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US Supreme Court to Reconsider Key Agency Deference Standard

Our colleague Brent Owen at the FrESH Law Blog (which covers perspectives on Environmental, Safety, and Health law) authored the post below addressing the US Supreme Court’s upcoming decision in Kisor v. Wilkie, which will address the Auer standard of deference that is applied by the courts to administrative agencies’ interpretations of their regulations.  Although Kisor involves the Department of … Continue Reading

Arizona Court of Appeals Strikes Down Law Restricting Local Governments From Requiring Private Employers To Provide Benefits That Exceed State Law Requirements (US)

In 2006, Arizona voters approved a ballot measure which resulted in the passage of the Arizona Minimum Wage Act and established a state-wide minimum wage (currently $11.00/hour).  This law also permitted individual Arizona counties, cities, and towns to regulate both the minimum wage and the employee benefits to be provided by private employers located within … Continue Reading

Former NLRB Chairman Pearce Withdraws From Consideration for Open Board Seat (US)

Former National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) two-term Chairman and Member Mark Gaston Pearce announced on February 6, 2019 that he would not seek renomination to the Board.  Mr. Pearce – a former union-side lawyer who was appointed by President Obama – served until the end of his second term on August 27, 2018.  … Continue Reading

H-1B Update: DHS Publishes Final Rule Amending Application Process for upcoming H-1B Lottery (US)

The United States Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) issued a press release on January 30, 2019, announcing revisions to the H1-B visa program, which were made in direct response to President Trump’s April 17, 2017 “Buy American and Hire American” Executive Order (the “Order”). As we discussed in our previous blog post about the then-proposed … Continue Reading

NLRB Reinstates Prior Test Determining Whether Workers Are Independent Contractors (US)

On January 25, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board returned in yet another area to a standard that existed before the “Obama Board.” In SuperShuttle DFW, Inc., the Board vacated the test it had adopted five years ago to determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee for the purposes of the … Continue Reading

Two Recent Decisions Highlight Procedural Pitfalls in Employment Litigation (US)

Would-be plaintiffs in two employment decisions – one from the Fifth Circuit, one from the Ninth Circuit – were recently reminded that, no matter how solid the facts of their case, they can still lose on a technicality. The first case, Lee v. Venetian Casino Resort, LLC, considered whether a plaintiff’s Title VII claim was … Continue Reading

NLRB Issues Important Decision Narrowing What Constitutes “Protected Concerted Activity” (US)

Majority Rules That Skycap’s Complaint About Bad Tipping Was Not Protected Concerted Activity The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) kicked off 2019 with an important decision that significantly narrowed the standard for when an individual employee’s conduct will be found to be “protected concerted activity” under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA” or … Continue Reading

US Supreme Court Unanimously Rules in Favor of Workers, Holding Trucking Company’s Arbitration Agreement Exempt From Federal Arbitration Act

On January 15, 2019, the United States Supreme Court held in New Prime Inc. v. Oliveira that a trucking company could not compel its drivers, which it classified as independent contractors, to arbitrate their wage and hour claims against the company because Congress intended to exempt all interstate transportation workers from the Federal Arbitration Act … Continue Reading

Ninth and Eleventh Circuits: Reporting To Work Impaired, Failing Drug Test, And Failing To Request Accommodation Doom Employees’ ADA Discrimination Lawsuits

As most readers of this blog are aware, the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and analogous state laws prohibit employers from discriminating against qualified employees (and applicants) based on known physical or mental disabilities, and also require employers to provide those employees with reasonable accommodations for their disabilities.  Although broad in their protections, these laws … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Upholds Parties’ Right To Contract In First Arbitration-Related Decision Of Term (US)

As the Supreme Court’s October 2018 term opened, we wrote about three significant cases on its docket involving arbitration, each of which are likely to have an impact on the arbitration of employment-related claims.  The Court issued its decision in the first of those cases on January 8, 2019.  In his first opinion since joining … Continue Reading

Uncertainty Remains As DC Circuit Weighs In On NLRA Joint Employer Standard (US)

