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February 2017 Archives

LA's New "Ban the Box" Ordinance is the Nation's Strongest

Last month, Los Angeles joined a growing group of U.S. cities taking steps to end hiring discrimination based on a job applicant's criminal history. The "Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring" ordinance took effect on January 22 and is arguably the strongest and most progressive so-called "Ban the Box" law in the country.

Coutard v. Municipal Credit Union, No. 15-1113 (2d Cir. Feb. 9, 2017)

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides that eligible employees may be entitled to leave to care for relatives with whom they had an in loco parentis relationship as a child. The Second Circuit holds that where the plaintifff requested leave to care for a sick grandparent, who raised him has a child, the employer had a duty to inquire further about the relationship before denying leave.

A Puzder-Led Labor Department Would Make Life Much Harder for U.S. Workers

President Trump's pick for Labor Secretary, Hardee's and Carl's Jr. CEO, Andrew Puzder, has come under attack by workers and their advocates since his nomination was first announced in December. Rightly so. Puzder's approach to doing business and his previous statements regarding key workplace issues paint a very worrisome picture regarding how workers will fare under his watch. Just ask the workers at his own company, who, in a report issued this week, describe a pattern of workplace violations, including being required to work sick and without pay, resulting from business decisions that appear to give low priority to workers' health and well-being.

Mayes v. WinCo Holdings, No. 14-35396 (9th Cir. Feb. 3, 2017)

This takes the cake: an employee on the night shift at an Idaho supermarket is accused of (and fired for) taking a cake from the bakery's "stales cart" without permission to serve to co-workers. The Ninth Circuit thinks that a jury could find management's story unpalatable, though, and remands it for a trial.

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