Fisher & Phillips LLP

Looking Over Your Employees' Shoulders

As shifting privacy lines allow employers to reach further and further into employee conduct, it’s increasingly important that you know the legal limits. Many employees will question the legality of increased employer monitoring…more

Corporate Counsel, Employer Liability Issues, Employment Policies, GPS, Illegal Conduct

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Ignorance Is Not Bliss In The Joint-Employment Context

Hospitals, residential-care facilities, home-health agencies, and other employers in the healthcare industry often subcontract labor through outside vendors to fill positions like travel nurses, security guards, and janitors…more

Employer Liability Issues, Health Care Providers, Hospitals, Joint Employers, Subcontracts

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Massachusetts Attorney General Revises "Safe Harbor" Provision to Address Part-Time Employees and Publishes Notice Poster

On June 10, 2015, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office published a revised Safe Harbor provision concerning the Earned Sick Time Law that made significant changes to the Safe Harbor provision previously issued on May 18…more

Employee Rights, Employment Policies, Notice Requirements, Part-Time Employees, PTO

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Hospitality Update, No. 3, September 2013: Put It On My Card? Not So Fast!

In the age of technology and convenience, some businesses, particularly those with multi-state operations, are turning away from issuing paychecks to employees or paying them by direct deposit. Instead, some are opting to pay…more

Debit Cards, Hospitality Industry, Minimum Wage, Payroll Cards, Wages

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Approved San Francisco Retail Workers Ordinance Means More Restrictions For Employers

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has voted unanimously to approve a city ordinance, which will create a number of obstacles for many businesses – including retail stores, restaurants, and banks. The ordinance, referred to…more

Banks, Employer Liability Issues, Local Ordinance, Restaurant Industry, Retailers

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Update For Retirement Plans Post-Windsor

Now that some of the dust has settled on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Windsor, employers who haven’t done so already should take immediate steps to review their retirement plan documents and administrative…more

Employee Benefits, ERISA, IRS, Retirement, Retirement Plan

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Oregon's Minimum Wage Now $2.00 Per Hour Higher Than Federal Rate

After a January 1st increase of 15 cents per hour, Oregon’s minimum wage now stands at $9.25 – exactly two dollars per hour more than the federal minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour. That places Oregon near the top of the list…more

Minimum Wage, New Legislation

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Workplace Violence: Keeping Employees Safe

Cartoonists shot at work in Paris. Teachers killed while trying to protect their students in Newtown, Connecticut. A CEO shot in the head and stomach by a recently demoted employee in Illinois. News reports are filled with…more

Best Management Practices, Employer Liability Issues, OSHA, Workplace Hazards, Workplace Safety

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Missouri Minimum Wage to Increase to $7.65 Per Hour Effective January 1, 2015

On January 1, 2015, the Missouri minimum wage will increase from $7.50 to $7.65 per hour and from $3.75 to $3.825 per hour for tipped employees. Compensation for tipped employees must total at least $7.65 per hour when tips are…more

Minimum Wage, New Legislation, Restaurant Industry, Retailers, Tips

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Countdown To July 1st: Preparing For California's Mandatory Paid Sick Leave

Beginning July 1, 2015, California employers, with limited exceptions, must grant every employee 24 hours or three paid sick days each year. Even employers who are already providing paid sick leave face potential liability for…more

Best Management Practices, Corporate Counsel, Employer Mandates, Paid Leave, Recordkeeping Requirements

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Hospitals Are Still In The OFCCP's Crosshairs

On February 12, 2015, U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) underscored its intent to continue to scrutinize hospitals, including nonprofit hospitals. The OFCCP found that Lahey Clinic…more

Discrimination, Employer Liability Issues, Healthcare, Hospitals, OFCCP

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NLRB's Finalizes Quickie Election Rules for April Implementation's

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has finally implemented its long awaited “quickie election” rules, which will speed up union elections while requiring employers to turn over personal email addresses and telephone…more

NLRB, Quickie Election Rules, Union Elections, Unions

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What's the One Thing Every Company's Telecommuting Policy Must Include?

If, under certain circumstances, employers are required to accomodate remote work, what essential elements should be included in any company's Telecommuting Plan?…more

ADA, Hiring & Firing, Legal Perspectives, Reasonable Accommodation, Telecommuting

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Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Religious Beliefs Of Business Owner

Yesterday, a divided U.S. Supreme Court held in a 5-4 decision that closely-held for-profit corporations providing group healthcare to their employees could, on religious grounds, be exempted from providing contraception…more

Affordable Care Act, Burwell v Hobby Lobby, Contraceptive Coverage Mandate, Contraceptives, Hobby Lobby

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The Trend Toward Payroll Cards

Last month, Georgia became the latest state to pass legislation governing the payment of wages via “payroll cards.” Gov. Nathan Deal signed the new law on May 5, 2015. Prior to the passing of this bill, the payment of wages via…more

CFPB, Governor Deal, New Legislation, Payroll Cards, Wages

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Connecticut Governor Vetoes Non-Compete Bill

Last month, the Connecticut state legislature passed a bill that would have regulated the use of noncompete agreements…more

Dannel Malloy, Legislative Vetoes, Non-Compete Agreements, Restrictive Covenants

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Who's On Your Campus? Have You Checked The Sex-Offender List Lately?

