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Surviving Challenges of Medical Bills
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Determining Reasonableness of Medical Expenses
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Rourke & Blumenthal

 

Slater & Zurz, LLP

 

Robert J. Wagoner, Co., LLC

 

Tzangas Plakas Mannos Ltd.

 

Young and McCarthy LLP

 


 

                       

The Employment Law Section enables you to draw on the knowledge and experience of fellow members whose clients have had similar legal issues.  You can get answers to your questions on the dedicated list serve and grow your knowledge at CLE seminars devoted exclusively to employment law matters. 

Section Chair Daniel Petrov | Thorman Petrov Group Co., LPA


Sick Leave and the FMLA
By: Kristen Kraus, Esq.
Many people feel that it is illegal to terminate an employee who missed work due to illness.  While this may be true some of the time, it is not always the case.  Only those employees who qualify under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) have job protection while off due to illness.  The FMLA provides eligible employees with up to twelve (12) weeks of unpaid leave per year.  It also requires that an employee’s group health benefits be maintained during the leave and requires that an employee be returned to their same or an equivalent job at the end of their FMLA leave.  
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Transgender Employees Can Sue Their Employer for Healthcare Coverage Even After Obamacare Is Repealed
By: Jennifer L. Branch, Esq.
Transgender people are hardworking, valuable employees. Such as the military analyst who transitioned to female at the Department of Defense with full support of her captain.1 Most transgender employees keep their medical diagnosis private, officially called "gender dysphoria," for fear of being discriminated against at work. But that runs counter to their physician's advice, as part of their treatment plan, to transition to their authentic self in all aspects of life: with family, friends, and co-workers, and at home, school, work, church, and community. 
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Labor and Employment Law Update: Are the New DOL Regulations DOA?
By: Vivianne Whalen Duffrin, Esq.
The United States Department of Labor (DOL) was poised to roll out its new overtime regulations effective December 1, 2016 when the regulations sustained an unexpected, and perhaps fatal blow by a federal district Court in Texas which issued a nationwide injunction suspending the implementation of the rules on November 22, 2016.

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You Don't Know Jack: Leave as an Accommocation under the ADA
By: Elizabeth Loring, Esq.
Do you believe that an employee’s unpaid medical leave maxes out at 12 weeks under the law? Do you think that an employer’s obligation to hold a job open expires then too? Then you don’t know Jack.

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Seventh Circuit Agrees with NLRB on Unenforceability of Class Action Waivers in Employment Agreements
By: Dan Petrov, Esq.
Over recent years, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) and state and federal courts have danced back and forth in a struggle over the enforceability of arbitration agreements that require employees to waive the right to pursue labor law and wage and hour related class and collective actions. That struggle continues to percolate in 2016, as the Seventh Circuit released a decision in June upholding the NLRB’s position that such agreements are unenforceable, and increasing the tension between federal appellate circuits on the same question.  
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Appeals Court Wage Ruling Is Major Victory For Home Care Workers
By: Richard Bush, Esq.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit recently issued a unanimous opinion upholding the Department of Labor’s 2013 regulation extending minimum wage and overtime protections to home care workers employed by third-party employers. The case, Home Care Assn. of America v. Weil, 799 F.3d 1084 (D.C. Cir. 2015), involved the DOL’s interpretation of the “companionship service” and “domestic services” exemptions from the Fair Labor Standard Act. The exemptions apply to so called “companionship” workers and live-in domestics who provide in home care to individuals unable to care for themselves due to age or infirmity. 
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Is there a Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow for Ohio Employees? Ohio LGBT Employment Law After Obergefell
By: Jennifer Brance, Esq.
On June 26, 2015 the Ohio Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Obergefell v. Hodges holding that the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution requires states to license and to recognize marriages between two people of the same sex.  The immediate result of Obergefell was the issuance of marriage licenses, followed soon that day by weddings across Ohio.  Obergefell was a breakthrough decision in LGBT rights.  Its effects on family law, probate law and even real estate law are just starting to be understood.  But what protection, if any, does Obergefell offer employees?  What if April and Susan get married one weekend and on Monday April comes to work and shows her friends her wedding photos.  Can her supervisor fire her for marrying a woman?  The answer is “No,” if she is a public employee.  But, as a private employee the answer has been “Yes;” but is it now “Maybe.”

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The rising tide of whistleblower activity and anti-retaliation protections
By: Daniel Petrov, Esq.
Every day in America, whistleblowers expose wrongdoing by shining a bright light into the dark corners of the corporate world.  The efforts of whistleblowers strengthen democracy, protect the environment and public funds, and force corporations to properly account for their actions to American citizens. Public filings and government reports show that whistleblower activity is increasing, but what protections are available to whistleblowing employees?

