Workplace Anxiety and the ADA

Posted on March 27th, by Editor in Counseling & Compliance Training. Comments Off on Workplace Anxiety and the ADA

By Maria L.H. Lewis

For employers, weighing an employee’s health issues with workplace concerns, such as employee safety and productivity, often requires a delicate balance. The challenge may be even greater when handling issues related to mental health. Questions abound on both sides: employees wonder if they should tell their employers about personal events that may be affecting their mental well-being, and employers struggle with difficult decisions concerning employment status when they have an ineffective worker.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) generally bars discrimination against an employee with a disability who is able to perform the essential functions of his or her job with or without a reasonable accommodation. The ADA defines “disability” as a “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.” The associated regulations define “mental impairment” as encompassing “any mental or psychological disorder, … Read More »

House Joins Senate in Passing Resolution to Disapprove New NLRB Election Rule

Posted on March 25th, by Editor in Audits/Due Diligence, Counseling & Compliance Training. Comments Off on House Joins Senate in Passing Resolution to Disapprove New NLRB Election Rule

By Stephanie Dodge Gournis, Bruce Stickler, and Shavaun Taylor

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 232-186 in favor of passing a resolution to disapprove the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB’s”) new “quickie election” rule, which becomes effective April 14 and is expected to give unions a decided “edge” in winning union representation elections. The House’s vote comes as no surprise and follows a similar March 4th vote by the Senate also disapproving the NLRB’s election rule. The White House has announced that President Obama will veto the joint Congressional resolution.

A Republican-led Congress came out strongly against the new rule when the NLRB finalized the election rule in December 2014. Dubbing it an “ambush election” rule, Congress quickly sought to disapprove the new election rule under the Congressional Review Act, with top Republicans on the Senate Labor Committee citing major … Read More »

Joint Employer Liability on the Rise

Posted on March 20th, by Editor in Counseling & Compliance Training, Crisis Management. Comments Off on Joint Employer Liability on the Rise

By Mark Terman and Alexis Burgess

The Issue:  Could my company be liable as a joint employer for California Labor Code violations of our subsidiary or third-party staffing company?

The Solution:  Companies with subsidiaries and staffing companies in California should take steps to limit exposure.

Analysis:  Parent corporations are generally presumed to be separate entities from their subsidiaries, and therefore not liable for the unlawful treatment of their subsidiary’s separate employees unless they exercise significant control over day-to-day operations.  Recent developments, however, call this precedent into question.

In Castaneda v. Ensign, 229 Cal. App. 4th 1015 (2014) (review denied), the California Court of Appeal held:  “an entity that controls the business enterprise may be an employer even if it did not ‘directly hire, fire, or supervise’ the employees.”  (emphasis added).  The parent company at issue claimed a lack of control over wages, hours and working conditions … Read More »

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