Author Archives: Raymond R. Rinkol, Jr.

U.S. Supreme Court upholds arbitration agreements that waive class and collective actions and require individualized arbitration


Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, Nos. 16-285, 16-300, 16-307 (US May 21, 2018). The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that employers and employees can agree to resolve disputes through individualized arbitration. In other words, if the employer and employee enter into an agreement to resolve disputes through individualized arbitration, the employee cannot later join with Continue reading

Eighth Circuit Rules Obesity, By Itself, Not a Disability Under ADA


Melvin Morriss, III v. BNSF Railway Company, No. 14-3858 (8th Cir. 2016) The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently ruled that obesity, by itself, is not a disability under the Americans with Disability Act of 1990, as amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA).  Following the Second and Sixth Continue reading

Telecommuting Up to 4 Days a Week Not a Reasonable Accommodation


EEOC v. Ford Motor Company, No. 12-2484 (6th Cir. 2015) Reversing its prior opinion, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently ruled that Ford Motor Company (“Ford”) is not required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) to allow an employee “to work from home on an as-needed basis, up to Continue reading

NLRB Adopts Final Rule Amending Representation Case Procedures


The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) recently adopted a final rule amending its representation case procedures.  Upon the filing of a representation petition, the NLRB determines whether an election should be conducted to decide if the employees will be represented for collective bargaining purposes with their employer.  Effective April 14, 2015, the final rule will Continue reading

Independent Contractors Not Protected by ADA, ADEA, and FMLA


Larry Alexander v. Avera St. Luke’s Hospital, No. 13-2592 (8th Cir. 2014) The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently ruled that independent contractors are not protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), and the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). Instead, these statutes Continue reading

U.S. Supreme Court Defines “Changing Clothes” Under FLSA


The United States Supreme Court recently ruled (Sandifer v. U.S. Steel Corp., No. 12-417 (US 2014)) that time spent donning (putting on) and doffing (taking off) protective gear fell within the meaning of “changing clothes” of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and was thus noncompensable time pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement.

United States Supreme Court Enforces a Three Year Statute of Limitations Period Contained in an ERISA Plan


Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Ins. Co., No. 12-729 (US 2013) The United States Supreme Court recently ruled that a three year statute of limitations period, established by an employee benefit plan covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), which began to run from the date proof of loss is Continue reading

Minimum Wage and Overtime Extended to Home Health Care Workers


The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced new regulations extending minimum wage and overtime rules, set forth in the Fair Labor Standards Act (the “Act”), to most workers providing home health care services to the elderly and persons with an illness, injury, or disability.

Iowa Employee’s “Whistleblowing” Protected Under Public Policy


Dorshkind v. Oak Park Place of Dubuque II, L.L.C., No. 11-2100 (Iowa 2013) The Iowa Supreme Court recently ruled that an internal complaint made by an employee of an assisted living facility concerning forged training documents gives rise to a wrongful termination lawsuit. The Plaintiff, Ms. Dorshkind, observed supervisors falsifying state-mandated training documents for the Continue reading

Eighth Circuit Rules Undocumented Workers Have Rights Under FLSA


Elmer Lucas v. Jerusalem Cafe, LLC, No. 12-2170 (8th Cir. 2013) The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently ruled that undocumented aliens can sue their employer for not paying them minimum and overtime wages required by federal law. Six individuals, all working without employment authorization, sued their employer, Jerusalem Cafe, for Continue reading