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Accurate Job Descriptions Remain Critical for ADA Compliance

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers do not have to excuse an employee from performing an essential function of a job as a reasonable accommodation. Several courts have found that a job duty is an essential function where an employee performs it up to twenty percent of the time, particularly where the job description suggests that an employee must be able to perform it. The Eleventh Circuit has recently gone in a different direction. In Brown v. Advanced Concept Innovations, Inc., the Eleventh Circuit held that such a function was not essential, and thus, an employer violated Florida’s anti-discrimination law (which courts interpret consistently with the ADA) by failing to excuse an employee from performing it. While Brown may arguably be an outlier, it reinforces the importance of maintaining accurate and up-to-date job descriptions.
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Bereavement Leave Becomes Mandatory in CA

Governor Gavin Newsom has signed AB 1949 into law, making it unlawful for employers with five or more employees to deny an employee’s request to take up to five days of unpaid bereavement leave upon the death of a family member. AB 1949 is codified as an amendment to the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), but bereavement leave under the new law must be considered separate and distinct from the CFRA’s family and medical leave entitlement. In other words, the five days of bereavement leave must be provided in addition to the 12 weeks of family and medical leave permitted under the CFRA. The new law will take effect on January 1, 2023.
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DOL Recovers Nearly $1M for 200 Workers Under the FLSA

The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has separately announced recovery totaling $960,454 in back pay and liquidated damages for 200 workers in New Hampshire, Oregon, Florida, and Idaho due to their employers’ alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The alleged violations related to travel time, tips and overtime, pay for all hours worked, and overtime calculations.
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