Tag Archives: Workplace Laws and Regulations

NLRB General Counsel Issues Second Report on Social Media Cases

This post was also written by Samantha M. Clancy. The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB’s) Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon recently issued a report on social media cases handled by the NLRB. This second report—he issued his first in August 2011— provides guidance to employers in developing and enforcing social media policies to comply with the National … Continue Reading

New for 2012: California Labor Commissioner Finally Issues “Wage Theft Protection Act” Notice Template

California’s new Wage Theft Protection Act of 2011 (Labor Code Section 2810.5, effective January 1, 2012), requires employers to provide most new non-overtime-exempt employees with a written notice that contains specified information regarding, among others, wage rate, payday, employer name and address, workers’ compensation insurance carrier information, and other information added by the Labor Commissioner … Continue Reading

Promises Made, Promises Kept. Or Else.

For decades, U.S. employment lawyers have stressed the need for employers to inject into employee handbooks and elsewhere that “your employment is at-will, terminable at any time, with or without notice.” This magic language, coupled with the legal presumption that an employment relationship is at-will unless otherwise stated, has generally been sufficient to overcome any argument … Continue Reading

New Mandatory Posting Required for Distribution by New Jersey Employers

The NJ DOL has published the new mandatory notice that, by December 7, 2011, must be posted in a conspicuous location and distributed to all existing employees who work in New Jersey. In addition, ALL new employees hired in New Jersey on November 7, 2011 or after must be immediately provided with a copy of … Continue Reading

IRS in U.S. Announces New Voluntary Worker Classification Program

Last week, the IRS announced the Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (the “VCSP”), allowing eligible employers to voluntarily resolve U.S. past worker classification issues and reclassify workers as employees for federal employment tax purposes. Reclassifying workers as employees, however, raises many issues other than employment tax issues including, for example: retirement benefit plan issues; health and … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Rules that State’s Wage Laws Cover Work Done by Nonresidents

In a unanimous opinion, the California Supreme Court has ruled that California’s overtime laws apply to workers from out of state who perform work in California for a California-based employer. Sullivan v. Oracle Corp., No. 06-56649 (9th Cir. June 30, 2011). Answering certified questions from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the … Continue Reading

The Dangers to U.S. & Worldwide Employers from ‘Ban the Box’ Legislation

To prevent job applicants with criminal records from automatic hiring rejection, cities and states are considering and already adopting so-called “Ban the Box” laws and ordinances. Among the states that have adopted such a law are Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New Mexico, and the cities of Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago and Philadelphia. Among the states mulling such … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Reverses Ninth Circuit: Federal Arbitration Act Preempts California Law To Uphold Waiver of Class Action Option in Mandatory Arbitration

In AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, U.S., No. 09-893, 4/27/11, an ideologically divided U.S. Supreme Court held that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) trumped California law to uphold class action waivers in arbitration.  According to the majority opinion authored by Justice Antonin Scalia, a blanket prohibition on arbitration provisions requiring individual arbitration in favor of class-wide … Continue Reading

Philadelphia Joins the Movement To Ban Inquiries into Arrests and Convictions on Employment Applications

On April 13, 2011, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter signed a new city ordinance that bans Philadelphia employers from asking applicants about their convictions during the initial phases of the hiring process and precludes them from ever asking about arrests which failed to result in a conviction. Due to become effective on July 12, 2011, the Fair Criminal Record Screenings … Continue Reading

U.S. Regulations Shift Focus from Disability to Accommodation

EEOC Publishes Long-Awaited Regulations Under the ADA Amendments Act More than two years after the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (“ADAAA”) became effective, the EEOC has issued Final Rules and Regulations (“Regulations”) that were published in the March 25, 2011 Federal Register. The Regulations, which become effective May 24, 2011, further demonstrate the ADAAA’s objective of … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Finds Oral Wage Complaints Protected From Employer Retaliation

The United States Supreme Court has held that under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), the federal law that requires proper payment of wages and overtime pay, an employer cannot retaliate against an employee who complains about a possible violation of that law, even where the complaint is oral rather than in writing. Kasten v. … Continue Reading

Attorney-Client Privilege and Employees’ Personal Use of Employer Hardware or Software in the United States

