Kansas News & Analysis

  • Pay data reporting is back (for now)

    After a tortured history, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) pay data collection requirements are back—at least for now. In accordance with some recent federal court rulings, all employers with 100 or more employees, and all government contractors with 50 or more employees and at least $50,000 in government contracts, must submit summarized pay data for all employees for 2017 and 2018 to the EEOC by September 30, 2019. The government is appealing the court rulings, and there is still a possibility that the pay data reporting will not happen. But pending the appeal and further details regarding the format and process for reporting the information, employers should begin to collect and review 2017 and 2018 pay data and clean up any errors.

  • Investigative failures may be costly

    Most HR professionals know that employers must conduct a "prompt, thorough, and fair investigation" of harassment allegations. Despite that widespread knowledge, some employers continue to pay the consequences for investigative and remedial missteps. For example, in March, the Oregon Legislature settled claims filed by the state labor department on behalf of eight women who alleged that a former senator groped and verbally harassed women in the capitol,including other lawmakers, lobbyists, and student interns who worked in his office.

  • Kansas Supreme Court provides guidance on injuries due to idiopathic causes

    The Kansas Supreme Court has finally defined injuries arising from "idiopathic causes," which are not covered under the Kansas Workers' Compensation Act. Before the recently decided case, if an employee sustained an injury due to an unknown cause at work, the injury likely wouldn't qualify for workers' compensation benefits. The new definition of idiopathic causes expands the list of injuries employers must cover.

  • Supreme Court will decide whether LGBT discrimination is unlawful

    The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide the long-unresolved question of whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The issue has been percolating in the lower courts for quite a while. As it frequently does, the Court declined to consider the question until there was a conflict between several appellate courts. Let's take a look at the history of the Court's decisions, the arguments on both sides of the issue, and what we can expect next.

  • Avoiding pitfalls when trying to offer benefits that exceed the FMLA's mandate

    On March 14, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued an opinion letter considering whether employers violate the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) by expanding the amount of leave given to an employee before designating it as FMLA-protected. This article considers two common FMLA pitfalls addressed in the DOL's opinion letter: (1) communicating benefits to employees that exceed FMLA requirements and (2) waiting to designate leave as FMLA-protected. (See "DOL says FMLA leave mandatory for employees and employers" on pg. 5 of our May 2019 issue.)

  • At long last . . . DOL issues proposed FLSA regulatory amendments

    Since late 2016, when the Obama administration's proposed Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) amendments were challenged and eventually struck down in court, the business world has been waiting for what would come next. In March, the current U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its proposed amendments to various regulations governing the FLSA. Consistent with campaign-trail promises, these amendments represent a much more employer-friendly approach to the issues.

  • Employer's statements and actions send implied contract dispute to trial

    The Kansas Supreme Court, whose rulings are binding on Kansas employers, recently considered whether an employer's actions and assurances could create an implied-in-fact employment agreement or support a claim for detrimental reliance. The court concluded it should be up to a jury to decide. Read on to find out why.

  • U.S. Supreme Court will hear Kansas identity theft case

    The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case to determine whether the state of Kansas may prosecute individuals for identity theft under state law if they use another person's Social Security number (SSN) when filling out a Form I-9 employment eligibility verification for employment purposes. The Supreme Court granted Kansas's petition for review on March 18, 2019.

  • DOL says FMLA leave mandatory for employees and employers

    After more than 25 years, you might think questions regarding proper interpretation of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) would be settled. It's a highly regulated law, and it provides employers far more detail and clarity than they get with most other labor and employment laws.

  • Tips to ensure you are prepared for a deposition

    For an HR professional, giving a deposition is a lot like visiting the dentist. You know it's necessary, but you probably aren't looking forward to it. You may be asked questions you don't want to answer (like how often you actually floss). And finally, consistently responsible practices should reduce your stress levels about the event, make it go a lot smoother, and prevent worse problems in the future.