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NLRB Says Collegr Football Players are
March 31, 2014

In an unprecedented decision issued on Wednesday, the Regional Director for Region 13 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) determined that college scholarship football players at Northwestern University are considered employees under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and can unionize for collective bargaining purposes. The Regional Director applied the common law definition of an employee to determine if these student athletes were covered under the NLRA. Under that doctrine, a person who performs services for another under contract of hire in return for payment while being subject to the other's control or right of control is considered an employee. The Regional Director found that grant-in-aid scholarship football players perform services for the benefit of the school under a contract. They are also subject to the control of the school in the performance of their duties as football players. Consequently, they are "employees" and, thus, eligible for coverage of under the NLRA.

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Supreme Court Rules Severance Payments Are Taxable
March 27, 2014

Supreme Court Rules Severance Payments Are Taxable

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U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Announces New Religious Garb and Grooming in the Workplace Publications
March 11, 2014

On March 6, 2014, the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued two technical assistance publications about employers' responsibilities with respect to religious dress and grooming in the workplace under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. According to the new publications, employers covered under Title VII must permit employees to follow religiously mandated dress and grooming practices unless it would pose an undue hardship on the business.

Pursuant to the publication, employers must provide reasonable accommodation to an employee when the employer is put on notice that a religious accommodation is necessary for a sincere religious belief. It would not be considered a reasonable accommodation to have the employee cover or hide the religious article if that would violate the employees' religious beliefs. However, when an exception to the dress code is made for a religious accommodation, the employer may still refuse to allow secular exceptions sought by other employees. Additionally, if a religious accommodation creates an undue hardship on business operations, the employer is not required to provide any accommodation.

An undue hardship is defined as "more than de minimis" burden on the operation of the employer's business. For instance, if a religious accommodation would impose more than ordinary administrative costs, it would pose an undue hardship. This is a lower standard than the undue hardship defense to disability accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). However, neither co-worker disgruntlement nor customer preference is sufficient to establish an undue hardship.

Employers are advised to make case-by-case determinations of any requested religious accommodations and to train managers appropriately in order to properly adhere to all Title VII requirements.

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NLRB Strikes Again...
March 06, 2014

Recently, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has stricken a number of employer handbook policies, including employers' confidentially policies. On February 6, 2014, the NLRB continued this trend by determining that MCPc, Inc., a technology product and service company, violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by maintaining an "overly broad" confidentially policy and by discharging an engineer for his protected concerted activity.

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Changes Proposed for VETS-100A Form and OFCCP Publishes New FAQ's on VEVRAA and Section 503
March 06, 2014

It's been a busy week at the Department of Labor. DOL-VETS published a Notice for Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) identifying changes they'd like to make to the VETS-100A form.

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EEOC Sues to Limit Protections in Severance Agreements
March 06, 2014

EEOC Sues to Limit Protections in Severance Agreements

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Workplace Bullying Legislation Repeatedly Defeated!!!
March 04, 2014

Public awareness of workplace bullying has never been higher, thanks to high-profile cases such as the one involving Miami Dolphins teammates Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. Yet none of the more than two dozen states that have taken up the issue has actually passed any legislation to tackle the problem.

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