An administrator’s nightmare is receiving a phone call that an individual on the sex offender’s list has harmed a child within the school. To avoid this horrible situation, schools now regularly check the criminal backgrounds…more

Criminal Background Checks, Employer Liability Issues, Hiring & Firing, Public Schools, Sex Offender Registry

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Employee or Independent Contractor: Why It Matters?

Every employer eventually tackles the question of whether its labor force is composed of employees, independent contractors, or a combination of both. The appeal of the independent contractor classification is understandable…more

Employer Liability Issues, Independent Contractors, Misclassification, Wage and Hour

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Should You Have Job Descriptions? (Hint: Yes)

No state or federal law “requires” job descriptions. But job descriptions can be helpful tools for both practical and legal reasons. Here are some of the most important..…more

Best Management Practices, Employer Liability Issues, Job Descriptions

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Colorado Employers Handed Medical Marijuana Victory

On June 15, 2015, the Colorado Supreme Court held in a unanimous decision that employers are still free to prohibit employee marijuana use in their workforces, and can still discipline and terminate employees who test positive…more

CO Supreme Court, Coats v Dish Network, Discipline, Drug Testing, Employment Policies

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Traditional Contract Rules Determine Whether Retirees Are Entitled to Lifetime Healthcare Benefits

Yesterday, in a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held that courts must apply ordinary rules of contract interpretation when determining whether retiree healthcare benefits vest for life pursuant to the terms of a…more

CBAs, Collective Bargaining, Contract Interpretation, Corporate Counsel, Employer Contributions

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Florida Minimum Wage Rising To $8.05

On January 1, 2015, the minimum wage for employees working in Florida rises to $8.05 per hour. This represents an hourly increase of $0.12 over the current Florida minimum wage. The increase is tied to the rate of inflation over…more

Employer Liability Issues, FLSA, Minimum Wage, New Legislation, Wage and Hour

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Employment Law in Colombia: Part II

This article is the second in a series which provides an overview of employment law in Colombia and will focus on laws prohibiting discrimination and harassment in the workplace and remedies available to employees for violations…more

Columbia, Discrimination, Employer Liability Issues, Harassment, Labor Code

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Ninth Circuit Holds Service Advisors Non-Exempt Under FLSA Dealership "Salesman" Exemption; Section 7(i) Exemption Is Still Available

The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (with jurisdiction over the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington) has ruled in Navarro v. Encino Motorcars, LLC that Service…more

Automotive Industry, Car Dealerships, Exempt-Employees, FLSA, Trucking Industry

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Bullying Can Cost Your School – And Your Students, And Their Parents

School bullying is one of the most pressing social, health, and educational concerns facing public and private schools alike. Long-term bullying, left unaddressed by schools or parents, can cause lasting physical and emotional…more

Bullying, Cyberbullying, Faculty, Legislative Agendas, Liability

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Look Out Below

How Subs Can Cause Problems For General Contractors - The U.S. Labor Department (DOL) often sets its sights up the food chain, focusing enforcement efforts on general contractors (GCs) for the wage violations of their…more

Construction Industry, DOL, Employer Liability Issues, FLSA, General Contractors

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Multiemployer Pension Reform

Too Little, Too Late? - Employers and unions locked into failing multiemployer pension plans received an 11th-hour reprieve in late December when Congress passed legislation revising laws that had hobbled these plans for…more

Employee Benefits, Multiemployer Plan, PBGC, Pension Reform, Pensions

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OSHA Announces Final Rule On Recording Requirements

On September 11, 2014, OSHA released its final rule for Occupational Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting Requirements. The rule, which takes effect on January 1, 2015, makes two important changes that tighten OSHA’s…more

Bodily Injury, Compliance, Employer Liability Issues, OSHA, Recording Requirements

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How's Your ESI Score?

No question that customer satisfaction is a primary goal and focus for dealerships (and manufacturers). In a highly-competitive industry where products and prices can be virtually identical, dealerships understand that customer…more

Auto Manufacturers, Best Management Practices, Car Dealerships, Employee Retention

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Tips To Prepare Your Company For An I-9 Audit

The Immigration Customs and Enforcement division (ICE) of the Department of Homeland Security, continues to issue Form I-9 Notices of Inspection to businesses across the nation. In fiscal year 2012, ICE served over 3,000 Notices…more

Audits, DHS, Employer Mandates, I-9, ICE

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Labor Letter, August 2013: NLRB Taking Close Look At Photography Policies

In February of 2009, a Wisconsin medical center fired several nurses after they electronically posted patient x-rays to their Facebook page, revealing the presence of a potentially embarrassing foreign object. As a result, the…more

Facebook, FBI, HIPAA, NLRB, Photographs

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Work A Full Eight Hours? That's Not In My Job Description!

