Same-Sex Spouse Definition for FMLA on Hold

We spoke too soon, as a U.S. district judge in Texas has placed a temporary hold on the new definition of spouse for FMLA purposes, contrary to our earlier report below. The hold arises from a lawsuit filed by attorneys general in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Nebraska, which argues that the new definition violates the […]

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Senate Confirms Two to the EEOC

Still under Democratic control for a while longer, the U.S. Senate has confirmed a new Commissioner for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), along with a General Counsel. Charlotte Burrows, currently Associate Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice (DOJ), will serve as a Commissioner. David Lopez was reconfirmed as General Counsel, a position […]

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DOL Earmarks $10.2 Million to Help States Fight Worker Misclassification

For years the Department of Labor (DOL) has been operating a cooperative program with several states to crack down on worker misclassification — labeling actual employees as independent contractors to avoid paying taxes and benefits — and now the agency is targeting $10.2 million in aid to those states to speed up enforcement efforts. The […]

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DOJ to Require Closed Captions on All Movie Theater Films

The Attorney General today signed the Department's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to revise the department's Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) title III regulation to require movie theaters to exhibit movies with closed movie captioning and audio description, to require theaters to provide notice to the public about the availability of these services, and […]

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Court Orders Employer to Pay for Employee’s Medical Marijuana

In an unusual twist for a state that outlaws marijuana use except in specified medical situations, the New Mexico Court of Appeals has ordered a repair shop owner and the shop's workers' compensation insurer to pay for medical marijuana use to treat an employee's work-injury-related chronic back pain. Ben's Automotive Services and Redwood Fire & […]

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Attorney General Extends Same-Sex Spousal Protections

Attorney General Eric Holder today is expected to issue a directive recognizing the rights of same-sex spouses in the U.S. judicial system. This will mean that same-sex couples can no longer be required to testify against one another in federal court. They will also be granted the same rights in Bankruptcy Court as heterosexual couples […]

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HHS, DOJ to Publish Rules Relaxing Gun Background Check Rules

Tomorrow, the departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Justice (DOJ) will publish rules relaxing the release of some protected health information (PHI) for purchasers of weapons. Up until now, the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has prevented the release to the nationwide criminal background system of information regarding the mental health of individuals […]

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DOJ to Introduce Proposed Rule on Website Accessibility

The Department of Justice (DOJ) in July intends to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to apply American with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility guidelines to state and federal government websites. "Many states and localities have begun to improve the accessibility of portions of their websites," the DOJ explained. "However, full compliance with the ADA's […]

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