Paul Derrick

Paul Derrick

Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP

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What Will Employers Likely See (or Not See) in the Wake of the Supreme Court's Same-Sex Marriage Decision?

Now that the hubbub surrounding the Supreme Court’s June 26 decision in the consolidated case of Obergefell v. Hodges has begun to level off, employers are wondering how the decision will impact their workplaces. (In case...more

7/3/2015 - ADA Due Process Equal Protection FMLA Fourteenth Amendment Marriage Marriage Equality Obergefell v. Hodges Same-Sex Marriage SCOTUS Spouses Title VII

Despite State Laws, Marijuana Use is Illegal and Can be Grounds for Discharge

A client in North Carolina recently asked me whether it was lawful to fire an employee for smoking marijuana. “Of course,” I replied. She then added another fact: the employee had been on vacation in Colorado and returned...more

6/24/2015 - Decriminalization of Marijuana Employment Policies Hiring & Firing Lawful Activities Act Marijuana Medical Marijuana Off-Duty Employees

Texas Judge Blocks FMLA Same-Sex Spouse Rule in Four States

The Department of Labor’s same-sex spouse rule under the Family and Medical Leave Act was supposed to go into effect on March 27. At the 11th hour, however, a federal judge in Texas stepped in and preliminarily enjoined...more

4/10/2015 - DOL Final Rules FMLA Preliminary Injunctions Same-Sex Marriage Spouses US v Windsor

March Madness Doesn't Have to Drive Your Workplace Crazy

March Madness is upon us, again, and employers should be taking steps to avoid becoming a casualty of all the hoopla....more

3/17/2015 - Criminal Prosecution Employer Liability Issues March Madness Sports Betting

Applicant Can’t Claim Religious Bias After Refusing to Give "Mark of the Beast"

Many employers are convinced that the law requires them to accommodate almost every religious belief that an applicant or employee may have. The law actually does not go quite that far. In fact, one federal court of appeals...more

2/16/2015 - Discrimination Reasonable Accommodation Religious Discrimination Social Security Numbers

Oh, the Weather Outside is Frightful! The Down-and-Dirty on Snowy Days and Employee Pay

An employer asked this morning what the “right way” is to handle weather-related attendance issues that were caused by a severe winter storm in its region....more

1/28/2015 - Employer Liability Issues Severe Weather Wage and Hour

North Carolina Keeps Union-Free Crown

It's official. North Carolina has retained the distinction of being the most union-free state in the nation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 1.9 percent of workers in the state were members of unions...more

1/27/2015 - Bureau of Labor Statistics Union Membership Unions

NLRB: Workers Have Right to Use Company E-Mail Systems to Organize Unions

We wrote back on June 19 that the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel was urging the Board to declare that employees have a protected right to use their employers’ e-mail systems for union organizing and other...more

12/12/2014 - Email NLRB Protected Concerted Activity Unions

High Court Says No Pay for Security Screening Time

The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that companies do not have to pay workers for the time they spend undergoing security checks at the end of their shifts. The case involved an Amazon.com contractor, although...more

12/10/2014 - FLSA Integrity Staffing v Busk SCOTUS Security Checks Wage and Hour

Will Obama's Executive Order Protecting LGBT Workers Be the Next Hobby Lobby?

Continuing to make good on the promise to govern using his “pen and cell phone,” President Obama this week signed an executive order -- modifying two executive orders previously signed in the 1960s -- that gives new workplace...more

7/28/2014 - Burwell v Hobby Lobby Executive Orders Gender Identity Hobby Lobby LGBT Sexual Orientation Discrimination

How to Avoid Being the Next Casualty in the EEOC’s War on Employee Separation Agreements

In its current Strategic Enforcement Plan, the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says that it is fed up with and will target employer “policies and practices that discourage or prohibit individuals from exercising...more

7/25/2014 - Corporate Counsel Discrimination EEOC Employer Liability Issues Employment Policies Enforcement Hiring & Firing NLRA NLRB Policies and Procedures Severance Agreements Severance Pay Termination

Obama Poised to Unilaterally Impose LGBT Workplace Protections

Making good on his pledge to govern by executive order, rather than awaiting congressional legislation, President Obama has announced that he will soon sign an order barring federal contractors from discriminating against...more

7/11/2014 - LGBT Sexual Orientation Sexual Orientation Discrimination

High Court Rebukes Obama on NLRB Appointments

The U. S. Supreme Court ruled this morning that President Obama exceeded his authority in making recess appointment to fill certain vacancies on the National Labor Relations Board in 2012....more

6/27/2014 - Barack Obama Canning v NLRB NLRB Recess Appointments SCOTUS

Make Mine a Venti Hazelnut Latte with an F-Bomb

In the words of the immortal Yogi Berra, “it’s like déjà vu all over again.” For the second time in a month, the Nasty Language National Labor Relations Board has decided that an employee should not have been fired for...more

6/26/2014 - Employee Rights NLRA NLRB Obscenity

NLRB Says Cussing Out Boss is OK, So What’s a Business to Do?

