Apparently yes – at least in New Jersey. In Hager v. M&K Construction, a New Jersey state appellate court recently affirmed a workers’ compensation judge’s order for an employer to reimburse a former employee for his use of medical marijuana for chronic pain following a work-related accident.
Continue Reading Must an Employer Pay for Medical Marijuana?

As I discussed in a blog post last year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has been bringing cases on behalf of applicants/employees who use lawfully prescribed opioids (including methadone) against employers who fail to conduct an individualized assessment of the applicant/employee to determine whether those drugs made them unqualified for the position. In EEOC v. Steel Painters LLC, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas held that a reasonable jury could find that the employer did just that.

Continue Reading Methadone User Can Sue Under ADA

As of January 1, 2020, employers need to ensure that employees classified as “exempt” from overtime requirements are being paid the required salary.  Pursuant to the U.S. Department of Labor’s final rule, the minimum salary for executive, professional, and administrative employees has increased.  As we reported in our September 24, 2019 E-Lert, the new rule increases the salary required to meet the exemptions to $684 per week (the equivalent of $35,568 per year).  The required compensation for highly compensated employees is raised to $107,432.  Our E-Lert provides further details about the new rule.  If you need assistance determining whether your employees meet the exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act, please contact any Shawe Rosenthal attorney.
Continue Reading Changes to Wage and Hour Law Took Effect January 1, 2020

Last week, I attended a training seminar hosted by the EEOC.  Sharon Rennart, a Senior Attorney Advisor at the EEOC, presented in part on how the ADA may apply to employees with Opioid Use Disorder (“OUD”).  OUD may be diagnosed where there is a problematic pattern of use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, manifested over a 12-month period by the presence of at least two out of eleven elements, including:
Continue Reading What the EEOC Thinks About Opioid Use and the ADA

I found a recent case to be a peculiar example of how Title VII is not a “general civility code” in the workplace. In Butto v. CJKant Resource Group, LLC, a male executive was terminated after complaining about being required to arrange female escorts for his married supervisor and perform other activities to facilitate his supervisor’s infidelity. It seems like a reasonable complaint, right? But does that mean it was protected under Title VII?
Continue Reading Being Required to Hire Female Escorts Is Not Actually a Title VII Violation

When a company relaxes its workplace policies to allow employees to openly display tattoos and use social media at work, does that mean it’s discriminating against older people? That question presumes that only younger people have tattoos and use social media (which is itself discriminatory!). But, in Wyss v. PetSmart, Inc., a 60-year old employee attempted to use her employer’s social media policy and permission to display tattoos and piercings as evidence of age discrimination!
Continue Reading Tattoos and Social Media = Age Discrimination?