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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

Federal Court: Franchisors and Other Businesses Do Not Create Joint Employment Via “Brand Protection” and Indirect Control (US)

Earlier this decade, hardly a week passed without some court or agency interpreting the joint employment doctrine more expansively than before. Although the National Labor Relations Board created many of these headlines by attempting to treat McDonald’s as the joint employer of its franchisees’ employees and expanding its joint employment test, many courts and other … Continue Reading

US Supreme Court Strikes Down Fair Share Fees for Public Sector Unions

By Wm. Michael Hanna, Emily R. Spivack, and Dylan Yepez On June 27, 2018, the United States Supreme Court decided in a 5-4 decision that public sector unions may no longer collect so-called “fair share” fees from non-members.  The decision will have broad implications for public sector unions and employers. Fair share fees are charged … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Labor Expands Association Health Plans

On Tuesday, June 18, 2018, The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) released its long-anticipated final rule on association health plans, allowing small businesses to band together by geography or industry to create health plans as if they were a single large employer. Association health plans will not be subject to the Affordable Care Act’s essential … Continue Reading

Employment Litigation Impacted By U.S. Supreme Court Decision Reining In Successive Attempts at Class Litigation

In 1974, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in American Pipe & Construction Co. v. Utah, 414 U.S. 538, that the timely filing of a class action complaint tolls the applicable statute of limitations for all persons encompassed by that complaint. The impact of that ruling was that potential class members did not have to intervene … Continue Reading

National Labor Relations Board Issues More Useful Guidance on Handbooks and Other Policies (US)

Last December, the National Labor Relations Board issued a groundbreaking decision that gave both union and non-union employers more flexibility to protect their interests through employee handbooks and other written policies. This week, the Board’s top prosecutor – General Counsel Peter Robb – expanded on that decision and further clarified when an employers’ written policies … Continue Reading

California’s New “ABC Test” For Independent Contractors Is Anything But Elementary

On April 30, the California Supreme Court adopted in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court the so-called “ABC test” to determine whether individuals are employees or independent contractors for purposes of determining the applicability of California’s Wage Orders.  The Wage Orders govern important employment issues including California’s unique daily overtime regimen and its requirements … Continue Reading

Summertime Means Vacation – Is Your Vacation Policy Compliant? (US)    

It’s summertime in the U.S., school’s out, and employees are heading off to visit family, the beach, mountains, national parks, and everywhere else, which means it’s a good time for employers to review their vacation policies and practices. No federal or state laws require U.S. employers to provide employees with any vacation time, either paid … 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

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

Arizona Law Aimed at Curbing Service Dog Fraud May Be All Bark, No Bite (US)

Under federal and Arizona state law, persons with disabilities can bring service animals—all breeds of dog and miniature horses—into places of public accommodation (businesses open to the public) even if the business otherwise excludes pets. No specific training or certification program is required to qualify as a service animal, nor are such animals required to … Continue Reading

New York Mandates Sexual-Harassment Prevention Requirements for Private Employers (US)

This month both the State of New York and New York City have passed separate legislation designed to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. Both laws require employers to conduct mandatory sexual harassment training for all employees. On April 10, 2018, Governor Cuomo signed the Budget Bill, which contains a mandate for employers in the … Continue Reading

Welcome Katharine Liao

We are excited to welcome Katharine Liao as a partner to our Labor & Employment practice in our New York and Los Angeles offices. Her arrival plays into our firm’s continued investment in strengthening our employment capabilities, particularly in wage and hour class action litigation. Katharine will be a valuable asset on relevant issues for … Continue Reading

US Senate Confirms John Ring as NLRB Board Member

With a 50-48 vote along party lines, on April 11, 2018, the United States Senate confirmed management-side labor lawyer John Ring as the newest member of the National Labor Relations Board.  With Member Ring’s confirmation, the NLRB is now back to full strength with five members, comprised of three Republican-nominated members and two Democrat-administration appointees.  … 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 DOL’s Voluntary Wage Underpayment Reporting Program – PAID – Now Underway

As we blogged earlier this year, in March 2018, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) announced a new program, referred to as PAID (or, Payroll Audit Independent Determination), under which employers may voluntarily apply for DOL assistance in resolving potential claims for wage underpayment under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  As previously … Continue Reading
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