Week In Review

May 31, 2016

Trucking Company Sued for Refusing to Allow Applicant Alternative to Urine Sample for Drug Screening

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed suit against a Tennessee-based trucking company, claiming the company violated federal law by refusing to hire an applicant because of his disability. According to the complaint, the Applicant applied for work as a commercial driver and was conditionally approved for employment pending a license check and drug screening. The Applicant told the company he was unable to give a urine sample due to a medical condition, bladder exstrophy (a congenital absence of a portion of the abdominal wall and bladder wall), but could provide blood for the drug screening. The Company initially agreed to the blood screening, but later withdrew its offer of employment because the Applicant could not provide a valid urine specimen. According to the EEOC, the Company refused to provide the Applicant the opportunity to undergo drug screening because of his disability, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

NLRB Strikes Down Facially Neutral Email Use Policy

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has struck down an employer policy that prohibited employees’ from using the company email system to distribute "non-business" information. The policy at issue provided, among other things, that employees could not use the computer system to commit a crime, violate copyright laws, display anything pornographic, or harass someone. The policy also prohibited the use of the company email to "send chain letters or other forms of non-business information" or to "solicit for personal gain or advancement of personal views." NLRB precedent provides that if an employer gives employees access to the email system for work purposes, then employees can use it for purposes related to protected activity, as long as they do so on nonworking time. The NLRB found the policy to be unlawful because it banned all use of the company email system for non-business use.

The Push for Paid Sick, Family and Medical Leave in Minnesota: Minneapolis Passes Ordinance

Paid sick, family, and medical Leave has been a hot topic in Minnesota this spring. Although none of the bills addressing statewide paid leave or state pre-emption of local laws passed through the Minnesota Legislature, Minneapolis passed its Sick and Safe Time Ordinance on May 27, 2016. Additionally, St. Paul continues to consider the possibility of extending paid sick and safe time to all employees.=