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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Maine Law Court Charts Different Course for Age Discrimination

It is not often that the Law Court interprets the Maine Human Rights Act (MHRA) differently from its federal counterparts. In a recent decision, though, the Law Court did exactly that – it held that the standard for...more

OSC Stresses Need to Comply with Federal E-Verify Requirements Regardless of Potential State Conflicts

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) used a case involving the apparent conflict between federal E-Verify rules and a Missouri state law to...more

US: Guns at Work: The Implications of the Fifth Circuit’s Recent Decision in Swindol v. Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit’s recent decision in Swindol v. Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation casts new doubt on the enforceability of employer policies prohibiting employees from carrying firearms onto...more

If Pain, Yes Gain—Part XXVII: Maryland Close to Catching Paid Sick Leave Bug

Seyfarth Synopsis: After several years of failed legislative attempts to pass a statewide paid sick leave law, Maryland is nearing the finish line following the state Senate’s approval of the Maryland Healthy Working Families...more

Giving the Unions Their Dues: NLRB ALJ Finds Partial Preemption of Wisconsin Right-to-Work Law

Seyfarth Synopsis: Administrative Law Judge found that the NLRA preempts part of Wisconsin’s right-to-work law that restricts employers from deducting union dues directly from employees’ paychecks....more

Minnesota Bill to Preempt Local Sick and Safe Leave Ordinances Advances in Legislature

As expected, the Uniform State Labor Standards Act (H.F. No. 600)—a Minnesota bill to preempt local employment law ordinances, including the Minneapolis and St. Paul safe and sick leave ordinances—passed in the state House of...more

Ex-General Counsel Dodged Privilege Claims Before $14.5 Million Verdict

In our last post, we detailed how Sanford Wadler, the former general counsel of Bio-Rad Laboratories, won a $14.5 million verdict against Bio-Rad. Before Wadler could get to a jury, however, he had to surmount a...more

Of Employees and Independent Contractors: The Ninth Circuit to Consider Where Truck Drivers Fall

On February 24, 2017, Senior U.S. District Judge John W. Sedwick in the district of Arizona stayed a proposed class action in Virginia Van Dusen et al v. Swift Transportation Co., Inc. et al, No.: 2:10-cv-00899, against Swift...more

The St. Louis Minimum Wage: City’s Press Release Raises More Questions Than it Answers

In our recent blog post, “The St. Louis Minimum Wage Returns From the Dead,” we reviewed the implications of the Supreme Court of Missouri’s Cooperative Home Care, Inc. v. City of St. Louis (No. SC95401) decision, which...more

The St. Louis Minimum Wage Returns From the Dead

On August 28, 2015, the City of St. Louis passed an ordinance raising the minimum wage to $11.00 per hour by January 1, 2018. The ordinance initially increased the minimum wage to $8.25 per hour with an October 15, 2015...more

Texas High Court Allows Employee to Pursue Assault Claim Against Employer for Tortious Acts of “Vice Principal”

Seyfarth Synopsis: In a decision that is sure to increase the costs and complexity of litigation, the Texas Supreme Court recently held that a former employee’s common law assault claim was not preempted by the state’s...more

Red State Preemption Of Local Pay Equity Laws? — Stay Tuned

Seyfarth Synopsis: The 2016 elections had the effect of hardening the Red-Blue divide in the country. A number of Blue cities in Red States are enacting ordinances that implement the progressive political agenda, which of...more

WPI State of the States: Legislatures Saw a Flurry of Activity in February

Statehouses across the country continue to propose legislation at a frenzied pace. In February, as in January, more than 500 bills concerning labor and employment issues were either introduced or addressed in some fashion....more

Texas Workplace Sexual Assaults May Not be Treated as Sexual Harassment

In Texas, some victims of workplace sexual assault may pursue common law assault claims against their employers, following a recent Supreme Court of Texas ruling. B.C. v. Steak N Shake Ops., Inc., — S.W.3d —, Case No. 15-0404...more

WPI Wage Watch: Minimum Wage & Overtime Updates (February Edition)

The year’s shortest month contains a long list of minimum wage and overtime developments. Though to date in 2017 a minimum wage proposal has yet to pass a single state house, and measures in Mississippi, North Dakota,...more

Future of California’s Marijuana Laws Appears Hazy

What do you get when you cross blue state liberal marijuana laws with red state conservatism? A purple haze. California voters approved recreational use of marijuana for adults in the November 2016 election. But federal...more

The Ninth Circuit Reiterates State Law Applies to Non-Preempted Claims under the Labor Management Relations Act

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (“Ninth Circuit”) recently provided much needed clarification of the standard for when a unionized employee’s claim may be preempted under § 301 of the Labor Management...more

Legislative Update for Minnesota Employers: Paid Leave Bills Advance, Cell Phone Hands-Free Bill Introduced

Employers with employees in Minnesota—and in particular, those with employees in the cities of Minneapolis and/or St. Paul—may be interested in the status of several bills that have been introduced in the Minnesota...more

Waiting for Gorsuch: SCOTUS Kicks Important Class-Action Waiver Case to Next Term

Last week, the United States Supreme Court informed litigants in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis that it is pushing the case to its October 2017 term. The lawsuit, which rose up through the Western District of Wisconsin and the...more

Un-Brotherly Love: The Commonwealth Seeks to Preempt Philadelphia’s WageEquity Ordinance Before It Takes Effect

The ink has yet to dry on Philadelphia’s newly-passed Wage Equity Ordinance and the Pennsylvania Senate has already passed a Bill that would preempt Philadelphia’s new law....more

The Continued Uncertainty of Paid Sick Leave Laws

Just days after Cook County passed its Paid Sick Leave Ordinance on October 5, 2016, several Cook County suburbs began the process of opting out of the law. So far, four have successfully done so. On November 15, 2016,...more

Is Same-Sex Discrimination Considered “Sex Discrimination” Under Title VII? 

The Supreme Court made clear in 2015 that same-sex marriage is legal across the nation. However, two years later, we still are not clear whether a person’s sexual orientation is protected under Title VII’s “sex...more

Minnesota Legislature Moves Forward to Preempt Municipal Safe and Sick Leave and Wage Ordinances

The battle over paid sick leave and minimum wage ordinances at the municipal level moved to the Minnesota Legislature as its 2017–2018 session kicked off at the end of January. Several bills introduced in the 2017-2018...more

State of the States: Legislatures are off to the Races!

Most state legislatures are back in session, and they are poised to address a wide range of labor and employment issues this year. Since January 1, 2017, more than 500 employment-related bills have been proposed in more than...more

Fourth Circuit Concludes That State Law Claims For Life Insurance Benefits Are Preempted

The Fourth Circuit recently concluded that a Sears employee’s state law claims seeking money damages based on denial of insurance benefits (for failure to submit evidence of insurability questionnaire) was preempted by...more

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