According to the EEOC, healthcare employers are disproportionately represented in the ranks of those sued for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Baptist Health South Florida, Inc. recently became one of…more

ADA, Disability, Disability Discrimination, EEOC, Healthcare Professionals

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Labor Letter - April 2013: Curbing Abuse Of "Intermittent" FMLA Leave

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows employees to take 12 weeks of leave for their own or a family member’s serious health condition and up to 26 weeks for military caregiver leave. The leave can be taken in one block,…more

FMLA, FMLA Abuse, FMLA Certification Forms, Medical Leave

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Massachusetts Attorney General Revises "Safe Harbor" Provision to Address Part-Time Employees and Publishes Notice Poster

On June 10, 2015, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office published a revised Safe Harbor provision concerning the Earned Sick Time Law that made significant changes to the Safe Harbor provision previously issued on May 18…more

Employee Rights, Employment Policies, Notice Requirements, Part-Time Employees, PTO

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Massachusetts Attorney General Publishes Final Earned Sick Time Regulations

On June 19, 2015, the Massachusetts Attorney General published the final regulations concerning the new Earned Sick Time (“EST”) law that will go into effect on July 1, 2015. These final regulations differ somewhat from the…more

Earned Sick Time, Employee Rights, Employer Mandates, Final Rules, FMLA

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When Employees Solve Problems With Their Fists

Generally speaking, human resources professionals and business executives have become quite adept at dealing with employee claims for illegal harassment. For example, just about any HR manager can provide a definition of a…more

Assault, Battery, Corporate Counsel, Harassment, Hostile Environment

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Housing Discrimination Claims Given Boost By Supreme Court

Today, by a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) encompasses claims of disparate-impact discrimination. This decision, which marks the first time that the Supreme Court addressed this…more

ADEA, Affordable Housing, Discrimination, Disparate Impact, FHA

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Summer Hires

This summer it’s expected that temporary workers will fill roughly 10,000 summer jobs, many of which will be in the hospitality industry. Before filling any of your seasonal positions, it’s worth reviewing a few cautionary…more

E-Verify, Employee Rights, Employer Liability Issues, FLSA, I-9

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Employment Law in Nigeria: Part I

Nigeria is a federal constitutional republic located on the west coast of Africa. Modern Nigeria has its origins as a British colony through the 19th and 20th century until it achieved independence in 1960. Comprising 36 states…more

Discrimination, Foreign Workers, Hiring & Firing, International Labor Laws, Ministry of Labour

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Illinois Embraces "Ban The Box"

On July 19, 2014, Illinois joined a growing number of states prohibiting employers from asking about applicants’ criminal histories early in the hiring process…more

Ban the Box, Criminal Background Checks, Job Applicants

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ERISA Fiduciaries Must Continuously Monitor 401(k) Investment Choices

The U.S. Supreme Court has held unanimously that a plan fiduciary has a continuing duty to monitor investments offered under a 401(k) plan, a duty that is separate and apart from the duty to exercise prudence in selecting…more

401k, Benefit Plan Sponsors, Corporate Counsel, ERISA, Fiduciary Duty

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California Wage/Hour Update No. 3, July 2013: Appellate Court Attacks Piece-Rate Compensation – Again

The piece-rate compensation system, common among automotive technicians, agricultural workers, manufacturing employees, truck drivers, and others, has been a viable and rewarding form of compensation in California for over a…more

Compensation & Benefits, Compliance, Employee Benefits, Piece-Rate Pay, Rest and Meal Break

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New OSHA Reporting Requirements Now In Effect

As 2015 begins, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is sharpening its emphasis on inspecting and citing employers who violate its recordkeeping standard. This takes on greater importance because of the…more

Certifications, Employer Mandates, OSHA, Posting Requirements, Recordkeeping Requirements

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Colorado's Minimum Wage Increased January 1

The Colorado minimum wage increased by 23 cents to $8.23 per hour on January 1, 2015. Tipped employees are entitled to receive at least $5.21 per hour. These increases to Colorado’s minimum wage rates reflect the annual…more

COLA, Employer Mandates, Minimum Wage

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Massachusetts Attorney General Revises "Safe Harbor" Provision to Address Part-Time Employees and Publishes Notice Poster

On June 10, 2015, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office published a revised Safe Harbor provision concerning the Earned Sick Time Law that made significant changes to the Safe Harbor provision previously issued on May 18…more

Employee Rights, Employment Policies, Notice Requirements, Part-Time Employees, PTO

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Can You Link Insurance Premiums To Smoking?

Rocked by soaring costs, including skyrocketing increases in health insurance premiums, employers are desperate to manage, and hopefully limit, whatever costs they can. Many employers have begun to look to the lifestyle choices…more

ADA, Health Insurance, HIPAA, Premiums

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Was This Doctor A "Good Fit"?

