Archives: Employment Policies

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Another First from California: San Francisco Becomes First City in U.S. to Approve Fully Paid Parental Leave

New mothers and fathers will soon be entitled to receive fully paid and protected parental leave under the legislation approved unanimously by San Francisco’s board of supervisors. The legislation makes San Francisco the first city in the U.S. to require employers to provide six weeks of fully paid leave for new parents when the city’s … Continue Reading

Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation (Prevention), Oh My! FEHA Expansion Effective April 1

I recently read that April 1 is the only day of the year where people stop and actually consider what they see online with real scrutiny. Well, this is no April Fool’s joke:  the Fair Employment and Housing Council has established new regulations [pdf] effective April 1, 2016. The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) creates … Continue Reading

FCRA Violations: A Hidden Cost of Background Checks and Credit Reports

If you haven’t done so recently, now is a good time to review your company’s use of background checks and credit reports. The increasing number of class actions and high-dollar settlements highlight the risks employers face when obtaining background checks or credit reports on current and potential employees.  Failure to comply with the federal Fair … Continue Reading

Employees may want to take political action against an employer for even suggesting contribution to the PAC committee this year!

With the emotionally charged nature of the current election cycle where so much is at stake for both Democratic and Republican candidates, it’s a good time to review what Political Action Committees (“PAC”) are and what employers can and can’t ask of their employees in terms of participating in PACs. So what are PACs? PACs … Continue Reading

Employers beware – scope of UK vicarious liability law significantly extended

Almost exactly two years ago we reported on the Court of Appeal’s decision in Mohamud – v – WM Morrisons Supermarkets.  The Court found that Morrisons were not vicariously liable for a serious and unprovoked assault on Mr Mohamud by one of its employees in 2008.  This was because there was not a sufficient connection between … Continue Reading

Driving Uber Crazy: Worker Class Action Lawsuits Ramp Up

Since it was launched back in 2009, Uber Technologies, Inc. has been in the national spotlight for developing and implementing its revolutionary “ridesharing” mobile application. Uber continues to appear in headlines for a multitude of reasons, many of which are desirable, and at least one of which is not: getting sued by its workforce. Despite … Continue Reading

NLRB Not Waffling on Pre-employment Class-Action Waivers Despite Fifth Circuit Reversals

Nearly two years after Waffle House Inc. employee Carrie Harris filed an unfair labor practices charge, the Georgia-based breakfast chain was unable to butter up the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Harris’ complaint alleged that Waffle House’s arbitration agreement that employees were required to execute as a condition of their employment violated the National Labor … Continue Reading

The Politics of ‘Talking Politics’ in the Workplace: Some Basic Steps for Navigating Political Speech at Work

Tis the season for political debates. If it hasn’t happened to you yet, it soon will.  You’ll go into the break room at work and a group of people will be arguing in increasingly heated tones:  should it be Hillary or Bernie?  Trump or Cruz?  Is Bernie too old?  Hillary not “man enough”?  What about … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Joins the Joint Employer Discussion

On Wednesday, January 20, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued an administrator’s interpretation [pdf] that includes guidelines for when companies should be considered “joint employers” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA).  The joint employer debate has been gaining steam over the past year.  … Continue Reading

New York State and City Employment Law Update

The beginning of 2016 is a busy year for New York employers.  Both the state and New York City have enacted a variety of laws expanding protections for employees.  Employers need to review their policies to ensure they are in compliance. NEW YORK STATE Effective January 19, 2016, the New York State Human Rights Law … Continue Reading

French Supreme Court decides that failure to display workplace rules rendered dismissal unfair

A recent case before the French Supreme Court acts as a stark warning to employers of the importance of complying with the requirements in the French Labour Code to display their internal rules in the workplace. After the discovery of empty bottles of alcohol in the employees’ changing room, an employer required one of its … Continue Reading

Microdosing: Silicon Valley’s Risky Race for Enhanced Workplace Creativity and Productivity

Cutting edge Silicon Valley appears to be taking a page out of the 1960’s Haight-Ashbury playbook. According to a recent article by Rolling Stone magazine, some Silicon Valley professionals are using tiny amounts, or “microdoses,” of LSD or other psychedelic drugs to increase productivity and boost creativity and innovative thinking.  With the rise of the … Continue Reading

Executive Action: Obama’s Legacy and 2016 Predictions (Part 2 of 2)

