Labor & Employment Conflict of Laws

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Labor & Employment issues written by leading professionals.
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Officers And The Internal Affairs Doctrine

My guess is that most attorneys would say that the duty of an officer to the corporation are governed by the law of the state of incorporation under the “internal affairs doctrine”.  As explained by the U.S. Supreme Court,...more

Airline Industry Alert: Court Finds Federal Law Preempts State Drug-Testing Law as Applied to Flight Attendant

In a decision that is good news for airline employers, a federal trial court in Minnesota has held that the state drug-testing statute, which prohibits discharging an employee the first time the employee fails a drug test, is...more

State Law Claim for Invasion of Privacy Escapes ERISA Preemption: Rose v. HealthComp, Inc.

A federal court recently held that the plaintiff’s claims under state law survived ERISA preemption, and remanded the case to state court to determine the plaintiff’s claims for invasion of privacy and unfair business...more

California Enacts Change-in-Control Benefits For Grocery Workers

Last week, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 359 (Gonzalez) that will impose a worker retention requirement when there has been a change in ownership or control of grocery establishments.  In general, the bill will require the...more

Airline Industry Alert: Washington State Supreme Court Finds SeaTac Ordinance Increasing Minimum Wage to $15 an Hour Enforceable...

In a 5-4 decision, the Washington State Supreme Court has held that Proposition 1 – an ordinance which increased the minimum wage within the city of SeaTac for employees in the hospitality and transportation industries to $15...more

The Quirks of Mid-Atlantic State OSHA Plans: North Carolina

While a “State-OSHA Plan” must at least meet Fed-OSHA standards, these plans often develop their own additional requirements and have widely varying enforcement and appeal processes. When Federal OSHA adopts a new regulation,...more

ERISA: Clarity on When ERISA Applies to Working Owners of Small Companies

You probably already know that in small, wholly owned “mom and pop” businesses, benefits covering only the owners of the business may be exempt from ERISA....more

Assembly Bill 266 provides long-awaited medical marijuana regulatory framework in California

In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 215 and California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. Now, 20 years later, AB 266 looks like the state’s best chance at regulating the cultivation and...more

Benefits Litigation Update – July 2015

Welcome to the new, rejuvenated version of the Benefits Litigation Update, which we bring you jointly with the law firm of Epstein Becker Green. Our goal is to provide a concise and, we hope, insightful glimpse into recent...more

Employer Required to Reimburse Employee For Medical Marijuana Treatment

The Court of Appeals of New Mexico issued a decision last week that many employers believe flies in the face of the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. §§ 801 (“CSA”), and the Justice Department’s August 29, 2013 Memorandum....more

Preemption Law Results Show Different Approaches States Take with Local Sick Leave Measures

2015 has been a notable year for the passage and implementation of local mandatory paid sick leave (PSL) laws. In addition to statewide laws taking effect in California and Massachusetts, new local laws have taken effect in...more

Miners & Marijuana

As in other industries, mining companies must contend with employees and contractors using or being under the influence of illegal drugs in the workplace. Marijuana is one of the most prominent substances detected in drug...more

District Court Confirms Federal Preemption in Massachusetts “ABC Test” Litigation

Yesterday, Judge Denise Casper of the District of Massachusetts issued an industry friendly ruling in Massachusetts Delivery Association v. Healy, awarding summary judgment to the Massachusetts Delivery Association (“MDA”)...more

Colorado Supreme Court Upholds Firing For Medical Marijuana Use

In a closely watched case, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that an employer could lawfully terminate an employee who tested positive for marijuana in a random drug test, even though the employee’s use of marijuana was...more

Federal Judge Holds FAAAA Preempts a Critical Portion of the Massachusetts Independent Contractor Law

On July 8, 2015, a federal district court judge held that a section of the Massachusetts Independent Contractor law, as applied to same-day delivery services, is preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization...more

A “Hotbox” Of Legal Issues: California’s Workplace Marijuana Laws

With New York joining in last year, nearly half the country has laws permitting state residents to use marijuana for medical purposes, and a handful even permit recreational use. California led the movement when it passed the...more

Colorado Medical Marijuana Case is Not as Far-Reaching as Expected

On June 15, 2015, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its highly anticipated decision in Coats v. Dish Network. In a unanimous decision, the court in Coats upheld the termination of an employee who failed a random drug test...more

Recent Colorado Supreme Court Decision on Medical Marijuana Highlights Risks Facing Employers in Connecticut Who Seek to Enforce...

As many of our clients know, we frequently train and counsel employers on the implications of Connecticut’s medical marijuana law in the workplace. Although medical marijuana use remains illegal under federal law,...more

Medical Marijuana Still “Unlawful”

The Colorado Supreme Court considered whether a state law prohibiting discrimination based on an employee’s “lawful” off-work activities applies to the employee’s use of medical marijuana as permitted under state law. Coats...more

Colorado Supreme Court Plays Debbie Downer for Medical Pot Users

The wait is finally over. Employers in Colorado – and in other states with similar lifestyle laws – can breathe a sigh of relief following a recent ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court. In Coats v. Dish Network, a...more

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

Study: One in Seven Colorado Adults Use Marijuana

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reports that roughly one in seven, or 13.5 percent of adults in Colorado currently use marijuana. In addition, nearly half the adult population of Colorado, 48.9...more

Colorado Allows Firing of Employee Who Used Medical Marijuana

As more states jump on the medical marijuana bandwagon, employers are faced with increasing questions about how these changes in the law affect drug testing policies. The conventional wisdom has been that medical marijuana...more

Colorado Supreme Court Okays Discharge of Medical Marijuana-Using Employee

Colorado, like some other states including New York, has a law that generally prohibits an employer from discharging an employee for engaging in lawful activities outside of work. Earlier this week, in Coats v. Dish Network,...more

It’s Not All “High” in the Rockies – Colorado Supreme Court Finds That Employees Can Be Fired For Use of Medical Marijuana

As more states legalize medical marijuana and consider legalization of “recreational” marijuana, many employers have wrestled with the question of whether they can still maintain a drug free workplace or must allow employees...more

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