|Feb. 20, 2017 | www.fisherphillips.com|
Disabilities and the accommodation process have notoriously been one of the most difficult areas for employers to navigate. Join us as we go beyond the basics of the ADA and FMLA, and address the difficult situations employers face. We will also talk through new cases, what they mean for employers and where the EEOC is headed. Finally, we will give practical tips for the accommodation process and determining when “enough, is enough.”
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The world of labor and employment law is always rapidly evolving. In order to make sure that you stay on top of the latest developments, here is a quick review of the five biggest stories from last month that all employers need to know about.
Tennessee’s state immigration law just received an important update by the state legislature and Governor, and many employers in the state will soon be impacted. Beginning January 1, 2017, all Tennessee businesses with 50 or more employees will be required to use the E-verify system in order to determine workers’ eligibility for employment. If you currently do not use E-Verify, the time to begin preparing is now.
Today, in a unanimous 8-0 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to issue a definitive ruling on whether an employer is entitled to recover nearly $5 million dollars in attorney’s fees and costs from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) after the employer prevailed in a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by the agency. The Court remanded the case back to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to determine, among other things, whether the EEOC’s conduct in the litigation was “frivolous, unreasonable, or groundless” such to support the fee award. However, the Court did rule that employers could be considered prevailing parties and entitled to fees even if they do not win “on the merits,” which could prove to be a useful ruling.
Earlier this week, by a 6-2 vote, the Supreme Court issued a “no decision” decision on an issue important to employers facing class action litigation. The Court decided that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals needed to review again a question of whether plaintiffs have standing to pursue class action claims on behalf of themselves, and others similarly situated, if they cannot show that they have suffered actual harm. By failing to decide the question one way or the other, the Court effectively delayed a determination of whether employers will have another tool to help curtail costly class action claims, or whether they will face a substantial increase in the number of such claims (Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins).