Missouri News & Analysis

  • Updated Title IX regs to change the way colleges respond to sexual harassment allegations

    The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) recently published its long-awaited final regulations under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, the federal law that protects individuals from discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities. The regulations, which took effect August 14, 2020, significantly change how covered educational institutions must respond to sexual harassment allegations.

  • Kansas COVID-19 immunity law raises questions for employers

    With the economy largely reopened but COVID-19 cases continuing to increase, some businesses are concerned about lawsuits from customers and guests who may be exposed to—and subsequently become ill from—the coronavirus while on their premises. In June, the Kansas Legislature addressed the concerns when it passed the COVID-19 Response and Reopening for Business Liability Protection Act, which grants Kansas businesses immunity from COVID-19-related civil claims if they substantially comply with required "public health directives." Here are three things Kansas employers should know about the Act.

  • DOL issues new FMLA forms

    On July 20, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued new notice and certification forms for employers to use when administering Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave. Although you can continue to rely on the old forms, the new versions are simpler and easier to use. Further, the forms can be completed online and saved electronically. You can find them here: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fmla/forms .

  • Hidden codes can lead to possible liability

    Employers must be prepared to defend their personnel practices and procedures, especially when discrimination is alleged. It's hard to hide actual practices once litigation begins, so it's important to be transparent. A recent case from the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Arkansas and Missouri employers) illustrates how trying to skirt transparency can lead to potential liability.

  • Oklahoma City face mask ordinance now in effect

    The city council for Oklahoma City recently adopted an emergency city ordinance in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In short, the ordinance requires that "all persons shall wear face coverings when entering and while inside any indoor place open to the public" in Oklahoma City. The vote passed by a count of 6-3. The measure was given "emergency" status and therefore goes into effect immediately. It expires at midnight on September 7 (immediately after Labor Day). Here's how the new ordinance applies to Oklahoma City employers.

  • Hybrid 'sex-plus-age' claims permissible under Title VII, 10th Circuit rules

    On July 21, 2020, the 10th Circuit (which covers Kansas and Oklahoma) became the first circuit court to rule Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 permits "sex-plus-age" claims.

  • 10th Circuit provides good reminder on how to handle gender discrimination claims

    An employer that terminated a female employee who left work early to attend to what an appeals court called an "inherently female" emergency situation must face a jury trial on a gender discrimination claim.

  • Discord over foreign workers has long history, elusive solution

    The fate of foreign workers in the United States remains up in the air amid the worldwide public health crisis and political disputes related to immigration and foreign worker programs. The COVID-19 pandemic had already slowed or stopped authorization of many foreign workers when the Trump administration in June restricted visas for some classes of foreign workers. The administration's action came on the heels of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that was at least a temporary win for certain young immigrant workers already in the United States. Then President Donald Trump hinted at more change on the way for those immigrants. So, the signals are mixed, making uncertainty the key word for foreign workers and their employers.

  • Adapt or die? Looking ahead to a post-COVID workplace

    It didn't take a worldwide public health crisis to pique people's curiosity about what the workplace of the future will look like. Managers and frontline staff alike have always pondered the best designs for productivity, efficiency, and safety. But COVID-19 has changed everything. The workplaces that are reopening in many cases have a different look and feel than anyone expected prepandemic. Temperature checks at building entrances, plexiglass barriers, spaced-out desks, and occupancy limits for elevators are just a few of the changes now in place in many workplaces. Some of the modifications may be short-lived, but experts, including designers and futurists, expect others will be long-term or even permanent.

  • Cutting-Edge HR

    Poll shows confidence in remote work. A recent edition of LinkedIn's Workforce Confidence Index released in May gives HR professionals food for thought as they consider the future. The survey shows that 55% of respondents think their industry can be effective when people work remotely. Optimism is strongest in such fields as software, finance, and media, a LinkedIn blog post said. But remote work is a "polarizing topic" in other sectors in which in-person interaction is crucial, according to the blog. Forty-eight percent of respondents in health care were optimistic about remote work, and 41% in manufacturing were keen on the idea. The most resistance was noted in retail, with just 29% of insiders thinking their industry could thrive with remote work. The poll included 5,447 LinkedIn members and covered the week of April 27 to May 3.