The Complaint Came Too Late: J.P. Morgan Caught Filing FINRA Complaints After Firing Whistleblower

A former broker for J.P. Morgan Chase was fired by the bank due, in part, to complaints about him filed by current and former customers with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). However, later investigations determined both that some of the complaints were filed after his termination, and that many of them were written or transcribed by J.P. Morgan employees, rather than by the customers themselves. Continue reading

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Posted in Confidentiality, New York, Retaliation, Securities & Exchange Commission, Whistleblower, Wrongful Termination | Leave a comment

California: A Request for Accommodation Alone Will Be Considered a “Protected Activity” for Purposes of Retaliation or Discrimination Under FEHA

In the summer of 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill No. 987, which, as of January 1, 2016, amended California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (Government Code section 12940 et seq.) (“FEHA”) to prohibit an employer from retaliating and/or otherwise discriminating against a person for requesting an accommodation of his or her disability or religious belief regardless of whether the request for accommodation was granted.

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Posted in California, Discrimination, Fair Employment and Housing Act, FEHA, Reasonable Accommodation, Retaliation | Leave a comment

Unlimited Time or Unlimited Trouble? San Francisco Startup Offers Ex-Employees Cash to Avoid Suits Over PTO Policy Problems

A high-profile California technology startup that provides online access to insurance and human resource management solutions for small businesses, has found itself in the ironic position of offering to pay cash to former employees to avoid legal liabilities associated with a confusing Paid Time Off (PTO) policy. Continue reading

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Posted in Accrued Time, California, Compensation, Employee Policies & Procedures, Medical Leave, Vacation Policies | Leave a comment

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Holds Continued Employment Insufficient to Enforce Non-Compete Covenant

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has held that employers looking to implement non-competition agreements (i.e. restrictive covenants not to compete) with their current employees must provide “new and valuable consideration” to render the agreement enforceable. Pennsylvania employers should now ensure that non-competition agreements are tied to some corresponding benefit or a favorable change in employment status, such as a promotion, a change from part-time to full-time employment, or a change to the employee’s compensation package of bonuses, insurance benefits, and/or severance benefits. Continue reading

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Posted in Employment Contracts, Hiring, Non-Compete Agreements, Pennsylvania | Leave a comment

California Employers Must Bear the Cost of Employee Training When the Training is Solely Required by the Employer

California employers are required to pay for all necessary expenses that an employee incurs as a direct result of his or her employment, and an employee cannot waive this right by any agreement or contract. (Labor Code sections 2802 and 2804). A decision this year from the California Court of Appeal regarding the Los Angeles Police Department (“LAPD”) demonstrates that these rules apply no matter who the employer or how long the employee is employed. Continue reading

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Posted in California, California Court of Appeal, Compensable Time, Employee Policies & Procedures, Employment Contracts, Wage and Hour | Leave a comment

Don’t Shoot the Messenger: Board Members May Be Held Individually Liable for Silencing In-House Counsel’s Complaints of Corruption

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California recently determined, in a matter of first impression, that members of a company’s board of directors may be held individually liable under the anti-retaliation provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX”) and the Dodd-Frank Act (“Dodd-Frank”). Continue reading

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Posted in California, Employee Policies & Procedures, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Litigation, Retaliation, Whistleblower, Wrongful Termination | Leave a comment

Colorado Joins the [Vacation] Club: No Use-It-Or-Lose-It Vacation Policies Permitted

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s Division of Labor has issued new guidance that prohibits employers from maintaining “use-it-or-lose-it” vacation policies for Colorado employees. “Use-it-or-lose-it” vacation policies include those that require employees to use accrued vacation time prior to a specific date or forfeit the right to later be paid for that vacation time. Continue reading

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Posted in Colorado, Employee Policies & Procedures, HR, Vacation Policies, Wage and Hour | Leave a comment

New California Law Allows Health Care Workers to Waive Meal Periods

On October 5, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill No. 327 into law, which took effect immediately and confirmed that employees in the health care industry (i.e. nurses, therapists, physician assistants, technicians) can waive one of their two meal periods when working a shift over twelve hours in a workday. Continue reading

