Email Exchanges Between School Board Members May Violate Ohio's Sunshine Law

In Tuesday's much-anticipated decision, the Ohio Supreme Court held that an email exchange between a majority of board members may qualify as a meeting under Ohio's Open Meeting Act. The plaintiff, a board member who conducted an independent inquiry into allegedly improper athletic expenditures, voted against a proposed board policy that would have limited similar future investigations. After a newspaper editorial praised the dissenting board member, his four colleagues collaborated on a formal response to the editorial, but did so by email and without his involvement. The board president submitted the final response to the paper, signing consent to its publication in his official capacity. [More]

EEOC Issues "Fact Sheet" on Bathroom Access for Transgender Employees

On May 2, 2016, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a new "Fact Sheet" on bathroom access rights for transgender employees. The agency warned employers that discrimination based on an employee's transgender status is sex discrimination under federal law. The Fact Sheet reflects the EEOC's position that employers are prohibited from preventing an employee from using a bathroom corresponding to the employee's gender identity. The Fact Sheet further reflects the EEOC's position that an employer may not condition the right to use a restroom corresponding to the employee's gender identity on the employee undergoing, or providing proof of, surgery or any other medical procedure to demonstrate the employee's gender. The EEOC also takes the position that an employer cannot restrict a transgender employee to a single-user bathroom unless the employer makes a single-user restroom available to all employees who might choose to use it. [More]

UPDATE ON THE REVISED I-9 FORM

On March 28, 2016, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a 30-day notice in the Federal Register seeking public comment on proposed changes to Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The public may comment on the proposed changes for 30 days, until April 27, 2016. After the 30-day comment period ends, USCIS will consider public comments and make changes to Form I-9 which it deems appropriate. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will then review and approve the information collection. The revised I-9 Form will be posted on the USCIS website along with instructions. [More]

Overtime Rule for White Collar Exemptions Coming Sooner than Expected

On March 14, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division sent its proposed final rule revising the overtime regulations to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This review typically takes between 30 and 90 days. Once the final rule clears OMB review, it will be published in the Federal Register. Based on this new timetable, it's possible that the Final Rule could be effective as early as June 2016. [More]

EEOC Redefines Retaliation: A Caution to Employers

For the first time since 1998, the EEOC released proposed guidance regarding workplace retaliation that would supersede the EEOC Compliance Manual, Volume II, Section 8: Retaliation. The guidance is intended to educate the public on how the EEOC approaches charges, determinations, and litigation considerations involving the most frequently alleged EEOC violation - retaliation. However, the guidance, which was published for public opinion on January 21, 2016, does not simply apply and explain current law. Rather, it essentially redefines retaliation and leaves open the door for increased retaliation lawsuits and unfavorable decisions for employers. [More]