Archives: Employment Policies

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National Labor Relations Board Issues More Useful Guidance on Handbooks and Other Policies (US)

Last December, the National Labor Relations Board issued a groundbreaking decision that gave both union and non-union employers more flexibility to protect their interests through employee handbooks and other written policies. This week, the Board’s top prosecutor – General Counsel Peter Robb – expanded on that decision and further clarified when an employers’ written policies … Continue Reading

Summertime Means Vacation – Is Your Vacation Policy Compliant? (US)    

It’s summertime in the U.S., school’s out, and employees are heading off to visit family, the beach, mountains, national parks, and everywhere else, which means it’s a good time for employers to review their vacation policies and practices. No federal or state laws require U.S. employers to provide employees with any vacation time, either paid … Continue Reading

Title VII Bars Sexual Orientation Discrimination, Says Second Circuit Court of Appeals (US)

Last spring, we reported that the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (which hears appeals from Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin federal trial courts) had become the first federal appellate court to conclude that Title VII’s sex discrimination prohibition also precludes discrimination based on sexual orientation. On February 26, 2018, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling … Continue Reading

NLRB Releases Slew of Advice Memoranda Providing Interpretative Guidance On Labor Issues (US)

During the first month and a half of 2018, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) released a torrent of memoranda authored by its Division of Advice (“Advice”), a section of the NLRB’s Office of the General Counsel.  As you may have read on our blog before, Advice memoranda are issued by the NLRB’s … Continue Reading

Does the US Winter Weather Impact Employee Wages? (US)

With much of the United States covered in ice and snow, many employers are questioning when they need to pay employees who are affected by weather-related disruptions. All throughout the United States employees have been late to work because they were stuck in the snow or their kids’ school was yet again delayed and businesses … Continue Reading

Holiday Party Tips to Ensure Too Much Cheer Does Not Turn Into a New Year’s Liability (US)

With the holiday season upon us, now is the time to assess your company’s upcoming holiday party, with the biggest concern being employee alcohol consumption. While there is no way to completely insulate your company from liability arising out of employer-sponsored holiday parties, other than a decision not to hold a holiday party all together … Continue Reading

Major Developments for Union and Non-Union Employers – NLRB Announces New Standards For Employment Policies, Joint Employment, and Signals Change In Election Rules

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) issued two groundbreaking decisions on December 14, which will give both union and non-union employers significantly more flexibility to manage their operations.  Earlier this week, the Board also signaled that it will revise the “quickie” election rules implemented in 2015 in the near future.  These developments will … Continue Reading

New NLRB General Counsel Issues Internal Memorandum Signaling Beginning of Shift in NLRB Policy

On December 1, the newly sworn-in General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) Peter J. Robb issued an internal NLRB memorandum (which was subsequently released to the public) that does more than just hint at changes to come in Board policy on many of the hot button issues that have been … Continue Reading

Sexual Harassment Claims Put Non-Disclosure and Arbitration Agreements Under Scrutiny, Resulting in a Flurry of Legislative Action

In the current climate where sexual assault and harassment allegations against Hollywood elite, Congressmen and news anchors have triggered a wave of “me too” allegations, several tools commonly used by employers to shield themselves from liability have come under attack, including non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and arbitration agreements. Many employers require employees to sign NDAs as … Continue Reading

Illinois Employers Face A Recent Rash of Class Action Lawsuits Filed Under State Biometric Information Privacy Law

Illinois enacted its Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) in 2008 to regulate, among other things, employer collection and use of employee biometric information.  Biometrics is defined as the measurement and analysis of physical and behavioral characteristics.  This analysis produces biometric identifiers that include things like fingerprints, iris or face scans, and voiceprints, all of which … Continue Reading

Paid Family Leave On the Rise – California and New York State Both Set to Expand Benefits Starting January 1, 2018

Come January 1, 2018, employees in California and New York will enjoy new and expanded rights to time off work, with pay, to attend to certain family needs.  New York, whose law was enacted in 2016 (see our prior post here), boasts its law as being the nation’s “strongest and most comprehensive” on paid family … Continue Reading

Winds Of Change Blowing At The NLRB? One Recent ALJ Decision Provides A Glimmer Of Hope

Many employers find the current environment created by the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) not only confusing, but often quite hostile, particularly its treatment over the past few years of employer work rules governing employee behavior in the workplace.  The Board has taken any increasingly narrow posture, most notably in the past three … 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

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
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