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Posted in California, California Court of Appeal, California Labor Code, Compensable Time, Healthcare, Meal and Rest Breaks, Wage and Hour | Leave a comment

California Court of Appeal Instructs Trial Court to Reconsider Its Denial of Class Certification of Wage and Hour Claims Brought by Nursing Staff Employees Against Hospital

Class actions against health care employers continue to be a growing trend in California and a recent decision by the California Court of Appeal highlights why health care employers must carefully draft and implement policies that are in compliance with California wage and hour law. When faced with a class action, such employers must also thoroughly address each class certification requirement when preparing an opposition to class certification.  Continue reading

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Posted in California, California Court of Appeal, California Labor Code, Class Actions, Employee Policies & Procedures, Healthcare, Meal and Rest Breaks, Overtime, Wage and Hour | Leave a comment

Navigating the Holiday Season Minefield with Your Workforce: 6 Essential Tips for Employers

As your company enters the holiday season, it’s important for human resource team members, general counsel and the corporate management to be aware of essential issues that should be addressed proactively to ensure a positive holiday period. The last thing your leadership team will want to confront as employees celebrate the holidays and management prepares for year-end is a problem associated with employee behavior or conduct. That’s why it’s essential to be clear and proactive about addressing potential pitfalls during the holidays. Continue reading

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Posted in Defamation, Discrimination, Employee Policies & Procedures, Gender Discrimination, Holiday Season, HR, Religious Discrimination, Religious Observances, Risk Management, Wage and Hour | Leave a comment

Striking New Ground: Union Files NLRB Charges Against Company Even Though It Doesn’t Employ Affected Workers

A fast-growing, socially conscious new economy startup would hardly seem a likely target for an intensive battle with organized labor, especially when the company has built a solid reputation for paying above-market wages and benefits. But today’s labor environment is unlike any that has come before it, as the founders of global coworking company WeWork recently discovered. Continue reading

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Posted in Compensation, Employee Policies & Procedures, Employment Contracts, FLSA/Overtime, Hiring, HR, Interstate Operations, Joint-Employer, Labor Relations, New York, NLRB, Unions, Wage and Hour | Leave a comment

Recent Employment Law Jury Verdicts and Settlements (Sept-Oct 2015)

Here’s a roundup of recent employment law jury verdicts and settlements of note to employers from across the United States: Continue reading

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Posted in Jury Verdicts, Religious Discrimination, Sexual harassment | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

U.S. Department of Labor Cracks Down on Overtime Violations with $18M Halliburton Settlement

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) demonstrated the seriousness of its focus on overtime pay violations with a record-setting recovery of more than $18.3 million in wages the agency determined was due to more than 1,016 employees of Halliburton, the global oil and gas company.  Continue reading

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Posted in DOL, Employee Classification, Fair Labor Standards Act, FLSA/Overtime, Overtime, Wage and Hour | Leave a comment

Federal Jury Award Highlights Importance of Training on Religious Accommodation

On October 22, 2015, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that a federal jury in Peoria, Illinois has awarded $240,000 to two Somalian‑American Muslims who were fired from their jobs as truck drivers when they refused to transport alcohol because it violated their religious beliefs. Continue reading

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Posted in EEOC, Employee Policies & Procedures, Illinois, Reasonable Accommodation, Religious Discrimination | Leave a comment

9th Circuit: Employers Can’t Force Arbitration of an Employee’s Representative PAGA Claims

In an important and highly anticipated decision for California employers, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit sided with the California Supreme Court in upholding the 2014 Iskanian rule (Iskanian v. CLS Transp. Los Angeles, LLC, 59 Cal. 4th 348, 391 (2014)), which makes employee waivers of representative Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) claims in arbitration agreements with their employers unenforceable. [Sakkab v. Luxottica Retail N. Am., Inc., 9th Cir., No. 13-55184, Sept. 28, 2015].  Continue reading

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Posted in California, California Labor Code, California Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA), California Supreme Court, Class Actions, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals | Leave a comment