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"Volunteer" Sues For-Profit marathon promoter alleging FLSA violation and fraud
By: Merisa Bowers
A law professor has sued a marathon promoter for fraud and Fair Labor Standards Act violations alleging that the company is not permitted to use volunteer labor to staff its races.  Companies like Competitor Race Group, Inc. (“CGI”) rely heavily on volunteers to staff its participator events; but are such companies misleading prospective do-gooders to volunteer by appearing to be charitable while turning big profits? Themed runs and obstacle course events have become increasingly popular over the last few years.  From “Color Runs” to “Warrior Dashes,” these events, which tour the country, are not put on by community organizations or non-profits.  Rather, they are organized by for-profit event promoters.  One of these corporations, Competitor Group, Inc., runs the “Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and Half Marathon” series, which takes place in cities across the U.S. and Europe. 

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Social Media and Workplace Privacy
By: Mark Napier, Esq. Cincinnati
Many employees today regularly engage in social media, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Instant Messaging, or LinkedIn. Many employers also have a Facebook or Twitter account to market to their customers and the community. Most celebrities now have a Facebook or Twitter account like Shaquille O’Neal who as of September, 2014 has a Twitter following of 8.5 million and 4.7 million Facebook fans.When it comes to social media, what advice should we give our clients? What social media activities are protected? When does an employer overstep the right to privacy line in disciplining employees for their activities on social media?

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An Overview of the Federal Sector Administrative remedy in employment discrimination claims
By: Alissa Sammarco Magenheim, Esq., Cincinnati, OH 
The area of Federal Sector Employment Law and the Administrative Remedy that precedes litigation is a niche practice in which I find myself engaged. In preparing to draft my introductory article to the Ohio Association of Justice as the new Chair of the Employment Law Committee, I felt that this little known area needed attention.

First, Federal Sector employees include many people we see everyday, for example, our Letter Carrier, the Federal Court Staff, the Veteran’s Admiration doctors, nurses, and administrators. It is during the administrative process where employees are often left without representation, and give up or lose without a hearing. It is key to develop the record during the administrative process and that the claims be made to include a variety of related matters. 
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Am I Entitled to Take Medical Leave?
By: Cathleen Bolek
It is not uncommon for injury victims to need time off from work. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to the question of whether their employer is required to allow them to take a medical leave. The Family and Medical Leave Act, 29 U.S.C. 2601 et seq. (“FMLA”), the Americans with Disabilities Act, as Amended, 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq. (“ADAAA,” formerly known as the “ADA”), and its Ohio counterpart, R.C. §4112.02, all require some employers to allow some employees to take medical leave. There is a tremendous body of case law and administrative regulations interpreting these statutes. This article is intended only to provide a brief overview of the law regarding medical leaves in the employment context.

To determine whether an employee is entitled to take a medical leave, the first step is typically to determine whether the FMLA applies. If the answer to any of the following questions is “no,” then the FMLA will not apply to your client:
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Overview of Overtime: under the FLSA and Ohio Wage Act
By: Bob DeRose, Esq., Columbus, OH
This article is intended to provide lawyers with a very brief and general overview of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and which workers are covered by the FLSA’s overtime provisions.  Of course, what follows does not come close to addressing the many coverage issues arising under the FLSA and similar state statutes.  
The FLSA, codified at 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq., is the primary source of this Nation's minimum wage, overtime, and child labor protections.  With respect to overtime, the FLSA generally prohibits companies from requiring workers to work over forty hours in a workweek unless the worker is compensated for all overtime hours at a rate not less than one-and-one-half times the worker’s regular rate of pay.

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Apportionment and the Empty Chair: What are they? And why should you care?
By: Renee Vining, Esq., Shaker Heights, OH
In August 2011, Ohio plaintiff employment attorneys watched in horror as the unthinkable became reality: the 8th District ruled that statutory employment claims are “torts” subject to the 2005 tort reform caps.  Luri v. Republic Services sent shock waves through Ohio’s legal community causing plaintiff and defense attorneys alike to revalue their cases in light of this new, poorly written, and seemingly unconstitutional tort reform statute. In ways big and small, the Luri decision has changed how employment attorneys practice, from the cases they take, to litigation strategies they employ.  And the repercussions of Luri continue to surface. Indeed, with statutory employment claims now classified as “torts,” defense attorneys have begun to advance other tort-based defenses designed to transfer the cost of supervisor discrimination away from their clients and ultimately back to the plaintiffs themselves. One of the most aggressive and baseless arguments to surface is  apportionment of damages to an “empty chair.”

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