statutory objectives.   According to WHD, “Results of employee and employer surveys continue to show an ongoing need for education and awareness in the administration and use of FMLA leave. Information from the public on what is and is not…
An emergency rule adopted by the Iowa Workforce Development agency [“IWD”] now requires Iowa employers to “ensure workers are aware of the benefits they may be eligible for if they become unemployed or experience a reduction in hours”.  The agency’s move imposes a new obligation on employers during the separation process, and may generate the potential for liability for employers who fail to comply with the state rule.   On July 14, 2020, IWD appeared before…
The NLRB recently granted employers more authority to discipline or discharge employees engaged in abusive behavior, even when the conduct occurred during otherwise protected concerted activity. This ruling both overturns prior Board precedent and could have a significant impact on future disputes between employers and employees. The General Motors rulings, 14–CA–197985 and 14–CA–208242, focused on the conduct of Charles Robinson, an employee and union steward who was disciplined and later fired following several troubling…
Keep Calm and Bank On ® The year 2020 will forever be known as the year a pandemic swept the globe and caused widespread unemployment, unprecedented market volatility, and financial strain for business owners. Despite the crisis, the economy is starting to emerge in the wake of COVID-19 and community banks are bouncing back stronger than ever by adapting to today’s “new business normal”.   Don’t Miss the Dickinson Law Banking Client Webinar Series to…
Dickinson, Mackaman, Tyler & Hagen P.C. is pleased to announce that attorney Rob Porter has joined the firm. Porter has practiced law in Iowa for nearly 20 years, most recently as Director of Legal for Des Moines-based Dwolla, an acclaimed FinTech startup that provides a programmable payments platform that allows customers to securely transfer money. At Dickinson Law, Porter’s practice will focus on three main areas law including Employment, Education  (k-12 and higher education), and…
As Iowa continues to restart its economy, many businesses are considering how to safely reopen their workplaces. One question employers may face is whether to implement a temperature screening procedure in an effort to protect employees and minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19. Many health and legal implications must be considered in the adoption of such measures.  The Legality of Screening Employees’ Temperatures The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has made it clear in guidance
Important updates to the Paycheck Protection Program President Donald J. Trump signed legislation on July 4 to extend the deadline for small businesses to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program. Businesses now have until August 8, 2020, to receive funding. This decision extends the original deadline of June 30th where over $130 billion of funds still remained to help eligible small businesses cover costs. The program was designed to provide relief for costs related to…
Effective on July 1, 2020, WHD will no longer pursue pre-litigation liquidated damages as its default policy in its administratively resolved investigations. Under the FLSA, liquidated damages are equal to the amount of back wages due to the employee. For instance, if an employer owes an employee $5,000 as a result of FLSA violations, the liquidated damages add another $5,000 to the back pay that the employee can receive.    From its creation in 1938…
On June 15, 2020, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia (consolidated with Altitude Express Inc. v. Zarda and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), interpreting the prohibition against discrimination on the basis of “sex” in Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 to include discrimination based on sexual orientation or transgender status.  Background: Title VII of the Civil…