Kentucky News & Analysis

  • Agreement to waive or shorten federal discrimination limitation period invalid

    An employee was entitled to a 300-day statutory limitation period to file a charge against her employer, even after she contractually agreed to a shorter period.

  • Looking to add an innovative benefit? Student loan assistance an option

    On a quest to recruit top talent, many employers are getting creative with perks and benefits. Free food and ping-pong tables are nice. So is a generous employer match on a 401(k). But many employees may not get too excited about perks and retirement benefits when they're struggling with student loan debt. And it's that financial burden that is leading employers to explore ways to ease the pain for their debt-ridden workers.

  • Employee called 'grandma' and 'little old lady' can bring her age case to trial

    The 6th Circuit recently focused on comments made by an employee's former supervisor shortly before her termination, including ageist name-calling and comments about her retirement. The court held she produced sufficient evidence of discrimination to bring her case to trial.

  • Dishonesty defeats FMLA retaliation claim, but 'forced return' creates legal problems

    The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky concluded an employer crossed a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) line by "forcing" an employee to return to work for light duty during FMLA leave. However, the court dismissed the employee's FMLA retaliation claim based on the employer's reasonable and good-faith belief the employee lied about his leave.

  • Changing laws, attitudes pushing employers to explore alternatives to drug tests

    Nobody wants an impaired person on the job, especially in a safety-sensitive position. But how can a supervisor know if an employee who seems a little off is high? And—perhaps more important—how can an employer screen applicants to reduce the chance of hiring someone who is likely to come to work impaired? The first thought may be to use drug testing, but that option isn't as simple as it once was.

  • Charitable foundation ruled not a single or joint employer with the organization it funds

    The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky threw out hostile work environment, disparate treatment, and various tort (wrongful act) law claims against a charitable foundation that merely helped fund the employee's true employer.

  • Agency Action

    NLRB switches standard relating to CBA changes. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in September adopted the "contract coverage" standard for determining whether a unionized employer's unilateral change in a term or condition of employment violates the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). In doing so, the NLRB abandoned the "clear and unmistakable waiver" standard. Under the contract coverage standard, the Board will examine the plain language of the parties' collective bargaining agreement (CBA) to determine whether the change made by the employer was within the compass or scope of contractual language granting the employer the right to act unilaterally. If it was, the employer will not have violated the NLRA. If the CBA doesn't cover the employer's disputed action, the employer will have violated the Act unless it demonstrates the union waived its right to bargain over the change or it was privileged to act unilaterally for some other reason. The decision is M.V. Transportation, Inc.

  • Fault found with manufacturer's 'no-fault' attendance policy

    An employer's "no-fault" attendance policy may have "interfered" with Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) rights by treating FMLA leave differently than other types of leave.

  • Long-stalled OT rule sparks questions beyond where to set salary threshold

    It was spring 2016 when employers learned specifics about what they thought would be a final rule from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) determining which of their employees would be exempt from overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). But shortly before the rule was to take effect in December 2016, employers saw it scrapped by a federal judge who maintained the DOL overstepped in making a rule that so drastically changed the salary threshold for exemption. Back to square one and with a new administration in office, the DOL came up with a more moderate change.

  • Bad facts and bad response produce bad result for employer

    An employer that failed to adequately address an employee complaint has been required to pay punitive damages.