General Business Civil Procedure Labor & Employment

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News & Analysis as of

New Federal Trade Secret Law is Pro Employee Mobility and Rejects Inevitable Disclosure

Proposed legislation creating a federal cause of action for trade secret misappropriation is on the fast track to becoming law, as described in James Pooley’s excellent post What You Need to Know About the Amended Defend...more

Joint Employment Challenges Continue in 2016

The legal concept of “joint employment” exists when a person is employed by two or more entities, such that the employers are responsible, individually and jointly, to the employee for compliance with a particular statute or...more

What Does an Independent Contractor Mean to You? Eleventh Circuit Issues Significant Independent-Contractor Ruling

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (which has jurisdiction over Alabama, Florida and Georgia) issued a ruling that is noteworthy for all employers, addressing the often-contested issue of whether a...more

Employment Law - February 2016

In Equal Pay Push, EEOC to Collect Pay Data From Employers - Why it matters - On the anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, President Barack Obama announced that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission...more

SJC Finds that Employee’s Unauthorized Copying of Proprietary Information Did Not Give Employer Grounds to Discontinue Severance

On February 4, 2016, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) held in Eventmonitor, Inc. v. Leness that an employer breached its agreement with a former employee when it reclassified the employee’s termination from...more

Risks In Being A Joint Employer

Joint employment of one worker by two businesses can create risks of liability for both employers in a variety of ways. Both businesses may be liable, for example, on claims for employment discrimination and/or violations of...more

Is the Washington Legislature Caching Out Noncompete Agreements? How This Change Might Affect Your Ability to Protect Your...

For tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon, and any number of emerging tech companies, tech professionals are a hot commodity in the state of Washington. No doubt, the competition is fierce here in Seattle and within the...more

I Forgot to Respond to a Garnishment. Now What?

If you are a business owner and have employees, at some point you will receive a garnishment. Garnishment is a post-judgment process that allows a judgment creditor to acquire the judgment debtor’s assets (property or...more

Third Circuit Holds Companies in Bankruptcy Can Reject Expired CBAs

In a ruling that comes as a blow to organized labor and a boon to employers in bankruptcy, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently broke new appellate ground in holding that Section 1113 of the Bankruptcy...more

Bankruptcy Trumps Collective Bargaining Agreement

A federal court recently ruled that the Bankruptcy Code (the “Code”) permits an employer to escape their expired collective bargaining agreement obligations under certain circumstances. In the matter of In re Trump...more

More Non-Compete Nonsense: Journalist Fired in Non-Compete Debacle

Last week, the Wall Street Journal ran a story about non-compete agreements making it difficult for younger journalists to get new jobs and move up in the news world. The article focused substantially on a young journalist...more

Adventures in Joint Employment: the Browning-Ferris Saga Continues with an Appeal to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals

Last week, Browning-Ferris Industries, the California-based waste management company, appealed two decisions issued by the National Labor Relations Board related to the definition of joint employer. Its appeal to the U.S....more

What GCs Need to Know About Settling Employment Claims

As we noted in a recent post on another topic, most of the lawyers we know who serve as general counsel are stretched pretty thin. It’s just not possible for them to become expert in all the areas of law they encounter....more

Retiree Health Benefits Case Remanded to District Court for Additional Fact Finding

On remand from the Supreme Court, the Sixth Circuit sent the parties in Tackett v. M&G Polymers USA, LLC back to the district court for additional factual determinations on whether the retirees who commenced the lawsuit had...more

Downsizing and Firing Employees in California

Most companies will eventually face the unpleasant task of terminating an employee or group of employees. When they do, it’s critical that they follow best practices and comply with applicable laws for many reasons, ranging...more

Employment Practices Newsletter - February 2016

In New Guidance, DOL Gets Aggressive on “Joint Employment” - By issuing a new interpretative document in January, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division attempted to clarify the concept of “joint...more

Employment Law Commentary, January 2016

Alcoholism And Disability Discrimination: Lessons From The USC Coach’s Case - If you have never dealt with an employee who is an alcoholic, rest assured, you will. Alcoholism has been described as the single largest,...more

Employee Benefits Developments - January 2016

IRS Guidance Addresses Numerous ACA Issues Related to HRAs. Just before the New Year, the IRS issued Notice 2015-87 (Notice), addressing the application of Affordable Care Act (ACA) market reform rules to different...more

Double-check existing policies for whistleblower coverage

Whistleblower lawsuits under the False Claims Act, also known as qui tam actions, have become more common in recent years. This is particularly so in heavily regulated industries and those in which the government routinely...more

Third Circuit Court of Appeals Permits Chapter 11 Debtor to Reject Expired CBA

It is a familiar scenario: a company is on the verge of bankruptcy, bound by the terms of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), and unable to negotiate a new agreement. However, this time, an analysis of this distressed...more

Plaintiff Lacks Control of Employees’ Personal Accounts, Motion to Compel Denied (California)

Matthew Enter. v. Chrysler Grp., 2015 WL 8482256 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 10, 2015) - In this case, the defendant moved to compel additional ESI, including emails from employees’ corporate Gmail accounts and financial documents....more

DOL Sets Its Sights on Small Businesses in Recent Joint Employer Guidance

The NLRB made a splash when it laid out a new standard to capture employers previously thought to be outside the “joint employer” net with its Browning-Ferris decision in April 2015, and now the Department of Labor is making...more

Employers Should Not Rely on Employer Handbooks to Create Enforceable Arbitration Agreements

In a recent published opinion, the New Jersey Appellate Division held that an arbitration clause in an employee handbook was unenforceable because the handbook also contained standard disclaimer language stating that the...more

New York Federal Court Rejects Mutual Non-disparagement Provision in FLSA Settlement Agreement as Overbroad

Non-disparagement provisions are commonplace in today’s settlement and separation agreements, with employers often seeking the broadest protection against disparagement. A recent decision from a New York federal court,...more

Not Worth Fighting Over?

In wage and hour disputes, sometimes an employer would rather just pay a claim instead of fighting it. Maybe the claim is only worth several hundred dollars and attorney’s fees would be a far greater expense. Or maybe not...more

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