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06.09.2015
Matthew Anderson, director of Des Moines’ Department of Economic Development, is leaving the city to take a job with Knapp Properties as vice president of asset management.
His tenure also coincided with the completion of the Martin Luther King Bypass on the south edge of downtown, preparation of a former manufacturing area south of MLK  and of a run-down residential neighborhood south of the East Village for development. In his new position, Anderson will oversee acquisition and disposition of assets by Knapp Properties, the company created in 1992 to handle the real estate properties of developer Bill Knapp and his later brother, Paul. Before jointing the city, Anderson had worked as an asset manger for Paul Knapp’s son, Bill Knapp II, at AmerUs Properties. In the new job, he’ll report directly to Knapp Properties chief Bill Knapp II and president Gerry Neugent.
Anderson grew up in Urbandale and received a degree in finance and real estate from the University of Northern Iowa. Des Moines Register ©2016 Des Moines Register, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc. Title VII’s pre-requisite that employee meet employer’s legitimate expectations may not be set in stone. In an unpublished decision, one federal appellate court has penned an opinion that goes to the heart of how discrimination cases are analyzed under Title VII by re-interpreting the prima facie case requirements set by the U.S. To support a discrimination claim under Title VII, an employee must show he or she is meeting the employer’s legitimate business expectations.
Yousef Ismail, a postal worker born in Israel and who grew up in Jordan, was suspended without pay for walking on a snowy sidewalk to deliver mail after the local postmaster told him to walk on the street instead. Upon initial review of Ismail’s subsequent lawsuit, a district court concluded that Ismail could not bring discrimination or retaliation claims because he was fired for disobeying a direct order. On appeal, the Seventh Circuit reversed that dismissal, noting that although an employee usually must show he or she was meeting the employer’s legitimate expectations in order to support a Title VII claim of discrimination, that standard is “flexible” and need not be applied if the issue is whether the employee was “singled out for discipline” because of a protected characteristic – in this case, Ismail’s Middle Eastern national origin. Ismail claimed that the postmaster “became emboldened” after that decision and that the harassment and discrimination continued.
Ismail filed an EEOC charge based on that incident, alleging race and national origin discrimination. In July 2012, after the second EEOC charge, Ismail was approached by the postmaster, who said “good morning” to him multiple times. In December 2012, Ismail amended his EEOC charge to include those incidents and to add a claim of retaliation.
The Seventh Circuit reversed that decision and reinstated Ismail’s claims, finding that the lower court erred in requiring Ismail to establish that he was meeting his employer’s legitimate expectations. While this decision should not stop employers from disciplining or firing employees for performance-related issues, it adds a level of review, suggesting that such discipline should be conducted or corroborated by managers unrelated to any prior claims of discrimination made by the employee in order to avoid being linked to allegedly discriminatory behavior. On May 18, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced the publication of a final rule, updating its existing overtime regulations. If Representative Schrader’s proposed bill succeeds, the threshold salary number would be increased only to $35,984 on December 1, 2016. This proposed bill has the support of, among other groups, the National Retail Federation, the American Bankers Association, the Society for Human Resource Management, the U.S Chamber of Commerce, the National Restaurant Association, and numerous non-profit organizations that have stated that the new regs will force them to serve a reduce number of recipients by causing labor costs to rise so dramatically and precipitously. To become law, the OREA would have to be approved by both houses of Congress, and would then have to survive a presidential veto (or garner enough support to override such a probable veto).
Even if OREA were to be signed into law after that, it would not automatically overturn the rule scheduled to take effect in December. New rules were published by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on May 17, 2016, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for employers that have instituted “wellness programs.” Under the rules, employers must make sure participation in those programs is voluntary, and that the programs are reasonably designed to promote employee health. The rule requires employers to provide to covered employees a notice describing what information will be collected as part of a wellness program, who will receive it, and how it will be used.
The required notice must be provided on the first day of a covered health plan year that begins on or after Jan. On June 16, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) posted a sample employee notice to assist employers with wellness programs to comply with those rules, by offering a specific notice form for use by such employers, and which includes all of the required provisions, along with non-retaliation language.
