ELW Contributors Dan Pasternak and Melissa Legault named National Law Review “Go-To Thought Leaders”

Congratulations to Squire Patton Boggs labor and employment attorneys and long-time Employment Law Worldview contributors Dan Pasternak and Melissa Legault, both of our Phoenix, Arizona office, for being selected by the National Law Review (NLR) as 2019 “Go-To Thought Leaders” for their consistent coverage of emerging employment and labor law issues.  The award spotlights 75 exceptional legal authors selected from a pool of more than 100,000 news articles published in 2019.  This is the second year the NLR editors formally recognized the unique talents of less than 1% of the publication’s 15,000 thought leaders in a wide array of legal practices. Continue Reading

“A positive attitude may not solve all your problems but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort” – dealing with “attitude” at work, Part 1 (UK)

So said German lithographer Herm Albright in a rare moment’s cynicism, but of course if you really want to get on your colleagues’ nerves, a hostile or negative attitude is far more to be commended.

So here is a question arising from a matter on which we were recently instructed. Client’s employee has a persistently difficult attitude – rude, micro-(and indeed macro-)aggressive, sullen, lots of tutting and sighing, a distinct snippiness to his tone and all this still in his probationary period. Off to a flier, clearly.  When the employer’s concerns were raised with him, back came quite a lot more lip plus the assertion that it was all the product of some still unspecified mental health condition. Continue Reading

Year-End State Law Roundup: Get Ready for 2020! (US)

Minimum Wage, Paid Leave Law Developments, California Compliance, Illinois Update, and More…

 

Minimum Wage

With federal minimum wage stuck at $7.25, state and local governments continue to raise minimum wages. Our current state and local minimum wage chart, showing changes that will be going into effect for the new year, is available here.

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NLRB’s LA Specialty Produce Decision Provides More Clarity on Employee Handbook Rule Standards (US)

Employee RightsOn October 10, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB” or “Board”) decision in LA Specialty Produce Company provided some employer-friendly clarification of its standard for assessing the lawfulness of employee handbook provisions under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”), and in doing so, categorized two specific types of policies as generally lawful.  In this case, the Board analyzed the following two handbook rules maintained by LA Specialty Produce to determine whether the rules improperly impeded or chilled employees’ NLRA rights to engage in protected concerted activity for the purpose of their mutual aid and protection:

  • Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure: “Every employee is responsible for protecting any and all information that is used, acquired or added to regarding matters that are confidential and proprietary of [LA Specialty Produce] including, but not limited to client/vendor lists…”
  • Media Contact: “Employees approached for interview and/or comments by the news media, cannot provide them with any information. Our President … is the only person authorized and designated to comment on Company policies or any event that may affect our organization.”

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Employers Can Expect a Trio of Joint Employer Rules in December 2019 (US)

In recent years, there has been increasing attention to the standard applied by regulators when determining when two unrelated business entities share sufficient control over a group of employees such that they may be considered “joint employers.” On November 20, 2019, the federal government released its Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions – Fall 2019 (“Agenda”), which reports on the actions administrative agencies plan to issue in the near and long term. According to the Agenda, three agencies – the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”), and the Department of Labor (“DOL”) – each plan to issue regulations governing joint employment in the near future. The NLRB and DOL have been working on clarifying this issue within their own spheres for some time, while the EEOC is addressing the issue now for the first time.

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Are the grounds for dismissal the rationale or the reason? (UK)

Exploring the difference between why you do something and why it happens sounds like one of those abstract A-level Philosophy questions about whether you are a prince dreaming you are a butterfly or the other way around, but without the ability to ask whether anyone cares anyway. However, the question is also key to determining a number of possible Employment Tribunal claims around retaliation, in particular for whistleblowing or trade union activity.

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High temperatures expected in Belgium this winter – social elections are approaching

Although we still don’t have a new federal government in Belgium (elections were on 26 May but who’s counting …), we are already heading towards the next vote. Social elections, that is, to appoint the employee representatives in the Health & Safety Committee and Works Council.

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Private investigations video doesn’t leave employer in dire straits (EU)

In January 2018 we wrote about Ribalda –v- Spain, a European Court of Human Rights case in which a number of supermarket employees were awarded compensation for breach of their privacy rights. They had been stealing quite handsomely from their employer over some months, as they freely admitted, but nonetheless thought it entirely improper that the supermarket should be allowed to use covert video footage of them to prove it [here].

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