After the announcement that the employer pay-or-play portion of the Affordable Care Act will be postponed by a year, July was a fairly tame month for employment law. But there were a few interesting cases, so let’s review.
If you use E-Verify to make sure your employees are authorized to work in the U.S., you’re familiar with their procedures: you enter an employee’s information and U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services lets you know whether or not there’s a problem with that information. However, the USCIS has started collecting employee email addresses lately so that they’ll be able to contact employees directly if there’s a problem. Don’t worry, you’ll still be contacted; this is an “in addition to” move, not an “instead of.”
Elsewhere in government contact news, the EEOC has reset the passwords for the 2013 EEO-1 survey. If you’re participating in this survey, you should have received your new password by now. If not, contact the EEOC.
We’ve probably said this before, but just in case we haven’t: FLSA rights can’t be waived, even if the employees in question “agree” to waive them. A Subway franchise chain in Michigan recently paid 53 employees more than $100,000 in back wages and damages for that very thing. “They said it was okay not to pay them overtime” is just not gonna fly.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Legal Roundup without a visit from our friend the FMLA. In the “bad employer!” category, we have a case of an employer that didn’t certify an employee’s leave as being FMLA, and it went all pear-shaped. In the “bad employees!” category, though, we have a service that can fake being a doctor’s office for some false FMLA certification for the low, low price of $54. We also have a tutorial on how not to fake a doctor’s note.
While it’s understandable to fire an employee for such an infraction, firing an employee after a stellar performance review for an incredibly mild comment isn’t understandable at all. Unless you’re trying to get rid of the employee, who’s 68 years old. Age discrimination lawsuit ahoy!
On the other end of the spectrum, we have three rather appalling tales of sexual harassment, all of which called for firing the responsible parties (rather than the victims, as the companies in these lawsuits did). And finally, in case you were wondering, it’s totally okay to fire an employee if, during mediation for an employment dispute, he tells you to take your proposal and shove it… well, you take our point.
On that note, have a great August!