The Notice is written in a fill-in-the-blank format so any employer can use it by simply adding the specific information into the form provided, and providing it to employees. The EEOC also has posted a question-and-answer document that describes the ADA rule’s notice requirement and how employers should use the sample notice. For more information, including EEOC guidance regarding which plan to use in calculating wellness program incentives, refer to EEOC’s questions and answers on the ADA rule and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) rule. While the group could have focused on additional ways for the EEOC to identify, investigate, and penalize incidents of harassment, it instead resulted in a report – written by its co-chairs, Chai R.
The report should not – as has been recently reported – be viewed as a statement that harassment training is ineffective in all forms, or that employers should abandon efforts to train its managers or employees.
If a 90-page report seems intimidating, simply look at the 5-page “Summary of Recommendations,” which includes not only suggestions for employers, but commitments from the EEOC on its plan to make information and statistics available to assist employers in developing credible training programs. Governmental agencies produce a lot of written materials and guidance, and opinions differ on the effectiveness of much of it. In the meantime, there have been several efforts toward reconsidering the referendum, including one proposal to topple the results if the voter turnout was less than 75%, and another suggesting that London secede from the rest of the UK. If Britain delays invoking Article 50, the current global economic uncertainty could continue. Photo of European Space Agency astronaut, Tim Peake, on Towel Day (May 25, 2016) at the International Space Station. Every “employer, employment agency, labor organization, and joint labor management committee controlling an apprenticeship or other training program” covered by Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), or the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA) must post notices describing the pertinent provisions of Title VII, ADA, or GINA. With little fanfare, no preliminary notice, and no request for public comment, the EEOC issued a Final Rule on June 2, 2016 which raised the maximum penalty for violating that posting requirement from $210 to $525 per violation. The Final Rule, which takes effect in 30 days, adjusts the penalty for inflation, pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (the 2015 Act). Under the 2015 Act, the EEOC, along with other federal agencies, is required to issue annual notices that adjust the maximum civil penalties that can be imposed for violations of certain regulations and laws.
According to the EEOC, the maximum penalty for a posting violation, adjusted for inflation since the initial penalty amount was set in 1997, should be $765.
According to the EEOC, because most employers covered by the regulations comply with the posting requirement, the economic impact of this Final Rule should be minimal, affecting only those who fail to post required notices in violation of the regulation and statue. However, companies with multiple locations and multiple notices required should be aware of this $315 increase in penalty for each separate offense, and should check to assure that all posting requirements are met at every facility and in a way consistent with the regulation, to avoid unintended consequences. Signed into law on May 11, 2016 by President Obama, the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) has been called the “most significant expansion” of federal intellectual property law in 70 years, and has set off a firestorm of articles on the topic.
However, despite this intended purpose, the DTSA leaves all state trade secret laws in place and simply layers the newly-created federal law on top of them. Includes an anti-retaliation provision for any employee who discloses a trade secret to his or her attorney while reporting a “suspected violation of law,” as long as the information is not further disclosed except under court order.
While the DTSA may provide some consistency among federal district courts on these actions, the “layering” of the Act with state laws is bound to create confusion. Employer should follow developments of cases under the DTSA – there is bound to be an increase in those numbers in the coming year – and should take affirmative steps to comply with the law’s notice provisions to stay ahead of those developments.


By now, everyone is aware that on May 18, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued its final rule updating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations. Although the final rule, to be published in the federal register on May 23, is over 160 pages long, the changes made to the existing regulations are not numerous. Under the FLSA, hourly employees generally are entitled to overtime pay in the amount of time-and-one-half for hours worked over 40 in a week. There currently exist certain exemptions from minimum wage and overtime pay for executive, administrative, professional, outside sales, and computer employees. To be considered exempt under Part 541, employees still must meet certain minimum requirements related to their primary job duties and, generally must be paid on a salary basis at not less than minimum amounts specified in the regulations. The definitions of and parameters for those Part 541 exemptions have not changed – even though there was some reference to possible changes when the revisions first were announced months ago. Part 541 also includes a “highly compensated” exemption which states that an employee automatically is considered to be exempt if that individual earns a certain amount of annual compensation, and customarily and regularly performs any one or more of the exempt duties or responsibilities of an executive, administrative, or professional employee. The Final Rule updated the salary level upon which the basic Part 541 exemptions are based, increasing it from the previous level of $455 per week (the equivalent of $23,660 per year) to a new level of $913 per week (the equivalent of $47,476 per year). The DOL has decided to permit nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) to satisfy up to 10 percent of the standard weekly salary level threshold, provided these forms of compensation are paid at least quarterly.
