The Legal Line®

Even Obscure Religious Beliefs Must be Accommodated if Sincerely Held

March 1, 2018

This week, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) declined to review several employment cases petitioned to the Court. One of those cases, EEOC v. Consol Energy, Inc., 860 F.3d 131 (4th Cir. 2017), sought review of a religious accommodation case where the employer refused to accommodate an employee who objected to using a … Read more

Federal Court Says Sexual Orientation Protected by Title VII

February 28, 2018

This week, in a case called Zarda v. Altitude Express, the Second Circuit held 10-3 that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is prohibited under Title VII. The Case In this case, the plaintiff, a gay man who worked as a sky driving instructor at Altitude Express, was fired by his employer after he … Read more

NLRB Returns to the Obama-Era Test of Joint Employment

February 28, 2018

At the end of 2017, as part of its effort to end certain Obama-era rules, the new Republican majority National Labor Relations Board overturned the joint employer standard established under Obama. According to the NLRB’s decision in Hy-Brand Indus. Contractors, Ltd. and Brandt Construction Co., in order to find a “joint employer relationship,” two entities … Read more

Trump’s NLRB Reverses Course on Obama-Era Rules

February 22, 2018

In the final weeks of 2017, the National Labor Board Relations Board, packed with Trump appointees, put an end to two important Obama-era labor rules. Joint Employer Test Clarified for Businesses In Hy-Brand Indus. Contractors, Ltd. and Brandt Construction Co., the now Republican-majority NLRB overturned the joint employer standard established under Obama, and returned to … Read more

Addressing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

December 21, 2017

Guess what? Just when you think you know somebody at work, you might learn something monstrous about them. Denial is not the answer. O’Reilly, Weinstein, Spacey, Rose, Lauer – over the past couple of months the news has been filled with stories of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace. While these cases have arisen … Read more

Allison Ayer and Adam Chandler Published in URMIA Journal

October 19, 2017

Allison Ayer and Adam Chandler were recently published in the 2017 edition of the University Risk Management and Insurance Association Journal. URMIA is non-profit educational association serving colleges and universities to promote effective risk management practices in higher education. Its members include insurance professionals, risk managers, and other business people, as well individuals from more … Read more

Chris Vrountas Recognized for Service to the Hospitality Industry

October 19, 2017

On October 19, the New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association named Chris Vrountas as its Business Partner of the Year. The NHLRA is the trade association representing business interests for the hospitality, restaurant and tourism industry in New Hampshire. Chris has been the preferred provider of legal services for the NHLRA for nearly a decade, … Read more

Massachusetts Enacts Pregnancy Protections

September 19, 2017

On July 27, 2017, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. This new law, which goes into effect on April 1, 2018, provides pregnant women and new mothers with more comprehensive job protections and accommodation rights than those that previously existed under federal and state laws. Currently, under M.G.L. c. … Read more

Obama-Era Overtime Rule Officially Dead

September 19, 2017

On August 31, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas put what is likely to be the final nail in the coffin of the Obama-era Department of Labor’s regulation that would more than double the salary required to exempt executive, administrative, or professional employees from the FLSA’s overtime rules. The DOL … Read more

DOL Seeks Public Feedback for Revisions to Rule for Overtime Eligibility

August 1, 2017

On Tuesday, July 25, 2017, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a press release announcing that it intended to publish a Request for Information (“RFI”) concerning the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) overtime rule. In general, the RFI provides an opportunity for the public to comment on issues related to the potential revision … Read more