HB 56/Alabama's Immigration Law. I don't want to sound like a broken record, but....Sunday April 1 is the day HB 56 requires all employers in Alabama to use E-Verify for new employees. This is in addition to the use of I-9's. Employers that knowingly hire or continue to employ unauthorized aliens are subject to harsh penalties, including the suspension or revocation of business licenses.
ADEA. The EEOC has issued it's Final Rule on Reasonable Factors Other Than Age under the ADEA. According to the EEOC press release, "The final rule clarifies that the ADEA prohibits policies and practices that have the effect of harming older individuals more than younger individuals, unless the employer can show that the policy or practice is based on a reasonable factor other than age." The Final Rule will be important for companies defending ADEA claims when the defense is that the decision made in regard to an individual over 40 was not predicated on age, but rather a reasonable business decision.
Social Media. I hate auto-correct on my Blackberry, as do many users of Iphones, Droids, etc. Recently, WSBTV in Atlanta reported that the West Hall High School and West Hall Middle School were put on lock down after a student sent a text message that read "gunman to be at west hall." The message was supposed to be "gunna be at west hall", but the auto-correct feature changed the message. The student sending the message was not charged after police discovered what happened.
FMLA. The United States Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, found that states are not subject to the self-care provisions of the FMLA. In 2003, the Court found that states could be sued for damages for violations of the family care provisions of the FMLA, since the family leave policies in place with states either discriminated on the basis of sex or were administered in a way that discriminated on the basis of sex. Under the self-care provisions of the FMLA, there were no policies that discriminated on the basis of sex, or were administered in a way that discriminated on the basis of sex. Thus states are immune from damages under the Fourteenth Amendment.
GINA. Effective April 3, 2012, the EEOC has new record keeping requirements under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008. GINA applies to employers with 15 or more employees, employment agencies, labor unions and federal sector employers. The new rule requires all employment and personnel records to be kept in the same manner as required under Title VII and ADA. Records containing medical or genetic information should be segregated from other personnel records and access limited to those with a business need to see them.
Spelling out numbers. Oftentimes, lawyers are criticized for all the legalize that appears in documents. One of the areas of 'legalize' is the fact that lawyers almost always spell out numbers. Every now and then, a lawsuit demonstrates why this is done. Michael Fox blogged last week about a lawsuit that went to trial in London. The suit is focused on whether a currency trader was to be paid 2.4 million rand or 24 million rand, a difference of $980,000. JPMorgan is arguing that it was a typographical error in the numbers. The numbers were not spelled out.