The “highly compensated” annual salary – over which the individual is considered to be exempt, so long as he or she performs one or more duties of an exempt employee – was set at $100,000 in 2004, and now has been raised to $134,004. Because many more individuals may be classified as non-exempt, an employer’s responsibility for tracking the work hours of their employees is likely to expand – so when in doubt, keep track. With this information as a starting point, employers can begin the real work of determining how to classify – or re-classify – their employees to assure that each individual entitled to overtime pay under the FLSA’s two-step salary-level-and-duties test is properly designated and paid. In a year where political rhetoric has included name calling, jeers, and physical threats – and all of these coming directly from the candidates themselves – what can employers do to manage workplace discussions about political issues before those discussions become disruptive?
A nationwide survey conducted by CareerBuilder and Harris Poll ahead of the 2012 election showed that nearly a quarter of the 7700 workers surveyed reported that they had been involved in a “heated discussion or fight” with a co-worker, boss, or someone else “higher up in the organization.” According to that same poll, 10% of the workers surveyed said that their opinions of a co-worker changed for the negative after discovering that person’s political preferences. Employers are caught in the Catch-22 of attempting to reinforce civil behavior – and possibly risking an NLRB charge in the process (see William Beaumont Hospital) – and allowing individuals to express their own thoughts and beliefs without implementing restrictions on the discourse, even if argument ensues.
The NLRA allows employees to discuss the terms and conditions of employment without interference by the company, even if that discussion includes some negative comments and criticisms. Harassment and anti-violence policies must be posted, disseminated, and consistently enforced. Additionally, discussions of the “terms and conditions of employment” protected under the NLRA are unlikely to include individual political beliefs, so some parameters can be instituted around such discussions. The key in the coming months will be to pay attention and to enforce workplace policies with a focus on work performance, and not individual political beliefs. To support a failure-to-accommodate claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act, a plaintiff must establish both a prima facie case of discrimination and an employer’s failure to accommodate it.
Months earlier, Wal-Mart’s procedure for determining accommodations had been centralized, so Kelleher’s her request was reviewed by corporate headquarters under the new procedure. Kelleher expressed that she was “nervous” that customers might make comments about her impairments. Although she began to work in the new position – with her “no ladder” restriction in place – she ultimately filed a lawsuit claiming that Wal-Mart had failed to accommodate her disability, and that she had been harassed and retaliated against, as well.
The lower court granted summary judgment in Wal-Mart’s favor on all claims, and that decision was upheld on appeal to the Eighth Circuit. The company fully documented the business-related reason for the decrease in Kelleher’s performance evaluation. In this case, the time and effort spent by the employer to take seriously the medical restrictions, continue to attempt to allow the plaintiff to work productively, consider alternative jobs when changing her position became appropriate, and making a general effort to treat plaintiff fairly, all culminated in a dismissal of Kelleher’s claims that the company discriminated against her by failing to accommodate her disability.
About Maria Maria Greco Danaher is a shareholder in the Pittsburgh office of the national law firm of Ogletree Deakins, and regularly represents and counsels companies in employment related matters. City manager Rick Clark “was a great mentor for me, but now I get to go back to doing what I was doing before,” he said.
It also manages 2.5 million square feet of commercial property, 350 apartments and nearly 20 residential town home or condominium associations.
That insubordination meant that Ismail was not meeting the legitimate expectations of his employer and, therefore, could not support a prima facie case under Title VII. The court also implied that the test may be unnecessary where the person judging the employee’s performance is the same individual accused of discrimination. In 2003, Ismail filed a lawsuit against the USPS, alleging that the local postmaster harassed and disciplined him because of his race and ethnicity. In December 2010, events came to a head when the postmaster conducted an observation of Ismail on his mail route. In June 2012, Ismail filed another EEOC charge after the postmaster issued a “letter of removal” to Ismail for a confrontation with a coworker, although Ismail grieved the letter and ultimately was reinstated to employment.
