NEWS

SORT BY PRACTICE AREAS:
ALL
  • ALL
  • Architects and Engineers/Design Professionals
  • Construction
  • Fair Housing and Public Accommodation
  • General Liability
  • Insurance Fraud/Special Investigations
  • Employment
  • Professional Liability
  • Coverage
  • Environmental
  • Medical & Healthcare
  • Securities
  • Worker's Compensation
There are no articles currently for that practice area!
employment
EEOC UPDATES INFORMATION REGARDING NEW PAY DATA REPORTING RULE
In 2016 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) adopted a controversial rule requiring employers with over 100 employees to report pay data and hours worked broken down by sex and race as part of annual EEO-1 reporting obligations. On July 2, 2019, the EEOC updated its website to provide additional information and about new pay data reporting requirements and provided sample forms. (https://eeoccomp2.norc.org/ ) The website portal opened to employers to begin submissions on July 15, 2019.  The deadline for
employment
ALABAMA ENACTS NEW EQUAL PAY ACT TO PREVENT WAGE DISPARITY
On June 11, 2019, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed a new law that prohibits employers from paying less for the same work on the basis of gender or race. The new law, titled the Clarke-Figures Equal Pay Act (the “Act”), makes Alabama the 49th state to enact a state law against wage inequality, with only Mississippi remaining. The Act will go into effect on September 1, 2019.


employment
ELEVENTH CIRCUIT AFFIRMS APPLICATION OF MOTOR CARRIER EXEMPTION TO INTRASTATE DRIVERS
The Motor Carrier Exemption of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) provides a defense to many overtime claims by interstate truck drivers and others involved in the interstate shipment of goods.  The exemption is not, however, limited to drivers who cross state lines.  Rather, the exemption also applies to intrastate drivers as long as the drivers complete one leg of a larger interstate transport of goods.
employment
ATTORNEYS FROM LGWM SUPPORT CAHABA VALLEY HEATH CARE SEE MORE SMILES BANQUET
Attorneys from LGWM’s Birmingham office attended Cahaba Valley Health Care’s annual See More Smiles Fundraising Breakfast. LGWM’s Brittany Herring serves as a board member for Cahaba Valley Health Care.  The organization provides free dental and vision services for low-income individuals in Jefferson and Shelby Counties. Taffi Stewart, Sarah Redmond and Hannah Stokes also attended the fundraising event.
employment
ELEVENTH CIRCUIT TO CLARIFY 2015 SUPREME COURT RULING IN UPCOMING PREGNANCY BIAS CASE
In February of 2019, a team of lawyers from the ACLU filed an opening brief in a new Eleventh Circuit pregnancy bias action. This new action involves an Alabama EMT named Kimberlie Durham (“Ms. Durham”), who has sued her company for alleged pregnancy discrimination. She alleges that her employer did not assign her to a less strenuous job during her pregnancy.
employment
ELEVENTH CIRCUIT CLARIFIES COMPARATOR STANDARD IN TITLE VII CASES
On March 21, 2019, the full en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit clarified that in order to establish a prima facie case of workplace discrimination through alleged preferential treatment of a comparator outside of the plaintiff’s protected class...




employment
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR DISCLOSES PROPOSED UPDATED OVERTIME RULES
The United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a long-awaited proposed overtime rule and new exemption threshold under the Fair Labor Standards Acts (“FLSA”) on March 7, 2019.  The proposed rule raises the salary threshold for overtime eligibility from $23,660.00 to $35,308.00, or $679.00 per week.  As such, employees earning under $35,308.00 a year must be paid overtime for hours worked in excess of 40 each week.  Above this salary level, eligibility for overtime varies based on job duties.
employment
ELEVENTH CIRCUIT REVERSES DISCRIMINATION CLAIM LEADING TO A FULL COURT REVIEW OF CHALLENGE TO ALABAMA LAW
After a recent Eleventh Circuit decision in Lewis v. Governor of Alabama 896 F.3d 1282 (11th Cir. 2018), the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to a full-court review to decide the validity of a 2015 Alabama Law prohibiting cities or other local municipalities from adopting their own laws concerning minimum wages, leave benefits, collective bargaining and other employment related issues. The law was originally enacted in response to an ordinance by the Birmingham City Council that increased the minimum wage for all employees...



employment
NINTH CIRCUIT HOLDS TIP CREDIT CANNOT APPLY TO CERTAIN TYPES OF WORK
The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (“FLSA”) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, record keeping requirements and child labor standards.  It also allows employers to take a “tip credit,” in certain tipped occupations, such as a server, in order to offset the employer’s obligation to pay hourly minimum wage.  Employers can pay as little as $2.13 per hour to tipped employees, but if the employee’s wages and tips combined do not meet the minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference.




