Montana News & Analysis

  • N-word in workplace is a big no-no

    Race discrimination is a serious issue, and you must be vigilant in keeping it out of your workplace. The Montana Supreme Court recently ruled that a supervisor's racial slurs directed toward a subordinate employee can give rise to employer liability.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Behind the times: Is rounding employees' time outdated?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

  • Employee with anxiety disorder seeks part-time schedule

    Q We have an employee who is suffering from an anxiety disorder. The employee recently provided a doctor's note stating she can work only part-time. Do we have to honor this request for an accommodation?

  • 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%.

  • MT legislative update: That's a wrap!

    As outlined in our January and February issues, the Montana Legislature was considering several labor and employment bills with the potential to change the landscape of labor and employment law (see "A look at labor and employment bills proposed by Montana lawmakers" on pg. 1 of the January newsletter and "The living and the dead (legislation): a 2019 Montana legislative update" on pg. 1 of the February newsletter). With the end of the 66th regular session of the Montana Legislature on April 25, 2019, here is the final tally on the labor and employment bills. It was a quiet year for labor and employment laws.

  • ADA claims don't have a prayer without documentation of need for extended leave

    The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeal (whose rulings apply to all Montana employers) recently explained the scope of the "religious organization exception" to the prohibition on religious discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The court also addressed the limits of the duty to accommodate under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Let's take a look.

  • 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.