Employment Law This Week: Casino Trainees’ Class Action, Updated FMLA Guide & Poster, OSHA Fine, Mandatory Flu Vaccines Challenged

Episode 26: Week of May 9, 2016

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We invite you to view Employment Law This Week - a weekly rundown of the latest news in the field, brought to you by Epstein Becker Green. We look at the latest trends, important court decisions, and new developments that could impact your work. Join us every Monday for a new five-minute episode! Read the firm's press release here and subscribe for updates.

This week’s stories include ...

(1) Casino May Have to Pay Trainees

Our top story: Casino trainees could be entitled to minimum wage. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently revived a class action suit from a group of trainees at a casino in Maryland. Applicants who wanted to work the casino's new table games were expected to attend a 12-week “dealer school,” during which they went mostly unpaid. Several of the trainees sued, alleging that the practice violated the Fair Labor Standards Act. Though the district court dismissed the case, the Fourth Circuit ruled that the company could be found to be the primary beneficiary of the training and remanded the case for further fact-finding. Nathaniel Glasser, from Epstein Becker Green, goes into further detail. See the extended interview, and for more on this story, click here.

(2) DOL Updates FMLA Guide and Poster

The Department of Labor (DOL) has released an updated employer's guide to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The 76-page, seven-chapter guide is dedicated to increasing awareness of the details of the law in order to strengthen compliance. The DOL has also issued an updated FMLA notice poster that is easier for employees to read. For more on this story, click here.

(3) OSHA Fines Store After Fatal Shooting

OSHA has fined a convenience store for the lack of safety precautions. Last year, an employee was fatally shot inside a convenience store in New Jersey. Although OSHA’s coverage of workplace violence is sometimes overlooked, the agency investigated this shooting and found that 20 violent incidents had occurred at the store in the last five years. The agency filed a $14,000 citation against the company for failing to put a comprehensive violence prevention program in place. While the business did have cameras, OSHA was looking for safety features, like bulletproof glass and panic buttons, which might have helped to save the employee's life.

(4) EEOC Files Lawsuit Over Mandatory Flu Vaccines

Mandatory flu vaccines could constitute religious discrimination. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is suing a hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, for a policy that requires employees to receive annual flu vaccinations. Employees can request a religious exemption but must do so before a deadline of September 1. When several employees were late in submitting their request, they were denied the exemption and subsequently fired. The EEOC found the deadline arbitrary and is arguing that a religious accommodation should have been made for the affected employees.

(5) In-House Tip of the Week

Coleen Cohen, HR Generalist for the Financial Times, shares some advice on developing a strong telecommuting policy. See the extended version here.

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