Indiana News & Analysis

  • No cracks: Employer prevails after terminating Zamboni operator

    The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to employers in Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin) recently issued a decision affirming a lower court's judgment in favor of an employer that fired a Zamboni operator following an accident involving the machine. The former employee sued, alleging discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). However, the court found (1) the employer provided a reasonable accommodation for the employee and (2) there was no "but for" causation between his termination and his purported disability. Let's take a closer look.

  • Individual coverage HRAs probably not option for 2020

    On his very first day in office, President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order instructing federal agencies to lessen the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) burden on the organizations and individuals who were subject to its requirements. More than two years later, the ACA is limping along, but the Trump administration is still working to carry out that order.

  • How to identify and minimize employee burnout

    You may have seen reports recently that the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified employee burnout as a diagnosable medical condition. While that's not exactly accurate, the group has expanded its definition of the term in its latest edition of the International Classification of Diseases.

  • Furniture store manager didn't properly couch employer's name in EEOC charge

    Before an employee can hit you with an employment discrimination lawsuit, he is supposed to file an administrative charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or a similar state agency. The idea is to provide notice of the claim to the employer and enable the parties to try resolving the dispute without formal court action. But what if the employee comes close but doesn't quite name the correct legal entity in his filing charge? A recent decision from the 7th Circuit provides some guidance.

  • Senior living facility employee loses on her garden-variety race discrimination claim

    The dog days of summer cause even the most diligent students to forget basic facts and information they learned during the school year. Any good teacher will tell students that it's important to keep reading and practicing those flash cards over the summer so they don't forget what they learned. In honor of summer, here's a primer on race discrimination under Title VII, courtesy of the 7th Circuit. You'll thank us in September.

  • Agency Action

    DOL takes more steps to advance apprenticeships. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) along with monetary awards in its continuing effort to expand apprenticeships. In the announcement, the DOL said the NPRM would establish a process for the agency to advance the development of high-quality, industry-recognized apprenticeship programs (IRAPs). A 2017 Executive Order created the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion, which developed recommendations on how to best expand the apprenticeship model. The new NPRM reflects key recommendations from the task force. The DOL also announced awards totaling $183.8 million to support the development and expansion of apprenticeships for educational institutions partnering with companies that provide a funding match component. The agency also will make available an additional $100 million for efforts to expand apprenticeships and close the skills gap.

  • You no longer have to let external union organizers on your property

    Employers that consistently prohibit soliciting on their private property now can also remove from the premises external union organizers who are attempting to unionize their employees, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently ruled. The decision overturns a decades-old NLRB rule allowing union organizers access to property otherwise open to the public as long as they weren't disruptive and used it in a manner consistent with its intended use.

  • DOL updates opinion on independent contractors for the gig economy

    Under the Trump administration, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has taken a decidedly industry-friendly approach to the independent contractor analysis. If there was any doubt before, that was made clear by its recent issuance of a whopping 10-page opinion letter examining the nature of the relationship between a virtual marketplace company (think Uber) and the "gig" workers they employ (e.g., Uber drivers).

  • Supreme Court ruling raises stakes in Title VII claims

    If an employee files a timely Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charge, can she later raise new discrimination allegations after the filing deadline has passed? That's the issue addressed in a new decision from the U.S. Supreme Court. Spoiler alert: The answer is no, unless the employer—or more accurately, its attorney—doesn't notice. To understand the Court's ruling, it's helpful to understand the EEOC's role in discrimination claims.

  • What to do when U.S. DOL comes knocking at your door

    The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) performs wage and hour audits of employers by selecting them at random, or because they are in targeted industries (usually low-wage), or as a result of a complaint from an employee or former employee. The investigations have increased significantly over the past few years and can result in orders for back wages and penalties. What steps should you take when the DOL comes knocking (generally with no prior notice)? Read on and you'll learn!