Indiana News & Analysis

  • Obesity not an ADA disability absent underlying physiological problem

    In a case involving a severely heavyset employee, the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Indiana employers) recently decided obesity isn't a disability protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) unless there is an underlying physiological disorder. Further, the court found no evidence the employee had been perceived as disabled.

  • 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.

  • Behind the times: Is rounding employees' time outdated?

    Time clocks have long been an accepted method for tracking how much time an employee puts in. Many time clocks track time in tenths of an hour or quarter hours. However, time clocks are being replaced by more sophisticated time-tracking systems, such as electronic and computer time trackers, which are better equipped to track the exact number of minutes an employee is on the job. Nevertheless, employers continue to wonder whether they should round an employee's time and whether rounding time worked is legal. This article discusses some of the best practices for rounding if you are going to do it.

  • Feeling stressed? Take it outside

    We all need a breath of fresh air sometimes. With summer here, we should be able to find plenty of ways to get away from our desks—even just for a break. And Delaware's natural beauty can be a perfect cure for employees' work-related stress. This article addresses the unwanted consequences of work stress and the benefits of encouraging employees to spend time outside.

  • 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%.

  • NLRB revises approach to employee/ independent contractor question

    Earlier this year, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) released a decision that changes the way the agency differentiates between employees and independent contractors. Employers can expect the Board to be more likely to find an independent contractor relationship going forward.

  • Supervisor's racial actions don't need to be 'hellish' to qualify as hostile

    A supervisor's use of racial epithets and harassing behavior may create a racially hostile work environment even when a coworker's actions would not. A recent case from the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals (which has jurisdiction over Indiana employers) explains why the threshold for a hostile work environment is lower when a supervisor is the harasser.

  • 7th Circuit highlights key factors in age discrimination claims

    Age discrimination can be a difficult topic, and employers and employees often have trouble determining when an individual is protected or what types of actions are prohibited. A case before the 7th Circuit late last year provides some guidance about how to approach age discrimination claims and what you can consider when making hiring decisions.

  • 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.