This post was also written by Lucas Liben and George M. Linge. This may be one of the abiding truths of the 21st Century: the pervasiveness of modern communication technology has revolutionized how business is conducted, law is practiced, and life is lived. Nevertheless, courts remain protective of communications between an attorney and his or her client … Continue Reading

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Proposed Regulation 21F: Implementation of Dodd-Frank’s Whistleblower Provisions

This post was also written by Amy Greer and Carl Krasik. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”) was enacted July 21, 2010. Among other things, it added new Section 21F to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”). This Section establishes a whistleblower program that directs the SEC (the “Agency”) to pay monetary … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Rules that Title VII Permits Third-Party Retaliation Claims

The United States Supreme Court has unanimously held that an employee may bring Title VII retaliation claims where he or she is subject to an adverse employment action, because someone else “closely related” to the employee engaged in protected activity, such as filing a charge of discrimination or opposing discrimination. In Thompson v. North American … Continue Reading

New York Wage Theft Prevention Act Increases Penalties for Wage and Hour Violations

On December 13, 2010, New York Governor David A. Paterson signed the Wage Theft Prevention Act (“Act”). The New York Labor Law currently requires employers to notify employees in writing, at the time of hiring, of their rate of pay, pay date, and overtime rate (if applicable). The Act amends the law to significantly increase the penalties … Continue Reading

Revised ADA Regulations to Take Effect March 15, 2011 in the United States

On March 15, 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice’s amended Final Rule substantially revising and expanding the regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act will become effective. Compliance, however, is not mandated until March 15, 2012. Among other substantive changes, the amended regulations adopt the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, which implement new accessibility guidelines for … Continue Reading

Applicant’s Prior Bankruptcy Permissible Basis for Refusal To Hire in U.S. Third Circuit

The United States Bankruptcy Code prohibits an employer from taking adverse action against an existing employee because of a bankruptcy filing. In December, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit refused to extend that same protection to applicants for employment. In Rea v. Federated Investors, the court ruled that the phrase “discrimination with respect to employment” in section … Continue Reading

Wage and Hour Changes in New York for the Hospitality Industry

In light of recent high-profile lawsuits in New York involving defendants such as Starbucks and Del Posto, employers must be aware of important new changes to New York labor laws that can significantly affect their business and profits. Minimum Wage Increase for Tipped Employees Minimum wages for tipped workers in the hospitality industry, such as … Continue Reading

New EEOC Rules Require U.S. Employers To Revise Procedures for Acquiring and Using Medical Information

On January 10, 2011, employers will become subject to new regulations issued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) that interpret the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (“GINA”). Employers must now comply with GINA’s tough restrictions on the acquisition, use, and disclosure of genetic information about applicants, employees, former employees, and all such individuals’ … Continue Reading

NLRB Challenges Termination of Employee Based on Facebook Posting

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) recently issued a complaint against a Connecticut ambulance service accusing it of illegally discharging an employee for posting negative comments about her supervisor on her Facebook page. The NLRB also challenged the employer’s blogging and Internet policy, asserting that it chills employee rights under the National Labor Relations … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Says Discriminatory Remarks by Non-Decisionmakers May Be Used to Show Liability

The California Supreme Court’s recent decision in Reid v. Google, Inc. underscores an employer’s need to take reasonable steps to eliminate all inappropriate comments from the workplace at every level of the organization. Under Reid, even casual comments made by non-decisionmakers may be used to support claims of discrimination. It is recommended that employers train – and … Continue Reading

Financial Regulators Set Out to Get Their Man: Federally Mandated Bounties and Anti-Retaliation Provisions Designed to Regulate the Financial Services Industry

As stated in our previous blog posting, President Barack Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank” or the “Act”) into law on July 21, 2010, with the objective of ushering in a new era of financial regulation and transparency. The Act’s range encompasses not only the usual group of financial services … Continue Reading

Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act Requires Federal Financial Agencies To Address Diversity and Fair Inclusion of Minorities and Women

This post was also written by Daniel J. Moore. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, signed into law on July 21, 2010, created some of the most sweeping changes to the financial industry since the Great Depression. Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Act requires federal financial agencies to create an Office of Minority … Continue Reading