As promised in our previous post, today we conclude our predictions on President Obama’s 2016 executive activity.  While we believe the President’s final executive orders will target immigration and perhaps even corporate political expenditures, we predict executive agency action will cover a broad range of pressing labor and employment issues.  With federal legislative gridlock expected … Continue Reading

Much ado about nothing in EU decision on workplace email monitoring

“Private Messages at Work can be Read by EU Employers” blared the BBC online yesterday in the sort of alarmist over-simplification normally best left to the Daily Mail. Mr Barbulescu worked for an unnamed business in Romania. He was instructed to set up a Yahoo Messenger account for business purposes only.  The company’s rules made … Continue Reading

You Better Sit Down For This…If You Can! California Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Wage Order “Suitable Seating” Requirements

In January of 2014, the Ninth Circuit requested input from the California Supreme Court regarding California’s “suitable seating” requirements found in Section 14 of most IWC Wage Orders. The question comes from a pair of appeals, one on behalf of CVS cashiers and the other on behalf of JPMorgan bank tellers, each alleging violations of … Continue Reading

Acas issues guidance on “legal highs” in the workplace

Don’t trouble yourself with this. It’s only a page long and the messages for employers are shorter still:- (i)         many “legal highs” are actually illegal, but the distinction is broadly irrelevant for workplace purposes.  You should include them as barred under your drugs and alcohol policy, but focus on their impact on the employee’s behaviours … Continue Reading

There Really Is Such a Thing as a Free Lunch (for Employers), Says Third Circuit Court of Appeals

On November 24, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (which hears appeals from federal district courts in Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) issued a precedential opinion addressing when and whether an employer must pay an employee for meal periods. The case was filed by a group of corrections officers at a prison in … Continue Reading

How do you like them Apples?  Apple, Inc. wins dismissal of class action brought by its employees at retail stores in California

“iPhone.”  “Technological innovation.”  “Jobs.”  These are the words that come to mind when you think of technology giant Apple, Inc.  You can now add “employee theft screening” to this list.  On November 7, the Honorable William Alsup of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California issued an order granting Apple’s Motion … Continue Reading

New York City Commission on Human Rights Clarifies Which Positions are Exempt from Newly Effective Credit Check Law

As we covered in a prior blogpost in May 2015, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law an expansion of the New York City Human Rights Law impacting how employers may use credit checks.  The “Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act,” which became effective on September 3, 2015 (the “Act”), makes it … Continue Reading

Raising the Minimum Wage – Congress to Consider a Proposal to Increase the Federal Minimum Wage to $15 per hour by 2020

Humor me for a second.  Imagine you are an employee earning either an annual salary or an hourly wage.  You are in the middle of your year-end review with your supervisor.  You sit down and discuss fun things like strengths, weaknesses, travel destinations and perhaps (but hopefully not) the company holiday party.  Then it comes … Continue Reading

Reasons to Cheer – California Governor Signs Bill Requiring Professional Sports Franchises to Classify Cheerleaders as Employees

If you enjoy employment law AND sports, you may be enjoying this summer more than any other; and if you are also an aficionado of employee classification issues then I KNOW you are enjoying this summer more than any other. Typically, the headlines in the sports world during the summer months are dominated by free … Continue Reading

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Rules That Sexual Orientation Discrimination Violates Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act

    In a potentially groundbreaking decision that increases legal protections throughout the U.S. for lesbian, gay and bisexual employees, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruled on June 15, 2015, that existing civil rights law bars sexual orientation-based employment discrimination.  The EEOC addressed the question of whether the ban on sex discrimination in Title VII … Continue Reading

Employee or Independent Contractor? US Department of Labor Provides New Guidance

“[M]ost workers are employees under the [Fair Labor Standards Act’s] broad definitions.” The debate over classification of workers as employees versus independent contractors has yet another chapter.  Last month, it was the California Labor Commissioner who sent ripples across the rideshare industry by telling Uber Technologies, Inc. that its drivers are employees, not independent contractors.  … Continue Reading

California Alert: Governor signs amendments to new paid sick leave law – changes effective immediately

California employers, take note.  Emergency legislation amending and clarifying certain provisions of the recently-effective Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act was signed into law Monday (July 13) by Governor Brown, and went into effect immediately.  Among other changes, AB 304 amends the Act as follows: Regarding accrual of sick leave: Provides that an employer may use … Continue Reading
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