Archives: Recent Cases

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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

Landmark Same Sex Visa Application Judgment in Hong Kong

On 25 September 2017, the Hong Kong Court of Appeal passed down a unanimous judgment in the case of QT v. Director of Immigration to allow QT to obtain a dependent visa through her same-sex partner who works in Hong Kong. The spousal visa in question previously was granted by the Immigration Department only to heterosexual couples, … Continue Reading

First director sent to prison after MPF contributions default in Hong Kong

As Hong Kong employers are well aware, the Mandatory Provident Fund Scheme Ordinance provides that any employer that, without reasonable excuse, fails to make a timely payment of mandatory contributions commits an offence and could be fined up to HKD 450,000. Culpable bosses could also face up to four years’ imprisonment. The Mandatory Provident Fund … Continue Reading

Working from home not enough to support independent contractor relationship

The scrutiny by the Australian Courts of independent contractor relationships continues with the recent case of Putland -v- Royans Wagga Pty Limited. The Federal Court found in August this year that a husband and wife who provided home-based clerical work exclusively to one company were its employees rather than independent contractors. Royans Wagga’s business involved … Continue Reading

When a little knowledge is a dangerous thing – reliance on immigration law to justify dismissal

Every employer knows that UK law relating to illegal workers is big and fierce and that you take liberties with it at your peril. However, here is what can happen when you take it too seriously. In Abellio London Limited – v – Baker, the EAT has this month taken a look at whether an … Continue Reading

Federal Court Clarifies When Employers Must Pay Employees For Pre- or Post-Shift Activities

A federal court recently provided guidance on an issue that still vexes some employers, i.e., when they must pay employees for time spent on tasks immediately before or after a shift. Many employers require employees to take certain steps immediately before or after they start their actual shifts. For example, an employer might require an … Continue Reading

“One-Size-Fits-All” Return-To-Work Policies Cause An Extra Large Problem For Major US Airline

On November 3, 2017, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) filed a lawsuit against a major United States airline, alleging the company maintained policies that violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), and inked a $9.8 million settlement deal with the company the same day. The EEOC alleged that the company maintained a “100% return … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Takes Surprise Appeal From Texas Decision Overturning Overtime Rule

The Department of Labor (DOL) is appealing a Texas judge’s decision to toss out an Obama-era rule that would have extended overtime pay to some 4 million Americans. As we reported previously, the Secretary of Labor under former President Obama announced a rule raising the salary basis threshold for overtime exemption from $455/week to $913/week, … 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

The Hits Keep Coming: Third Travel Ban Partially Blocked by Two Court Rulings

For the third time in 2017, US District Courts have thwarted the Trump administration’s attempt to implement a travel ban. On October 17, 2017, the US District Court for the District of Hawaii issued a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) blocking most of the restrictions President Trump laid out in his newest September 24, 2017 travel … Continue Reading

Third Circuit Refuses to Give Progressive a (Rest) Break on Compensable Flex Time Policy

On October 13, 2017, the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled in a precedential decision that employers are obligated by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to pay their employees for breaks of 20 minutes or less, even if they are logged off their computers and free from any work-related duties. The … Continue Reading

Looking into disciplinary investigations – EAT’s lessons on when enough is enough

It is a basic plank of a fair disciplinary dismissal that it be preceded by a reasonable investigation.  But what is that, exactly?  How much detail must you include in your enquiry, how many witnesses must you grill, how far back do you have to go, how far must you challenge or test the evidence … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Weighs Validity of Employer Class Action Waivers; Justices’ Questions Suggest A Close Decision Ahead

Yesterday marked the first day of the United States Supreme Court’s new term, and the first case heard (Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis) was one of interest to employers around the country.  In several cases consolidated before the Court on appeal, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) found employer arbitration agreements that included waivers of … Continue Reading

US Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to Public-Sector Union Fees

On September 28, 2017, the US Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge to the so-called “fair share” fees public employee unions collect from non-members. The justices agreed to hear a case brought by non-union government employees in Illinois that targets fees that their state and many others compel such workers to pay to unions … 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

US Immigration Update: Executive Order Travel Ban, DACA and What Employers Need to Know

Executive Order Travel Ban Update In recent days, the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has once again weighed in and issued a preliminary ruling regarding the Executive Order Travel Ban (EO) challenge in Trump v. Hawaii. For background, please see our prior blog posts detailing the travel ban EO’s history and SCOTUS’ decision of June 26th. … 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

Texas Federal Judge Invalidates Obama-Era Overtime Regulations

In 2016, the Department of Labor issued long-awaited amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) regulations that would have raised the minimum salary for employees exempt under the so-called “white collar” exemptions from $455/week ($23,660 annually) to $913/week ($47,476 annually) (the “Final Rule”). The Final Rule also would have required an upward adjustment to … Continue Reading

Take time to understand Court Orders; do time for ignoring them

“The system will not work if people think they can ignore court orders and destroy evidence. Those who so can expect terms of imprisonment.”   Mr Dadi was an employee of OCS, an aviation cleaning contractor working at Heathrow for (amongst others) British Airways. OCS lost the British Airways contract to a competing firm Omni Serv … 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
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