Archives: Employment Policies

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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

Arizona Voters Approve Paid Sick Leave for Employees and Minimum Wage Increase

The election results are in, and President-elect Donald Trump’s victory over Secretary Hillary Clinton has the nation abuzz and undoubtedly will for the foreseeable future.  However, the Presidential race was not the only notable race or measure on the ballot.  Although the dust hasn’t quite settled from last night’s historic vote, there a number of … Continue Reading

Momentum Continues Against Validity of Class and Collection Action Waivers – Delaware District Court Judge Refuses to Enforce Class Action Waiver

We have been closely monitoring the battle over the legality of class and collective action waivers under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has been steadfast in its position that such waivers run afoul of the NLRA.  The Fifth Circuit was the first Circuit Court to weigh in, consistently … Continue Reading

State Law Roundup: Illinois’ New Leave Laws and Non-compete Warning; Sick Leave Comes to Berkeley and St. Paul

Illinois passes two new leave laws; bars non-compete agreements for low wage workers. First, the Child Bereavement Leave Act, which became effective July 29, 2016, requires Illinois employers with 50 or more employees to grant up to two weeks (10 days) of unpaid leave to eligible employees who have lost a child (and 6 weeks … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Widens Circuit Split on Enforceability of Class and Collective Action Waivers In Individual Employment Arbitration Agreements

Ninth Circuit joins Seventh Circuit in holding that class and collective action waivers in arbitration agreements violate the National Labor Relations Act and therefore are unenforceable. The question is straightforward enough:  does an employer violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by requiring that employees sign an agreement to arbitrate any claims concerning their wages, … Continue Reading

Costly SEC Settlement Reminds Publicly-Traded Employers of Dodd-Frank Requirements

On April 3, 2015, we reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had sent letters to numerous publicly-traded U.S. companies requesting their nondisclosure agreements, severance and settlement agreements, and other contracts entered into after the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”) to determine whether the documents unduly interfere … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Goes It Alone – Upholds NLRB Decision Holding That Class and Collective Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements Are Unlawful and Unenforceable

The court is the first federal appellate court to accept the NLRB’s position on the issue The long-running teeter-totter battle between National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) and employers regarding the lawfulness of class and collective action waivers in employment arbitration agreements continues.  Joining the fray this week is the U.S. Court of Appeals … Continue Reading

No Harm No Foul: US Supreme Court Rules Plaintiffs Must Show Actual Harm

Although not an employment case, the Supreme Court’s May 16 decision in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins carries substantial employment law implications, particularly for employers who conduct background checks on employees that implicate the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).  Click here for a Squire Patton Boggs Alert discussing the Court’s decision and its potential impact, including how it may … Continue Reading

Time Off as an ADA Accommodation? You Better Be-Leave It!

Many employers maintain policies that restrict the amount of time an employee can take off from work, or that prohibit employees who are ineligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act to take time off from work at all even when ill or injured.  But a new resource document issued by the EEOC … Continue Reading

EEOC Warns US Employers That State Law Cannot Be Used to Justify Transgender Discrimination

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) reminded employers this week in no uncertain terms that they are required to provide transgender workers with access to bathrooms that corresponds with their gender identity.  A failure to do so – the EEOC warned – runs the risk of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights … Continue Reading
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