A Wisconsin hospital scored an important victory in a recent failure-to-hire case involving an allegation of race discrimination. The underlying facts offer a timely reminder to all healthcare employers about what is necessary…more

Best Practices, Defense Strategies, Health Care Providers, Hiring & Firing, Hospitals

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When "Free" Is Too Good To Be True: Rethinking Interns And Volunteers Under Wage & Hour Laws

Educational institutions of all kinds often utilize the services of volunteers or so-called interns to assist with coaching sports or other extracurricular activities, and to participate in programs that are mutually beneficial…more

Best Management Practices, DOL, Educational Institutions, Employer Liability Issues, FLSA

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Limiting Off-Duty Access To The Hotel

Many hospitality employers are surprised to learn that employees have a right under federal labor law to access the exterior, nonworking areas of the hotel property in their off-duty hours for union or other protected concerted…more

Employee Handbooks, Employer Liability Issues, Hospitality Industry, Hotels, Protected Concerted Activity

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California Supreme Court: "Illegal Immigrant Shouldn't Have Been Hired – But Can't Be Fired Illegally"

On June 26, 2014, the California Supreme Court decided that an employee may proceed with a discrimination lawsuit even though he presented false work authorization documents to obtain employment in the first place…more

After-Acquired Evidence, Discrimination, Employer Liability Issues, Employment Authorization Document, Hiring & Firing

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ERISA Fiduciaries Must Continuously Monitor 401(k) Investment Choices

The U.S. Supreme Court has held unanimously that a plan fiduciary has a continuing duty to monitor investments offered under a 401(k) plan, a duty that is separate and apart from the duty to exercise prudence in selecting…more

401k, Benefit Plan Sponsors, Corporate Counsel, ERISA, Fiduciary Duty

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Cook County's New Wage-Theft Ordinance

Cook County recently increased the stakes on wage and hour compliance for employers that transact business with or receive tax incentives from the County. After May 1, 2015, Cook County may refuse to allow businesses to operate…more

FLSA, Misclassification, Wage and Hour, Wage Theft Prevention Act, Wages

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New Jersey Minimum Wage Increases To $8.38 Per Hour

Beginning January 1, 2015, the minimum wage in New Jersey is $8.38 per hour, up from $8.25 per hour. This pay hike is the result of the November 2013 voter-approved state constitutional amendment that requires that New Jersey’s…more

Employer Mandates, Minimum Wage

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Federal Trade Secret Legislation Proposal Gains New Life

The prospects for federal trade secret legislation has heated up again as there appears to be bipartisan support for a new bill. After failing in previous years, Senator Coons (D) recently joined forces with Senator Hatch (R) to…more

Corporate Counsel, Employment Policies, Federal Jurisdiction, Legislative Agendas, New Legislation

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Medical Device Industry Remains a Hotbed for NonCompete Litigation

A recent opinion stemming from a lawsuit between two competitors in the medical device industry reminds us of the old adage “be careful what you wish for.” In Howmedica Osteonics Corp. v. Zimmer, Inc., the plaintiff seemed to…more

Bonds, Medical Devices, Non-Compete Agreements, Preliminary Injunctions, Restrictive Covenants

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SCOTUS Extends Same-Sex Marriage Rights Nationwide

As has become its custom, the Supreme Court left one of its most high-profile decisions for the end of its term, holding by a 5-4 vote that the Constitution requires states to recognize same-sex marriages. As a result, state…more

Employee Benefits, FMLA, Fourth Amendment, Marriage, Marriage Equality

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Don't Fall Into The Gap: Wage/Hour Lawsuit Highlights Risks For Employers

In August, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit affirmed dismissal of five purported class or collective actions brought against a number of healthcare systems and their affiliates. Although favorable for the…more

Compliance, Employer Liability Issues, Wage and Hour, Wages

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The Evolving Definition of Joint Employers

The National Labor Relations Board and various union-backed organizations are ratcheting up efforts aimed at changing the landscape of who qualifies as a joint employer. Right now, these aggressive efforts are most pronounced in…more

Employer Liability Issues, Fast-Food Industry, Franchisee, Franchises, Franchisors

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Swatting Gnats

Since the early 2000s, the buzzing gnats of employment litigation involving retailers have been individual Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) lawsuits. Whether brought for unpaid overtime, working through lunches, or working off…more

ADA, FLSA, Public Accommodation, Retailers, Title III

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Federal Court Dismissal of EEOC Suit Leaves Employers Hanging

In a closely watched ruling, an Illinois federal district court handed a victory to one particular employer, but ducked a broader ruling that would have provided general guidance to companies generally that are trying to avoid…more

Corporate Counsel, Covenant Not to Sue, CVS, Dismissals, EEOC

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Impact of EEOC v. Abercrombie, and Employment Practices Going Forward

A first glance at the U.S. Supreme Court's recent EEOC v Abercrombie decision by Fisher & Phillips attorney, Andrew Hoag…more

EEOC, EEOC v Abercrombie, First Glance, Religious Accommodation, Religious Discrimination