employment
ELEVENTH CIRCUIT EXPANDS APPLICATION OF THE FLSA
After a recent Eleventh Circuit decision in Asalde v. First Class Parking Systems LLC 894 F.3d 1248 (11th Cir. 2018), more employers are subject to the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). In Asalde, Plaintiffs were valet car drivers who sued their employer alleging violations of the FLSA. The trial court granted summary judgment for the employer, reasoning that because parking cars in Florida is a local activity, there is no interstate commerce and, therefore, no FLSA coverage.




employment
SUPREME COURT HOLDS ADEA STILL APPLIES TO SMALL COUNTY EMPLOYER
The United States Supreme Court resolved a split among Circuit Courts on the question of whether the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) applies to state and federal political entities with fewer than 20 employees.  In Mount Lemmon Fire Dist. v. Guido, 586 U.S. ____ (2018), the Court unanimously held that the ADEA applies to all federal and state entities, regardless of the size of those entities’ workforce.




employment
TENTH CIRCUIT AFFIRMS COURTS CAN HEAR SUITS WITHOUT EEOC CHARGES
Most cases involving allegations of workplace discrimination under the federal anti-discrimination statutes are first brought to light through a plaintiff’s filing of a Charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”).  Through Title VII, Congress established a procedure requiring an individual seeking to file an employment discrimination claim to first file a charge with the EEOC. Id. §2000e-5(e)(1).  If plaintiffs do not fulfill this requirement before filing suit under the federal anti-discrimination statutes, their suits are typically dismisse
employment
ELEVENTH CIRCUIT AFFIRMS CONVINCING MOSAIC STANDARD
Most cases involving allegations of discipline or discharge based on discrimination are brought under the disparate treatment theory.  In a case of disparate treatment under Title VII, an individual initially establishes a prima facie case of intentional discrimination.  In the Eleventh Circuit, a plaintiff may establish a prima facie case of discrimination by showing: (1) they are qualified; (2) they suffered an adverse employment action such as termination or discipline; and (3) similarly situated employees outside of their protected class were treated more favorably.
employment
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR ISSUES NEW GUIDANCE REGARDING NURSES AND CAREGIVERS AS INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS
Health care registry companies provide matchmaking and referral services for qualified, pre-screened and vetted home caregivers.  They often also provide administrative services.  As part of the "gig economy," health care registries often tread a fine line between classifying caregivers as independent contractors or employers.
employment
SUPREME COURT STRIKES DOWN FAIR SHARE FEES FOR PUBLIC SECTOR UNIONS
On June 27, 2018, the United States Supreme Court decided in a 5-4 decision that public sector unions may no longer collect “fair share” fees from non-members.  The decision in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 31, has broad implications for public sector unions and employers.




employment
SUPREME COURT AFFIRMS VALIDITY OF EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENTS CONTAINING WAIVERS FOR CLASS OR COLLECTIVE ACTIONS
On May 21, 2018, in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, the Supreme Court upheld the enforceability of arbitration agreements containing class and collective action waivers of wage and hour disputes.  In deciding the case, the majority held that the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) mandates the enforcement of arbitration agreements and the right to pursue class or collective relief is not a protected concerted activity under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).




employment
RECENT CHANGES IN DEPARTMENT OF LABOR TIP POOL RULE
The recently passed Consolidated Appropriations Act (“CAA”) put an end to an ongoing controversy over the status of a proposed Department of Labor (“DOL”) tip rule and the underlying dispute over whether employers who do not claim the tip credit against the federal minimum wage may be prohibited from including non-tipped employees in mandatory tip pools. In 2017, the DOL moved to roll back an Obama-era regulation extending this restriction to employers that pay their tipped employees the full minimum wage.
employment
THE SUPREME COURT ADOPTS A BROADER VIEW OF FLSA EXEMPTIONS REJECTING THE LONGSTANDING NARROW CONSTRUCTION PRINCIPLE
On April 2, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a ruling in Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro, 584 U.S. ___ (2018), holding that auto dealership service advisors are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (“FLSA”) overtime pay requirement.  The case began in 2012 in a California District Court, and was later appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, when Encino Motorcars’ service advisor employees brought suit seeking time-and-a-half compensation for overtime hours. 




