Government Contractors Face a Continuing Wave of Executive Orders on Labor & Employment

Recognizing the impact of the federal government’s contractor workforce as a standard-bearer for labor practices, the Obama administration has continued to issue executive orders that seek to strengthen the protections afforded to personnel within the federal contracting environment. Continue reading

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Posted in Compensation, Discrimination, EEOC, Employee Policies & Procedures, Executive Orders, Family Leave, FMLA, Government Contractors, Hiring, HR, Medical Leave, Minimum Wage, Overtime | Leave a comment

Court Rulings Reiterate that Employers Should Review and Revise Best Practices for Drug-Free Workplace Programs

Employers have many reasons for requiring employees to submit to drug and/or alcohol testing, both as a part of pre-employment screenings, and as a condition for continued employment in the workplace. Continue reading

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Posted in Discrimination, Drug-Free Workplace, Texas, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Munoz Decision Grants California Employers Greater Clarity When Class Action Certification is Denied in Employee Lawsuits

It is well established under California law that an order denying class certification, leaving only the named plaintiff’s individual claims, is an appealable order under the “death knell” doctrine. Continue reading

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Posted in California, Class Actions, PAGA | Leave a comment

California Employee Class Action on Wages and Breaks Confirms Narrow Threshold for Federal Jurisdiction

On February 18, 2005, Congress enacted the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (“CAFA”), which significantly expanded federal diversity jurisdiction over many class actions. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d). Continue reading

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Posted in CAFA, California, Class Actions, PAGA | Leave a comment

Employer Beware: 12 California Labor Code Requirements You Don’t Even Know Exist

California employers tend to be a very aware and engaged community. After all, they need to be in a state as large, complex and highly regulated as California. Most employers in the state are likely very aware of the state’s requirements of meal and rest breaks, overtime, and final pay under California law. What many California employers do not know about are the many more obscure requirements under the California Labor Code. And regardless of how small or incidental, every rule can lead to a violation.

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Posted in California, California Labor Code, Employee Policies & Procedures | Leave a comment

Latest FLSA and EEOC Changes Drive Dramatic Shifts in Overtime, Classification and Discrimination

The summer of 2015 continues to be a busy time for federal agencies with responsibility for regulating employment matters. The Department of Labor (DOL) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued new interpretations of key employment principles that are currently receiving significant scrutiny in both the judicial and political realms. In addition, the DOL announced that they intend to revise a key rule that will significantly change future wage claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Continue reading

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Posted in Discrimination, DOL, EEOC, Employee Classification, Employee Policies & Procedures, FLSA/Overtime, Independent Contractors, Overtime | Leave a comment

Co-worker Safety Trumps Employee’s Right to Disability Accommodation After Making Death Threats

Employers’ hands are often bound when balancing workplace morale with their duty to accommodate employees with mental or behavioral health issues. However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently clarified the limit of the employer’s duties in this regard, and joined its sister circuits in holding that an employee who makes death threats against co-workers is not a qualified individual with a disability (within the meaning of the statute) and need not be accommodated. Continue reading

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Posted in ADA, Disabilities, Discrimination, FMLA, Workplace Safety | Leave a comment

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Posted in BYOD, Employee Policies & Procedures, Government Contractors, Technology | Tagged , , , | 1 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

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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

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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

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