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Labor Letter, June 2013: Becoming A Resume Lie Detector

Society of Human Resource Management studies show that 53% of job applicants lie on their resumes. Other research has placed the number at between 30% and 50%, with one 2011 study saying that 80% of resumes are – at a minimum –…more

Applications, Hiring & Firing, Job Applicants, Misleading Impressions, Misleading Statements

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Hospitality Update, No. 4, December 2012: Let Me Take A Look At That Tattoo

There is no question that tattoos, body piercings, and other forms of self-expression have become commonplace in modern society, especially among the Gen X and Gen Y demographic. As a result, employers have to deal with these…more

Appearance Policy, Resorts & Restaurants, Title VII

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Oregon's New Paid Sick Leave Law: An Overview

On June 22, 2015, Oregon became the fourth state to enact a statewide mandatory paid sick leave law, following California, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. The bill, signed into law by Governor Kate Brown, requires Oregon…more

Employee Rights, Employer Mandates, New Legislation, Paid Leave, Paid Sick Leave Act

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Impact of the 'Students First' Decision on Non-Teacher Employees of School Districts

Judge Rolf Treu’s decision in the Students First case is effectively an indictment of the termination process of all California public school employees, not just teachers…more

Equal Protection, Public Schools, School Districts, SCOTUS, Seniority

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Service Animals In School

Joey is a 5th grade student who is hearing impaired. Joey’s parents request that he be allowed to attend school with his service dog, Snickers. You learn that Joey’s teacher is severely allergic to animal dander. You are also…more

Assistive Animals, Public Schools, Service Animals

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Ebola Preparedness

How should an employer respond when it learns that an employee is planning a trip to West Africa to visit family? What if other employees refuse to come to work because they fear that the returning employee may have been exposed…more

Best Management Practices, CDC, Ebola, Employer Liability Issues, OSHA

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The Alternative-Workweek: Oasis Or Mirage?

California employers are acutely aware of the typical schedule worked by employees: eight hours a day, five days a week. As we have become accustomed to doing, California law generally requires employers to pay employees…more

Employee Rights, Flexible Work Arrangements, Over-Time

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Is An Unlimited Vacation Policy Right For Your Workplace?

According to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, about 3% of companies in the U.S. maintain some form of unlimited vacation policy. The reasons for adopting such a policy are easy to see: they offer work­life…more

Best Management Practices, Employment Policies, Human Resources Professionals, Unlimited Vacation, Vacation Leave

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Ohio's Minimum Wage Boosted 15 Cents On January 1

Minimum wage workers in Ohio will see their hourly pay increase by 15 cents in 2015. Effective January 1st, the Ohio minimum wage rate increased from $7.95 to $8.10 per hour. The minimum wage rate for tipped employees is…more

COLA, Minimum Wage

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OSHA Announces Final Rule On Recording Requirements

On September 11, 2014, OSHA released its final rule for Occupational Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting Requirements. The rule, which takes effect on January 1, 2015, makes two important changes that tighten OSHA’s…more

Bodily Injury, Compliance, Employer Liability Issues, OSHA, Recording Requirements

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Fifth Circuit Delivers Crippling Blow to Controversial NLRB Class Action Waiver Theory

Arbitration is generally supposed to be faster, cheaper, and more predictable than litigation. Homebuilder D.R. Horton, like many other employers, certainly believed this when, in 2006, it began requiring employees to sign…more

Arbitration Agreements, Class Action, Class Action Arbitration Waivers, Contract Drafting, D.R. Horton v NLRB

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Independent Contractor Misclassification: The Hidden Trap of Outsourcing

It’s a beguiling option. Companies that classify workers as independent contractors receive a number of benefits, including elimination of payroll taxes, workers’ compensation insurance, and unemployment insurance withholdings…more

Class Action, Independent Contractors, Misclassification, Subcontractors, Wage and Hour

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Healthcare Update, No. 4, November 2013: Facebook: The New Water Cooler – Not The New Vegas

As of June 2013, Facebook, the reigning social-media giant, had 1.15 billion monthly active users who spent an average of 8.3 hours a month on Facebook. During roughly the same period of time, Facebook users "liked" a Facebook…more

Discipline, Facebook, Healthcare, Human Resources Professionals, Managers

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The Supreme Court Preserves Key Insurance Subsidy Provisions Of The Affordable Care Act

Today, in an anxiously awaited opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court preserved key provisions of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), maintaining insurance subsidies despite a stiff challenge from opponents. By a 6 to 3 vote,…more

Affordable Care Act, Health Insurance, Health Insurance Exchanges, Individual Mandate, King v Burwell

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Do You Really Know How To Manage An OSHA Inspection?

Many articles on handling OSHA inspections provide the same basic guidelines and little explanation of why employers should take certain steps. You already know to take photos whenever the Compliance Officer (CO) takes shots and…more

Best Practices, Corporate Counsel, OSHA, Safety Inspections

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Top 5 Legal Trends For Hospitality Employers

There is much to be learned from 2013. Below are five legal topics that made headlines last year, and should provide valuable guidance for managing labor and employment law issues in 2014…more

Class Action, Class Action Arbitration Waivers, Employer Liability Issues, FLSA, Free Speech

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Come To Work And…Get Some Sleep?

