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New NLRB General Counsel Issues Internal Memorandum Signaling Beginning of Shift in NLRB Policy

On December 1, the newly sworn-in General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) Peter J. Robb issued an internal NLRB memorandum (which was subsequently released to the public) that does more than just hint at changes to come in Board policy on many of the hot button issues that have been … Continue Reading

Sexual Harassment Claims Put Non-Disclosure and Arbitration Agreements Under Scrutiny, Resulting in a Flurry of Legislative Action

In the current climate where sexual assault and harassment allegations against Hollywood elite, Congressmen and news anchors have triggered a wave of “me too” allegations, several tools commonly used by employers to shield themselves from liability have come under attack, including non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and arbitration agreements. Many employers require employees to sign NDAs as … Continue Reading

DOL Delays “Final Rule” for ERISA Disability Benefits

On November 29, 2017, The Department of Labor delayed through April 1, 2018, the applicability of a Final Rule amending the claims procedure requirements applicable to ERISA-covered employee benefit plans that provide disability benefits. The purpose of the Final Rule was to add procedural protections and safeguards similar to those applicable to group health plans … Continue Reading

Illinois Employers Face A Recent Rash of Class Action Lawsuits Filed Under State Biometric Information Privacy Law

Illinois enacted its Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) in 2008 to regulate, among other things, employer collection and use of employee biometric information.  Biometrics is defined as the measurement and analysis of physical and behavioral characteristics.  This analysis produces biometric identifiers that include things like fingerprints, iris or face scans, and voiceprints, all of which … 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

Paid Family Leave On the Rise – California and New York State Both Set to Expand Benefits Starting January 1, 2018

Come January 1, 2018, employees in California and New York will enjoy new and expanded rights to time off work, with pay, to attend to certain family needs.  New York, whose law was enacted in 2016 (see our prior post here), boasts its law as being the nation’s “strongest and most comprehensive” on paid family … 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

Trending Topic: Gender Identity Discrimination

In April 2012, the EEOC held for the first time in Macy v. Holder that transgender discrimination is sex discrimination and that Title VII sex discrimination prohibits discrimination of a job applicant based upon her status as a transgender woman. The opinion relied heavily on the US Supreme Court’s decision in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, … 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

As the Feds and California Play Tug-Of-War Over Immigration Enforcement, Are Employers Caught in the Middle?

California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a package of bills into law, affectionately known as “Sanctuary State” legislation. Collectively, these new laws, which take effect on January 1, 2018, will prevent State and local enforcement agencies from acting as deputies for federal immigration enforcement authorities, prevent local authorities from detaining immigrants beyond scheduled release dates … 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

California Latest State to Adopt No-Ask Law

On October 12, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a salary privacy law prohibiting California employers from seeking or relying on salary history information, including compensation and benefits, about an applicant for employment. Agents of the employer, such as recruiters, are also prohibited from seeking for this information. Further, upon reasonable request, employers must provide … 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

Senate Confirms William Emanuel as NLRB Board Member

On September 25, 2017, the U.S. Senate voted 49-47 to confirm William Emanuel to serve as a member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) through August 2021.  Once sworn in, Mr. Emanuel will join fellow recently-confirmed Member Marvin Kaplan, along with current NLRB Chairman Philip Miscimarra, to form a three member Republican majority on … 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

Third Time is the Charm?: New Presidential Proclamation Replaces Expiring Portions of Travel Ban

On September 24, 2017, the White House issued a Presidential Proclamation (Proclamation Travel Ban) to replace expiring portions of the President’s March 6, 2017 Executive Order travel ban (EO Travel Ban) and expand affect countries to eight (8), up from the six countries covered by the most recent EO Travel Ban. According to the White House, the … 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
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