Gabrielle Wirth

Gabrielle Wirth

Dorsey & Whitney LLP

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EEOC Updates Its National Origin Discrimination Guidance

On November 18, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued Enforcement Guidance on National Origin Discrimination, replacing the 2002 Compliance Manual section on the same topic. The new guidance...more

11/29/2016 - Corporate Counsel EEOC Enforcement Guidance National Origin Discrimination

Question #275: Can We Take A Stand On Employees Sitting?

Question: Some of our retail company’s employees in California are demanding chairs to sit in while they work. Management thinks it appears unprofessional to have workers sitting, but I hear the employees might have a legal...more

4/12/2016 - Banks CA Supreme Court Class Action CVS Employer Liability Issues Job Duties JPMorgan Chase Retailers Seating Suitable Seats Lawsuits Totality of Circumstances Test Wage Orders

Quirky Question #270: A Win for Wellness Plans

Question: Our company offers employees a self-funded and self-insured health plan. We’d now like to implement a wellness program. Can we require employees to complete a health risk assessment which requests personal medical...more

3/2/2016 - ADA Biometric Information EEOC Employer Group Health Plans Medical Examinations Safe Harbors Self-Funded Health Plans Summary Judgment Wellness Programs

Spokeo Set to Resolve Lingering Questions Over Constitutional Standing

The parameters of Constitutional standing, which have been in flux for decades, are solidifying before our very eyes. In recent months the U.S. Supreme Court has confirmed that a litigant must have a “live dispute” at all...more

2/15/2016 - Campbell Ewald v Gomez Class Action Class Representatives FCRA Genesis Healthcare Corp. v. Symczyk Injury-in-Fact Mootness Rule 68 SCOTUS Spokeo v Robins Standing Tender Offers

Quirky Question #268: E-Sign Away!

Question: We have our electronic handbook and arbitration agreement online, and all employees sign both electronically. I saw a news blurb that a California court last year refused to enforce an arbitration agreement that...more

11/5/2015 - Arbitration Class Action E-Signatures Employee Handbooks Employer Liability Issues Rest and Meal Break Wage and Hour

It Is Now Easier To Draft Class Action Waivers and Arbitration Agreements

Last week, the California Supreme Court provided additional guidance as to how to draft an enforceable arbitration agreement and how Courts should analyze whether mandatory arbitration provisions can be held unconscionable...more

8/13/2015 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements AT&T Mobility v Concepcion CA Supreme Court Car Dealerships Class Action Class Action Arbitration Waivers CLRA Consumer Lenders Federal Arbitration Act Injunctive Relief Misrepresentation Poison Pill Preemption

Ninth Circuit Reinforces that Arbitration Agreements Will be Enforced

Ashbey was employed from December 1996 until November 2010, when he was discharged. He started with Archstone as a service technician and was promoted to regional service manager. In 2009, Ashbey signed a document titled,...more

5/19/2015 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Discrimination Title VII

Quirky Question #257, Food for thought – whistleblowing claims against agricultural companies

You are right to be concerned. Under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), employees who work for entities engaged in the manufacture, processing, packing, transporting, distribution, reception, holding, or...more

3/26/2015 - Employer Liability Issues FDA FDCA Food Manufacturers FSMA OSHA Whistleblowers

The United States Supreme Court’s Decision on Non-exempt Employee’s Work Day

This past Tuesday, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision in Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk, No. 13-433, that clarifies when a non-exempt employee begins and ends the work day – and, therefore, when an...more

12/12/2014 - FLSA Integrity Staffing v Busk SCOTUS Security Checks Wage and Hour

Wellness Watch

According to reports, more than half of all businesses with over 200 employees ask employees to participate in biometric screening, and nearly 10% of them provide a financial incentive for employees to participate. As a part...more

12/4/2014 - ADA Affordable Care Act Biometric Information EEOC Employee Benefits Employer Liability Issues GINA HIPAA Honeywell International PHI Wellness Programs

Employers: Take Precautions Now to Prepare for the Potential Ebola Threat

As a general business practice, employers should routinely anticipate and prepare for emergencies to ensure minimal interruption to their business. While West Africa is experiencing the largest Ebola epidemic in history,...more

10/29/2014 - Best Management Practices CDC Ebola Employer Liability Issues Employment Policies Workplace Safety

Quirky Question #242 – Policing Break and Time Records Pays Off

Quirky Question - We are a California employer. After all the publicity surrounding class actions over meal and break periods, we instituted automatic warnings if employees take too long or too short a meal or rest...more

10/7/2014 - Class Action Employee Rights Employer Liability Issues Rest and Meal Break Wage and Hour Wages

Quirky Question #241, Working for Free In Montana At A Start-Up Business

Quirky Question - I was laid off by my Montana employer and I have decided to help my brother with his start up business. I will be a 50% owner but we are not going to take a salary until revenue is substantial. An...more

9/29/2014 - Startups Unemployment Benefits Volunteers

QUIRKY QUESTION # 239, Employers Might Be Liable For Accidents During The Commute If They Require Employees To Use Their Vehicle...

