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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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

Employers Beware: The Hidden Dangers of Utah’s Public Policy on Self-Defense

On September 17, 2015, the Utah Supreme Court held that an employee who is terminated for violating their employer’s “no-confrontation” policy can maintain a claim of wrongful discharge so long as that employee (1) reasonably believed that force was necessary to defend against an imminent threat of serious bodily harm and (2) had no opportunity to withdraw. Continue reading

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Posted in Employee Policies & Procedures, Self-Defense, Utah, Weapons in the Workplace, Workplace Crime, Workplace Safety, Workplace Violence | Leave a comment

When Providing 12 Weeks of Leave Is Not Enough: Trucking Company Pays $300,000 To Settle EEOC Suit

According to a September 2015 press release issued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), CTI, Inc., a regional trucking company based in Tucson, Arizona, will pay $300,000 and furnish other relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the EEOC under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). Continue reading

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Posted in ADA, Arizona, Discrimination, EEOC, Employee Policies & Procedures, Family Leave, FMLA, Reasonable Accommodation | Leave a comment

White House Uses Executive Order to Ban the Box for Federal Employment; Opens the Door to Wide-Ranging Impact on Employers

Continuing its longstanding strategy of using Executive Orders to implement new policies and pave the way for future legislation, the Obama administration announced in early November that the federal government would be required to follow a ‘Ban the Box’ protocol pertaining to employee hiring in the future. Continue reading

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Posted in Background Check, Ban the Box, Civil Rights Act, Criminal History, Discrimination, EEOC, Employee Policies & Procedures, Executive Orders, Federal Government, Government Contractors, OFCCP, Pre-Employment, Title VII | Leave a comment

Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors: What Employers Need to Know

On September 7, 2015, President Obama signed an executive order mandating paid sick leave for federal contractor and subcontractor personnel. The order will be implemented through regulations to be released by the Secretary of Labor, and the order will become effective as of January 1, 2017. Continue reading

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Posted in Executive Orders, Family Leave, FMLA, Government Contractors, Medical Leave, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Virginia Tightens Enforcement Pertaining to Employee Misclassification

As the repercussions of the California Labor Commission’s June 2015 ruling in Uber v. Berwick that an Uber driver was an employee and not an independent contractor continue to unfold, state legislatures and agencies are continuing to drive a renewed enforcement focus against employers who rely on independent contractor classification for personnel who likely should be treated as employees. Continue reading

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Posted in Employee Classification, Government Contractors, Independent Contractors, Virginia | Tagged | Leave a comment

Overlapping Regulations Compel Extreme Caution by California Employers Before Conducting Employee Background Checks

California has two laws that regulate consumer information that can be collected and provided to employers for use during the process of making employment decisions. Unfortunately, each of the laws have differing disclosure and authorization requirements with which California employers must comply, making background check compliance confusing and fraught with potential violations. Continue reading

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Posted in Background Check, California, California Civil Code, California Labor Code, CCRAA, Confidentiality, Consumer Credit Reports, Employee Policies & Procedures, Fair Credit Reporting Act, ICRAA | Leave a comment

Employers Await Clarification On Joint Employment Standards Following NLRB Shift

The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) recent ruling in Browning-Ferris Industries of California, et al., Case 32-RC-1009684 (August 27, 2015), has raised concerns among employers for its apparent shift in position regarding the standard for assessing joint employer status under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Continue reading

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Posted in EEOC, Joint-Employer, NLRB | Leave a comment

New California Law Requires Grocery Stores to Retain Employees for 90 Days After Change of Ownership

On August 17, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law AB 359, which provides protections to certain grocery industry employees upon a change of ownership of the grocery establishment. This new law is being billed as the first State law of its kind in the United States. Continue reading

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Posted in California, Hiring, Ownership Transition, Retail | Leave a comment

Four Legal and Managerial Priorities When Implementing a Remote Workforce Strategy

As more Americans have embraced a “mobile” technology culture, many employers have embraced the cultural shift and begun utilizing a remote workforce. Opinions regarding the benefits and drawbacks of the virtual office and remote workplace abound among workers and businesses alike. Continue reading

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Posted in ADA, BYOD, Data Security, Employee Policies & Procedures, Fair Labor Standards Act, FLSA/Overtime, FMLA, Interstate Operations, Medical Leave, Privacy, Wage and Hour | Leave a comment

Fifth Circuit Establishes “Snapshot” and Contemporaneous Documentation Requirements for Employers

The Fifth Circuit recently issued a decision that impacts joint employer liability, perceived disability under ADAAA and the dangers of revisiting employee performance reviews. Michael Maslanka, a regular contributor to Texas Lawyer, wrote an article last month called, “L&E Plaintiff Lawyers Served Treat from Fifth Circuit.”

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Posted in ADA, ADAAA, Disabilities, Employee Policies & Procedures, Employment Contracts, HR, Joint-Employer, Performance Reviews, Texas | Leave a comment

U.S. Department of Labor Expands State-Level Partnerships to Enforce Employee Classification Standards

On August 13, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor announced the formal signing of a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between DOL and the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development for the purposes of sharing information and coordinating law enforcement activities to pursue actions against employers for employee misclassification. Continue reading

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Posted in DOL, Employee Classification, Hiring, Independent Contractors, Uncategorized, Wage and Hour | Leave a comment