Presentation Title: “Employment Law Developments for 2014-2015”


This presentation will cover recent significant developments in employment law and how these developments will affect employers and the workplace.  Topics to be discussed will include the following: the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage; recent case law interpreting Title VII discrimination claims; recent case law interpreting the Americans with Disabilities Act; developments relating to the Fair Labor Standards Act and wages; and developments relating to the National Labor Relations Board.

Presentation Outline:

  • Same-sex marriage

o   SCOTUS Decision

§  Obergefell v. Hodges – same sex marriage must be recognized by states

§  Impact on employers

  • FMLA Expanded Definition of Spouse
  • Employer Policies for Spouses
  • Health and Welfare Benefits

o   EEOC sexual orientation discrimination ruling

§  Complainant v. Foxx (July 15, 2015) – sexual orientation is encompassed within definition of “sex” for protection under Title VII

o   Equality Act

§  Federal Anti-LGBTQ Discrimination Law Introduced in Congress (July 23, 2015)

o   FMLA expanded spouse definition

o   Effect on employee benefits

  • Title VII

o   EEOC Duty to Conciliate

§  Mach Mining v. EEOC (SCOTUS)

o   Confederate flag at work

§  Case survey

o   Apology for Sex Harassment

§  Retuerto v. Berea Moving (8th District Cuyahoga)

o   Exhaustion of EEOC administrative remedies

§  Duble v. FedEx Ground – SCOTUS denies cert

§  Now a split of authority at circuit court level

o   Protected Activity

§  EEOC v. New Breed Logistics (6th Circuit)

o   EEOC Transgender Bathroom Policy

o   EEOC Transgender Lawsuit Settlement

§  EEOC v. Lakeland Eye Clinic

  • ADA

o   EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch – Disparate Treatment

§  Motive, Not Knowledge

§  Duty to Ask?

o   Accommodating Pregnant Employees

§  SCOTUS 2015 Young v. UPS

o   Telecommuting as Reasonable Accommodation

§  EEOC v. Ford Motor Company (6th Circuit)

o   Smoking Gun Comments case

o   Direct Threat Affirmative Defense

§  EEOC v. Beverage Distributors Co. (10th Circuit) – reasonable belief, not actual threat necessary

o   Teacher with Fear of Children case

§  Waltherr-Williard v. Mariemont City Sch. (6th Circuit)

o   Testing for Prescription Drugs

§  Bates v.  Dura Auto Sys. (6th  Circuit)


o   DOL Proposed Salary Threshold Increase (June 30, 2015)

§  What Will Change

§  What Will Not Change

o   Compensatory Time v.  Overtime

§  Public v. Private; Exempt v. Non-Exempt

o   DOL Independent Contractor Interpretation

§  Administrator Interpretation No. 2015-1

§  “Economic Dependency”

  • Comparison with Ohio Standard

o   Unpaid Internships

§  “Primary Beneficiary” Test – Glatt and Wang 2nd Circuit cases

o   DOL Questions Re: Duties Test for FLSA Overtime Exception

o   FLSA and Inclement Weather

o   Preliminary and Postliminary Activities

§  Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk (SCOTUS)

  • NLRB

o   Confidentiality of Witness Statements Obtained During Internal Investigations

§  Am. Baptist Homes of the W. NLRB Decision (2015)

  • Case by Case Balancing Test

o   Franchisor is NOT a joint employer

§  Freshii NLRB Advice Memorandum

o   Section 7 Protections

§  Memorandum 15-04

  • Other Cases/Issues

o   How to Deal with Rise of Secret workplace recordings

o   Employer-sponsored wellness plans EEOC rule proposal

o   Small Amount of Work During FMLA leave?

§  Smith v. Genon Energy

o   FMLA for Inpatient Care

§  Bonkowski v. Oberg Industries (3rd Circuit)

o   Insufficient FMLA medical certifications

§  Lehigh Valley Health Network case (3rd Circuit)

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