Fisher & Phillips LLP

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

Contact: Kevin L. Sullivan

  • (404) 240-4248

Monitoring Employees: How Far Can You Go?

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, GPS, Off-Duty Employees, OSHA

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Hospitality Update, No. 1, March 2013: Unions Want Fast Food – Now!

With union membership rates at their lowest level since the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) was enacted in 1935, organized labor is desperately seeking to attract new members, even if that means targeting new industries that…more

Fast-Food Industry, NLRA, NLRB, Protected Concerted Activity, Retailers

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Remember, The Massachusetts Minimum Wage Increased January 1, 2015

On January 1, 2015, the Massachusetts minimum wage increased from $8.00 to $9.00 per hour. This is the first of three annual minimum wage rate hikes that Massachusetts employers will face due to legislation signed into law last…more

Employer Mandates, Minimum Wage

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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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Healthcare Employer Lands in Patient-Privacy Predicament

Healthcare providers are required by law to maintain the privacy of most patient information, and there are good business reasons for medical practices to protect patients’ personal information. In a recent case, a medical…more

Employer Liability Issues, Health Care Providers, HIPAA, Personally Identifiable Information, PHI

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Executive Order Protects Federal Contractor LGBT Workers

Yesterday President Obama issued an Executive Order extending antidiscrimination protection on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as including these categories in affirmative action requirements…more

Barack Obama, Discrimination, Employer Liability Issues, Executive Orders, Federal Contractors

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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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DOL's Wage Rule for Home Care Workers on Hold

A federal judge has scuttled key aspects of the U.S. Labor Department's (DOL's) rule that would have extended the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage and overtime requirements to many home care workers. The rule was…more

Companionship Exemptions, DOL, Employer Mandates, FLSA, Home Health Agencies

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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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Four Steps to Effective Performance Management

Getting the most out of employees has always challenged employers. It is particularly difficult in today’s highly regulated business environment with increased global competition and changing employee attitudes. Performance…more

Best Management Practices, Hiring & Firing, Performance Incentives, Performance Reviews, Popular

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Changes Coming To Colorado Discrimination Claims

On January 1, 2015, changes to Colorado’s employment anti-discrimination statute will go into effect, drastically impacting employers facing employment discrimination claims. The changes will significantly expand the remedies…more

Discrimination, Employer Liability Issues

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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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Flag On The Play: Will Unions Change the Game of College Sports?

In a historic move, members of the Northwestern University football team recently took initial steps to form a union and seek collective-bargaining rights with the university. Shortly thereafter, the team filed a petition with…more

College Athletes, NLRB, Unions

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Employment Law in Switzerland: Part II

This article is the second in a series which provides an introduction to the key elements of employment law in Switzerland. Although Swiss employment law is rather liberal in character when compared to employment laws of other…more

Employer Liability Issues, Employer Mandates, Hiring & Firing, Switzerland

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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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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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Fighting The Flu - Don't Forget To Wash Your Hands!

You can’t open the newspaper, turn on the television, or visit a website without seeing some alarming statistic about the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu is already “widespread” in…more

CDC, EEOC, Infections, OSHA, Workplace Hazards

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Labor Letter, June 2013: Love Is In The Air…

Nora Roberts said “Love and magic have a great deal in common. They enrich the soul, delight the heart. And they both take practice.” Love and the workplace, however, well, that is a different ball game…more

Workplace Romances

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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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How The Windsor Decision Applies To Retirement Plans

The Internal Revenue Service recently furnished employers with welcome guidance concerning coverage of same-sex spouses in qualified plans. In a new Notice, the Service discusses how qualified arrangements such as 401(k)…more

401k, DOMA, Retirement Plan, Same-Sex Marriage, SCOTUS

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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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Deep-Fried Discrimination Claim: Lisa T. Jackson v. Paula Deen, et al.

The whole country watched as celebrity chef Paula Deen was roasted over the lawsuit filed by a former general manager of a Deen-affiliated restaurant. Now that the media storm is starting to fade, what lessons can employers and…more

Discrimination, Paula Deen, Racial Discrimination, Slurs

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New Massachusetts Parental Leave Law Extends Protections to Male Employees

With very little fanfare or media attention, Massachusetts Governor Patrick signed a bill into law the day before he left office that establishes parental leave in Massachusetts for both female and male employees…more

Employee Rights, New Legislation, Parental Leave

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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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Turkish Wage and Hour Law Shares Many Complexities With Its American Counterpart

Wage and hour law in Turkey is deceptively complex despite its seemingly simple premise, just as its American counterpart. Indeed, many of the same issues American employers wrangle with relative to laws and regulations…more

EU, Minimum Wage, Unpaid Overtime, Wage and Hour

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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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Shift Worker Rules Warrant Special Attention

The long-term-care industry depends on shift workers to provide patient care 24 hours per day, seven days per week. But even experienced and sophisticated employers can find the application of state and federal labor and…more

ADA, Employer Liability Issues, FLSA, Health Care Providers, Hospitals

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D.C. Circuit: USAID Worker Jailed in Cuba Can’t Recover Damages from the Government

On November 14, 2014, in Alan Gross and Judith Gross v. U.S.A., a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously held that a humanitarian aid worker, who sub-contracted with the United…more

Appeals, Cuba, Employer Liability Issues, Federal Contractors, FTCA

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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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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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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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Are Your Beneficiary Designations Heir Tight?