employment
FURTHER CIRCUIT SPLIT REGARDING SEXUAL ORIENTATION DISCRIMINATION UNDER TITLE VII

In recent years, a Circuit Court split has emerged regarding whether Title VII prohibits discrimination based solely on sexual orientation.  On February 26, 2018, the Justices of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals heard an appeal seeking reinstatement of a Title VII claim brought by the estate of a former employee, Donald Zarda (“Mr. Zarda”).  The estate alleged that Mr. Zarda was fired from his job as a skydiving instructor after he told a customer he was gay.  Zarda v. Altitude Express addressed a narrow question: whether Title VII prohibits discrimination on

employment
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR ALIGNS ITSELF WITH ELVENTH CIRCUIT BY ANNOUNCING THE PRIMARY BENEFICIARY TEST AS THE DEFINITIVE TEST FOR ASSESSING WHETHER INTERNS QUALIFY AS EMPLOYEES UNDER THE FEDERAL LABOR STANDARDS ACT

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced that the “primary beneficiary” test is the definitive test for analyzing intern-employer relationships under the Federal Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  That test has been promulgated by several Circuit Courts, including the Second, Sixth, Ninth and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeal. See Benjamin v. B & H Educ., Inc., 877 F.3d 1139 (9th Cir. 2017); Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc., 811 F.3d 528, (2d Cir. 2016); Schumann v. Collier Anesthesia, P.A., 803 F.3d 1199 (11th Cir. 2015); Solis v. Lau

employment
RECENT CHANGES TO NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD LAW
Since taking office, President Trump has appointed three new members to the five-member board of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”), who will each serve a five year term.   This has resulted in big changes to Obama-era rulings. 
employment
EEOC SUCCEEDS IN BRINGING SEXUAL ORIENTATION DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT UNDER TITLE VII

More and more plaintiffs are testing the judicial waters by bringing claims for discrimination based on sexual orientation under Title VII. Just recently, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) celebrated its first success in a sexual orientation discrimination lawsuit.




employment
ELEVENTH CIRCUIT HOLDS THAT BREASTFEEDING EMPLOYEES ARE ENTITLED TO PROTECTION UNDER THE PREGNANCY DISCRIMINATION ACT
Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit determined that breastfeeding is a related medical condition to birth, and different treatment based on an employee’s breastfeeding is prohibited under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”). In Hicks v. City of Tuscaloosa, 870 F.3d 1253 (11th Cir. 2017), the plaintiff was a police officer who took twelve weeks of unpaid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) following the birth of her son.



employment
REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS UNDER THE ADA BEYOND FMLA ENTITLEMENT

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled in Severson v. Heartland Woodcraft, Inc., No. 15-3754, 2017 WL 4160849 (7th Cir. Sept. 20, 2017) that the ADA does not require employers to accommodate employees by granting them leave well beyond the employee’s leave entitlement under the FMLA.  The Court addressed what amount of leave constitutes a reasonable accommodation under the ADA and concluded that employers are not required to provide multiple months of additional leave, despite a stipulation of definite duration, to employees who have already exhausted their 1

employment
ELEVENTH CIRCUIT HOLDS GENDER NONCONFORMITY CLAIMS TO BE A DISTINCT AVENUE OF RELIEF UNDER TITLE VII

An Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals panel held that a “gender non-conformity claim is not ‘just another way to claim discrimination based on sexual orientation,’” but is instead a “separate, distinct avenue for relief under Title VII.” The majority opinion explained that Title VII recognizes discrimination based on a failure to conform to a gender stereotype (i.e., discrimination based on gender non-conformity) as a type of sex-based discrimination, but declined to hold that Title VII can provide relief for an individual claiming sex-based discrimination on the basis of their

employment
UPS PAYS $2 MILLION TO SETTLE DISABILITY CLAIMS

The United Parcel Service (“UPS”) recently agreed to pay $2 million to settle the claims of approximately 90 disabled employees.  Approximately 70 employees were parties to a lawsuit filed by the EEOC and the remaining 20 had pending administrative Charges. 




employment
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR RECONSIDERING MINIMUM SALARY FOR WHITE COLLAR EXEMPTION

Since November 2016, a nationwide injunction has prevented the Obama Administration’s new overtime rule for white collar workers from going into effect.  The Obama-era rule, which increase the minimum annual salary required to support exempt status from $23,660.00 to $47,476.00, was poised to convert millions of employees from exempt to non-exempt from the FLSA’s overtime rules.  Many employers re-classified employees, increased salaries or both in an effort to comply with the new standard, which was scheduled to take effect in December 2016.  Since the injunction, tho

employment
NINTH CIRCUIT’S OUTLOOK ON EQUAL PAY LAWS AND COMPETITIVE HIRING

Recent decision issued by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that an employer may defend a claim under the Equal Pay Act by proving that its pay structure was based on employees’ prior salaries, so long as this structure was reasonable and effectuated a business policy. This decision parts ways with other Circuits that have discouraged using an employee’s prior pay, by itself, to justify pay decisions.

