Archives: Employment Policies

Subscribe to Employment Policies RSS Feed

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

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
LexBlog