An often-neglected area in the world of benefit plan administration is the beneficiary designation form. Many participants complete their beneficiary designations incorrectly because they don’t read the instructions carefully or…more

Beneficiaries, Beneficiary Designations, Benefit Plan Sponsors, Employee Benefits

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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 Governor Wants to Ban Non-Compete Agreements and Enact the Uniform Trade Secrets Act

Massachusetts Governor, Deval Patrick, recently announced a bill—An Act to Promote Growth and Opportunity—that would provide workforce training opportunities and promote economic development incentives across the Commonwealth…more

Confidentiality Agreements, Economic Development, Hiring & Firing, Incentives, Independent Contractors

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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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Labor Letter, September 2013: Supreme Court Tightens Standard In Retaliation Cases

As the U.S. Supreme Court ended its most recent term with a number of cases that will have broad societal implications, one employment law case decided by the Court seems to have taken somewhat of a back seat, despite the…more

Civil Rights Act, Discrimination, EEOC, Harassment, Racial Discrimination

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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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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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Not All Health Savings Plans Are Created Equal

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) have gained in popularity since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, but many employers are unclear about how they differ from more traditional Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs). An…more

Affordable Care Act, Employee Benefits, FSA, Health Insurance, Health Savings Accounts

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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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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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When Coaches Can't Compete -- Non-Competes in Sports

In the lucrative world of big time college football, universities continually try to gain an edge over the competition by, among other things, luring top notch coaches with generous multi-million dollar contracts. One such…more

Athletes, Coaches, Non-Compete Agreements, Sports

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Goodbye – Come Back Soon!

The U.S. Supreme Court is currently considering the issue of whether under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, an employer who provides light-duty work to some employees, (such as those injured on the job) but not to all employees…more

Employer Liability Issues, PDA, Pregnancy Discrimination, Reasonable Accommodation, Retailers

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Supreme Court Strikes Down Mandatory Union "Fair Share" Deductions For Public Sector Employees

Today, in a 5 to 4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to extend its previous holdings regarding “fair-share” fees (fees that an employee who refuses to join a union is required to pay in lieu of union dues) to caretakers…more

Collective Bargaining, First Amendment, Harris v Quinn, Healthcare, Medicaid

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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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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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Court Denies Extraterritorial Application of the Dodd-Frank Act's Whistleblowing Provisions

On August 14, 2014, in Liu Meng-Lin v. Siemens AG, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit unanimously held that the whistleblowing provision of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and…more

Dodd-Frank, Extraterritoriality Rules, Foreign Corporations, Popular, Siemens

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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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Independent Contractors for Global Organizations

As the global market grows seemingly smaller, more and more companies are expanding their reach around the world. Some companies send U.S. employees overseas, while others hire locally, or even utilize local independent…more

Contractors, Employee Rights, Independent Contractors, International Labor Laws

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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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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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Healthcare Update, No. 4, November 2013: 'Tis The Season: Employers And The Flu

This flu season may be one of the worst in years, but the experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cannot monitor its severity and scope because of the federal government shutdown. Unofficial flu trackers…more

CDC, EEOC, Flu Shot Rule, Government Shutdown, Vaccinations

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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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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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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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Labor Letter, July 2013: Updated Psychiatric Manual May Pose New Challenges for Employers

Suppose a shy and awkward employee who just performed badly in a customer presentation brings a note from his doctor diagnosing “Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder” and asks not to have to meet with customers again as a…more

Age Discrimination, American Psychiatric Association, Compliance, Discrimination, Employee Benefits

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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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Labor Letter, March 2013: NLRB Requires Non-Union Member To Pay For Lobbying Fees

Lobbying Took Place In A Neighboring State’s Legislature - The National Labor Relations Board recently held that United Nurses and Allied Professionals (UNAP) did not violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by…more

Duty of Fair Representation, Lobbying, NLRA, NLRB, Recess Appointments

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Don't Fear The Reefer, Oregon Employers: Legalization of Recreational Marijuana Will Not Impact Company Policies

On November 4, 2014, Oregon joined Colorado and Washington when voters approved a state initiative legalizing the recreational use of marijuana (Alaska passed a similar law the same day). As of July 1, 2015, it will no longer be…more

Decriminalization of Marijuana, Employer Liability Issues, Employment Policies, Marijuana, Medical Marijuana

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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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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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How The ADA Impacts Your Hiring

Most employers understand their fundamental obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to protect against disability discrimination and to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified disabled employees,…more

