Significant new requirements for physician noncompete agreements in Indiana took effect on July 1, 2020, including mandatory language allowing a physician to purchase “a complete and final release” from a noncompete agreement “at a reasonable price.” The law also includes several provisions related to notices that employers must provide to patients and doctors when a physician’s employment has terminated or contract expires.
On December 18, 2019, in American Consulting, Inc. d/b/a American Structurepoint, Inc. v. Hannum Wagle & Cline Engineering, Inc., et al., the Indiana Supreme Court provided clarity about when liquidated damages become unenforceable penalties.
In Perkins v. Memorial Hospital of South Bend (Case No. 20S-CT-233), a split Indiana Supreme Court ruled in favor of an employee who was discharged after testifying against Memorial Hospital of South Bend at a coworker’s unemployment compensation hearing. In its decision, the supreme court reiterated and reaffirmed Indiana’s strong presumption of at-will employment and discussed, but declined to create, an exception for voluntary witness testimony at unemployment hearings.
On April 6, 2020, Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb issued an updated “Stay-at-Home Order,” Executive Order 20-18 (E.O. 20-18), superseding the Stay-at-Home Order that he issued on March 23, 2020. In announcing the updated order, Governor Holcomb noted that COVID-19 had spread to almost every county in Indiana.
On March 23, 2020, Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb issued a “Stay-at-Home Order,” Executive Order 20-08 (E.O. 20-08). Under the order, Indiana residents are directed to stay in their homes except to engage in certain “Essential Activities,” including taking care of others, obtaining necessary supplies, and for health and safety reasons. Individuals are also permitted to leave home to work for certain “Essential Business or Operations,” and to carry out certain permitted activities, including “Minimum Basic Operations.” Under the order, nonessential business operations may continue only to the extent that employees or contractors are performing activities exclusively at their own residences.
On December 3, 2019, in Heraeus Medical, LLC v. Zimmer, Inc., the Indiana Supreme Court reaffirmed the “blue pencil doctrine,” likening the doctrine to an eraser and stating that Indiana courts may only delete language from overbroad restrictive covenants; they cannot reform or add to such agreements.
On April 15, 2019, the Indiana Court of Appeals issued a ruling that significantly developed restrictive covenant law in two areas: whether courts may reform contracts (as opposed to blue-penciling them) and whether non-solicitation provisions can include prospective customers.
Employers, you see this movie all too often. You tolerate, and then ultimately discharge, a poor-performing employee who displays a bad attitude. Unfortunately, supervisors have not documented the employee’s prior instances of insubordinate and adversarial behavior. In addition, he hurt himself on the job, filed a workers’ compensation claim, and presented medical restrictions. In his mind, he cannot believe that he was the problem. So he sues, alleging that you failed to accommodate his disability and unlawfully terminated his employment.
In a matter of first impression before the court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently held in Richardson v. Chicago Transit Authority, Nos. 17-3508 and 18-2199 (June 12, 2019), that obesity is not a protected disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) unless a plaintiff can demonstrate that it is caused by an underlying physiological disorder or condition. With the decision, the Seventh Circuit brought clarity to a novel issue previously unresolved for employers in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.
In 2019, a number of states’ minimum wage rates will increase.
The Department of Justice has finally broken its long silence on website accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the news is both good and bad.
In the recent case of Guzman v. Brown County, No. 16-3599 (March 7, 2018), the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court’s grant of summary judgment to an employer on claims brought under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
For the first time since a 2012 decision by the Supreme Court of the United States, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals elaborated on and applied the Supreme Court’s four-factor analysis to determine whether a position is properly considered a ministerial roles. In its recent decision in Grussgott v. Milwaukee Jewish Day School, Inc., No. 17-2332 (February 13, 2018), the Seventh Circuit broke a 2-to-2 tie among the four factors and held that the circumstances in the case of a teacher at a Jewish school supported the conclusion that the teacher’s position was subject to the ministerial exception.
In E.T. Products, LLC v. D.E. Miller Holdings, Inc., the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that noncompete agreements signed by sellers of a business were enforceable under Indiana law, but the sellers did not violate the agreements. In doing so, the court provided valuable considerations for drafting valid noncompete agreements in the context of a sale of business.
Today’s employers must run their businesses within the competitive environment in which they operate while affording employees an ever-increasing array of leaves. Yet, running a business without a full complement of employees is difficult.