Archives: Employment Policies

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Costly SEC Settlement Reminds Publicly-Traded Employers of Dodd-Frank Requirements

On April 3, 2015, we reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had sent letters to numerous publicly-traded U.S. companies requesting their nondisclosure agreements, severance and settlement agreements, and other contracts entered into after the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”) to determine whether the documents unduly interfere … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Goes It Alone – Upholds NLRB Decision Holding That Class and Collective Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements Are Unlawful and Unenforceable

The court is the first federal appellate court to accept the NLRB’s position on the issue The long-running teeter-totter battle between National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) and employers regarding the lawfulness of class and collective action waivers in employment arbitration agreements continues.  Joining the fray this week is the U.S. Court of Appeals … Continue Reading

No Harm No Foul: US Supreme Court Rules Plaintiffs Must Show Actual Harm

Although not an employment case, the Supreme Court’s May 16 decision in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins carries substantial employment law implications, particularly for employers who conduct background checks on employees that implicate the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).  Click here for a Squire Patton Boggs Alert discussing the Court’s decision and its potential impact, including how it may … Continue Reading

Time Off as an ADA Accommodation? You Better Be-Leave It!

Many employers maintain policies that restrict the amount of time an employee can take off from work, or that prohibit employees who are ineligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act to take time off from work at all even when ill or injured.  But a new resource document issued by the EEOC … Continue Reading

EEOC Warns US Employers That State Law Cannot Be Used to Justify Transgender Discrimination

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) reminded employers this week in no uncertain terms that they are required to provide transgender workers with access to bathrooms that corresponds with their gender identity.  A failure to do so – the EEOC warned – runs the risk of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights … Continue Reading

NLRB Majority Reaffirms Standard Applied in Employer Rules Cases Over Dissent Advocating New Standard

It’s a nearly universal truth that all employers have certain rules they have put in place to govern certain aspects of the workplace. Such rules include workplace conduct rules, rules relating to use of social media, solicitation and distribution policies, and the list goes on.  Many if not most employers inform employees of these rules … Continue Reading

Whose Tip Is It? Restaurant Leaders Urge 9th Circuit for Rehearing En Banc on the Tip Pooling Issue

Restaurant owners rejoice. The battle over extending tip-pooling arrangements to include employees who do not customarily and regularly receive tips may be reopened in the Ninth Circuit.  Again. The dispute over tip-pooling arrangements stems from § 203(m) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which allows employers to establish tip-pools “among employees who customarily and regularly … Continue Reading

Are you Sitting Down? Supreme Court Clarifies California’s “Suitable Seating” Requirements

On April 4, 2016, the California Supreme Court decided Kilby v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc. [PDF], a long‑awaited decision clarifying the Industrial Welfare Commission’s (IWC) “suitable seating” requirement.  The requirement is found in the IWC wage orders.  Section 14(A) of nearly all the wage orders states that: “All working employees shall be provided with suitable seats … Continue Reading

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
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