The biggest news this week is the EEOC’s release of the proposed regulations for the ADA Amendments Act of 2009. This post from Jackson Lewis provides some of the highlights. Note that these are proposed regulations. There is a 60 day period during which the EEOC will receive comments. After considering the comments, the EEOC will publish the final regulations and the date the regulations will become effective. Stay tuned for more information and analysis.
Pop quiz: how many new federal employment laws have been passed by the 111th Congress in 2009 and signed into the law by the President? Answer: one (the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act signed into law January 29, 2009).
With all the buzz in the employment law community about the anticipated changes in 2009, some may be surprised by that answer. Employers should not rest on their laurels, however, because there are plenty of bills in the pipeline. In this post, Dennis Westlind of World of Work blog identifies thirteen employment related bills that were introduced in 2009 and remain pending, including the Employee Free Choice Act (permitting union recognition by "card check", among other things; Employment Non-Discrimination Act (prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity); Paid Vacation Act (mandating employers with 50 or more employees to provide paid vacation), and Paycheck Fairness Act (providing for "enhanced enforcement" of equal pay requirements between male and female employees).
Unpaid internships illegal? In this post, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban rails against the Federal Wage and Hour Regulations that make the traditional "foot in the door" experience unlawful.
Is there a looming crisis with wage and hour litigation? Dan Schwartz at Connecticut Employment Law Blog and Jon Hyman at Ohio Employer’s Law Blog show that, despite the buzz about wage and hour suits, the actual number of federal labor cases filed in their jurisdictions has remained steady. The real concern is that many of these cases are collective actions, which can result in substantial monetary liability. In May 2009, local convenience store chain Casey’s General Stores paid over $11 million to settle two wage and hour collective actions filed by 7,600 former management level employees and 76,000 non-management employees.
Finally, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, the federal government has the right to read even the personal e-mail of its employees. Notes one commenter on the ABA Journal site: "At least somebody is reading the emails I send to federal government employees…."