Mississippi News & Analysis

  • DOL proposes limits to tip credit for tasks 'directly supporting' tipped work

    On June 21, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) proffering limits on the tip credit employers can take during workweeks when tipped employees perform tasks that "directly support" tipped work but don't themselves produce tips. If adopted, the proposal would cap the use of the tip credit for those tasks at 20% of an employee's total hours worked during a particular workweek. In addition, if the tasks exceed 30 minutes for any continuous period of time, the proposed regulation would prohibit employers from applying the tip credit to any portion of the continuous period. The latter prohibition would apply regardless of the total amount of supporting work performed during any workweek.

  • Checkmate: Unchecked boxes on EEOC charge form halt bias, retaliation claims

    The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas) recently upheld the dismissal of a former employee's sexual orientation discrimination and retaliation claims because he hadn't exhausted administrative remedies with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) before filing suit. Although he mentioned sex discrimination and retaliation in the EEOC intake questionnaire, he hadn't checked the boxes on the agency's charge form, and his former employer hadn't been put on notice of the claims. You should always consider whether an employee has properly and fully exhausted all claims, but keep in mind that charge-form boxes alone don't always control an employee's fate.

  • Win for Winn-Dixie: Limited-use website isn't place of public accommodation

    In a much-anticipated decision, the 11th Circuit (which covers Alabama, Florida, and Georgia employers) recently provided relief to businesses facing website accessibility lawsuits filed by serial litigants.

  • 11th Circuit offers guidance on mental disabilities and workplace safety

    Major depressive disorder affects many Americans. In 2017, about seven percent of U.S. adults endured at least one major depressive episode, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. When the depressive episodes occur at work, they can create tough HR challenges. On May 27, 2021, the 11th Circuit analyzed a case dealing with an employee with major depression in the workplace. The court ruled it was permissible to terminate the individual, who made threats against her own life and the lives of others, even though she had a mental disorder and had participated in statutorily protected activity.

  • 5th Circuit rejects fired transgender employee's discrimination claim

    An employer wasn't liable to a former employee who alleged he was terminated because he was transgender, the 5th Circuit recently ruled, upholding a Houston federal district court decision. The appeals court said the former employee failed to allege he was treated differently than cisgender employees. The court's opinion offers guidance on an emerging area of employment discrimination law in light of a recent important U.S. Supreme Court decision.

  • Employers beginning to navigate the age of workforce ecosystems

    It didn't take a pandemic to get workforce experts thinking about the future of work. Freelancers, gig workers, remote workers, and others who don't fit the traditional 9-to-5 mold have been playing important roles for years. The pandemic did, however, spark more thinking about the best ways to acquire, retain, and benefit from various kinds of talent.

  • 3 things to consider before requiring vaccine passports at workplace

    COVID-19 vaccine passports seem to be the hot-button issue of the day. Most of the media coverage and remarks from politicians have focused on companies requiring customers, guests, or students to have proof of vaccination before returning to school or entering the business. But what about employers? Can you require a new worker to present proof of vaccination as a condition of employment or provide a hiring preference to applicants who have been vaccinated?

  • 'Cruella' at work: how to eradicate toxic managers from your business

    Disney's newest movie, Cruella, tells the story of Cruella de Vil, the puppy-stealing psychopath who uses the animals' fur for her over-the-top sartorial splendor. She's deranged and unapologetically wicked, the villain you love to hate—she's Cruella!

  • 5th Circuit delivers win to UPS on discrimination, hostile environment claims

    A recent decision from the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Louisiana and Mississippi employers) demonstrates how objectively documenting an employee's poor performance can dispose of discrimination claims before a costly trial.

  • Dust off your interactive process hats as more remote workers are recalled

    With more workers being invited back into the workplace as the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be subsiding, you can expect an uptick in requests for disability accommodations to continue working remotely in some capacity, even when the asserted disability isn't coronavirus-related. If the past is any indication of the future (and in this case, I think it is), managers and HR pros would be wise to dust off their interactive process hats.