Much attention over the past few years has been given to the ongoing saga concerning the standard applied by National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) to determine when two unrelated business entities share sufficient control over a group of employees such that they may be deemed “joint employers” under the National Labor Relations Act … Continue Reading

NLRB Issues New Strategic Plan and Provides More Time for Comment On Proposed Joint-Employer Rule (US)

On December 7, 2018, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued its 2019-2022 Strategic Plan, which focuses on four primary goals.  First, the Board targets a 20% decrease, collectively, in the time required to resolve unfair labor practice charges from filing to resolution.  This collective decrease is to be accomplished through incremental decreases of 5% … Continue Reading

Healthcare Worker’s Vaccine Refusal Not Immunized by Americans with Disabilities Act (US)

On December 7, 2018, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit unanimously held in Hustvet v. Allina Health System that an employer did not unlawfully terminate an employee who refused to receive a rubella vaccination.  The plaintiff, a healthcare specialist working with potentially vulnerable patients, requested an accommodation exempting … Continue Reading

Kentucky Supreme Court Dismisses Labor Unions’ Challenge to State Right-To-Work Law (US)

In 2017, the State of Kentucky enacted a right-to-work law, which, as you will recall from our prior posts (see here), bars employees from being required as a condition of employment to belong or financially contribute to a labor union.  (Kentucky was the 27th US state to pass a right-to-work law; in 2017, Missouri also … Continue Reading

Snooping Employee Dooms Her Title VII Claims By Unauthorized Disclosure of Personnel Files (US)

On November 15, 2018, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit unanimously held in Netter v. Barnes that an employee did not engage in “opposition or participation” activity protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when she reviewed and duplicated confidential personnel files without authorization.  … Continue Reading

Three New State Laws Legalize Marijuana Use, Sparking More Confusion and Igniting Further Conflict With Federal Law (US)

The mid-term elections are still on people’s minds, as recounts and run-offs for federal congressional and state gubernatorial candidates are finally wrapping up.  Meanwhile, and largely taking a media-coverage backseat to these high-profile races, many new state initiatives became law as a result of the mid-terms, three which involved legalizing marijuana for recreational or medical … Continue Reading

Title VII and LGBT Rights: The Current Landscape (US)

The U.S. Supreme Court currently is contemplating whether to review three employment discrimination cases involving what, if any, protection Title VII extends against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.  See R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission et al., case number 18-107 (considering transgender discrimination under … Continue Reading

Unanimous Supreme Court:  ADEA Applies to All State Employers, Regardless of Size

In its first opinion of the 2018 term, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Mount Lemmon Fire Dist. v. Guido, No. 17-587, slip op. at 1-7 (November 6, 2018) that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) applies to all political subdivisions of states, regardless of size, rejecting an argument that the 20-employee jurisdictional threshold … Continue Reading

Join Us on October 10 for Our Annual NLRB Update Webinar (US)

The change in administration following the 2016 election resulted in a change in the political makeup of the National Labor Relations Board.  That, in turn, led to a number of significant changes in the law, affecting a wide range of labor relations issues and impacting both unionized and non-union employers.  Please join us on October 10 … Continue Reading

Post-Epic Systems, Kentucky Supreme Court Holds That Under State Law, Employers Cannot Require Mandatory Arbitration Agreements as a Condition of Employment (US)

Earlier this year, the United States Supreme Court held in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis that employers can require employees to agree to arbitrate disputes between them solely on an individual basis and to waive class and collective action litigation procedures without running afoul of federal law.  (See our post here).   Addressing an issue not … Continue Reading

National Labor Relations Board Proposes New Joint-Employer Rule

Rule Would Return To Direct and Immediate Control Test, But Adds New Requirement That Such Control Be “Substantial” On September 14, 2018, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”) published in the Federal Register a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“Notice”) proposing a new rule to be applied by the NLRB to determine whether … Continue Reading

USCIS Scaling Back Premium Processing for Most H-1B Petitions (US)

In a recent announcement, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) advised the previous suspension of premium processing for cap-subject H-1B petitions will continue to February 19, 2019 and will be expanded to include additional H-1B petitions. The expansion will take effect on September 11, 2018. However, USCIS will continue premium processing of pending H-1B petitions … Continue Reading
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