Employment Law Updates

Beware of inadvertently creating FMLA eligibility when none exists! The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) generally provides 12 weeks of protected leave benefits only to certain larger employers.  It only covers employers with 50 or more employees, but there are additional limitations. 

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for qualified employees with disabilities. Although recovering drug addicts do have some protections under the ADA, it does not protect illegal drug use. Marijuana remains an illegal drug under federal law, with no exceptions for medicinal use, so its use is not protected under the Act.  Federal courts have generally ruled that the ADA does not require a medical marijuana accommodation.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires employers to give a Summary of Rights form to job applicants and employees who have had adverse action taken against them such as not being hired, being disciplined, or being fired based on a background check.  The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection has issued a revised model summary of rights disclosure notice which must be used effective September 21, 2018. The form is entitled "A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act" and has been updated to include information about security freezes and fraud alerts, resulting from a federal law passed in May 2018 in response to high-profile data breaches.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the use of service animals could be considered a reasonable accommodation for a disability. Service animals are usually dogs, but can be other species of animals.

In a case involving The Boeing Company, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) overruled one of its prior decisions concerning whether facially neutral workplace rules, policies and employee handbook provisions unlawfully interfere with the exercise of rights protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

Among other things, the NLRA protects employees' rights to discuss the terms and conditions of their employment. For example, employees are protected if they discuss their wages with each other.  Under the NLRB’s former standard, a workplace rule was found to be in violation if the rule would be “reasonably construed” by an employee to prohibit the exercise of NLRA rights.

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