The regulations governing federal sector EEO complaints set forth the actions that should occur if there has been a breach of a settlement agreement by a federal Agency. Specific information is set forth in our guidance on Federal Employee Issues: Breach Of A Settlement Agreement.
Unemployment insurance benefits are intended to provide partial income replacement for
unemployed individuals who meet certain requirements. Applying for and maintaining
unemployment benefits following termination from employment may seem like a daunting and
complicated task. This guide is intended to provide employees with tools to help
navigate this process. Employee Guide to Unemployment Insurance in Colorado.
In a complaint of discrimination against the federal government, the federal agency has the burden to articulate a legitimate non-discriminatory reason for the alleged discriminatory actions, after the complainant sets forth an initial showing of discrimination. What does the agency have to establish to meet its burden? Find out in our latest article addressing the legal standards applicable to federal sector employees filing EEO complaints of discrimination. Federal Employee Issues: Agency’s Burden To Articulate A Legitimate, Non-
Do the reasons for an employee’s mental incapacity to perform his or her job affect whether the employee is entitled to unemployment insurance benefits in Colorado? See our new article addressing the the Colorado Supreme Court's decision on this issue in Mesa County Public Library District v. Industrial Claims Appeals Office.
Are federal employees able to bring claims based on parental or caregiver status? Our new guidance, available below, addresses this important question.
Colorado law disfavors employment agreements that restrict the ability to compete. Pursuant to Colorado statute, such agreements are void in most circumstances. However, there are certain exceptions that apply. Find out more in our new article: Colorado’s Non-Compete Statute – Section 8-2-113, C.R.S.
Companies such as Uber and Lyft, are at the center of legal battles about whether companies classify “independent contractors” correctly. A recent decision by the Supreme Court of California may signal the likely outcome of these cases. For more information, see our new article: A “Side Gig” As An Uber Driver Might Soon Entitle You To Benefits, Overtime Pay, And More.
According to a recent decision by the Colorado Court of Appeals in Brunson v. Colo. Cab Co., LLC, 2018 COA 17, the Colorado Wage Order, as interpreted by the Colorado Department of Labor, provides greater employee protection than does federal law. Our summary of the case and analysis of the impact on future cases is attached. For additional information, contact Amanda Walck at 720-999-5390 or Amanda@wick-law.com.
The way in which federal employees can amend a complaint of discrimination differs greatly from private sector employees. It is important to understand the types of claims that can be included as an amendment, and the Agency's obligation in processing an EEO amendment. Our latest guidance provides information on amending EEO complaints. You can also contact us at 720.999.5390.
As a federal government applicants or employees, you may be required to take a polygraph
examination as a prerequisite to being hired by, or to continue employment with, a federal
government agency. Our new article discusses the ability of the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (EEOC) to review an allegation that an applicant or employee was subjected to
unlawful discrimination during a polygraph examination.
Benjamin E. Wick will be presenting as part of a panel on Diversity & Inclusiveness and Small Firm/Solo Practice at the Legal Inclusiveness & Diversity Conference on May 7 & 8, 2018. We hope you can join us!
The 2018 edition of the Federal Sector Equal Employment Opportunity Practice Guide, written by The Wick Law Office's Benjamin Wick and Holly Franson has shipped. This book provides practical legal advice, guidance, and strategies for employees, HR professionals, and attorneys. Order your copy here https://store.lexisnexis.com/categories/shop-products/coming-soon-174/federal-sector-equal-employment-opportunity-practice-guide-skuSKU02358
We are very excited to announce that the Wick Law Office is moving April 1, 2018 to a new office space. Our new address as of April 1, 2018 will be:
The Wick Law Office, LLC
600 Grant Street, Suite 610
Denver, CO 80203
The Final Agency Decision or FAD is an odd nuance that exists in federal sector employment discrimination cases. The FAD, and what is included in a FAD, can be confusing for federal employees trying to navigate the federal sector EEO complaint process. Our latest article is designed to help address confusion and answer common questions about FADs. If you are a federal employee and considering requesting a FAD or have additional questions about FADs that, please contact us.
