Nebraska News & Analysis

  • Old termination can trigger new retaliation claim, 8th Circuit says

    A terminated employee may still be able to sue for retaliation years later if a new adverse action occurs such as refusing to contract a leased employee. The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, which governs the federal courts in Nebraska, recently considered a retaliation case filed by an employee who was discharged in 2008 and then lost a contract position with the same company in 2015.

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • Is employee with gout necessarily out?

    Q We have an employee who suffers from gout. When it flares up, he is unable to perform his duties. Are we within our rights to send him home unpaid until he can do his job?

  • Hanky, panky, and spanky: consensual sexual conduct in the workplace

    It starts with a call—sometimes anonymous, sometimes with a name attached—to inform you about something going on at work that you might not be aware of: Two of your employees have become involved in a romantic relationship, and the caller isn't happy about it. As an employer, your first thought is always who is complaining? A client, a customer, a coworker—someone who has a foundation for a possible sexual harassment claim? And what do I need to do about it?

  • 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 starting up, we should be able to find plenty of ways to get away from our desks—even just for a break. And Alaska'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.

  • FMLA doesn't always cover time off to care for adult child

    Q One of our employees is caring for her daughter (over the age of 18) because of complications from childbirth. Does the care of a child over 18 qualify for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?

  • 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%.