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Category: Employment Law

California Passes New Equal Pay Law

California Passes New Equal Pay Law

The gender gap is alive and well in California. According to a 2014 study by the National Women’s Law Center, a woman working full time in California still earns only 84 cents for every dollar that a man makes. For women of color, the gap is even more significant. For example, a Latina woman earns only 44 cents for every dollar that a white man makes. On October 6, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed the California Fair Pay Act into…

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Department of Labor Proposes New Overtime Rules

Department of Labor Proposes New Overtime Rules

Earlier this month, the Department of Labor announced its plans to establish a new rule that would allow millions of additional workers to earn overtime. Following an executive order by President Obama, who has advocated for increasing the wages of middle-class workers, the Department of Labor has proposed a rule that would increase the minimum salary necessary for a worker to qualify as exempt from the overtime rules. Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, all employees must receive overtime…

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Employer May Not Refuse to Hire Applicant Based on Suspicion of Need For Religious Accommodation

Employer May Not Refuse to Hire Applicant Based on Suspicion of Need For Religious Accommodation

Early last week, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. In that case, a young Muslim woman who wore a hijab (a religious headscarf) to her interview was denied employment because the headscarf violated Abercrombie’s “look policy,” which did not allow head wear of any kind. Without discussing the policy with the applicant, Abercrombie simply denied her employment.  (For more about the facts of this case, see our previous post, How…

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New FMLA Regulations Expand Definition of “Spouse” to Include Same-Sex Spouses in All States

New FMLA Regulations Expand Definition of “Spouse” to Include Same-Sex Spouses in All States

Late last month, the Department of Labor issued a final rule that expands the definition of “spouse” for purposes of taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA is a federal law that requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to eligible employees for certain medical and caretaking reasons. Among those reasons, employees may take leave to care for a spouse with a serious health condition, care for…

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How Explicit Must a Request for Religious Accommodation Be?

How Explicit Must a Request for Religious Accommodation Be?

Abercrombie & Fitch is the subject of a religious discrimination lawsuit, after refusing to hire a young Muslim woman who wore a hijab – a religious headscarf – to her interview. In 2008, 17-year-old Samantha Elauf applied for a sales job with the famous retailer at one of its locations in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The store manager thought that Elauf was a good candidate for the position, but wasn’t sure if she could work for the store wearing the hijab. The…

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