Archives

Third Circuit Refuses to Give Progressive a (Rest) Break on Compensable Flex Time Policy

On October 13, 2017, the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled in a precedential decision that employers are obligated by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to pay their employees for breaks of 20 minutes or less, even if they are logged off their computers and free from any work-related duties. The … Continue Reading

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

Supreme Court Weighs Validity of Employer Class Action Waivers; Justices’ Questions Suggest A Close Decision Ahead

Yesterday marked the first day of the United States Supreme Court’s new term, and the first case heard (Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis) was one of interest to employers around the country.  In several cases consolidated before the Court on appeal, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) found employer arbitration agreements that included waivers of … Continue Reading

US Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to Public-Sector Union Fees

On September 28, 2017, the US Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge to the so-called “fair share” fees public employee unions collect from non-members. The justices agreed to hear a case brought by non-union government employees in Illinois that targets fees that their state and many others compel such workers to pay to unions … 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

Senate Confirms William Emanuel as NLRB Board Member

On September 25, 2017, the U.S. Senate voted 49-47 to confirm William Emanuel to serve as a member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) through August 2021.  Once sworn in, Mr. Emanuel will join fellow recently-confirmed Member Marvin Kaplan, along with current NLRB Chairman Philip Miscimarra, to form a three member Republican majority on … 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

Third Time is the Charm?: New Presidential Proclamation Replaces Expiring Portions of Travel Ban

On September 24, 2017, the White House issued a Presidential Proclamation (Proclamation Travel Ban) to replace expiring portions of the President’s March 6, 2017 Executive Order travel ban (EO Travel Ban) and expand affect countries to eight (8), up from the six countries covered by the most recent EO Travel Ban. According to the White House, the … 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

Texas Federal Judge Invalidates Obama-Era Overtime Regulations

In 2016, the Department of Labor issued long-awaited amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) regulations that would have raised the minimum salary for employees exempt under the so-called “white collar” exemptions from $455/week ($23,660 annually) to $913/week ($47,476 annually) (the “Final Rule”). The Final Rule also would have required an upward adjustment to … Continue Reading

NLRB Provides Useful Guidance on Work Rules Protecting Customer Information

Last week, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) clarified when employers may prohibit employees from disclosing sensitive customer information. Unlike many recent NLRB decisions, this one contains some good news for employers. The NLRB recognized that despite recent precedent, employers might still protect certain sensitive customer information. It also shed light on how employers can … 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

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

Senate Confirms Trump NLRB Nominee Marvin Kaplan; Delays Confirmation of William Emanuel

On June 19, we predicted that the Trump administration was expected to formally announce attorneys Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel as candidates to fill the two vacant slots on the National Labor Relations Board. As predicted, President Trump did, in fact, nominate Messrs. Kaplan and Emanuel to the Board earlier this summer. The nominations went … Continue Reading

Two US Federal Agencies disagree as to whether Title VII as a matter of law, reaches sexual orientation discrimination

This past May, 2017, The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit granted en banc (meaning all the judges on the Second Circuit will hear the case instead of a three-judge panel) a review in Zarda v. Altitude Express, the case of a New York skydiving instructor who was fired from his job because … Continue Reading

USCIS Releases Update Of Form I-9: What Employers Need To Know

On July 17, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced the release of a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. This is the second version of the “smart” I-9 initially released in November 2016. (For details regarding the “smart” functions please see our previous blog post). Employers can use the revised … Continue Reading

Are Employers Going to be Required to Accommodate Medical Marijuana Use?

State-registered medical cannabis patients may now sue a private employer for discrimination under Massachusetts’ law if they are fired for their off-the-job marijuana use, according to landmark ruling issued July 17, 2017, by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Citing the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Act, the court states that patients shall not be denied “any right … Continue Reading

National Labor Relations Board Moves A Step Further Away From Its Current Pro-Union Composition

On July 13, the National Labor Relations Board took another step to shift away from the staunchly pro-union agency that has existed over the last eight years. This occurred when the Senate labor committee considered the nominations of Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel, whom the Trump Administration had put forward for the two vacant Board … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Marshalls out More Plaintiffs’ PAGA Rights

On July 13, the California Supreme Court issued its long awaited decision in Williams v. Superior Court. The Court greatly expanded a plaintiff’s discovery rights in the early stages of litigation. For context, Marshalls of CA, LLC, a retailer with approximately 130 stores and more than 16,000 nonexempt employees, was sued by Williams under PAGA. … Continue Reading

Federal Court Holds a Full Trial on Issue of Website Accessibility to Visually Impaired Users

A U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida has held that Title III of the ADA, applicable to “Public Accommodations” applies to the Winn-Dixie Companies’ website, finding that the company has an obligation to make their website accessible by individuals with disabilities who use computers, laptops, tablets and smart phones. The policy must … Continue Reading

Federal Court Overturns NLRB, Says Jimmy John’s Employees’ Disloyal Conduct Not Protected 

In a closely-watched case, on July 3, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit refused to enforce a National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) decision in which the Board found MikLin Enterprises, Inc. (“MikLin”), owner of 10 Jimmy John’s franchises in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area, violated the National Labor Relations Act … Continue Reading

Hearing Set Before Senate Committee on NLRB Nominations

Updating our June 19 post, as expected, President Trump nominated Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel to fill the two currently-vacant seats on the National Labor Relations Board.  A hearing on their nominations is now scheduled for July 13 before the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee.  If recommended by the HELP committee, the nominees … Continue Reading

US Department of Labor Resumes Issuing Opinion Letters To Assist Employers Navigate Federal Wage & Hour and Leave Laws

Newly appointed Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced on June 27 that the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) would resume issuing opinion letters in response to employers and employees who submit inquiries seeking fact-specific interpretations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).  Opinion letters are official, interpretative … Continue Reading
LexBlog