With the dog days of summer in full force here in Connecticut ("it’s the heat AND the humidity"), it seemed an appropriate time to roll out another installment of the "Quick Hits" feature to touch on a few items you might have missed over the last week or so:

  • One of the biggest stories that you’ll start hearing about is the lawsuit brought by the EEOC yesterday against AT&T in federal court alleging that the company’s no-hire policy for those employees who retired under an early retirement plan violated ADEA because it discriminated against older workers.  (The lawsuit itself is available here.) Ross Runkel’s blog does a pretty good job this morning  spelling out the details.  For companies that have similar policies, this is definitely an issue to keep a close eye on.
  • The Connecticut  Employee Rights Blog reported on a recent Illinois decision that held that a "release signed at termination which includes a waiver of the employee’s right to bring a collective action is enforceable and bars such an action."  reports.  Decisions like this might allow employers to breathe a sigh of relief that when employees sign releases, those releases will bring finality to certain claims.
  • For employers that offer severance pay, one of the issues that never gets talked about  with any detail is the tax implications of such severance pay. A recent article offers a suggestion to employers and employees to reduce FICA taxes by structuring some or all of these severance payments as supplemental unemployment benefit payments ("SUB-Pay").  Well worth a read if your company is struggling with how to deal with the tax issues associated with layoffs.
  • Without much fanfare, the EEOC has updated a portion of its Compliance Manual addressing the timeliness of filing pay discrimination claims in light of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay. (You can view portions of the Compliance Manual here.) For employers who are wondering about when such claims can be brought (and when the statute of limitations might run), the Manual provides some useful examples.
  • And finally, there was a good article recently in Law.com that summarizes a lot of the same issues I discussed at last week’s webinar on social media and employment law.  Nothing revolutionary, but if you’re looking for a post that helps you spot some issues, it’s a pretty good start.

(Photo courtesy of MorgueFile)