When Ismail failed to reply, the postmaster confronted Ismail with the workplace rules handbook and pointed out a section that required “courteousness in the workplace.” After that exchange, the postmaster then called the police, claiming that Ismail threatened to kill him. It determined that ordinarily, that factor must be established by an employee seeking to state a prima facie case of discrimination. The updated regulations are scheduled to become effective on December 1 of this year and are predicted to extend overtime pay protections to over 4 million workers within the first year of implementation. The threshold would increase incrementally each year until reaching the $47,476 amount on December 1, 2019, which then would be the ceiling until a formal rulemaking process was engaged in to revise it further.
Instead, it would require the Secretary of Labor to further rewrite the existing regulation, which could take a substantial period of time (the last rewrite took nearly a year), which would not be finalized before the final rule’s current effective date of December 1, 2016.
They should be aware of the change in threshold salary (to $47,476), and should plan to pay overtime wages to employees who fall under that threshold. Importantly, the rules require that employee medical information solicited for such programs is kept confidential.
Employers should note that employees with disabilities may need to have the notice provided in an alternative format (large print version, electronically formatted for screen readers, etc).
If that fact is accurate, the potential adverse effect on productivity and morale should be enough to grab every employer’s attention and concern. Instead, the report can be used as both a roadmap and a report card for assessing employers’ training efforts and the effects of existing anti-harassment training. Or just read through the 4 pages of Checklists, which provide a free and advance look at how the EEOC will assess harassment prevention programs, written policies, and investigation techniques going forward. However, the Task Force’s report, which urges a more holistic approach to harassment prevention, just might move the ball closer to the goal of making real change toward a safer, more civil, and genuinely productive workplace.
Voters cited fear of being “overrun” by immigrants, and also pointed to the EU as a hindrance to market globalization. Scotland and Northern Ireland – each of which heavily supported remaining in the EU – could attempt to exit the United Kingdom. While the referendum is not legally binding, the voters have spoken, the Prime Minister has resigned, and a transition team has been established.
Employers with employees in the UK should remain in touch with developments, and should be in communication with their European legal advisors to stay ahead of the expected transition.


Such notices must be posted in “prominent and accessible places” where notices to employees, applicants, and members are customarily maintained. The 2015 Act specifies that if the initial inflation-adjusted penalty amount is larger than a 150 percent increase over the previous maximum penalty, then the increase will be limited to 150 percent. But because that amount exceeds a 150 percent increase, the penalty is capped at the 150 percent increase, or $525 per violation. The DTSA ostensibly was created to establish a uniform national law regarding the protection of trade secrets, and to homogenize the complexities created by the wide variety of existing state trade secret laws.
Therefore, rather that pulling together the various state laws under a federal umbrella statute, the DTSA simply adds more legal requirements, potential litigation, and growing cost to the existing confusion already caused by the inconsistencies in state laws. Without such notice, an employer cannot obtain exemplary damages or attorney fees otherwise available in a legal action under the DTSA. For example, a plaintiff initially might bring both state and federal claims, adding to litigation cost and disruption, rather than choosing one or the other.
Much of the method used to determine who is entitled to overtime under the FLSA will stay the same – although the numbers used in those calculations have changed substantially. That means that an individual employee earning an annual salary less than $47,476 automatically is entitled to overtime for hours worked over 40 per week. But the rules governing workplace violence and unsafe behavior continue to apply to employee interactions to keep even protected discussion from escalating into physical confrontation and violence. Assure that managers are aware of and conversant in those policies, are able to recognize the difference between basic conversation and a more heated, argumentative exchange, and can take effective and prompt action to de-escalate those second types of situation. Boundaries can be set to preclude posting political signs or holding political rallies during work hours. But how far must an employer go to fulfill the “interactive process” requirement of the ADA in deciding upon and implementing a reasonable accommodation?