Once upon a time, falling asleep at work was one of the best ways to get fired. Now, however, snoozing employees may not just have to be tolerated, they may need to be paid as well! How did we get to such an absurd point?…more

ADA, Best Management Practices, Corporate Counsel, Employer Liability Issues, Rest and Meal Break

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Preventing A Messy "Failed Exemption" Lawsuit

(Labor Letter, February 2014) - In recent years employers have become all too familiar with lawsuits alleging violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). According to the Administrative Office of the United…more

Exempt-Employees, FLSA, Hiring & Firing, Job Offers, Non-Exempt Employees

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Will Your No-Smoking Policy Get Vaporized?

Wondering what your employee is smoking in the break room, likely in violation of your “no-smoking” policy? Chances are it is an electronic smoking device, such as an e-cigarette or vaporizer. What should you do about it?…more

Best Management Practices, Corporate Counsel, E-Cigarettes, Employment Policies, FDA

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Don't Give Your Employees The Mark Of The Beast

Here’s some advice you probably didn’t think you needed, employers: you should avoid, at all costs, giving or threatening to give your employees the biblical Mark of the Beast. And if they think you are doing so, you should…more

Young Lawyers

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Labor Letter, October 2013: Variety Is The Spice Of The Court: A Preview of the 2013-14 Supreme Court Term

The upcoming Supreme Court term promises a series of significant decisions for employers. No less than seven cases (and potentially two more pending petitions) will have at least some impact on all employers this year. The…more

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HIPAA' s Criminal Charges Pack a Heavy Punch

Almost all healthcare providers and health plan administrators are familiar with the detailed requirements of the privacy and security rules under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Violations can…more

Civil Monetary Penalty, Criminal Prosecution, Health Care Providers, Healthcare, HIPAA

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Construction Contractors Subject To New OFCCP Rules

Because of a recent court decision, federal construction contractors must comply with several new regulations that many consider burdensome. An effort to exempt construction contractors from some of the new regulations was…more

Affirmative Action, Construction Workers, Contractors, Disability, Hiring & Firing

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Top Ten Ways To Hold A Company Party – Without Getting Sued

With the Holiday Season in full swing, many employers ask us about the wisdom of holding company parties where alcohol will be served. They generally want to know about the risk involved if an employee drinks too much at the…more

Employer Liability Issues, Holiday Parties, Holidays, Wine & Alcohol

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Enforcing Your Policies Outside The Workplace

All employers adopt and enforce policies regulating conduct at the workplace. Many employers expect that employees will follow their employment polices at all times regardless of whether the employee is working or at work…more

Employee Rights, FMLA, NLRA, NLRB, OSHA

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Look Out Below

How Subs Can Cause Problems For General Contractors - The U.S. Labor Department (DOL) often sets its sights up the food chain, focusing enforcement efforts on general contractors (GCs) for the wage violations of their…more

Construction Industry, DOL, Employer Liability Issues, FLSA, General Contractors

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Ohio's Minimum Wage Boosted 15 Cents On January 1

Minimum wage workers in Ohio will see their hourly pay increase by 15 cents in 2015. Effective January 1st, the Ohio minimum wage rate increased from $7.95 to $8.10 per hour. The minimum wage rate for tipped employees is…more

COLA, Minimum Wage

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Supreme Court: Voters' Initiative To End Affirmative Action Is Constitutional

In a highly anticipated decision, the Supreme Court upheld Michigan’s Proposal 2, which amended the Michigan Constitution to prohibit racial preferences in admissions to public schools and government programs…more

ACLU, Admissions, Affirmative Action, Diversity, NAACP

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New Guidance On Wellness Programs

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued proposed new rules clarifying its stance on the interplay between the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and employer wellness programs. Officially…more

ADA, Affordable Care Act, EEOC, Employer Group Health Plans, HIPAA

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Whistleblower Protection Extends To Federal Workers Who Violate Agency Regulations

Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court held that an agent of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) who disclosed information that was prohibited by TSA regulations, was nonetheless protected under the Whistleblower…more

DHS v Maclean, Disclosure, DOT, SCOTUS, TSA

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The ADA: A Far Cry From the ABCs

Qualified individuals, reasonable accommodations, undue hardship, fundamental alteration – these terms associated with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are a far cry from the simplicity of the ABCs, and cause much…more

ADA, Confidentiality, Educational Institutions, Employer Liability Issues, Public Schools

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Construction Contractors Subject To New OFCCP Rules

Because of a recent court decision, federal construction contractors must comply with several new regulations that many consider burdensome. An effort to exempt construction contractors from some of the new regulations was…more

Affirmative Action, Construction Workers, Contractors, Disability, Hiring & Firing

