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Volume 5, Issue 10
October 2016
Department of Labor Issues Final Rule on Federal Contractor Sick Leave
On September 29, 2016, the Department of Labor released its final rule requiring federal contractors to give employees access to paid sick leave. The rule will entitle employees who work on or in connection with certain federal contracts to paid leave if they are sick, need to take care of a sick family member, or have to attend a doctor's appointment. Workers will also be allowed to use paid sick leave for reasons related to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. The final rule will apply to all covered contracts solicited and awarded on or after January 1, 2017. For more details on the final rule, click here.
Domestic Violence in the Louisiana Workplace, Part 5: Stalking

It is not a matter of if, but when an employer will be confronted with a challenging domestic violence-related issue in the workplace. Domestic violence not only causes lost productivity and increased costs for employers, but also raises a host of potential legal obligations and liabilities that employers cannot afford to overlook. In this monthly series, Labor and Employment attorney Rachael Coe will discuss the various ways that domestic violence impacts the Louisiana workplace and what employers need to know in order to protect their employees, their customers, and themselves.

Stalking is one of many manifestations of domestic violence, and deserves special consideration due to its prevalence and indication of physical danger in domestic violence situations. According to the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 79% of women who were murdered by their abuser reported stalking during the abuse period. This is a staggering statistic linking stalking to intimate partner violence, and employers must know how to recognize and respond to stalking that occurs in the workplace. To read the full article by Rachael M. Coe, click here. 
The EEOC Issues Guidance on Avoiding Retaliation Claims

Late last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued its final Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues, an accompanying Q&A, and a Small Business Fact Sheet. If you have not read all three, you should. They will provide you with a number of steps that you can take to minimize your risk of facing a retaliation claim. For the full article by Jerry L. Stovall, Jr., click here. 

LABI Asks Department of Labor to Delay Implementation of Overtime Rules
The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry has officially requested that the U.S. Department of Labor delay implementation of the new rule that would increase the minimum salary required for a worker to be exempt from overtime. The new rule is currently set to go into effect December 1, 2016. To read the full article by Jerry L. Stovall, Jr., click here. 
EEOC Will Begin Collecting Summary Pay Data in March 2018
The EEOC announced on September, 29, 2016 that it will begin collecting summary employee pay data from certain employers beginning in March 2018. The data collected will be used to investigate allegations of pay discrimination. The summary pay data will be added to the annual Employer Information Report (EEO-1) report that is coordinated by the EEOC and OFCCP. Private employers and federal contractors and subcontractors with 100 or more employees will be required to report summary pay data, but not individual wages or salaries. Federal contractors and subcontractors with 50-99 employees will not have to report summary pay data, but they are still required to report employees by job category, sex, race and ethnicity.
Company's Refusal to Hire Woman Because of Dreadlocks Not Racially Biased
On September 15, 2016, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's ruling that an Alabama insurance company's refusal to hire a black job applicant because of her dreadlocks was not racial discrimination. The applicant, Chastity Jones, had her job offer rescinded after she refused to cut her dreadlocks. The EEOC filed suit on her behalf, alleging that the company's grooming policy "constituted discrimination on the basis of Ms. Jones' race." However, the Eleventh Circuit's ruling said that dreadlocks were not an "immutable" racial characteristic under Title VII, which protects people in covered categories from discrimination based on their immutable characteristics, but not cultural practices. The court gave the example of black hair texture as an immutable characteristic. Because Ms. Jones' hairstyle is a "mutable" choice, it is not protected under Title VII. 
Management Update Briefings

Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, L.L.P. Labor & Employment Attorneys 



Leo C. Hamilton