In the November Issue:
| | Department of Labor Sets Out New Regulations for Successor Liability on FMLA Claims By James Godwin
Under the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), employees who have worked at least 1,250 hours in the preceding 12 months and have been employed for at least 12 months at a job site with at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius are entitled to up to 12 weeks of job-protected unpaid leave to attend to a serious medical condition or to care for certain family members. When an employer goes out of business or sells a portion of its business, employees losing their jobs will also necessarily lose their FMLA rights. Essentially, there will be no job to come back to following leave. However, in some circumstances where one company purchases all or a portion of an existing business, FMLA rights of employees who go to the new employer may also transfer. The Department of Labor has set out regulations that provide the standard for such successor liability. See 29 CFR § 825.107.
| | United States Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Definition of Supervisor By John Kvinge
On November 26, 2012, the United States Supreme Court heard arguments related to the definition of a “supervisor” under Title VII. Under Title VII, an employer can be found liable for a hostile work environment caused by severe or pervasive harassment in the workplace based on race. If the harassment was inflicted by co-workers, the plaintiff must show that the employer was negligent in discovering or remedying the harassment. However, employers are strictly liable for harassment perpetrated by supervisors. The question in many cases, then, is whether an alleged harasser is a supervisor, or merely a co-worker. To read more, click here.
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