The federal agency took the unusual action of eliminating portions of the ADAAA regulations that were most troubling to employers. On March 24, 2011, the EEOC adopted the final rule implementing the ADAAA or Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act. However, the EEOC stepped back from designating a list of conditions that are always disabilities under ADAAA.
Under the new regulations, the EEOC still requires an expansive definition of disability in the workplace. It cautions employers that most employees will not require extensive analysis to determine if they have a disability. However, instead of providing a list of presumed disabilities, the new ADAAA regulations link certain conditions to the individual’s limitation to a major life activity.
Some conditions that are still a disability if they limit a major life activity:
On March 15, 2011 Governor Gary Herbert signed the Immigration Accountability and Enforcement Amendments Act. The ceremony took place at the state capitol in Salt Lake City.
Under the new Utah immigration law, undocumented workers would pay $2.500 for a guest worker permit that allows them to be employed in Utah. Undocumented workers could also apply for a family permit, which would allow all members of the immediate family to work in Utah.
The new law goes into effect on July 1, 2013.Implementation is complex, because currently the guest worker and his employer would still be in violation of federal immigration laws, including the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act or IRCA of 1986. That law imposes penalties on any employer (more…)
Alcoholism and drug addiction are often disabilities under ADA, the Americans with Disabilities Act. That law requires the employer to give workers time off for treatment. However, it does not require an employer to allow an employee be under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol at work. Nor does it permit an employee to drink alcohol or use drugs at work.
In a recent case before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, Diane Ames worked for The Home Depot, a major home improvement retailer. After five years, Ames approached the employer and disclosed that she was an alcoholic. She requested aid from the Employee Assistance Program or EAP. Home Depot allowed Ames to take a month of paid leave for rehab.
Ames returned to work after signing an EAP agreement stating that she would not drink alcohol or be under the influence of alcohol at work. The agreement specified that the consequence for either behavior was (more…)
The Wall Street reform act offers strong protection from retaliation to employees who are whistle-blowers, according to Tennessee attorney Cynthia Gibson. The law applies to all corporations, not just Wall Street traders.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act provides extensive protection of whistle-blowers when they report violations of SEC regulations. Employees on foreign soil as well as within the U.S. are protected when they file a good-faith complaint. So are employees of subsidiaries or affiliates of publicly traded companies.
The Dodd-Frank Act specifically prohibits an employer from using an arbitration agreement to resolve retaliation complaints.
The financial rewards provide an incentive for an employee to go straight to the SEC with complaints, rather than addressing them with the employer first. Attorney Gibson suggests that corporations may want to offer monetary (more…)
The New York State Wage Theft Prevention Act imposes severe penalties on employers who do not comply.
In the past, section 195 of the New York Labor Law required employers to notify new employees of their pay rate overtime rate and payday. The new act greatly expands that requirement. It also requires that employees be given written notice of any change in terms of wages at least seven days in advance. In addition, it increases the damages for unpaid wages from 25% to 100% and imposes fines of up to $20,000 on employers for wage violations. Apr
Starting on April 9, 2011, New York employers will be required to provide notices to current employees each year. Even more restrictive, the state requires that the notices be in English and in any language that the employee designates as his or her primary language. Apparently, that means if an employee claims Navaho or Klingon is his primary language, the employer must furnish a copy in Navaho or Klingon.
Those notices must include:
· Whether the employee’s wages are based on the hour, week, shift, day, commission, piece rate or salary basis – or another basis.
· The employee’s (more…)