In the first oral argument of the 2013-14 term, the U.S. Supreme Court, on Oct. 7, 2013, addressed the question of whether state and local government workers may file constitutional claims of age discrimination instead of pursuing their complaints under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) (Madigan v. Levin [No. 12-872]).
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Articles by Joanne Deschenaux, J.D.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced Feb. 26, 2013, that its Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is rescinding two enforcement guidance documents on pay discrimination, originally issued in 2006, commonly known as the “Compensation Standards” and “Voluntary Guidelines.” The rescission is effective Feb. 28.
The number of employment-related immigration bills that state legislatures enacted in 2012 declined from 2011, according to a report the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) released Jan. 29, 2013.
In 2012 Immigration-Related Laws and Resolutions in the States, the NCSL said states put immigration “on the back burner” while focusing on budget deficits and redistricting. In addition, the NCSL said, states “hit the pause button” because they were awaiting the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Arizona v. United States, 132 S. Ct. 2492 (2012).
The U.S. Supreme Court appeared to struggle over the question of who qualifies as a supervisor under federal nondiscrimination laws. Hearing oral arguments in a case from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Nov. 26, 2012, the high court addressed the issue, left unanswered in previous Supreme Court decisions, of when a “supervisor” includes an employee who oversees and directs other workers’ daily tasks, but has no authority over their formal employment status, (Vance v. Ball State Univ., No. 11-556).
As Election Day approaches, employers should review their policies for compliance with state law requirements for providing employees with time off to vote. Some states have no rules, but others require all employers to provide employees with time off to vote and impose civil and criminal penalties for noncompliance.
A June 2012 “Office Pulse” survey of more than 600 U.S. workers by digital media company Captivate found that what white-collar employees consider acceptable and distracting in office attire varies by demographic factors including age, gender and professional status.
Nearly half of white-collar staffers said they’ve seen cleavage in the office, and 45 percent of workers report seeing tattoos. While 67 percent of employees ages 35 to 49 think tattoos are acceptable, 61 percent of those over 50 years old find them distracting.
Gov. Martin O’Malley, on May 2, 2012, signed S.B. 433, a bill prohibiting employers from requesting the social media passwords or accessing the social media accounts of prospective and current employees, making Maryland the first state to pass such a law.
The new provision, which will take effect Oct. 1, 2012, bars employers from requesting or requiring that an employee or applicant for employment disclose any user name, password or other means to access a “personal account or service” through an electronic communications device.
Oregon has enacted a new law that prohibits overt unemployment discrimination in job advertisements, becoming only the second state—after New Jersey—to prohibit this practice.
The new ban, signed into law by Gov. John Kitzhaber on March 27, 2012, is limited in scope. It prohibits employers from publishing job advertisements that include language indicating that unemployed individuals should not apply for the job or that they will not be considered for the position.
The “Occupy Wall Street” protests are gaining steam across the country. Could employees who participate risk losing their jobs? Recent events show that the answer to this question is “yes,” at least in certain circumstances.
Public radio host Lisa Simeone, on Oct. 20, 2011, told the Baltimore Sunthat she had been fired by the public radio series "Soundprint" because series executives saw her work as a spokeswoman for one of the groups involved in the Occupy DC movement as a violation of the series’ producer’s ethical code.