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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

U.S. Department of Labor Forms New Interagency Compliance Office

This week, U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced that the Department of Labor (DOL), in collaboration with other federal employment agencies, was creating an Office of Compliance Initiatives (OCI). The DOL, through its various divisions, oversees compliance with and enforces the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Occupational Safety and … Continue Reading

New York Releases Package of Draft Model Policies for Employers and State Contractors in Response to Sexual Harassment Law Adopted in April 2018

On August 23, 2018, the New York State Department of Labor (“NYSDOL”) released written guidance addressing new requirements under New York State law that are designed to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.  The material outlines proposed minimum standards, training requirements and other compliance materials for the new state law.  This release comes as the … Continue Reading

NLRB Clarifies Key Developing Issues for Union and Non-Union Employers (US)

As most union and non-union employers know, the National Labor Relations Board has updated its standards in several respects over the past year. For some of these updates, the Board has not comprehensively clarified how far they extend or when they apply. In an effort to help clarify employers’ obligations, the Board’s top prosecutor, General … Continue Reading

Minutes Count: California Supreme Court Rejects De Minimis Doctrine for Wage Claim

On July 26, 2018, the California Supreme Court ruled in Troester v. Starbucks Corporation that the federal de minimis doctrine does not apply to a California employee’s class action wage claims.  This ruling will have widespread impact, particularly on those employers with large numbers of non-exempt employees such as retailers and food service providers, as … Continue Reading

California’s New Candor: Disclosing Rehiring Ineligibility for Employees Terminated for Harassment

Your company did the right thing: One of your employees reported a violation of your company’s sexual harassment policy, HR did an investigation and found the report credible, and the alleged harasser’s employment was terminated.  The employee is gone, but what do you do if the terminated employee’s potential new employer calls for a reference … Continue Reading

NLRB Announces New Pilot ADR Program

On July 10, 2018, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced the launch of a new pilot program to enhance the use of its existing alternative dispute resolution (ADR) program. Since 2005, the NLRB has offered assistance to parties in settling unfair labor practice matters pending before the Board through ADR procedures.  According to the … Continue Reading

President Trump Nominates D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh for United States Supreme Court

If confirmed, the Court would have a solid pro-business, pro-employer majority President Trump’s nomination on July 9, 2018 of District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court – President Trump’s second nominee in just a year and a half  – is likely to make the top U.S. … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Issues Controversial Ruling On LGBT Rights (US)

In 2012, David Mullins and Charlie Craig visited a Colorado bakery to order a custom cake for their upcoming wedding reception. The owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop refused to design a wedding cake for the same-sex wedding reception, saying he would not use his artistic talents to design a cake that conveyed a message supportive of … Continue Reading

United States Supreme Court Issues “Epic” Decision for Employers

For the past six years, employers have challenged the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB”) position that the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) prohibits employers from requiring employees to forego class and collective action and instead individually litigate their employment-related claims.  (Our prior coverage on this issue has been extensive – see here.)  After a long … Continue Reading

NLRB Takes a Bite Out of Big Apple Restaurant, Finding Terminations Following Employee Emails Expressing Workplace Concerns Violated the NLRA (US)

A unanimous decision by a three-member panel of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) recently found a New York City restaurant to have violated the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA” or the “Act”) when it fired four employees after each of them emailed a group of other restaurant employees and owners expressing their positions on various … Continue Reading
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