When Is Reasonable Reasonable?

As we’ve cautioned in the past, the Americans with Disabilities Act is a federal law to which small business owners must pay particularly close attention. We’ve advised in prior issues of so-called “drive-by lawsuits”, where individuals use the ADA as a club by which to extort settlements from business owners. But, the law has real…

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Gender Identity, East and West

New laws relating how an individual self-identifies from a gender perspective are now in place and worth noting on both the west and east coasts.  In California, under a new law signed two weeks ago by California Governor Jerry Brown, businesses that have single-user bathrooms must make those facilities gender-neutral.  Those “single-user facilities” are defined…

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How Equal Access Laws Affect Franchise Owners

“Equal access” has meant various things, for various classes of people, throughout the history of the United States. For some, it has meant being able to eat at the same restaurants or drink from the same water fountains. For others, it has meant having the right to vote. And, notwithstanding great strides in this country…

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OSHA Increasing Fines to “Catch Up”

OSHA , the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is increasing the fines it assesses for the first time in 25 years, and they’re going to do it with gusto!  Effective August 1, 2016, OSHA will be required to implement an initial penalty “catch-up adjustment”, tied to the percentage difference between the October 2015 and October…

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Employers Must Accommodate Transgender Employees

Right alongside EEOC, we have the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  Ostensibly charged with ensuring the safety of the nation’s workforce, OSHA responded to a request by the National Center for Transgender Equality by issuing a guidance advising employers that they must accommodate employees based on the gender with which the employee identifies.  Incredibly,…

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AG Holder Expands Title VII

As if to buttress Judge Leon’s statement, lame-duck US Attorney General Eric Holder has expanded the definitions contained in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by including discrimination against transgender individuals as a violation of the federal law.  Technically, Holder reversed an earlier decision by the Department of Justice that Title VII…

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