On February 21, 2023, the National Labor Relations Board issued a landmark decision in McLaren Macomb that has the potential to seismically change how employers approach and manage employee separations that include severance packages. In response to this landmark decision and the impact it will have on many employers, Reed Smith’s Labor & Employment team
NLRB stunner: Board rules that non-disparagement and confidentiality provisions in severance agreements are unlawful
On February 21, 2023, the National Labor Relations Board issued a landmark decision in McLaren Macomb that has the potential to seismically change how employers approach and manage employee separations that include severance packages. Overturning well-settled precedent, the Board held in a stunning decision that severance agreements containing non-disparagement and confidentiality provisions are unlawful under…
California employment law legislative update: Employers must ring in 2023 with a host of new obligations
The deadline for California’s Governor to sign, approve without signing, or veto bills on his desk was September 30, 2022. We have compiled a comprehensive list of the major new laws and obligations that employers in the Golden State should know. As always, it is wise to consult with counsel to ensure that workplace policies…
NLRB reverses precedent on dues checkoff obligations
Continuing a string of pro-union decisions, the National Labor Relations Board recently overruled a 2019 Board decision and held that employers violate federal law if they fail to transmit membership dues to unions after the expiration of a collective bargaining agreement.
In its 2019 decision in Valley Hospital Medical Center, Inc., 68 NLRB No.
Florida expands definition of “discrimination” and increases employer liability for discrimination in workplace diversity training
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law that prohibits employers from implementing discriminatory practices in their diversity training programs, effective July 1, 2022. The bill, known as the “Individual Freedom Act,” amends the Florida Civil Rights Act, Fla. St. 760.01, et seq., to expand the definition of discrimination and subjects employers to liability for violations.
Expanding the definition of “discrimination”
Specifically, the Individual Freedom Act amends Fla. St. § 760.10, to prohibit public employers and private employers with 15 or more employees from requiring any individual – as a condition of employment, membership, certification, licensing, credentialing, or passing an examination – to participate in training, instruction, or any other required activity that espouses, promotes, advances, inculcates, or compels the individual to believe any of the following concepts:
- Members of one race, color, sex, or national origin are morally superior to members of another race, color, sex, or national origin.
- An individual, by virtue of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.
- An individual’s moral character or status as either privileged or oppressed is necessarily determined by his or her race, color, sex, or national origin.
- Members of one race, color, sex, or national origin cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race, color, sex, or national origin.
- An individual, by virtue of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin, bears responsibility for, or should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment because of, actions committed in the past by other members of the same race, color, sex, or national origin.
- An individual, by virtue of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin, should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment to achieve diversity, equity, or inclusion.
- An individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin.
- Such virtues as merit, excellence, hard work, fairness, neutrality, objectivity, and racial colorblindness are racist or sexist, or were created by members of a particular race, color, sex, or national origin to oppress members of another race, color, sex, or national origin.
However, these concepts may be included in training or instruction if they are addressed in an objective manner and without endorsement.…
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COVID-19 FAQs for California employers
The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has had, and will continue to have, a substantial impact on the U.S. workplace. We have prepared a series of FAQs compiled based on some of the more common questions that clients with California-based employees have posed to us over roughly the past six weeks.
These FAQs are general and high-level…
Further blow for self-employed status: Tribunal finds that Hermes couriers are “workers”
Employment status in the UK
The UK recognises three categories of employment status: employees, workers and self-employed contractors, each with varying levels of protection under employment law. Employees are entitled to the full suite of employment rights, while self-employed contractors have very little protection under employment law. Workers who are not employees sit somewhere in…
Modern Slavery Business Reporting: Beyond Compliance
A year after the introduction of the business reporting obligation in the Modern Slavery Act 2015 we take a look at the approach taken to statements to date and possible future developments in this area.
Modern slavery and human trafficking are two of the biggest human rights challenges of our time. The Modern Slavery Act 2015 seeks to tackle these issues in a number of ways, including imposing a requirement on organisations carrying out a business (or part of a business) in the UK, and with a turnover of £36 million or more, to publish an annual modern slavery statement.
The statement must detail the steps the organisation is taking to ensure that modern slavery and human trafficking are not present in its business or global supply chains. The statement must be signed by a director and a link to the statement must be included in a prominent place on the organisation’s website homepage. Companies with a year end of 31 March should already have published their statement, whereas those with a 31 December year end are due to publish in the first half of 2017, giving the latter the advantage of being able to review and benchmark their statements against those already published.
For background on the reporting requirement in the Act, please see our blog post of October 2015.
One year on, the question is what approach are companies taking to their Modern Slavery Act statements, how much interest have the press and consumer groups shown on this topic and what does this say about the initial success of the reporting obligation?…
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