We continue our year-end countdown of 2008’s top 10 labor and employment law stories with numbers 8 and 7:
8. Wage and hour lawsuits continue to dominate federal court filings: Few if any companies do wage and hour perfectly. Save yourself the headache of defending a class action for misclassified employees or off-the-clock work and make 2009 the year your business audits its wage and hour practices.
7. The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act becomes law: In May, President Bush signed GINA into law, one of several significant statutory employment law changes during the year. GINA adds “genetic information” to the list of classes of employees protected by the federal employment discrimination laws. It makes it unlawful for an employer to fail or refuse to hire, or to discharge, any employee, or otherwise to discriminate against any employee with respect to the compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment of the employee, because of genetic information with respect to the employee. Expect the EEOC to issue regulations interpreting this statute at some point in 2009.