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Category: Employment Law

Deadline Approaches for California Wildfire Victims to Apply for Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance

Deadline Approaches for California Wildfire Victims to Apply for Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance

In October, a series of raging wildfires caused multiple fatalities and injuries and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses in California. Although the fires are now contained, many communities are just beginning to pick up the pieces in places like Santa Rosa, Napa, and Sonoma. It also means that thousands of Californians are out of jobs. The federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program provides financial assistance to employees who have lost their jobs due to a major natural disaster. DUA…

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More New Parents Have Access to Job-Protected Leave in California

More New Parents Have Access to Job-Protected Leave in California

Late last week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that will expand job-protected leave for new parents. Over 2.5 million California employees will now have the right to be reinstated to their jobs after taking up to 12 weeks of unpaid bonding leave. The law takes effect on January 1, 2018. Until now, only employees who worked for employers with 50 or more employees could be eligible for job-protected leave to bond with a new child in…

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Texas Federal Court Invalidates Overtime Rule

Texas Federal Court Invalidates Overtime Rule

Late last week, a Texas federal court judge struck down the Obama-era overtime rule that would have extended overtime pay to millions of workers. In 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) passed a final rule to increase the minimum salary required for employees to qualify as exempt from receiving overtime. By raising the annual salary requirement from $23,660 to $47,476, the DOL estimated that 4.2 million employees would become eligible to receive overtime pay. However, several states and business groups filed…

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Seventh Circuit Rules: Sexual Orientation Discrimination Illegal Under Title VII

Seventh Circuit Rules: Sexual Orientation Discrimination Illegal Under Title VII

Earlier this week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit became the highest court in the country to rule that sexual orientation discrimination is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. While Title VII does not explicitly include sexual orientation as a protected class, the court held that discriminating on the basis of sexual preference is a form of gender stereotyping that qualifies as illegal “sex” (or gender-based) discrimination. Title VII has long prohibited…

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EEOC Offers New Online System for Discrimination & Harassment Charges

EEOC Offers New Online System for Discrimination & Harassment Charges

Last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) launched a new online tool to help employees who are considering filing discrimination or harassment charges. The Online Inquiry and Appointment System is available in five EEOC locations to start, with the goal of making it available nationwide by late 2017. Filing an EEOC claim is a long-standing prerequisite to filing a discrimination or harassment lawsuit under federal law. Historically, the claims filing process has been initiated in person, by mail, or…

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