Polsinelli at Work |  Labor & Employment Blog

Employers, whether large or small, face an ever-growing web of workplace regulations and potential entanglements with employees. With employment litigation and advocacy experience as our strength, preventing legal problems from arising is our goal. Our Labor & Employment attorneys advise management on complex employee relations and workplace issues. 20 offices; 800+ attorneys. 

PolsinelliAtWork.com was recently recognized as one of the top employment blogs in the nation by Feedspot.


No Vaccine? No Job! Court Affirms Employer’s Ability to Condition Employment Upon Vaccinations

No Vaccine?  No Job!  Court Affirms Employer’s Ability to Condition Employment Upon Vaccinations

By: Cary Burke

On December 7, 2018, the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that an employee who was terminated for refusing to take a rubella vaccine was not discriminated or retaliated against, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended (“ADA”).  See Hustvet v. Allina Health System, Case No. 17-2963.

Read More

New York Court Rejects Class and Collective Certification in Nationwide Sex-Bias Action

New York Court Rejects Class and Collective Certification in Nationwide Sex-Bias Action

By: Andrew McKinley

On November 30, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York determined that a company’s decentralized pay and promotion structure made the matter unfit for class and collective certification under Title VII, the Equal Pay Act (“EPA”), and state law.  In Kassman v. KPMG, No. 11 Civ. 3742 (LGS), 2018 WL 6264835 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 30, 2018), plaintiffs filed suit under federal and state law, alleging discrimination against thousands of female associates, senior associates, managers, senior managers/directors, and managing directors in their pay and promotions.  Plaintiffs asserted both disparate impact and disparate treatment theories.

Read More

Clarification of OSHA  Rule Regarding Drug Testing and Safety Incentive Programs

Clarification of OSHA  Rule Regarding Drug Testing and Safety Incentive Programs

By: Thomas Reddin and Adam Merrill

In 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) published a rule (the “2016 Rule”) – found in  29 C.F.R. § 1904.35(b)(1)(iv) – related to post-incident drug testing and workplace safety incentive programs that left many employers confused. Fortunately, on October 11, 2018, OSHA published a memorandum designed to clarify the 2016 Rule and how it may be enforced (the “2018 Memo”). OSHA’s 2018 Memo can be found here.

Read More

Year End Retirement Plan Checkup: Required Claims Amendment, a Top Ten List for Plan Errors and New EPCRS E-Filing Requirements

Year End Retirement Plan Checkup:  Required Claims Amendment, a Top Ten List for Plan Errors and New EPCRS E-Filing Requirements

By:  Jamie Zveitel Kwiatek and David Isaacson

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) and the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued new guidance and rules pertaining to retirement plans.  Now is a good time for employers to audit their plans to ensure compliance with applicable laws and, if not, to take corrective action. 

Read More

No, Stealing Personnel Files Is Not Protected Activity (But the analysis doesn’t end there)

No, Stealing Personnel Files Is Not Protected Activity  (But the analysis doesn’t end there)

By: Kelly Muensterman

On November 15, 2018, the United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the Middle District of North Carolina in the case of Netter v. Barnes, et al, upholding dismissal of Netter’s case because her removal of other employees’ personnel files from the workplace is not “protected activity” and is a legitimate non-discriminatory reason for her termination.[1] A longtime employee of the Sheriff’s Department, Catherine Netter believed she was being discriminated against on account of her race and religion and removed several coworkers’ personnel files without permission, presumably “fishing” to determine whether said employees were being treated more favorably than her. Then, Netter copied the files and shared them with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) when attempting to support her charge of discrimination. Eventually, Netter sued her employer for discrimination when she was passed over for a promotion. Netter (through her attorney) subsequently produced the files to the Sheriff in discovery. When deposed, Netter conceded that she had obtained the files as described above.

Read More