Alabama News & Analysis

  • Alabama Equal Pay Act: Is it a ban on salary history inquiries in disguise?

    On June 10, 2019, Governor Kay Ivey signed into law the Clarke- Figures Equal Pay Act (CFEPA), which becomes effective on September 1, 2019. The Act prohibits race or sex discrimination in pay if the work "requires equal skill, effort, education, experience and responsibility, and performance under similar working conditions," unless the difference is due to "a seniority system, a merit system, quantity or quality of production or a differential based on any factor other than sex or race."

  • 'No-match' letters light up employers

    After a seven-year hiatus, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has resumed sending "no-match" letters (or correction notices) to employers when at least one employee's name and Social Security number combination, as submitted on Form W-2c, didn't match the agency's records. The purpose is to let you know corrections are required before the SSA can post an employee's earnings to the correct record.

  • Supreme Court will decide whether LGBT discrimination is unlawful

    The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide the long-unresolved question of whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The issue has been percolating in the lower courts for quite a while. As it frequently does, the Court declined to consider the question until there was a conflict between several appellate courts. Let's take a look at the history of the Court's decisions, the arguments on both sides of the issue, and what we can expect next.

  • September 30 deadline looms for newly required EEO-1 data

    Employers required to submit EEO-1 reports to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) are venturing into uncharted territory as they work to collect newly required information due by September 30. While they may be accustomed to submitting traditional EEO-1 information—data on employees' race/ethnicity and gender, or what's being called Component 1 data—this year they also must compile data on compensation and hours worked, or what's being called Component 2 data.

  • Marching orders: employers' obligations to citizen soldiers

    The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) protects military servicemembers and veterans from employment discrimination based on their service and protects their civilian jobs and related benefits upon their return from uniformed service. The concept of protecting servicemembers from being disadvantaged in their civilian careers because of their military service sounds straightforward. However, like many legal requirements, USERRA's application is often fact-intensive, with nuances that can trip up employers that don't have experience with the law. This article focuses on your obligations to "citizen soldiers" already in your workforce.

  • Workplace Trends

    Research finds lack of mentorship and coaching. New data from media agency network Mindshare U.S. found that 42% of U.S. employees said their companies either don't offer mentorship programs or don't offer enough of them. Men were more likely than women to say they either got enough or more than enough mentorship programs at work, at 57% versus 42%. The research also found that 66% of U.S. employees rank ongoing feedback or coaching on their work as an important or very important benefit in the workplace. Yet 28% of people surveyed said that they either don't get enough ongoing coaching or feedback or that their companies don't even offer it. The data showed that women were more likely than men to feel that way, at 31% versus 25%.

  • Essential duties need not be performed frequently

    As most of you recognize, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to help qualified individuals with disabilities perform their essential job functions. And although the ADA's reach is broad (both in what constitutes a disability and what types of accommodations may be required), it has limits. At the end of the day, an employee still has to be able to perform his essential job functions—not just most of them, but all of them, even if he's rarely required to perform a particular duty.

  • Workplace violence violates OSH Act's General Duty Clause

    Recently, the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) ruled for the first time that the General Duty Clause of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) requires employers to proactively protect employees from workplace violence. The case before the OSHRC involved an employee of a social services provider who was stabbed to death by a client during a visit to his home. According to the OSHRC, the employer knew the client had engaged in violent and threatening behavior but failed to take appropriate action to prevent the employee from becoming the victim of a violent attack.

  • DOL says FMLA leave mandatory for employees and employers

    After more than 25 years, you might think questions regarding proper interpretation of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) would be settled. It's a highly regulated law, and it provides employers far more detail and clarity than they get with most other labor and employment laws.

  • Tips to ensure you are prepared for a deposition

    For an HR professional, giving a deposition is a lot like visiting the dentist. You know it's necessary, but you probably aren't looking forward to it. You may be asked questions you don't want to answer (like how often you actually floss). And finally, consistently responsible practices should reduce your stress levels about the event, make it go a lot smoother, and prevent worse problems in the future.