Employment Law Updates

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued two revised guides concerning the rights of veterans with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act. These revised guides reflect changes resulting from the ADA Amendments Act which makes it easier for veterans with service-connected disabilities to receive reasonable accommodations that will allow them to work. The revised guide for employers explains how legal protections for veterans with disabilities differ under the ADA and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act and how employers can prevent disability discrimination. It also includes information for employers about the process of hiring veterans, including organizations that can assist employers in finding qualified veterans for jobs and determining accommodations in the hiring process.

We recently notified you that the National Labor Relations Board had issued a rule requiring employers covered by the National Labor Relations Act to post a new notice of labor rights. NLRA-covered employers would have been required to display a poster in the workplace by November 14, 2011, plus post the notice on the employers’ Intranet if that is where they normally displays workplace policies. Most private-sector employers are covered by this new rule.

If your company has drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMV), you should be aware of the final DOT rule which restricts the use of hand-held mobile phones by those drivers while driving the CMV’s. The rule goes into effect on January 3, 2012, and prohibits dialing a number and other hand-held uses of a cell phone, but allows certain hands-free uses. Details of the new rule can be found on the DOT website.

We recently notified you that the National Labor Relations Board had issued a rule requiring employers covered by the National Labor Relations Act to post a new notice of labor rights. NLRA-covered employers would have been required to display a poster in the workplace by November 14, 2011, plus post the notice on the employers’ Intranet if that is where they normally displays workplace policies. Most private-sector employers are covered by this new rule.

The EEOC recently issued an opinion letter warning employers that retaining personal and occupational health information in a single electronic record runs the risk of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or the relatively new Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). Although employers have a right to obtain an employee’s health information under certain circumstances, those laws strictly limit the access to that information and the employer’s right to disseminate the information. For example, medical information that an employer might gather in connection with an employee’s FMLA leave request should not be made available to a workers’ compensation insurance carrier if the comp claim is unrelated to the medical condition underlying the FMLA leave request. Employers must be careful to segregate health information in separate files (paper or electronic) to avoid improper dissemination of the information.

PLDR Law John Falcone 1

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