Photo of Joel S. Barras

New England Patriots’ fans can thank U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman if and when they see NFL quarterback Tom Brady suiting up next Thursday for the Patriots’ season opener.  Judge Berman vacated Brady’s four-game suspension for his alleged role in the 2015 AFC Championship Game’s Deflategate scandal. In July, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell slapped Brady with the suspension pursuant to the League’s collectively bargained arbitration process.  Goodell concluded that Brady not only knew he was playing with non-regulation, deflated footballs, but that he also approved the tampering of the footballs and subsequently destroyed evidence of his participation in the incident.  Despite these findings, Judge Berman put Brady back in the game, lifting the suspension on the basis that the NFL deprived Brady of procedural due process during the arbitration proceedings.

Judicial review of arbitration awards is extraordinarily limited.  However, courts will reverse decisions where the employer violated fundamental requisites of “fairness” and “due process.”  Judge Berman’s 40-page opinion reads as a how-to manual for employers and arbitrators to ensure that the substance of the claims, rather than procedural technicalities, determines the outcome of the litigation.
Continue Reading Judge Puts Brady Back in the Game

This post was also written by Martin Gätzner.

France

Under French law, the employment contract of an employee who is on sick leave is suspended. The employee is expected to inform his or her employer and the relevant social security organisations of the sickness absence within 48 hours, and will be entitled to receive social security allowances while absent from work.

Depending on the provisions of the applicable collective bargaining agreement, employees may be entitled to receive their full salary for a limited period. In such cases it falls to the employer to pay the difference between usual salary and the allowances provided by the French social security organisations.

Continue Reading Sickness absence management – employee rights, risks and recommendations

This post was also written by Claudia Röthlingshöfer.

Welcome to Reed Smith’s monthly global employment law blog post. This month’s post covers the protection afforded to whistleblowers around the world.

France

Under French law, employees cannot be sanctioned, dismissed or be subject to direct or indirect discriminatory measures (especially concerning salary, training, reclassification or appointment)

As expected, the National Labor Relations Board again adopted new Rules for union representation cases, significantly reducing the period between the filing of a petition and a union election. While the NLRB characterizes its actions as modernizing its processes, the real impact is to deny employers an adequate opportunity to stage an anti-union campaign prior

In its long-awaited decision in Purple Communications, Inc., the National Labor Relations Board valued employees’ communication rights over employer property rights. Here, the NLRB invalidated a company policy prohibiting employee use of its employer-provided email system for non-work-related messages. Further, the NLRB concluded that employee use of email for protected communications during non-working time is

Welcome to the first in a series of blogs covering global employment law issues. Each month we will be sending you information about key employment law topics from our offices across the globe. The first of our topics is:

Holiday Pay – What Are Your Minimum Legal Requirements?

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, all

As employees return to work the Monday after Thanksgiving, their minds (and electronic devices) may be focused on sales rather than work. Although some reports indicate that the best day for online deals will be Thanksgiving itself, Cyber Monday is still anticipated to be the biggest online shopping day of the year, with consumers