SEC Takes Action Against Employer Confidentiality Clauses That Could Limit Employee Whistleblowing

Recently, the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) warned that it will investigate and take administrative action against employers who require employees to sign confidentiality agreements/statements prohibiting the employees from communicating the employer’s possible securities law violations to the SEC (i.e. whistleblowing). Continue reading

Post to Twitter

Posted in Confidentiality, Employee Policies & Procedures, Employment Contracts, Noncompete Agreements, Securities & Exchange Commission, Whistleblower | Tagged | Leave a comment

Local Ordinances on Paid Sick Leave Complicate Employee Benefit Strategies and Standards

On June 24, 2015, the Montgomery County, Maryland Council unanimously approved the Earned Sick and Safe Leave Bill. The law goes into effect on October 1, 2016 and provides paid sick leave to all employees in Montgomery County, Maryland. Employers have a little over a year to ensure they are in compliance with this new mandate. Continue reading

Post to Twitter

Posted in D.C., Maryland, Sick Leave | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

New Jersey Supreme Court: Taking Employers’ Documents Is Theft

The New Jersey Supreme Court recently affirmed that employees who take or copy their employer’s documents can be prosecuted for theft by unlawful taking. In State v. Saavedra, — A.3d –, 2015 WL 3843764 (N.J. 2015), the court acknowledged that employers’ confidentiality agreements would be rendered meaningless if it provided blanket immunity to employees who claim that the documents are necessary to pursue employment discrimination claims. Continue reading

Post to Twitter

Posted in Whistleblower, Workplace Crime | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Court Finds that Unpaid Internships Are Legal Where Educational Benefit is Clear

A federal appeals court ruled in July 2015 that Fox Searchlight Pictures did not violate minimum wage laws by employing unpaid interns on the set of the film “Black Swan”. The ruling sets aside a lower court’s decision and sends the case back to the lower court. Continue reading

Post to Twitter

Posted in DOL, Minimum Wage, Wage and Hour | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

4 Ways Employers Can Improve Data Security and Reduce Risk in a BYOD World

Personal electronic devices are a fixture of daily life in the modern era. In the United States, nearly every adult, on average, owns at least one personal electronic device (laptop computer, smartphone and tablets etc.), and increasingly, those who own them also brings them to work. Continue reading

Post to Twitter

Posted in BYOD, Employee Policies & Procedures, Government Contractors, Technology | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Companies Must Consider Impact on Culture, Compensable Time with Employee Security Searches, Particularly In California

On December 9, 2014, the United States Supreme Court issued a much-anticipated decision in Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk, 135 S. Ct. 513 (2014), holding that the time warehouse workers spend undergoing security searches before leaving each day is not compensable time under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Continue reading

Post to Twitter

Posted in California, Compensable Time, Fair Labor Standards Act, FLSA/Overtime, Wage and Hour | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Employer’s Effective Accommodation Under The ADA Need Not Be An Employee’s First Choice

The Second Circuit recently affirmed the Southern District of New York’s grant of summary judgment to technology giant IBM, finding that the provision of real-time, on-call American Sign Language interpreters and/or written transcripts to a deaf software engineer was an “effective” accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Continue reading

Post to Twitter

Posted in ADA, Disabilities, Discrimination, Reasonable Accommodation | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Updated EEOC Guidance Tightens Pregnancy Discrimination Guidelines in Response to Young vs. UPS Decision

On June 25, 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued an update of its Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues (Guidance), along with a Q & A document and a fact sheet for small businesses. Continue reading

Post to Twitter

Posted in Discrimination, EEOC, Pregnancy Discrimination Act, Reasonable Accommodation, SCOTUS, U.S. Supreme Court | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Proposed DOL Changes May Set the Stage for Overtime Shift with Salaried Employees

New regulations pertaining to overtime pay proposed by the Obama administration may force many employers to correct a longstanding assumption about employee classification, particularly as they come to terms with changes that will significantly expand employee eligibility for overtime pay. Continue reading

Post to Twitter

Posted in DOL, Employee Classification, FLSA/Overtime, Overtime, Wage and Hour | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Multi-State Employers Face Potential Wage and Hour Claim Complications in the Washington DC Region

In a significant decision earlier this year, the Court of Appeals of Maryland found that employees performing work in Maryland on behalf of their Virginia employer may pursue claims for unpaid wages under the Maryland Wage Payment Collection Law (“MWPCL”) in certain circumstances. Continue reading

Post to Twitter

Posted in Employment Contracts, Wage and Hour | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Supreme Court Decision on Pregnancy Discrimination Act Expands Employer Responsibilities

In March 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a lower court’s decision and re-instated a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit brought against United Parcel Service (UPS). The case concerned a UPS employee who, upon becoming pregnant, was advised by her physician to avoid heavy lifting during her pregnancy. Continue reading

Post to Twitter

Posted in Discrimination, HR, Pregnancy Discrimination Act, Privacy, Reasonable Accommodation, SCOTUS, U.S. Supreme Court | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Colorado Supreme Court Subordinates Employee Rights to Employer Policies on Medical Marijuana

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled on June 15, 2015 that an employee of Dish Network who was terminated in 2010 for failing a company marijuana test was fired legally, despite the fact that Colorado law allows individuals to use marijuana for medical reasons. Continue reading

Post to Twitter

Posted in ADA, Drug-Free Workplace, HR | Tagged | Leave a comment

Staples Decision Reiterates the Importance of FMLA Notifications for Employers

On June 4, 2015, the Department of Labor issued a News Release entitled “Staples to pay fired employee $275K in wages, benefits and damages after failing to inform him of job protections to care for ill family member.” A review of the details and finer points in this case demonstrate that it is an ideal teaching case to reiterate the importance for employers of complying with *all* of the FMLA’s provisions. Continue reading

Post to Twitter

Posted in Family Leave, FMLA, Medical Leave, Retail, Sick Leave | Tagged , | Leave a comment

New OFCCP Discrimination Rules on the Horizon for Federal Contractors

Federal contractors should be on the lookout for new OFCCP rules this fall and winter instituting new reporting requirements for federal contractors and updating federal contractor regulations regarding sex and gender discrimination. These new rules demonstrate significant changes to contractors’ obligations to applicants and employees under federal law. Continue reading

Post to Twitter

Posted in EEOC, Equal Pay, Government Contractors, OFCCP, Sexual harassment, Wage and Hour | Tagged | Leave a comment

California Employers Cannot Rely on PAGA Claim Waivers in Arbitration Agreements with Employees

California’s Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA) permits an “aggrieved employee” to bring a private right of action against an employer to recover civil penalties for specifically enumerated violations of the California Labor Code. See Cal. Lab. Code §§ 2698 et seq. Continue reading

Post to Twitter

Posted in Arbitration, California, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment