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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

NLRB Rules That Barring A Former Hotel Employee Who Sued Her Employer From The Premises Is An Unfair Labor Practice

On May 16, 2017, a two-member majority (Members McFerran and Pearce) of the National Labor Relations Board held that it was an unfair labor practice for the Grand Sierra Resort &Casino (GSR) to bar a former employee from its premises after she filed a class and collective action lawsuit against the employer.… 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

What Was Your Prior Salary? No Longer a Question You Can Ask When Hiring in New York City.

Last month, the New York City Council approved legislation that bars employers from asking prospective hires to disclose their past salary. In passing the measure, New York City joins Massachusetts (see our post here), Puerto Rico and the city of Philadelphia in banning the question from job interviews and on applications. (Also see our post here … Continue Reading

Pay History: An Improper Factor for Employers To Consider In Starting Salaries? Not Necessarily, According To the Ninth Circuit

As we previously reported to you, pay history has recently become a topic of much discussion among federal, state and municipal legislatures. Many jurisdictions around the country are considering laws that would quell employer inquiries into candidate pay history. The underlying purpose of these laws is to level out the historical pay gap between men … Continue Reading

House passes bill to allow private employers to offer paid time off in lieu of overtime time pay

On May 2, 2017, the House passed H.R. 1180, The Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017, which would allow private employers to offer paid time off, also known as “comp time,” instead of time-and-a-half wages for overtime hours. Congress had previously amended the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1985 to allow public-sector employees to be … Continue Reading

One Racial Slur May Be Sufficient To Create a Hostile Work Environment, Says Second Circuit

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held last week that a single racial slur might provide sufficient basis for a hostile work environment claim.  In the case, Daniel v. T&M Protection Resources, LLC,  Plaintiff Daniel, a black, gay man from the Caribbean, alleged he was harassed at work on the basis … Continue Reading

How Much Money Did You Make At Your Last Job? Some Say These Questions Do Not Pay It Forward.

Can employers ask a prospective employee what they have earned at prior jobs? For most employers, the answer is currently – yes. But, if you are among the large group of employers that do ask about past earnings, take heed. A growing number of states and municipalities and even the federal legislature are considering new … 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

Supreme Court Says Appellate Courts Must Defer To District Court Decisions Regarding Enforceability of EEOC Subpoenas

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) bestows upon the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) the right to subpoena records from employers against whom formal charges of discrimination have been filed; the EEOC also can subpoena employer representatives for interviews.  The purpose of this subpoena power is to allow the EEOC … 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

Federal Appeals Court Decision Regarding NLRB Workplace Investigation Confidentiality Policies Fails To Answer Critical Question For Employers

In 2015, we reported to you about the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) decision in the Banner Estrella Medical Center case, which placed significant limits on employers’ ability to request employee confidentiality during workplace investigations. As a reminder, in the Banner case, the NLRB found that Banner Estrella maintained a policy of instructing employees involved in … Continue Reading

President Trump Strikes Down Federal Contractor Blacklisting Rule

As anticipated, on March 27, 2017, President Trump repealed the so-called “blacklisting” rule that required federal contractors to disclose labor violations when bidding on new or renewed government contracts worth at least $500,000 (we reported on this topic on March 7). The President struck down the blacklisting rule, along with three other regulations aimed at protecting the … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Reins in Administrative Overreaching of NLRB

On March 21, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that one-time acting National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel Lafe Solomon improperly served as the agency’s Acting General Counsel while he awaited U.S. Senate confirmation to a permanent appointment, upholding a U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruling that most of his three-year tenure … Continue Reading

Travel Ban Executive Order Update: The Constitutional Tug-of-War Continues

Last week we saw another round in the battle between the Executive and Judiciary branches over the President’s travel ban impacting nationals Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. Federal District Courts in Hawaii (State of Hawaii v. Trump) and Maryland (International Refugee Assistance Project (“IRAP”) v. Trump) stayed the implementation of the revised Travel/Refugee … Continue Reading

EEOC Pilots New Online Inquiry and Intake Program in Five Major US Cities

On March 13, 2017, the EEOC launched a new Online Inquiry and Intake System, making it easier for employees to seek assistance from the agency regarding claims of workplace discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. The new system is available to individuals who live within one hundred miles of the EEOC’s offices in Charlotte, Chicago, New Orleans, … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Expands Reach of Dodd-Frank Anti-Retaliation Protections

Adding to an existing split among the federal appeals courts, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled on March 8, 2017 that employees who make internal reports about suspected violations of the federal securities laws and other anti-fraud statutes are covered by the “whistleblower” protections of the Dodd-Frank Act (Dodd-Frank), even if … Continue Reading

Federal District Court Order Suggests It May Put Out To Pasture California’s Law Preventing Internet Publication of Hollywood Actors’ Ages

In a recent decision, United States District Court Judge Vince Chhabria issued a preliminary injunction, temporarily suspending AB 1687, a California law requiring certain online entertainment websites to remove ages of Hollywood actors, upon request by those individuals. The law’s stated purpose is to prevent age discrimination in the entertainment industry. IMDb.com, Inc., owned by … Continue Reading

If at First You Don’t Succeed: New Executive Order Replaces January Travel Ban

On March 5, 2017, the White House issued a revised Executive Order (New EO) entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” The New EO revokes and replaces the President’s prior EO of the same name, which which was issued on January 27, 2017 (January 27 EO) to significant consternation and … Continue Reading

Senate Approves Measure to Kill Obama-era Contractor Disclosure Rule

In another roll-back of Obama-era regulations, the Senate voted last night, 49 to 48, to repeal the contractor disclosure rule.  This rule required companies bidding on federal contracts valued at more than $500,000 to disclose violations of 14 federal labor laws, including those pertaining to workplace safety, wages and discrimination. Finalized in August and blocked … Continue Reading
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