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Circuit Split May Invite U.S. Supreme Court Review of Age Discrimination in Hiring

Though employees may bring a claim for age-based discrimination against their employer under the Age Discrimination Employment Act (ADEA) without an expressly discriminatory policy in place, the question remains whether job applicants are allowed to do so under the same disparate impact theory of liability. This issue will be examined in late June 2016 by the 11th Circuit Court when they convene for a rehearing of Villarreal v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. The answer was clear and decidedly in favor of employers until November 30, 2015, when a divided panel of the 11th Circuit ruled otherwise. More >

FAA Releases Finalized Operational Rules for Small Commercial Drones

the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) finalized the much-anticipated rules for commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones). The rules were initially proposed in February 2015 and will now take effect in late August 2016. At that time, companies – ranging from real estate companies wanting to take aerial photography of properties to organizations wishing to inspect inventory or utilities – will no longer need to apply for an FAA Section 333 exemption for routine commercial drone use as long as their operations comply with the new rules. More >

Minnesota Enacts New Bill – A Litmus Test for Federal ADA Revisions?

Revisions to the Minnesota Human Rights Act (“MHRA”) enacted at the end of the just-completed legislative session are intended to provide businesses with additional protection against the recent trend of “drive-by” disability discrimination lawsuits – threats of litigation designed to pressure businesses, often small businesses, to agree to make early cash payoffs rather than face the cost of protracted lawsuits. More >

Minneapolis City Council Adopts Paid Sick & Safe Leave Ordinance

This morning, the Minneapolis City Council adopted an ordinance instituting sick and safe leave for Minneapolis employees; the ordinance will be effective on July 1, 2017. The ordinance is slightly different than the original proposal and contains the following provisions, which will affect the vast majority of Minneapolis employers and possibly a significant number of non-Minneapolis employers. More >

Navigating the ADA in the Digital World

“We’re talking about the virtual equivalent of a wheel-chair ramp,” Niska says. “Companies need to consider whether their sites are coded to allow screen text to be translated into synthesized speech in accordance with widely-accepted guidelines, and whether the sites are designed to be as user-friendly and navigable for persons with disabilities as they are for everyone else.” More >

Creative Solutions for Employers to Navigate Overtime Pay Changes

The new rules will undoubtedly cause many employees who have traditionally been paid a regular salary to transition to hourly employees with overtime (much to their chagrin). However, careful planning may avoid this pitfall. Employers who want to continue to pay employees falling below the new DOL threshold on a salary basis should be aware of two lesser-known methods of maintaining a compensation plan akin to a traditional salary for non-exempt employees. More >