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"Sex Stereotyping" and Title VII Protections

Gender identity has become an increasingly prevalent issue, in the news and across social media. In Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court landmark case recognizing the fundamental right to marry for same-sex couples, Justice Kennedy began the majority opinion by holding that "The Constitution promises liberty all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons ... to define and express their identity." 135 S.Ct. 2584, 2593 (2015). The ability to define one's own identity is broader than a simple demarcation between competing sexual orientations. Not surprisingly, employers have begun to find themselves tasked with accommodating the transitioning or transitioned employee in recognition of that individual's protected liberties, often in the face of antagonistic coworker responses, without creating an unreasonable interference with the employer's business.

STEPS FOR COMPLETING A SETTLEMENT WITH A MINOR

Kentucky law requires that all minor settlements be approved by a court. Court approval is needed no matter the amount of the settlement, the parties involved, and regardless of whether a civil action has been filed. Minor settlements and the administration of the estates of minors are governed by KRS 387.010 through KRS 387.330.

FMCSA Establishes Mandatory Database for Drug and Alcohol Violations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently published a final rule that establishes a drug and alcohol clearinghouse for the holders of a Commercial Driver's License (CDL). The Commercial Driver's License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse will serve as a central repository for records of violations of the FMCSA drug and alcohol testing program by CDL holders. Compliance with the Clearinghouse rules will be required as of January 6, 2020. The rule is designed to identify the drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) who are ineligible to operate a CMV because of a drug or alcohol violation.

LIMITS ON THE ENFORCEABILITY OF AGREEMENTS TO ARBITRATE INJURY CLAIMS

Fifty years ago, pre injury arbitration agreements were unenforceable in most states. Basically, this was because courts believed that the right to have claims resolved in court was a fundamental constitutional right that could not be waived before a claim arose. But in the 1970's, that view began to change. The federal government and the states enacted laws making arbitration agreement provisions enforceable. The enforceability of arbitration clauses has since then been upheld in all manner of contracts, most controversially in the securities industry and the consumer goods market.

ELECTRONIC LOGGING TO BE REQUIRED BY 2017

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration scheduled the publication of the final version of its rule mandating electronic logging devices (ELDs) for December 16, 2015. Motor carriers and the drivers of commercial motor vehicles will have 2 years from that publication date - December 16, 2017 - to comply with the new rule.

U.S. Dept. of Labor to Revitalize Overtime Protection for Employees

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) guarantees eligible employees a minimum wage and overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a work week. However, there are a number of exemptions to that guarantee. The "white collar" exemption contained in 29 C.F.R. 541 is based in part on a minimum salary level, with those exceeding it potentially being exempted from FLSA overtime protection. More than a decade has passed without any change in the minimum salary level, while at the same time the federal minimum wage has increased. This has resulted in certain low-paid salaried employees finding themselves without overtime protection. In March 2014, President Obama directed the U.S. Department of Labor to update FLSA regulations, and in particular the "white collar" exemption, in order to modernize and simplify the regulations while maintaining the FLSA's intended overtime protections.

Examinations Under Oath

In Adams v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., the Court of Appeals recently addressed Examinations Under Oath. In Adams, two passengers that were injured in an automobile accident were denied Basic Reparations Benefits for noncompliance with the terms of the applicable insurance contract "by failing to cooperate in the investigation of their claims when they did not participate in an Examination Under Oath (EUO...)." Adams v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., No. 2013-CA-002152-MR, 2015 WL 3638004, at *1 (Ky. Ct. App. June 12, 2015). The insurance company argued that "the EUO was a requirement under the contract of insurance [it] had with its insured. The trial court granted [the insurance company's] motion for declaratory and summary judgment on this issue. The Appellants then brought this appeal asserting that nothing in the Motor Vehicle Reparations Act (MVRA) allows for a dismissal by the court on these grounds." Id.

Nationwide Truck Parking Shortage Clashes with Kentucky's Parking Statute and Proposed Bill

he US Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration recently surveyed state departments of transportation concerning the lack of truck parking capacity. The survey results indicate that at least 37 states have a shortage of official parking for tractor-trailers. In addition, where there is official parking, it is overcrowded. According to the survey, states also report parking shortages in public rest areas, private truck stops, highway weigh stations, commercial areas, and designated pullout areas.

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