employment
THE RISE OF BAN THE BOX LAWS

The National Employment Law Project (“NELP”) partnered with several other organizations to spearhead a grassroots movement to encourage employers to change their policies to consider the qualification of job applicants without consideration of their criminal history.  Prior to the efforts of NELP, it was commonplace for an employer to ask a job applicant whether the applicant has been convicted of a crime.




employment
SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND THE PROTECTIONS AFFORDED BY TITLE VII: RIPE FOR SUPREME COURT REVIEW

In early April, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit became the first Federal Circuit Court to hold that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination and, therefore, prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”).  The Seventh Circuit’s decision sides with the position taken by the EEOC, which has been pushing to extend Title VII’s protections to include sexual orientation.




employment
PUSHING BACK AGAINST EEOC REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION AND SUBPOENAS

A recent decision issued by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals provides support for employers seeking to avoid broad and seemingly irrelevant Requests for Information by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”).  While an employer’s response to Requests for Information is usually an avenue to support its defenses, in the rare instance of overreaching or an apparent fishing expedition, employers have additional authority with which to negotiate a compromise regarding the scope of the EEOC’s requests. 




employment
THE EEOC UNDER A TRUMP ADMINISTRATION
President Donald Trump appointed Victoria Lipnic (“Ms. Lipnic”) as the new Chairwoman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”).   Ms. Lipnic is not new to the EEOC.  She has been an EEOC Commissioner since 2010 and was a President Obama appointee.
employment
SUPREME COURT TO RULE ON LEGALITY OF ARBITRATION AGREEMENTS PRECLUDING COLLECTIVE PURSUIT OF CLAIMS BY EMPLOYEES
As anticipated in light of the split among the Circuits, the Supreme Court agreed to consider whether arbitration agreements in employment contracts may preclude collective pursuit of claims.  In a growing trend, employers have included what are effectively class action bans within employment arbitration agreements.
employment
NLRB SEEKS SUPREME COURT’S INTERVENTION TO RESOLVE CIRCUIT SPLIT OVER ENFORCEABILITY OF ARBITRATION AGREEMENTS PROHIBITING CLASS ACTION

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) filed a petition for certiori earlier this month asking the United States Supreme Court to consider the enforceability of class-action waivers in employee arbitration agreements.  The arbitration agreements at issue are those that require employees to waive their right to bring or join a class action, instead requiring the employees to submit to individual arbitration.  The NLRB’s position is that such agreements are invalid because they are contrary to the National Labor Relations Act’s protection of concerted activity.

employment
FEDERAL COURT ADDRESSES WHETHER SEXUAL ORIENTATION IS A PROTECTED CLASS UNDER TITLE VII

Last month, in Kimberly Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, South Bend, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit dismissed Plaintiff Kimberly Hively’s (“Ms. Hively”) lawsuit against her employer for sexual orientation discrimination and harassment under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”).  Ms. Hively alleged she was denied full-time employment and promotions based on her sexual orientation.

employment
EEOC PROPOSES ADDITIONAL CHANGES TO EEO 1 REPORTING

On July 13, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) proposed additional changes to EEO-1 data reporting requirements, modifying its original proposal from January 2016.  The original proposal, intended to enforce the prohibitions on pay discrimination in Title VII, the EPA and Executive Order 11246 regarding Equal Employment Opportunity, required employers to begin reporting pay data.

employment
11TH CIRCUIT SAYS SLUR DOESN’T CREATE A HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT

     This week the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals provided greater clarity as to what comments can establish a racially hostile work environment under Title VII.  In Mahone v. CSX Transportation, Inc., Case No. 2:14-cv-00535-AKK (June 13, 2016), the Court affirmed the lower court’s grant of summary judgment for the employer finding that that a coworker’s use of the term “homeboy” was insufficient to establish a racially hostile work environment.

employment
NEW SALARY THRESHOLD FOR FLSA WHITE COLLAR EXEMPTION

 On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor issued its final version of the overtime exemption rule applicable to white collar employees.  The rule exempts from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime requirements employees earning above a set salary threshold per year.  The new version promulgated by the Department of Labor significantly raises that salary threshold to the new figure of $47,476.

NEWSLETTER