ADA, Disability, Disability Discrimination, Employer Liability Issues, Hiring & Firing

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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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From The Schoolyard To The Teachers' Lounge: Cracking Down On Adult Bullying

Recent headlines confirm that the schoolyard bullies of yesteryear are all grown up and have joined the workforce – many of them in schools. Rather than taking place in the schoolyard or cafeteria, adult bullying is occurring in…more

Bullying, Employer Liability Issues, Workplace Bullying

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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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It's Official: $10.10 Minimum Wage For Government Contractors

The U.S. Labor Department (DOL) published final regulations implementing President Obama’s Executive Order, raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour for workers on government contracts. The new minimum wage will take effect…more

DOL, Employee Rights, Executive Orders, Federal Contractors, Minimum Wage

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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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Keeping Students In Line – Without Repercussions

In 1958, a Brown University senior was expelled because he had the temerity to bring his girlfriend to his dorm room. He did not contemplate litigation. Instead, Ted Turner moved back home to Atlanta to work at his family…more

Code of Conduct, Colleges, Discipline, Educational Institutions, Students

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The Top 5 New Year's Resolutions for Your Dealership

Given the hectic pace of work at dealerships, employment matters sometimes fall to the back of a dealership’s “to-do” list. Too often, the end result is expensive, embarrassing, and often unnecessary discrimination charges and…more

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It's Payback Time: Reimbursement Of Employee Expenses Is A Hot Issue In California

As class actions continue to plague employers in California, one area that is often overlooked is expense reimbursement. The California Labor Code makes clear that employers must indemnify employees for all necessary…more

Corporate Counsel, Employee Rights, Employer Liability Issues, Indemnification, Reimbursements

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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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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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Labor Letter, May 2013: The NLRB's Quorum Quandary

The ongoing saga over composition of the National Labor Relations Board took several twists last month, and uncertainty continues to swirl around the agency’s authority to do business. As of today, the Board consists of…more

NLRB, Nominations, Quorum

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FLSA Exemption Changes: A Possible "Plan B" For Retailers

Expectations are that the U.S. Labor Department's proposed regulations re-defining the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's executive, administrative, professional, outside-sales, and derivative exemptions will be released in the…more

DOL, Employer Liability Issues, Exempt-Employees, FLSA, Proposed Regulation

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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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Are Further Increases In California Minimum Wage Laws On The Horizon?

Existing law requires that California’s minimum wage for all industries be no less than $9 per hour effective July 1, 2014 and $10 per hour effective January 1, 2016. Even before the second-tier increase goes into effect, new…more

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

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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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DOL's Wage Rule for Home Care Workers on Hold

A federal judge has scuttled key aspects of the U.S. Labor Department's (DOL's) rule that would have extended the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage and overtime requirements to many home care workers. The rule was…more

Companionship Exemptions, DOL, Employer Mandates, FLSA, Home Health Agencies

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Massachusetts Governor Wants to Ban Non-Compete Agreements and Enact the Uniform Trade Secrets Act

Massachusetts Governor, Deval Patrick, recently announced a bill—An Act to Promote Growth and Opportunity—that would provide workforce training opportunities and promote economic development incentives across the Commonwealth…more

Confidentiality Agreements, Economic Development, Hiring & Firing, Incentives, Independent Contractors

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Drug Testing In Your Non-U.S. Operations

Many U.S.-based employers perform pre-employment, post-accident, or random drug testing. With some exceptions, they are generally permitted wide latitude in deciding when to conduct such tests. But the U.S. attitude toward drug…more

Corporate Counsel, Drug Testing, EU, Foreign Subsidiaries, Hiring & Firing

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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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Hong Kong: Embracing The Best of the East, and The Best of the West

In continuation of my article on Globalizing in Hong Kong in December 2013, let's discuss some of the practical implications and recent developments in Hong Kong's employment arena. Hong Kong is not just a pivotal financial…more

Employee Benefits, Employee Rights, Flex-Time Policies, Hong Kong, Paid Leave

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The Death of "De Minimis" Is Greatly Exaggerated

The "de minimis" worktime concept is a common-sense, court-recognized notion dating from the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's earliest days. It has been articulated by the U.S. Labor Department this way..…more

Compliance, De Minimis Claims, DOL, Employer Liability Issues, FLSA

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Even The Doctor Is Not Immune

A federal jury recently awarded $350,000 in punitive and compensatory damages to three former employees of Endoscopic Microsurgery Associates, a Baltimore-area medical practice, who were subjected to unwanted sexual advances by…more

Compensatory Damages, Employee Rights, Employer Liability Issues, Endoscopic Microsurgery Associates, Punitive Damages

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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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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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DHS Extends Employment Authorization Documents For Certain Dependent Spouses Of H-1B Visa Holders

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director León Rodríguez announced today that, effective May 26, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will allow H-4 dependent spouses of certain H-1B nonimmigrants to…more

DHS, H-1B, H-4 Spouses, Non-Immigrant Visas, USCIS

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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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