Archives: Employment Policies

Subscribe to Employment Policies RSS Feed

California Latest State to Adopt No-Ask Law

On October 12, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a salary privacy law prohibiting California employers from seeking or relying on salary history information, including compensation and benefits, about an applicant for employment. Agents of the employer, such as recruiters, are also prohibited from seeking for this information. Further, upon reasonable request, employers must provide … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Refuses to Defer to DOL’s Interpretative Guidance on FLSA Tip Credit Regulation

The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) provides that employers ordinarily must pay their non-exempt employees at least the federal minimum hourly wage of $7.25.  However, employers may pay “tipped employees” as little as $2.13 per hour if they regularly earn more than $30 per month in tips, and then make up the difference between the … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Explains: The ADA Is Not A “Medical Leave” Statute

On September 20, 2017, the Seventh Circuit in Severson v. Heartland Woodcraft, Inc. held that a long-term leave of absence is not a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  As we all know, the ADA prohibits employers from discriminating against “qualified individuals” with disabilities, defining such individuals as applicants or employees who, with … Continue Reading

Recently-Released NLRB Advice Memo Favors Reversal of Precedent on Weingarten Rights For Non-Union Workers

On September 7, 2017, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) released several advice memoranda issued previously by the Board’s Office of the General Counsel to local field offices.  Advice memos are used by the Board’s General Counsel to guide local offices on Board policy, and may serve to instruct the offices on a … Continue Reading

DC Circuit Says Nurses Not Improperly Denied Weingarten Rights During Peer Review Investigation Interview

One of the long-standing rights under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) is for union-represented employees to be accompanied by a union representative at workplace investigatory interviews that the employee reasonably believes may result in disciplinary action.  These rights are referred to as “Weingarten” rights after the case, NLRB v. Weingarten, Inc., in which the … Continue Reading

Class Action Waivers: Two More Fifth Circuit Opinions Favor Waivers Over NLRB Challenges

In early August, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued two decisions regarding class and collective action waivers.  Like its earlier decisions in D.R. Horton, Inc. and Murphy Oil USA, Inc., both decisions supported employers’ use of waivers to eliminate group lawsuits against them in employment cases.  The two new cases, … Continue Reading

Attention Kmart Shoppers! Oregon Passes Law Regulating Retail Worker Scheduling Practices

Oregon is the first state to mandate that the state’s largest employers in the retail industry, as well as in the hospitality and food service industries – those with more than 500 workers  – provide employees with their schedules, in writing, at least a week ahead of time.  They’ll also have to give workers a … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Reins In NLRB After It Declares Basic Workplace Civility Policies Illegal

As we have reported to you in the past, workplace conduct policies have become a hotbed of trouble due to the NLRB’s recent focus on their potential for chilling union activity. In one such recent action, the NLRB attacked several employee handbook policies of employer T-Mobile USA, Inc./MetroPCS Communications, Inc. (MetroPCS is an affiliate of … Continue Reading

NLRB’s Ruling on Workplace Recording Policy Survives Appellate Court Review

Like many employers, Whole Foods maintained a policy that prohibited employees from making audio or video recordings at work.  The purpose of the policy, as explained by Whole Foods, was not to stifle employees, but rather to promote open communications by allowing employees to speak freely without concern of being secretly recorded.  In 2015, the … Continue Reading

Managing Political Speech In The Workplace

In the current political environment, employers and employees alike may be wondering – what, if any, political conversation in the workplace is acceptable or appropriate?  Tones of “freedom of speech,” “freedom of association,” on one hand, intersect with tenors of “workplace harassment” or simple annoyance, on the other.  Although like the political debates themselves, the … Continue Reading

Industrial Commission of Arizona Issues Long-Awaited Proposed Rulemaking Regarding Arizona’s Paid Sick Leave Statute

We previously reported that all Arizona employers will be required to make paid sick leave available to their employees beginning on July 1, 2017. The law requires that businesses with 14 or fewer employees provide at least 24 hours of leave annually, and businesses with 15 or more employees provide at least 40 hours of … Continue Reading

U.S. Appellate Court Declares That Title VII Prohibits Employment Discrimination Based On Sexual Orientation

