Monday, August 25, 2014

That is SO last week

Last week, the EEOC filed its first lawsuit claiming that an employer’s voluntary wellness program violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The EEOC claims that Orion Energy System’s wellness program violated the ADA when it required an employee to submit to a medical exam and respond to health inquiries unrelated to her position or job duties.  When the employee opted out of the program, Orion required her to pay the entire premium for her health benefits.
 
With 94 percent of employers with more than 200 workers offering some sort of wellness program, the EEOC has focused its attention on these programs to determine if they are truly voluntary and to see if they comply with the ADA.  Despite this focus, the EEOC has not yet issued guidance to could help employers design compliant programs.  Wellness programs remain attractive to employers because they can reduce costs, but they can also create risk if not carefully designed and implemented.
 
In other developments:
 
Discrimination
  • The OFCCP issued guidance on transgender employees, stating that Title VII covers transgender and transsexual employees.
  • People magazine was sued by its lone African American editor for race discrimination.
  • The BBC asked whether anti-tattoo discrimination should be illegal.
Technology
  • The debate on appropriate social media policies in the workplace rages on, with conflicting guidance from the NLRB.
  • If there’s a robot burger flipper, Business Insider asks if robots will take over other jobs too.
  • The Atlantic covered how well Google knows you based on its use of big data, and how that can hurt you.
  • Wired provided some insight on technology that allows employers to stay connected with remote employees.
Wage and Hour 
  • It’s fair and carnival season, and the number of hours employees work at the rides has sparked debate on ride safety.
  • The custom-car shop made famous on MTV’s Pimp My Ride must now pay back wages as the result of complaints for worker misclassification and failure to pay overtime.
  • The lessons from Wal-Mart’s experience with wage and hour lawsuits are many.
  • Steve Boese looked at the shrinking American vacation.
Posted by: Kate Bischoff
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