When a federal employee prevails in a discrimination claim, that employee is generally is entitled to damages for emotional and physical harm caused by the discrimination. These damages are referred to as non-pecuniary, compensatory damages. However, there is much confusion over the legals standards that apply to such awards. Our latest guidance seeks to clarify the legal standards that are applicable to these awards of damages.
The Rehabilitation Act includes limitations on a federal government agency’s ability to make
medical inquiries and direct medical examinations of all employees, not only individuals with
disabilities. The Wick Law Office has issued new guidance on medical inquiries and examinations for federal sector employees, which can be found at the link below.
According to a recent article, more than one third of individuals with disabilities experience discrimination in the workplace. Additionally, regardless of whether the disability is “visible” or “invisible” (i.e. migraines, depression, etc.), employees report feeling stalled in their careers, but are afraid to ask for reasonable accommodations. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-hidden-cost-of-disability-discrimination/
We encourage employees with disabilities to seek reasonable accommodations when needed and to report discrimination when it occurs. However, we are mindful of the difficulties in disclosing disabilities and the concerns about retaliation. Creating an atmosphere inclusive of individuals with disabilities benefits employees and the employers. Moreover, most reasonable accommodations have little or no cost to the employer. Disability discrimination is unlawful and studies have shown that employees with disabilities are more ambitious than those without, increasing the margin of missing a potential benefit to the workplace by excluding individuals with disabilities.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of workplace discrimination or if you have questions about reasonable accommodations, please contact us.
The Wick Law Office’s Benjamin Wick and Holly Franson will be presenting at the Colorado Bar Association’s Employment Law Clinic in Vail, Colorado on October 7, 2017. Our presentation, titled Pregnancy and Breastfeeding in the Workplace: Litigation, Accommodations, and Advising Your Clients, will focus on the federal and state laws that protect pregnant and breastfeeding employees in the workplace. We will also discuss best practices for advising employers and employees to ensure compliance with the applicable statutes. Registration information is available at: http://cle.cobar.org/employment.
To better serve those clients in the Vail Valley, Summit County, the surrounding mountain areas, and the western slope, we are now offering appointments in Avon, Colorado. If you would like to schedule an appointment to meet with us in Avon, please contact us at 720-999-5390.
On July 14, 2017, the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York held that an arbitration agreement was not a binding contract between the employer and employee because there was neither an offer nor an acceptance. The employer, Macy’s, proffered that an “Election Form” was sent to employees for the employees to opt out of their “right to arbitration” by signing and returning the form. Macy’s interpreted the failure to sign and return the form to be a binding agreement to resolve employment disputes solely through arbitration.
The Court rejected this argument relying on New York common law which states in relevant part that “it is well settled that [a] party to an agreement may not be compelled to arbitrate its dispute with another unless the evidence establishes the parties’ clear, explicit and unequivocal agreement to arbitrate.” Fiveco, Inc. v. Haber, 11 N.Y.3d 140, 144, (N.Y. 2008) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). The Court found that the “Election Form” provided to the employee was “remarkably counterintuitive, ambiguous, and misleading.” Weiss v. Macy's Retail Holdings Inc., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109757 (S.D.N.Y. July 14, 2017). Additionally, the Court found that there was no acceptance, relying on New York case law which states that “an offeror has no power to transform an offeree's silence into acceptance when the offeree does not intend to accept the offer[.]” Karlin v. Avis, 457 F.2d 57, 62 (2d Cir. 1972).
Although this decision only directly impacts employees in New York, it should be a signal to employers and employees about the requirements for a valid arbitration agreement in the employment context. It also provides employees with arguments that might be used to invalidate arbitration agreements, if presented with similar factual circumstances.