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Labor Letter, August 2013: Five Documents Sure To Appear In Your Lawsuit

Although simple and oftentimes overused, sports metaphors can provide insight into complicated topics. When it comes to employment litigation, cases often boil down to “blocking and tackling.” In other words, the fundamental…more

Adverse Employment Action, Disciplinary Proceedings, Employee Handbooks, Litigation Strategies, Performance Reviews

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Federal Contractors To Be Burdened With Additional Disclosure Requirements If Government Has Its Say

The U.S. Labor Department (DOL) and three federal agencies (the Department of Defense, the General Services Administration and NASA) recently issued two proposed documents relating to the implementation of Executive Order 13673,…more

Comment Period, Disclosure Requirements, DOD, DOL, Employer Mandates

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Illinois Employers Must Offer Retirement Savings Program

Illinois has become the first state in the nation to enact a law requiring businesses to offer their employees a retirement savings plan. Signed into law recently by Gov. Pat Quinn, the new law, entitled “Illinois Secure Choice…more

Employee Benefits, Employer Mandates, New Legislation, Retirement Plan

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Conference Attracts Industry-Focused Lawyers And Hospitality Leaders

Fisher & Phillips lawyers joined hundreds of industry executives, lawyers, and security experts in Houston for the 13th Annual Hospitality Lawyer Conference. The three day conference featured general sessions and workshops aimed…more

Hospitality Industry, Professional Conferences

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Distracted Driving: What's In Your Policy?

Long before cell phones, drivers faced various distractions: eating, grooming, attending to children, changing the radio station, rubbernecking someone else’s accident, becoming absorbed in a conversation, or arguing. These…more

Distracted Driving

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President, OFCCP Set New Employment Rules For Federal Contractors

While chastising Congress as “doing nothing,” the executive and administrative branches of the federal government were busy making new employment rules for federal contractors and subcontractors. This summer, President…more

Contractors, Employee Rights, Federal Contractors, OFCCP, Subcontractors

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Ninth Circuit Holds Service Advisors Non-Exempt Under FLSA Dealership "Salesman" Exemption; Section 7(i) Exemption Is Still Available

The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (with jurisdiction over the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington) has ruled in Navarro v. Encino Motorcars, LLC that Service…more

Automotive Industry, Car Dealerships, Exempt-Employees, FLSA, Trucking Industry

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SCOTUS Extends Same-Sex Marriage Rights Nationwide

As has become its custom, the Supreme Court left one of its most high-profile decisions for the end of its term, holding by a 5-4 vote that the Constitution requires states to recognize same-sex marriages. As a result, state…more

Employee Benefits, FMLA, Fourth Amendment, Marriage, Marriage Equality

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Technology And The Workplace

How Email And Texting Are Transforming Business Interactions - The automotive industry has embraced technology. Most dealerships have installed business development centers, and Internet departments to attract the online…more

Automotive Industry, CAN-SPAM Act, Car Dealerships, Confidential Information, Contract Formation

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Answering The Call

California leads the nation in vigilantly regulating the conditions which constitute “hours worked.” Definitions are established, modified, and expanded by the California Labor Code, its Wage Orders, and decisions by appellate…more

FLSA, Labor Code, On-Call Employees, Security Guards, Wage and Hour

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Do You Have A Health Plan Identifier?

Do You Even Know What It Is? With great focus on healthcare reform, you may have missed a current requirement for health plans to apply for and obtain a Health Plan Identifier (HPID). This requirement does not come from…more

CMS, Controlling Health Plan, Employer Group Health Plans, HHS, HIPAA

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Employee or Independent Contractor: Why It Matters?

Every employer eventually tackles the question of whether its labor force is composed of employees, independent contractors, or a combination of both. The appeal of the independent contractor classification is understandable…more

Employer Liability Issues, Independent Contractors, Misclassification, Wage and Hour

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Enforcing Your Policies Outside The Workplace

All employers adopt and enforce policies regulating conduct at the workplace. Many employers expect that employees will follow their employment polices at all times regardless of whether the employee is working or at work…more

Employee Rights, FMLA, NLRA, NLRB, OSHA

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The EEOC's Focus On Religious Accommodations

Religious accommodation claims are on the EEOC’s radar screen. This means that offering religious accommodations to employees and applicants must be on your radar screen as well. …more

Compliance, EEOC, Employer Liability Issues, Reasonable Accommodation, Religion

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Let the H-1B Games Begin: May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor

Katniss Everdeen’s bow and arrow will not help employers on April 1st, 2014 when the competition for H-1B work visas begins. On April 1, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) begins accepting H-1B petitions for…more

H-1B, Immigrants, USCIS, Visas

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5 Attributes of a Successful Non-Compete Agreement

Given the rising use of non-competes in all manner of businesses, we asked JD Supra contributors to tell us what's required in a successful agreement between employer and employee. Here is what we heard back…more

Employment Contract, Hiring & Firing, Legal Perspectives, Non-Compete Agreements, Popular

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It's Time to Start Planning Your Summer