[Ed. Note: We know we’re a little late to the party with this one, but we just read the decision and had to share it for anyone else who has been in a news blackout for the past couple weeks.] You’d think that an...more

6/23/2014 - Insubordination Policy NLRA NLRB Obscenity

NLRB General Counsel Says Employees Have Right to Use Employer E-Mail Systems for Union Organizing

On Monday, the National Labor Relations Board’s General Counsel filed a brief asking the Board to rule that employees have a protected right to use their employer’s internal e-mail system for union organizing. The Board’s...more

6/20/2014 - Email Email Policies Employee Rights Employment Policies NLRB Popular Union Elections Unions

Unpaid Summer Interns; Folks, Nothing Has Changed

The annual rites of summer are underway. Treetops are alive with the songs of brightly-plumed birds, bees hum happily as they move from flower to flower, and warm breezes tease the tall grasses and bring occasional afternoon...more

5/28/2014 - Employee Rights Internships Unpaid Interns Wage and Hour

Trade Secret Protection Finally Coming of Age?

A bipartisan bill that would allow businesses to safeguard their trade secrets using federal law was introduced in the Senate last week. According to the press release accompanying the bill, the Defend Trade Secrets Act...more

5/6/2014 - Chamber of Commerce Patent Litigation Patents Trade Secrets

Where is the Internet?

Is the Internet a place? Apparently, no one’s entirely sure, but one federal appeals court has asked the California Supreme Court to figure it out in the context of a lawsuit that is pending against Cable News Network....more

4/9/2014 - ADA ADAAA Disability EEOC Internet Jurisdiction Reasonable Accommodation

Labor Board Says College Athletes Are "Employees" Who Can Unionize

Sometimes, the wrongheadedness of the National Labor Relations Board is just astounding. Today, a regional director of that agency ruled that Northwestern University athletes are actually employees of the school and should...more

3/27/2014 - College Athletes NLRB Students Unions

President Obama to Order Expansion of Overtime Pay

President Obama is expected to issue an order today directing the Department of Labor to expand the number of people who qualify for overtime pay under federal labor law. According to reports in the Washington Post and other...more

3/12/2014 - Compliance DOL Employee Rights Employer Liability Issues Restaurant Industry Unpaid Overtime Wage and Hour

N. C. Employers Barred From Asking About Expunged Criminal Records

Soon, employers in North Carolina no longer will be allowed to ask potential employees about arrests, criminal charges, or convictions that have been expunged. A new law takes effect on December 1, 2013, and prohibits...more

10/21/2013 - Criminal Background Checks Criminal Records Employee Rights Expungement

New Laws Affecting North Carolina Businesses Kick in Today

Several new laws affecting North Carolina business owners take effect today: -- In an effort to foster a competitive marketplace in the construction industry, HB 110 prohibits the state from requiring private...more

10/2/2013 - Concealed Carry Permit Contractors Employee Benefits Firearms Food Manufacturers Gun Laws Notice Requirements Obesity Posting Requirements Public Projects Unions Wages

ENDA ... It's Baaaack

Back in May 2012, we predicted that President Obama’s personal “evolution” on the issue of gay rights might resurrect the perennial Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Call it a hunch. This morning, that hunch became reality...more

7/11/2013 - Employer Mandates ENDA Gay Rights Sex Discrimination

What the Obamacare Delay Means Right Now

On July 2, 2013, the Department of the Treasury and the White House announced via social media that the employer reporting requirements and employer shared responsibility/play-or-pay penalty are being delayed until 2015. ...more

7/9/2013 - Affordable Care Act Deadlines Delays Employer Mandates Fees Form 720 Healthcare Marketplace Notice Pay or Play PCORI Penalties Shared Responsibility Rule Tax Penalties U.S. Treasury

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