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Employment Flash - December 2014

In This Issue: - Supreme Court Rejects Security Screening Time Pay - NLRB Finalizes Union Election Rule - NLRB Reverses Employers’ Ability To Ban Employee Nonwork Email Use - EEOC Challenges Employer...more

Ringing in the New Year: A Summary of New Employment Laws for 2015

With the use of more than a few pens, the Governor of California has enacted more than 50 new laws related to employment, some of which affect all employers, and others that affect only specific industries. Unfortunately for...more

When Does an Anti-Arbitration Provision Not Prohibit Arbitration of a Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claim?

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, enacted on July 21, 2010, provides broad whistleblower protections to individuals who report certain possible violations of federal securities laws. Mindful that...more

3d Cir.: Dodd-Frank Anti-Arbitration Provisions Do Not Apply To Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Retaliation Claims

On December 8, 2014, the Third Circuit ruled that Dodd-Frank’s anti-arbitration provisions do not invalidate pre-dispute arbitration agreements with respect to whistleblower retaliation claims brought pursuant to the...more

Third Circuit Issues First Appellate Decision Compelling Arbitration of Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claim

In Khazin v. TD Ameritrade, No. 14-1689, 2014 WL 6871393 (3rd Cir. Dec. 8, 2014), the Third Circuit affirmed a lower court’s decision compelling arbitration of a Dodd-Frank whistleblower retaliation claim. This is the first...more

Employment Law - December 2014

California Jury Awards Record $185M Verdict to Female Employee - Why it matters: A California jury made national headlines and terrified employers across the country when it awarded $185 million in punitive damages...more

2015 Labor & Employment Law Update for California Employers

The California Legislature enacted a number of new bills that become effective in 2015. Among the most significant are the following...more

Employment Law - November 2014 #2

EEOC’s Wellness Challenge Feeling Under the Weather - Why it matters: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) efforts to challenge employer wellness programs hit a snag when a federal court judge in...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - November 2014

Jury to Decide Adequacy of FMLA Recertification Notice Delivered by Email - A recent case allowing an employee to take claims under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) to trial underscores the importance...more

SOX Squelches Arbitration of Entangled Claim

In Laubenstein v. Conair Corp., No. 5:14-cv-05227 (W.D. Ark. Nov. 19, 2014), Plaintiff claimed retaliation under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX”) and a state-law claim for wrongful termination. A recent amendment to SOX...more

Employment Law - November 2014

State Voters Pass Paid Sick Leave, Wage Increases - Why it matters: The polls have closed and the votes are in: The midterm elections will have a significant impact on employers across the country as voters in multiple...more

Recent Mandates for Federal Contractors

Equal Employment Opportunity - On July 21, 2014, President Obama signed an Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of sexual orientation and gender...more

Quirky Question #245, Last chance agreements

We operate a manufacturing plant with a union workforce where new employees begin with a 90-day probationary period during which they are not yet members of the union. I recently hired a guy who refused to work overtime on...more

Third Circuit Sizes Up Dodd-Frank’s Anti-Arbitration Provision

On October 24, 2014, in Khazin v. TD Ameritrade Holding Corp, et al., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit heard oral argument on an issue of first impression (within that forum): whether Dodd-Frank applies...more

The EEOC’s Assault on Separation Agreements – A Bump in the Road, But It’s Far From Over

Most employers have separation agreement forms that have served them well over the years. The terms have become fairly standardized and, aside from the occasional tweak, they don’t change much and are rarely challenged. ...more

Employment Law - Oct 2014 #3

DOL Grants Could Signal More Misclassification Actions - Why it matters: Employers have faced a tidal wave of litigation over the alleged misclassification of employees as independent contractors, with workers ranging...more

New Laws Affecting California Employers

The 2014 legislative session is in the books, and it produced several new laws affecting employers in California, including: Private arbitration companies must provide arbitration data on their websites, in a...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - October 2014

New Laws Affecting California Employers - The 2014 legislative session is in the books, and it produced several new laws affecting employers in California, including: Private arbitration companies must provide...more

FINRA Issues Guidance Notice To Warn Against Settlements Barring Whistleblower Tips

This month, FINRA issued guidance notice 14-40 to reminds firms that “it is a violation of FINRA Rule 2010 (Standards of Commercial Honor and Principles of Trade) to include confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements...more

“An employee does not necessarily get one free sexual harassment before he loses his job”, says arbitrator in upholding dismissal...

An arbitrator has upheld the dismissal of a unionized employee for one incident of sexual harassment and threats on Facebook. After an incident at work in which the grievor was displeased with “X”, a female co-worker,...more

FINRA Reminds Anti-Whistleblower Provisions Are Not Permitted in Settlement Agreements

FINRA has published a regulatory notice where it reminds firms that it is a violation of FINRA Rule 2010 (Standards of Commercial Honor and Principles of Trade) to include confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements...more

EEOC Ramps Up Attack On Mandatory Arbitration Agreements

Over the course of its history, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has disfavored the application of mandatory arbitration agreements within the employment context. Indeed, until the decision in...more

Gubernatorial Writer's Cramp: 2014 California Employment Legislation Affecting Private Sector Employers

Does his hand hurt? Between signing and vetoing bills this year, California Governor Jerry Brown exercised his executive signature on the highest number of bills sent to a California governor since 2008. The California...more

Executive Order Requires Disclosure of Labor Violations

Employers doing business with the federal government must now jump through additional hoops. In yet another example of the executive branch pursuing its agenda outside of the legislative process, President Obama signed...more

EEOC Sues Doherty Enterprises over Mandatory Arbitration Agreement

Restaurant Franchiser Unlawfully Barred New Hires From Filing Discrimination Charges, Federal Agency Charges - MIAMI - Doherty Enterprises, Inc., a regional company that owns and operates over 140 franchise...more

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