However, between 1997 and 2011, Wal-Mart accommodated Kelleher’s restriction, along with several other verbal requests for accommodations, including extra time during her shift to take medication and an extra 15-minute break in addition to her normal breaks. Upon her return, Kelleher’s permanent restrictions included no ladder climbing and no working in extreme temperatures, both of which were accommodated.
Corporate headquarters suggested that Kelleher be taken out of her position and placed on leave until a “suitable reassignment meeting her work restrictions” could be found. The duties of the new position were very similar to the stocker duties, but with some additional responsibilities, including occasionally staffing a customer check-out lane.
However, she provided no medical evidence that she was unable to perform the duties of the new position. Both ran the Las Vegas Marathon earlier this month, where he qualified for the Boston Marathon. That lawsuit ended when summary judgment was granted in favor of the USPS by a district court. During that observation, the postmaster saw that Ismail was about to walk on a snow-covered sidewalk and “began screaming at” Ismail that he should walk on the street where there was less snow.
A police officer interviewed both men, as well as Ismail’s immediate supervisor, who stated that although he had been in the immediate vicinity, he had heard no threat. The basis for that dismissal was that Ismail could not show he was meeting the USPS’ legitimate business expectations because he had disobeyed the postmaster’s directive in 2010. However, the fact that the postmaster was judging Ismail’s performance, but also was the same person accused of discrimination weighed against applying that test inflexibly. The updates include a provision under which employees are eligible for overtime compensation if they work over 40 hours in a week and earn less than $47,476 per year – an over 100% increase from the current salary threshold of $23,660.
Congress now is on recess until after Labor Day, so any action on this issue cannot take place for at least 6 weeks. They should work closely with human resources departments and legal counsel to effectively reclassify workers where necessary or revise wage levels to maintain current classifications. Once the notice requirement becomes effective, the EEOC’s rule does not require that employees get the notice at a particular time, but mandates that employees must receive the notice before providing any health information, and with enough time to decide whether to participate in the program.
In addition, the vote may complicate transatlantic data transfer for US companies with locations in the UK, coming so soon after the demise of the Safe Harbor Framework.
However, the actual separation requires the UK to invoke Article 50, a provision of the EU’s governing treaty that would formalize the results of the vote.
That amount will be readjusted next year (and in each subsequent year) to account for further inflation. Employers can support the civic involvement of employees without allowing the workplace to be disrupted by non-work-related events and discussion.
In fact, in 2009, a local human resources manager recommended that the request for extra break be denied for lack of medical support, but store management honored the request, allowing Kelleher to continue in her position, and implementing her requested accommodation. Kelleher’s store manager began to look for such a position, stating to the store’s personnel manager that he wanted to “find something that would work for” Kelleher. Ismail “believed that walking in the street was dangerous, so he took a couple of steps on the sidewalk” to avoid some snow-covered bushes and then walked back into the yard of the customer to whom he was delivering the mail.
The district court held that Ismail could not support a prima facie case of discrimination, and that USPS was entitled to summary judgment. Waiting until after an employee has completed a wellness program’s health risk assessment (HRA) or medical examination to provide the notice is illegal. Third, the effect of immigration law for citizens of EU countries working in the UK remains to be seen.
The notice requirement applies to agreements entered into after the effective date of the Act. For that incident, Ismail was put on “emergency placement” and sent him home for 17 days of unpaid leave.
The postmaster then put Ismail on administrative leave and the police officer escorted Ismail from the building. In fact,  the  pituitary gland is so significant that it is also known as the, “Master Gland”.
Each lobe of the pituitary  has its own functions:The Anterior Lobe is greatly involved in development of the body, reproduction and sexual maturation.
The hormones produced by the anterior lobe regulate growth and stimulate the adrenal glands,  thyroid glands, ovaries and testes. The anterior lobe also generates prolactin, which enables new mothers to produce milk.The Intermediate Lobe of the pituitary gland releases a hormone which stimulates the Melanocytes.
The antidiuretic hormone helps the body prevent dehydration by retaining water from our kidney and conserving the water in our bloodstream.



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