Management Update
Volume 4, Issue 4
April 2015
May an Employer Require a Medical Examination When an Employee Transfers from One Position to Another

Employees often transfer from one position within a company to another, and employers may want to require these employees to undergo a medical examination as part of their transfer--just as they would a new-hire. Doing so may run afoul of the Americans With Disabilities Act prohibition against medical inquiries and examinations.


As with many employee-related issues, the answer to whether an employer may require a transferring employee to submit to a medical examination is a definite "maybe."  


To read the full article by partner, Jay Stovall, visit here.
Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Spouses

Effective May 26, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will extend employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants.  Many employers use H-1B visas to hire foreign nationals in "specialty" occupations, typically, a professional position requiring a specialized bachelor's degree. Spouses of H-1B visa holders are entitled to an H-4 visa, which allows them to enter and live in the US, but, until now, they could not work in the US legally. Starting at the end of May, spouses of H-1B visa holders who have been approved for a green card (i.e. "Permanent Residence"), but whose "priority date" is not yet current, may also apply for authorization to work.  Expect to see even greater numbers of foreign nationals to be interested in H-1B visas, especially from countries like China, India, Pakistan, and Mexico because they typically have to wait a long time for their priority dates to become current.
EEOC Takes First Step Toward Issuing Rules on Wellness Plans

On March 20th, the EEOC took the first step toward officially developing regulations on employer-sponsored wellness plans. The proposed rule would amend the EEOC's current ADA regulations to address the interplay between the ADA's protections against disability discrimination and the financial incentives offered under the ACA for wellness programs provided through employer-sponsored group health plans. If approved, this would be a welcome change for employers who have been left weighing the risks and benefits of wellness plans in the absence of a formal guidance.  
SCOTUS Issues Significant Ruling in Pregnancy Discrimination Case

In a long-awaited decision, Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc., the Supreme Court ruled that it might be discriminatory for an employer not to provide light duty to pregnant employees if it provides light duty to certain other employees. This ruling centers on the interpretation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) (a part of Title VII) which specifies that the prohibition against sex discrimination applies to discrimination "because of or on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition," and that employers must treat "women affected by pregnancy... the same for all employment-related purposes... as other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work."

The Supreme Court has left the door open for an employer to defend a light duty policy by demonstrating a reason for the policy in place. However, in light of this decision, employers who provide light duty to some employees, but not to pregnant employees, should carefully check if any modifications to their policy or how it is administered are required.
Management Update Briefings

Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, L.L.P. presents Management Update Briefings, a labor and employment law seminar at convenient locations across the state of Louisiana.


Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, L.L.P. Labor & Employment Attorneys 


  Rachael M. Coe

 Leo C. Hamilton



This electronic newsletter is provided to clients and friends of Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, L.L.P. The information described is general in nature, and may not apply to your specific situation. Legal advice should be sought before taking action based on the information discussed. Applicable State Bar or Attorney Regulations May Require This Be Labeled as "Advertising."