It is hard to believe that the 2014/15 school year is coming to a close. Summer projects beckon. So, what should be on the list for your summer (other than some vacation time)? Ideally, if you haven’t done it lately, you…more

Best Management Practices, Educational Institutions, Employee Handbooks, Handbooks, Students

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Employee Communications: Your Internal Public Relations Campaign

If your organization regularly communicates with employees, then you understand the value of keeping employees informed about changes and plans for the organization. If you don’t have a program for regular employee…more

Best Management Practices, Corporate Culture

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Proposed Regulations Published - Salary Floor Would Be Doubled

At long last, the anxiously-awaited proposed changes in regulations defining the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(a)(1) executive, administrative, professional, outside-sales, and derivative exemptions have been…more

DOL, Exempt-Employees, FLSA, Multi-Factor Test, NPRM

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President Obama Announces Executive Action on Immigration

President Obama has announced his plan for what he says is a partial fix of the U.S. immigration system. Through this Executive Action, more than four million undocumented individuals will get relief from deportation and will…more

Barack Obama, DACA, DAPA, Deportation, DHS

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Fast-Food Chain Employers: Take Steps Now to Avoid Being the Next FLSA Headline

On almost a daily basis, we read articles about class action lawsuits and settlements against fast-food chains. Almost all chains have had them. Fisher & Phillips has defended many of these lawsuits for different chains in all…more

Employee Rights, Employer Liability Issues, Fast-Food Industry, FLSA

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Bullying Can Cost Your School – And Your Students, And Their Parents

School bullying is one of the most pressing social, health, and educational concerns facing public and private schools alike. Long-term bullying, left unaddressed by schools or parents, can cause lasting physical and emotional…more

Bullying, Cyberbullying, Faculty, Legislative Agendas, Liability

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Looking Over Your Employees' Shoulders

As shifting privacy lines allow employers to reach further and further into employee conduct, it’s increasingly important that you know the legal limits. Many employees will question the legality of increased employer monitoring…more

Corporate Counsel, Employer Liability Issues, Employment Policies, GPS, Illegal Conduct

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Taking Care of Employees Assigned Abroad

This article is the third in a series addressing employer considerations when beginning or acquiring cross-border operations. So your company is expanding and, for the first time, you'll be sending key employees abroad…more

Business Travel, Cross-Border, International Travel, Multinationals, Risk Assessment

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Duran v. U.S. Bank: When Class Certification Goes Wrong

The California Supreme Court recently handed down a landmark decision on class actions. The trial judge lost control of the certification and evidentiary presentation of the case resulting in a $15 million verdict against U.S…more

Class Action, Class Certification, U.S. Bank National Association, US Bank

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Court Rejects Kentucky Wage-Hour Representative Actions

The Kentucky Wages and Hours Act provides the mechanism for pursuing redress for minimum-wage or overtime violations under that law. KRS 337.385 provides, in pertinent part, that "[s]uch action may be maintained in any court of…more

FLSA, Jurisdiction, Minimum Wage, New Legislation, Unpaid Overtime

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Labor Letter, February 2013: How To Weigh Obesity In Employment Decisions

Imagine you are the Hiring Manager for a distribution warehouse and have just begun interviewing applicants for a materials handler position. The first candidate enters the room, standing at a height of 5’4”, weighing more than…more

ADA, ADAAA, Disability, Disability Discrimination, Discrimination

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Eligibility Rules Need To Be In Writing

Healthcare reform continues to roll on. 2014 saw the implementation of the health insurance exchanges, the Individual Mandate, and a host of new rules relating to employer-provided health coverage. 2015 marks the start of yet…more

Affordable Care Act, Employer Group Health Plans, Employer Mandates, ERISA, Full-Time Employees

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Using Biometrics In The Workplace

In the past, employees rarely objected to having their picture taken for the company’s identification badge. But in this age of technology allowing for facial recognition, photo “tagging,” finger or palm prints, and other…more

At-Will Employment, Biometric Information, Cybersecurity, Employee Handbooks, Employee Rights

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Labor Contractors Can Make Dangerous Bedfellows: Part I

According to many sources, there is a shortage of unskilled workers in the United States that is only projected to worsen, and employers nationwide are feeling the pinch. From hoteliers to seafood processors, manufacturers to…more

Employer Liability Issues, FLSA, Hiring & Firing, Labor Contractor, Third-Party Risk

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Business Travel to Australia with a Criminal Background

2015 marks the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the United States and Australia. In 1940, the two countries established diplomatic relations following the United Kingdom's recognition of Australia's domestic and…more

Australia, Business Travel, Criminal Records, Customs and Border Protection, Visas

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Contact

1075 Peachtree Street, NE Suite 3500
Atlanta, Georgia 30309, United States

Contact: Kevin L. Sullivan

  • (404) 240-4248

Areas of Practice
  • Immigration Law
  • Labor & Employment Law
Locations
Other U.S. Locations
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • D.C.
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
Number of Attorneys

100+ Attorneys

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