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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

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

EAT approves use of indiscriminatingly inappropriate banter? Not really (UK)

If I told you that calling a colleague with links to the Traveller community a “fat ginger pikey” might not be harassment, you would be forgiven for picking up the phone to the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority. That is, however, one of the points we can take away from the EAT’s decision in Evans v Xactly … 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

Employee Data Subject Access Requests in the UK: Part 4 – how to deal with mixed data

In part 1 of this blog series, we asked how employers facing a Data Subject Access Request (DSAR) should be dealing with ‘mixed data’ cases, i.e. when a third party’s personal data is intertwined with that of the requester? Mixed data comes in many forms; for example, an email from John to a colleague saying … Continue Reading

Doing Business In California – When Can an Out-of-State Employer’s Non-Compete Provision Stand?

Most companies doing business in California are aware of California’s long-standing public policy in favor of employee mobility over an employer’s ability to impose a provision prohibiting an employee from going to work for a competitor post-termination, which is embedded in California Business & Professions Code Section 16600.  Particularly where the employer is headquartered outside … Continue Reading

Written confirmation not a reasonable adjustment for a queasy employee (UK)

Here is an interesting little question about how far an employer needs to formalise steps taken to accommodate an employee’s disability. Mr Brangwyn went to work for South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust in 2008 as Occupational Therapy Technician.  This was not directly a medical role but did involve some time escorting patients around the building … 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

US Supreme Court Begins New Term with Three Arbitration Cases Set for Oral Argument in October

We’ve been keeping you apprised of the many developments over the past few years coming from the United States Supreme Court and other courts concerning agreements between employers and their employees to arbitrate disputes arising out of the employment relationship.  The Supreme Court’s decision last term in Epic Systems v. Lewis, which we discussed in … Continue Reading

Municipal Right-to-Work Ordinance Struck Down by US Federal Appeals Court

Right-to-work laws prohibit employers from entering into union security or “closed shop” agreements with unions that require employees to join and financially support a union in order to obtain employment.  Twenty-seven U.S. states presently have such laws.  In some states that do not have these laws, cities have passed local right-to-work ordinances to apply to … 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
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