$10.2 Million Awarded to States to Fund Worker Misclassification Detection and Enforcement

Last month, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a press release announcing that $10.2 million had been awarded to 19 states to implement or improve worker misclassification initiatives.

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Maryland Transgender Anti-Discrimination Law Goes Into Effect October 1st

Maryland’s newest anti-discrimination law goes into effect October 1, 2014.  The Fairness For All Marylanders Act outlaws discrimination against transgender individuals within the state of Maryland.  The law prohibits discrimination against those individuals in employment and housing situations, as well as public accommodations.  Nicknamed the “Bathroom Bill”, the law also permits transgender persons to use the public bathroom of the gender with which they identify, regardless of the individual’s present physical characteristics.  The law does, however, include an exemption for religious organizations, private clubs and educational institutions.

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September 2014 Recent Jury Verdicts and Settlements

A summary of recent jury verdicts and settlements.

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September 2014 EEOC Verdicts and Settlements

A summary of recent EEOC verdicts and settlements.

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California Enacts Paid Sick Leave and Paid Time Off Legislation

On September 10, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (AB 1522), requiring California employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees.  The Act goes into effect on July 1, 2015, and, with a few exceptions, covers employees who work at least 30 days within a year of commencing their employment.

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Telling Terminated Employee To Get Job As Wal-Mart Greeter Was A Bad Idea

TexasBarToday_TopTen_Badge_SmallIn a recent decision, the Eastern District of Louisiana found that a supervisor’s comments suggesting that a terminated employee should take a position stereotypically filled by older workers was direct evidence of age discrimination.  During the summary judgment proceeding, plaintiff presented evidence that after his termination meeting, a supervisor told him to “go get a job as a Wal-Mart door greeter”.  Further, the plaintiff presented evidence from another employee who overheard the same supervisor comment on the termination the following day.  The supervisor allegedly commented that he “got rid of the old bastard” to a colleague.  The case will go to trial now.

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Are You The Employer of That Corporation’s Employees?

“A corporation with no employees owns a corporation with employees.  If the corporation with no employees exercises some control over the corporation with employees, it also may be the employer of the employees of the corporation it owns.”  That was the holding from the California Court of Appeal in Castaneda v. Ensign Group, Inc. (Cal. Ct. App., Sept. 15, 2014, 2D CIV. B249119) 2014 WL 4536995.

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Don’t Pay That Waiting Time Penalty!

California strongly favors the prompt payment of wages due to an employee.  The California Labor Code codifies this principle in Section 202, which provides in pertinent part that an employee who “quits his or her employment, his or her wages become due and payable not later than 72 hours thereafter, unless the employee has given 72 hours previous notice of her or her intention to quit, in which case the employee is entitled to his or her wages at the time of quitting.”  If an employer willfully fails to pay the employee’s wages who is discharged or who quits, the wages of the employee continue to run as a penalty from the due date at the same rate until paid but not for more than 30 days.  This penalty is commonly referred to as a “waiting time penalty.”

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August 2014 EEOC Verdicts and Settlements

A summary of recent EEOC verdicts and settlements.

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August 2014 Recent Jury Verdicts and Settlements

A summary of recent jury verdicts and settlements.

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Texas Suit Against EEOC Dismissed; Texas Will Appeal

U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings axed Texas’ suit against the EEOC on August 20, 2014, issuing an Order holding that there was no subject-matter jurisdiction for the suit.  On August 25, 2014, Texas filed a Notice of Appeal, indicating its intent to turn to the 5th Circuit.

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Can You Fire An Employee for A Facebook “Like”?

TexasBarToday_TopTen_Badge_SmallOn August 22, a three-member panel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) concluded that the Triple Play Sports Bar and Grille violated Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act (the Act) when two employees were terminated for participating in a Facebook discussion about the additional state income taxes the employees owed because of the employer’s withholding mistakes.  The NLRB panel also concluded that Triple Play’s Internet/Blogging policy violated Section 8(a)(1) by prohibiting “inappropriate” discussions about the company.

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Being Cantankerous And Having Trouble Getting Along With Co-Workers Not An ADA Disability, Even In California

In Weaving v. City of Hillsboro, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit found that an employer’s termination of an employee who had recurring interpersonal problems with his co-workers, that were purportedly attributable to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (“ADHD”), did not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).

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Hey Employers!—Reimburse That Phone Bill

California Labor Code § 2802 requires employers to indemnify its employees for all necessary expenses incurred in direct consequences of the discharge of their duties.  In recent times, this statute and some employers’ decisions to not reimburse certain employee expenses has become a hotbed for class action litigation in California.  Now, the California Court of Appeal, in Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Service, Inc. (Cal. Ct. App., Aug. 12, 2014, B247160) 2014 WL 3965240, *4, confirmed California’s strong stance on this matter, at least as to cell phone use:

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New Jersey Passes Law Restricting Employers’ Ability to Request Applicants’ Criminal History Information

On August 11, 2014, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed the Opportunity to Compete Act, New Jersey’s “ban the box” law prohibiting certain employers from excluding applicants based on their criminal records during the initial application process.

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