News & Analysis

About face: denial of promotion and termination not discrimination

The 8th Circuit recently affirmed a district court's dismissal of an IT professional's claim of age discrimination.

Bring a friend: employee's right to representation during disciplinary meetings

Q Does an employee have the right to have someone present at his termination and/or disciplinary action?

Delaware employers rush to get high (priority)

We've been discussing concerns about the Delaware Medical Marijuana Act since it was signed into law in 2011. The Delaware General Assembly has subsequently decriminalized small amounts of marijuana and considered legalizing the drug for recreational use. In light of the rapidly changing landscape, the General Assembly has established a marijuana task force to address the various issues raised by marijuana in the First State. Read on to learn about the task force and how you can make use of this new venue to voice your concerns.

Workin' on the down low: diminished earning capacity for undocumented workers

One of the issues frequently raised in workers' compensation cases is whether an employee's injuries result in diminished earning capacity. The way to address this issue is to determine which jobs are available to the employee. But what do you do when an employee is undocumented and cannot legally work in any job? We have a bit more insight, thanks to a recent case from the Delaware Supreme Court.

Supreme Court delivers sermon on ERISA 'church plan' exemption

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) generally requires private employers offering pension plans to adhere to a lengthy list of rules designed to ensure plan solvency and protect plan participants. Church plans, however, are exempt from those requirements. But what exactly constitutes a "church plan"? The U.S. Supreme Court has just ruled—unanimously—on this issue.

Best practices for employers under EEOC's new SEP

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently released its Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) for 2017 to 2021. The new plan replaces an earlier version issued in 2012, but it isn't a radical departure from the agency's previous agenda. Employers hoping for a more employer-friendly EEOC under the new administration may be disappointed by the 2017 SEP.

3rd Circuit: No evidence of age discrimination means no lawsuit

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit (whose rulings apply to all Delaware employers) recently affirmed the dismissal of a former employee's age discrimination claim, holding that the metrics his former employer used to select his position for elimination were reasonable and lawful, and there was no other evidence supporting his claim of age bias.

Should you be an HR leader?

Whether you are a salesperson or a CFO, you should be thinking about the people in your organization. You may think, "I'm in sales, why should I care about the people in my organization?" or "I'm the CFO, numbers are my thing, not people," but you are dead wrong. It's part of your job to think about your organization and its employees.

Agency Action

EEOC marks 50th anniversary of ADEA with discussion on discrimination. Experts invited to a June meeting of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) told of the continuing effects of age discrimination 50 years after passage of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). A 2017 AARP survey reports that nearly two-thirds of workers age 55 to 64 report their age as a barrier to getting a job. Also, a 2015 survey using résumés for workers at various ages found significant discrimination in hiring for female applicants and the oldest applicants, according to Patrick Button, an assistant professor of economics at Tulane University and a researcher with the National Bureau of Economic Research Disability Research Center. Laurie McCann, a senior attorney for AARP Foundation Litigation, called on the EEOC to strengthen ADEA protections and enforcement. John Challenger of the outplacement and career transition firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas said that older workers, particularly skilled workers, are being channeled out of the workforce, damaging the country’s economic health. If more older workers stayed in the workforce, it would significantly reduce the skilled worker shortage in the United States, he said.

Workplace Trends

Survey finds HR gaining C-suite influence. A survey from payroll and HR software provider Paychex finds that HR leaders at small and midsize companies say they have grown beyond serving a traditional administrative function to taking on a more strategic role within their organizations. The survey of more than 300 HR decision makers from organizations with 50 to 500 employees found that 75% of respondents feel HR technology has enabled them to secure a seat at the leadership table. According to the study, 41% of respondents meet with their CEO or CFO or both on a weekly basis, while close to one-third have access to top management when they need it.