Episode 14: Week of February 8, 2016

We invite you to view Employment Law This Week - a weekly rundown of the latest news in the field, brought to you by Epstein Becker Green. We look at the latest trends, important court decisions, and new developments that could impact your work. Join us every Monday for a new five-minute episode! Read the firm's press release here and subscribe for updates.

This week’s stories include ...

  1. EEOC Asks for Equal Pay Data from Employers

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) wants your pay data. The EEOC has proposed changing its EEO-1 forms. The forms currently require employers to provide information about the gender, race, and ethnicity of their workers across 10 different job categories. The proposed change would add a requirement that employers submit information pertaining to employees’ hours worked and report W-2 earnings across 12 different pay bands. If the proposal is implemented, employers will use the new forms beginning in September 2017. Peter Stein from Epstein Becker Green goes into more detail. For tips on how to avoid employment compliance reporting missteps, click here.

  1. EEOC Addresses Rights of HIV-Positive Employees

More from the EEOC this week—the agency recently released two different guides on the rights of HIV-positive employees. The first guide outlines employees’ rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The second guide is intended for health care providers with HIV-positive patients and encourages these providers to advocate for their patients' rights in the workplace. These documents are also valuable resources for employers. Among other takeaways, the guides break down the process involved in a request for reasonable accommodation from an HIV-positive employee. For more information on these guides, click here.

  1. DOL’s Fiduciary Rule Takes Final Step

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) sent its proposed fiduciary rule to the White House. The new rule would impose stricter conflict-of-interest rules and fiduciary requirements on advisors working with retirement plans and investors. Critics of the DOL proposal have charged that it would prevent workers who cannot afford highly individualized advice from receiving basic retirement planning services. As with the EEOC, the DOL is making a big regulatory push in President Obama's last year. Next on the horizon is the DOL’s contentious overtime rule, which will most likely go into effect in July.For more on the overtime rule, click here.

  1. NJ Supreme Court Clarifies Harassment Defense

The New Jersey Supreme Court confirms that anti-harassment policies are critical to a defense against vicarious liability. In New Jersey, an employer may avoid liability for workplace harassment by showing that it exercised reasonable care to prevent and promptly correct any harassment and that the employee unreasonably failed to complain about the harassment. In declining to hear a recent case, the Court reemphasized that only an employer that has instituted effective anti-harassment policies and procedures can use the defense, and after-the-fact remedial action alone is not sufficient. More on the defense against vicarious liability in New Jersey, click here.

  1. In-House Counsel Tip of the Week

Richard Nohe, General Counsel for BT, describes the legal landscape for employees’ use of personal devices at work.