Question: Our office manager occasionally runs errands during the day such as delivering something to a customer or picking up lunch for a meeting. We reimburse her at the IRS rate for mileage. Yesterday, on her way...more

8/12/2014 - Car Accident Commuting Employer Liability Issues

Quirky Question # 225, California Law Is Not Going to Pieces

We are located in California and would like to change to a piece-rate system where we pay non-exempt employees a set amount for completed tasks. I understand that this is referred to as paying for a “piece-rate” and it is...more

4/29/2014 - Minimum Wage Non-Exempt Employees Trucking Industry Wage and Hour

QUIRKY QUESTION # 224, The De Minimis Defense to Off the Clock Work Claims

We have an employee who is claiming that he should be paid for time cleaning up his work station after logging out of our electronic time keeping system each night. Literally, he spends one or two minutes straightening his...more

4/18/2014 - De Minimus Quantity Exemption Employer Liability Issues Employment Policies Starbucks Unpaid Wages Wages

Quirky Question # 222, Seats in the Workplace

We are a retail store. An employee in the warehouse requested an assigned chair to sit on when he is between tasks. Must we comply with this request in our California locations?...more

3/19/2014 - PAGA Suitable Seats Lawsuits Wage Orders

Quirky Question # 221, San Francisco Ordinance: Flexible Work Schedule

We have a part-time employee in San Francisco, CA who works Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. as support for our sole salesperson in the Bay Area. She has recently requested to alter her schedule to work only 3 days a...more

2/28/2014 - Family-Friendly Workplace Ordinance Flexible Work Arrangements

Quirky Question #220, Independent Contractors

I have always understood that California employers that misclassify workers as independent contractors face potential liability, including compensatory damages, penalties and attorney’s fees. I recently heard a news broadcast...more

2/17/2014 - Employer Liability Issues Independent Contractors Professional Liability

Quirky Question #219, Is Unemployment Status a Protected Category?

Quirky Question: We recently interviewed an applicant with a very spotty resume; there were repeated gaps in his employment history which were apparent from his resume. He was not hired and called HR to complain that...more

2/14/2014 - Protected Class Unemployment

Montana Supreme Court Upholds Employers Right to Change Sick Leave Payout Policies

Employees at the Kalispell Regional Medical Center, upon being hired, signed a probationary employment contract that read, "Upon expiration of this Probationary Employment Contract, if the Employer and Employee elect to...more

2/3/2014 - Employee Handbooks Employer Liability Issues Employment Contract Sick Leave

Quirky Question #217, Bereavement Leave in Colorado and Oregon

An employee in our Corporate Office recently informed Human Resources that she was requesting bereavement leave with respect to her sister’s death last month. When she was informed of our company policy, that up to 3 days of...more

1/10/2014 - Bereavement Leave FMLA

Quirky Question #216, Use of a Photograph of a Former Employee

A junior member of our marketing department left to join a competitor. While she was with us, she created numerous marketing brochures with photographs of her demonstrating our product. We received a letter from the...more

1/10/2014 - Consent Employee Rights Photographs

Quirky Question # 215, Are Capped Vacation Plans Now Disfavored And Should My Company Switch To An Unlimited Vacation Plan?

We have a new CFO who is upset by the huge amount of accrued vacation we have to carry on the books. We have a cap of two times the annual accrual. He says most high tech companies like ours have unlimited vacation plans and...more

1/3/2014 - Accrued Benefits Compliance FMLA Unpaid Leave Vacation Leave

Quirky Question #213, Holiday Parties – Potential Sources of Liability

We are in the midst of preparing for our 2013 holiday party. We plan to schedule an evening event and intend to provide our employees and their guests with free food, entertainment, and alcohol; after all, we’ve worked hard...more

11/25/2013 - Employer Liability Issues Holiday Parties

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