Management Update
Volume 3, Issue 8
August 2014
 

New Pregnancy Discrimination Guidelines Issued by EEOC 


On July 14, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued an Enforcement Guidance regarding pregnancy discrimination. The new Guidance is significant in several respects. First, the Guidance seems to indicate that all pregnancy-related conditions will qualify as a disability under the ADA requiring an employer to make reasonable accommodations. Second, the Guidance makes it clear that if an employee allows light duty to employees injured at work or otherwise limited in their ability to work, it must also allow pregnant employees light duty. Third, although the word "pregnant" is used, the Guidance makes it clear that employees are protected if they are pregnant, have been pregnant, or might become pregnant. This includes fertility treatments and abortions. While an EEOC Enforcement Guidance does not have the force and effect of law and is not binding upon courts, it does indicate how the EEOC is going to view a statute. Last, the EEOC issued this Guidance knowing that the US Supreme Court is going to take up the issue of pregnancy-related conditions as disabilities in its next session in the case of Young v. UPS. 

We will follow both the EEOC's enforcement of this Guidance and the Supreme Court's Young decision and provide steps on how to respond. 
 
President Signs Order Protecting LGBT Workers

On July 22, the President signed an Executive Order prohibiting workplace discrimination by government contractors against employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity. This Executive Order applies only to federal contractors with $10,000 or more in federal contracts and sub-contracts per year, regardless of the number or persons that they employ, and does not create a private right to sue on behalf of employees or applicants. Notably, the Order amends both a federal contractor's non-discrimination and "affirmative action" obligations. The Order does not define either "sexual orientation" or "gender identity." The Department of Labor is required to issue draft regulations regarding the Order within 90 days. Despite recent debate with religious groups, this Order does not contain an exemption for religions organizations or closely-held companies with sincere religious beliefs (Hobby Lobby). Federal contractors should begin to revise both their written policies and affirmative action plans and keep an eye out for the Department of Labor's draft regulations.   
 
Proposed Legislation to Override Hobby Lobby Ruling

On July 10, a proposed legislation known as the Protect Women's Health from Corporate Interference Act was introduced by Democratic Senators looking to override the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling. This Act would require all organizations to offer contraceptive coverage, reinstating certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
 
ACLA Withdraws Support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act Following Hobby Lobby Ruling

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), along with four other gay rights groups, have withdrawn previous  support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (EDNA) in light of the court's recent Hobby Lobby ruling, stating that the EDNA's exemptions for faith-based organizations represents a "blank check to engage in workplace discrimination against LGBT people." Full article can be found here.
 
Workweek May be Determined by Employer under FLSA

The federal court in New Orleans has ruled that under the Fair Labor Standards Act, an employer may use a Monday-through-Sunday "workweek" to calculate overtime pay for employees with work schedules of Thursdays through Wednesdays. Employers should always consult their counsel when adjusting wage and hour practices, which are highly technical and expose companies to substantial liability. 
 
Ruling Demonstrates Scrutiny by Louisiana Courts of Non-compete Agreements

A recent ruling by the Louisiana Court of Appeals, First Circuit in the case of Gulf Industries, Inc. v. Boylan (La. App. 1 Cir. June 6, 2014), holding that a non-compete provision was triggered when an employment agreement expired, not when the actual employment ended more than two years later, both reinforces Louisiana courts careful scrutiny of non-compete agreements and highlights the dangers of using a non-compete agreement within a formal employment contract with a defined term. 
 
New Orleans-based Company, Entergy, Sued for Affirmative Action Records

Entergy Corp. was hit with a suit from the U.S. government in Louisiana federal court alleging the New Orleans-based utilities company has actively withheld documents that show whether it is complying with affirmative action rules for federal contractors in relation to compliance reviews at multiple properties, including locations in Louisiana. Read the full article. 
 
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

john.andrishok@bswllp.com 

225.381.8020

Murphy J. Foster, III

murphy.foster@bswllp.com

225.381.8015

Leo C. Hamilton

leo.hamilton@bswllp.com

225.381.8056

Joseph R. Hugg

joseph.hugg@bswllp.com

504.584.5466

  

rachael.jeanfreau@bswllp.com

504.584.5467

steven.loeb@bswllp.com

225.381.8050

eve.masinter@bswllp.com

504.584.5468

Yvonne R. Olinde 

yvonne.olinde@bswllp.com

225.381.8026

E. Fredrick Preis, Jr.

fred.preis@bswllp.com

504.584.5470

jacob.roussel@bswllp.com

225.381.3172

melissa.shirley@bswllp.com

225.381.3173

Jennifer D. Sims

jennifer.sims@bswllp.com

225.381.8048

jerry.stovall@bswllp.com

225.381.8042

 

 
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."Anchor1