April 2016 L&E Update from Baker Donelson

Submitted by Firm:
Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC
Firm Contacts:
Jennifer L. Anderson, Kathlyn Perez, Phyllis G. Cancienne, Robert C. Divine
Article Type:
Legal Update

Grab your umbrella and stay dry this month! First up: an important update on the Executive Order signed yesterday by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards prohibiting discrimination or harassment by Louisiana state agencies against individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Plus, we're keeping an eye on FLSA happenings and some wage and family leave laws across the country. Plus, read on for some significant immigration news, and get clarity on when obesity is a disability under the ADA.

Louisiana Governor Institutes Sexual Orientation and Transgender Protections for State Workers and Contractors


On April 13, 2016, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed Executive Order No. JBE 2016-11 prohibiting discrimination or harassment by Louisiana state agencies against individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. While the Executive Order also prohibits discrimination or harassment based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, disability or age, this Order is the first time Louisiana has instituted a directive including protections for individuals based on sexual orientation or gender identity.  More...

Gawker FLSA Ruling Leaves Interns Gawking


Where's the line between an intern and an employee? If you think that's an easy question, consider this: the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) defines "employ" broadly as to "suffer or permit to work." So, who's to say that interns who answer the phone, make copies, organize files, or as in the case of digital media company Gawker Media LLC, write media content, aren't "employed" and entitled to compensation? Many interns would argue that all that work merits a paycheck.  More...

State and Local Law Updates Could Signal Trend


Employers should generally be aware and mindful of employment law at the state and local level as a possible signal of larger movements. Over the past couple of weeks, significant changes have occurred in minimum wage and family leave laws in California and New York.   More...

Courts Cut the Fat, Clarify When Obesity is a Disability Under the ADA


The ADA prohibits discrimination based upon actual or perceived medical disabilities and requires employers to accommodate employees with disabilities subject to certain exceptions. The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 effectively overturned four United States Supreme Court rulings that had narrowed the scope and coverage of the ADA. The ADAAA did this by substantially broadening the statutory language of the ADA. Under the now-amended ADA, it is much, much easier to establish a disability otherwise covered (and therefore protected) by the ADA.   More...

Immigration Update


Tracking newsworthy developments in the ever-changing world of business immigration and its impact on employers and employees.

This month: Extensions for Form I-9 and H-2B emergency processing; STEM OPT Rules pack in more than just 7 more months; Shedding light on the "Same or Similar" analysis.   More...