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6th Circuit Shores Up Deference to Plan Administrator Interpretation in ERISA Retiree Benefits Suit (US)

On May 10, 2018, the 6th Circuit vacated the District Court for the Western District of Kentucky’s 2013 decision in “Clemons v. Norton Healthcare Inc. Retirement Plan”, No. 16-5124 (6th Cir. 2018). The District Court had granted summary judgment in favor of a class of former Norton Healthcare workers who chose to retire early and … Continue Reading

NLRB Announces New Approach for Addressing Joint-Employer Test, Alleged Conflicts of Interest (US)

On May 9, 2018, the National Labor Relations Board announced an interesting development regarding two key ongoing issues, i.e., the Board’s joint-employer standard and the alleged conflicts of interest of Member William Emanuel. This announcement also sheds light on how the Board may change other areas of federal labor law in the future.… Continue Reading

First Circuit Nixes ADA Suit Finding that Disabled Employee Was Not A “Qualified Individual” (US)

Not pulling any punches, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit recently issued a decision finding against a disabled former Burger King franchise employee, explaining that although its admittedly harsh decision was a “lesson straight out of the school of hard knocks,” “[n]o matter how sympathetic a plaintiff or how harrowing his … 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

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Finds Use of Salary History To “Justify” Unequal Pay Rates Violates Federal Pay Discrimination Law (US)

On April 9, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an en banc ruling in Aileen Rizo v. Jim Yovino, case number 16-15372, holding that employers cannot justify a wage differential between men and women by relying on the employees’ respective wage histories alone. The plaintiff, a female consultant, learned that … Continue Reading

US Supreme Court Says No Overtime Pay for Auto Service Advisors

In a case of straightforward statutory interpretation, the U.S. Supreme Court held on April 2, 2018 in Encino Motorcars LLC v. Navarro that service advisors employed at car dealerships are exempt from the overtime pay requirement under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The dispute began in 2011, when service advisors employed by Encino Motorcars, … Continue Reading

Negotiating A Deal? Ensure You Respond Appropriately To Union Requests For Information (US)

Mergers, acquisitions, and sales can be a common event for employers. These types of deals involve many moving parts, from both legal and operational perspectives. Given how complex deals can become, it can be easy to overlook obligations to labor unions when they arise. One recent National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) decision illustrates a key … Continue Reading

The Evolving World of Colorado Non-Compete Agreements (US)

On March 8, 2018, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued much-needed guidance regarding C.R.S. 8-2-113(3) in Crocker v. Greater Colorado Anesthesia, P.C. (“GCA”). This statutory provision provides that “any covenant not to compete provision of an employment, partnership, or corporate agreement between physicians which restricts the right of a physician to practice medicine . . … Continue Reading

How Far Can An Employee Go To Protest Working Conditions? NLRB Provides Important Guidance (US)

The newly comprised National Labor Relations Board recently clarified a key outstanding issue for employers: when will an employee’s “outburst” or unprofessional conduct go so far that the National Labor Relations Act cannot protect the employee? The Board’s decision may disappoint employers who hoped the new Trump-appointed members would create a new test. Nevertheless, the … Continue Reading

Employee pregnancy – is ignorance the best defence?

They do say that maternity in the workplace can be an unsettling and confusing time, leaving you confronting new questions and situations that no one has really prepared you for, and where the guidance comes at you from a range of sources as wide as they are inconsistent. Anyway, enough about employers.… Continue Reading

How voluntary is voluntary overtime? – the disability discrimination risk

Back in June 2016, I wrote a piece on the Employment Appeal Tribunal’s decision in Carreras -v- UFPR concerning the extent to which an employer’s expectations can amount to a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) for disability discrimination purposes (specifically, as a trigger for the obligation to make reasonable adjustments). That post is here https://www.employmentlawworldview.com/when-overtime-goes-bad-employers-duties-to-clarify-expectations-for-disabled-staff/.… Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Applies DLSE Overtime Pay Calculation Requirements Retroactively (US)

Few issues strike fear into the hearts of payroll professionals like trying to calculate overtime pay, especially given the challenges associated with determining the “regular rate of pay,” which serves as the foundation for the calculation of overtime pay for non-exempt, hourly employees. On Monday, March 5, 2018, the California Supreme Court ruled in favor … Continue Reading

NLRB Developments Raise Questions About New Joint Employer Test (US)

The National Labor Relations Board experienced a setback on Monday, just two months after it overturned its predecessors’ employee-friendly test for determining when entities constitute joint employers. These developments create some uncertainty and, at a minimum, delay the Board from implementing the new test it created last December.… Continue Reading

Title VII Bars Sexual Orientation Discrimination, Says Second Circuit Court of Appeals (US)

Last spring, we reported that the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (which hears appeals from Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin federal trial courts) had become the first federal appellate court to conclude that Title VII’s sex discrimination prohibition also precludes discrimination based on sexual orientation. On February 26, 2018, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling … Continue Reading

NLRB Releases Slew of Advice Memoranda Providing Interpretative Guidance On Labor Issues (US)

During the first month and a half of 2018, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) released a torrent of memoranda authored by its Division of Advice (“Advice”), a section of the NLRB’s Office of the General Counsel.  As you may have read on our blog before, Advice memoranda are issued by the NLRB’s … Continue Reading

Uncooperative employee loses disability rights protection

The duty on a UK employer to make reasonable adjustments applies only when it knows or ought to know about an employee’s disability. Establishing actual knowledge is easy enough, but what about constructive awareness, where the employer obviously does not know but is nonetheless being expected to act as if it did? In Gallop -v- … Continue Reading

California Federal Court Finds That “Gig Economy” Workers Are Independent Contractors, Not Employees (US)

Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Postmates, DoorDash.  All are companies participating in what has been labeled the “gig economy,” where tasks are performed by workers on a short-term or freelance basis rather than through long-term or permanent employment.  As more people participate in this new, mostly smartphone application or Internet-based work model, litigation has followed centering on … Continue Reading

Recent First Circuit Decision Illustrates Overlap Between Title VII Gender and Sexual Orientation Claims (US)

“Sticks and stones may break some bones, but harassment can hurt forever,” began the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit’s January 25, 2018 (60-page) opinion in Franchina v. Providence Fire Department, a “sex-plus” discrimination case; the opening line foreshadowing the ultimate outcome of the appeal. In the underlying trial of this matter, … Continue Reading

ECHR keeps an eye on covert workplace surveillance, but for whose benefit?

Judge Dedov is the one to watch here.  He was the only one out of the European Court of Human Rights panel not responsible for a recent decision on employee surveillance which many may feel tilts European law around workplace monitoring altogether too far towards the interests of the employee. Ms Ribalda and her four … Continue Reading
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