Online Application Systems Open a New Front in FCRA Class Actions

Any company that requires job applicants to complete an application and submit to a background investigation as part of the employment process should be familiar with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”).

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Posted in Class Actions, Fair Credit Reporting Act, FCRA, Hiring | Tagged | Leave a comment

Washington DC Tightens Regulation of Wage and Hour Compliance for Employers

In 2014, the Government of the District of Columbia (Washington DC) enacted the Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act (WTPAA), which formally went into effect on February 26, 2015. The act made broad changes to Washington DC wage and hour laws, impacting existing legislation including laws covering the minimum wage, living wage, wage payment, wage collection and accrued sick and safe leave among others.

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Abercrombie Decision Places Burden on Employers to Avoid ‘Accidental’ Discrimination in Pre-Employment Practices

Employers looking to project their brand through the “look” of their employees take notice: Ignorance of an employee’s need for religious accommodation is not a shield against liability.

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Posted in Hiring, Pre-Employment, Religious Discrimination, U.S. Supreme Court | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

California’s Uber Decision Deepens the Employee vs. Independent Contractor Debate in Emerging Industries

On June 3, 2015, the California Labor Commission found that a driver for the wildly popular ride-hailing service Uber was in fact operating as an employee, and not as an independent contractor, making her eligible for reimbursement of work expenses and other costs required of employers. The driver filed an initial complaint with the California Labor Commission in September 2014. The ruling became public when Uber filed its appeal on June 16 of this year.
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California Chamber of Commerce Announces “Job Killer” Bills of 2015

The California Chamber of Commerce has released its 2015 preliminary list of “job killer” bills. The list focuses on proposed measures currently pending before the California legislature that, if passed into law, the Chamber believes would have a negative impact on California’s job climate and economic recovery.
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Posted in Arbitration, California, FMLA, Minimum Wage, Uncategorized, Wage and Hour, Workers Comp | Tagged , | Leave a comment

New York City Bans the Box and Sets Strict Limits on Pre-Employment Actions by Private Employers

On June 10, 2015, the New York City Council passed the Fair Chance Act, which “bans the box” for private employers. The Act is on its way to the Mayor’s desk, where if signed, it will come into effect in 90 days and will add to New York’s already complicated Ban the Box landscape, consisting of a variety of different state and city laws that impact the pre-employment process for both employers and employees.

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Minimum Wage Debate Takes Center Stage In Los Angeles Theaters

The national debate on minimum wage recently took center stage in “99-Seat” theaters across Los Angeles. Despite a local members’ advisory vote opposing the measure by a 2-1 margin, the New York-based Actors’ Equity Association enacted a minimum wage requirement of $9 per hour for member actors at all rehearsals and performances. The small theaters formerly operated pursuant to the Los Angeles 99-Seat Theater Plan established in 1989, and paid actors between $7 and $15 for each performance.

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Online Background Check Disclosure Form Did Not Violate the FCRA

Companies utilizing online applications recently received a favorable ruling regarding the use of online background check disclosure forms. In Goldberg v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., the pro se plaintiff challenged the online background check disclosure form used by Raiser, LLC, a staffing company providing peer-to-peer driving services through the Uber mobile app, on the grounds that Raiser’s form violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act’s “clear and conspicuous disclosure” requirement.

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Expanding Legalization of Marijuana Creates New Challenges for Government Contractors

As of spring 2015, 23 states and the District of Columbia have legalized adult use of marijuana for medical purposes. In addition, D.C. and four states – Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon – have legalized recreational use of marijuana as well. In May, the federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released a formal notification indicating that for the nation’s 4.1 million federal civilian and military employees, possession or use of marijuana remains classified as a crime.

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Illinois Federal Court Holds That Temps May Make Employers Subject to the ADEA

The Northern District of Illinois opened the door for expanding the definition of “employee” under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). In Rodriguez v. Dynamesh, Inc., a Dynamesh employee brought a lawsuit against the company for race and age discrimination.

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Texas Federal Court Specifies That Disabled Employees Must Ask For An Accommodation

In November 2014, a Federal Court in Houston issued a significant opinion related to employees requiring an accommodation for a disability. In Sumpter v. American Bottling Company et. al., the court held that an employee seeking an accommodation must explain to the employer that the accommodation is needed for a medical condition.

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California Appellate Court Permits On-Call Rest Breaks [UPDATED]

[Update: On April 29, 2015, the California Supreme Court granted review of Augustus v. ABM Security Services, Inc. The grant of review makes the appellate court’s opinion not citable.]  In Augustus v. ABM Security Services, Inc., a California Court of Appeal overturned a trial court’s award of $90 million for a class of security guards who were allegedly denied rest breaks. In overturning the award, the appellate court held that while an employee cannot be required to perform work while on a rest break, an on-call rest break does not necessarily require the employee to perform work.

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Final Rule Issued on FMLA Definition of “Spouse”

On February 25, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a final rule changing the regulatory definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) to permit individuals in valid, same-sex marriages to receive FMLA spousal care protection.

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States Take the Wheel and Drive Paid Sick Leave Policy

President Obama’s State of the Union address on January 20th put issues of paid family and sick leave at the forefront of the American psyche. In its wake, states and localities around the country are taking action. Here are just a few examples of policy changes occurring on the local and state levels:

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NLRB Ruling Extends Employee Rights for Section 7 Activities to Encompass Company Email Systems

In a decision dated December 11, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that an employee’s rights under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act now extend, in most cases, to the use of company email systems. Section 7 of the Act addresses employer interference with employee rights associated with organizing, unionizing or otherwise engaging in “concerted activity associated with mutual aid or protection”. Continue reading

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