On April 4, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit became the first federal appellate court to hold that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a prohibited form of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII).  And it did so in no … Continue Reading

NLRB Will Not Hack Into Prior Decision Regarding Employee Email Use During Non-Work Time

Network security and protection of confidential information are among the reasons many companies place limits on how and when employees may use company-provided email.  However, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) has largely ignored if not outright rejected these legitimate concerns, finding that under certain circumstances, they are outweighed by employees’ right to … Continue Reading

San Jose Opportunity to Work Ordinance:  What You Need to Know

On November 8, 2016, voters in the City of San Jose approved the “San Jose Opportunity to Work Ordinance.”  The Ordinance is well-intentioned, but open to significant interpretation.  This is important, given the potential exposure to steep penalties and legal liability for failure to comply.  Here, we break down what you need to know, and … Continue Reading

Extended Comment Period Gives Employers More Time to Weigh In On EEOC’s Proposed Guidelines On Unlawful Harassment

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has provided additional time for public comment on its recently-issued proposed guidelines on unlawful harassment.  The 75-page draft, which issued on January 9, 2017, expands upon existing interpretations of many aspects of workplace harassment, including prohibited bases for harassment, conduct constituting illegal harassment, the role of social media, … Continue Reading

Los Angeles Joins Growing Number of States, Counties, and Cities Supporting “Ban the Box” Movement

  New ordinance prohibits private employers in the City of Los Angeles from inquiring about applicants’ criminal history before making a conditional offer of employment. On January 22, 2017, the “Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring” ordinance took effect in Los Angeles. The ordinance limit the ability of employers to inquire about a job applicant’s criminal … Continue Reading

Why Can’t I Terminate My Employee for An Unexcused Absence!?

The California Court of Appeals’ recent decision in Bareno v. San Diego Community College is a good reminder for employers about the pitfalls of terminating an employee based on a “technical” policy violation and how easy it is for an employee to put an employer on notice that the employee is taking a protected California Family … Continue Reading

It’s Time to Update Your Workplace Safety Program to Meet OSHA’s New Anti-Retaliation Guidelines

On January 13, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued its latest guidelines for employers to help them keep their workplaces “free of retaliation, including retaliation against employees who engage in activity protected under the 22 whistleblower laws” that OSHA enforces.  While adoption of OSHA’s recommendations is not mandatory, they are intended to … Continue Reading

OSHA Reporting Rule Now In Effect – Injunction Request Denied

Texas is currently a hot spot for legal challenges to U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) administrative rules.  Just this past week, a judge in the Eastern District of Texas granted a preliminary injunction and ruled that the DOL’s Overtime Rule was to be put on hold because the state and business plaintiffs were able to … Continue Reading

New Overtime Regulations Put On Hold – U.S. Federal Court Judge Enjoins Implementation of FLSA Regulations

As we reported previously, in September 2016, 21 U.S. states filed a lawsuit to enjoin the implementation of the long-anticipated Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) regulations, which were scheduled to go into effect on December 1, 2016. The states argued that the Department of Labor’s regulations (the “Final Rule”) would force states and businesses to … Continue Reading

EEOC Issues New Enforcement Guidance on National Origin Discrimination

On November 18, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued new Enforcement Guidance regarding national origin discrimination. The EEOC also published a parallel question and answer page, as well as a fact sheet on national origin discrimination applicable to small businesses.  Although not carrying the force of law, like a statute or regulation, the Enforcement … Continue Reading

New FLSA Overtime Regulations Set to Become Effective In Just Days, But Further Developments Are Anticipated

As we have previously reported, the final FLSA overtime rule is set to go into effect on December 1, 2016—now just days away.  The new rule raises the salary threshold for workers to qualify as exempt from overtime pay requirements from $455 to $913 per week (or from $23,660 to $47,476 per year), and increases … Continue Reading

Recreational Marijuana Use Legalized in Four States, But Employers’ Ability to Enforce Workplace Drug Policies Undisturbed

While the presidential election took center stage earlier this week, five states – Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada – voted on whether to legalize the use of recreational marijuana.  Voters in four of these states – all but Arizona (where medical marijuana is already legal) – approved the measures. The laws passed in the … Continue Reading
LexBlog