Employee Rights Hiring & Firing

Most countries provide some degree of workplace protection for employees and job applicants. Depending on the jurisdiction, these protections generally include safety precautions and policies, anti-discrimination... more +
Most countries provide some degree of workplace protection for employees and job applicants. Depending on the jurisdiction, these protections generally include safety precautions and policies, anti-discrimination policies, collective bargaining and unionizing rights, meal and rest requirements, minimum wage rules, and medical and family leave rights to name a few. In the United States, the federal framework for employee rights stem from statutes such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In addition, employee rights statutes are implemented and enforced by regulatory authorities such as the EEOC, NLRB, OSHA, and the Department of Labor. Further, many state and local governments provide additional and localized protections for employees that are enforced by local regulatory entities. less -
News & Analysis as of

Key Employment Updates - October 2015

With summer now officially over, we set out below some important updates to be aware of as the ‘back to work’ period begins. Employers may be able to dismiss, lawfully, for derogatory comments made on social media - The...more

California Fair Pay Act: New Obligations for Employers or a Paper Tiger?

Widely lauded as the strongest equal pay legislation in the nation, California’s Fair Pay Act (Senate Bill 358) is now law. Effective January 1, 2016, the new law modifies California’s existing wage discrimination measures by...more

New York Employment Law Roundup: July, August, & September 2015

Today’s New York employment law landscape is increasingly dynamic, with a constant stream of newly issued legislation and judicial opinions. To keep our readers current on the latest events, we share regular summaries of...more

Be Aware of Public Employees Disciplinary Proceedings Protections: Loudermill, Wiengarten and Garrity

This post is primarily for public sector employers such as state agencies, municipalities and districts. By virtue of being employed by the government and quite likely represented by a labor union, public sector employees in...more

Payment of Accrued But Unused Vacation Pay

The Connecticut rules for payment of accrued but unused vacation pay when employment terminates are fairly simple, but a brief refresher may be helpful to employers. Connecticut General Statutes § 31-71f requires...more

California Legislature Pushes to Limit Employer/Employee Arbitration Agreements

The California legislature recently submitted a bill (AB 465) to Governor Jerry Brown that deters employers from using arbitration agreements that include a provision requiring the arbitration of claims brought against...more

NJ Appellate Court Offers New Guidance on Employee Arbitration Agreements

Earlier this month, the New Jersey Appellate Division ruled that employee arbitration agreements, to be enforceable, must contain a “clear and unmistakable” waiver of an employee’s right to a trial in court. In Milloul v....more

Be Careful What You Say During a Union Organizing Campaign

At the same time that the current National Labor Relations Board is giving employees what seems like the unfettered ability to engage in disparagement, profane outbursts, and racist comments that accompany protected union or...more

Lessons Employers Can Learn from Kentucky Clerk’s Same-Sex Marriage License Dispute

Almost every day the news carries an additional story about Kim Davis, the Rowan County, Kentucky clerk who has defied the Supreme Court by refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The Kim Davis story may be...more

Two New Developments Affecting Federal Contractors

On September 7, 2015, President Obama issued an Executive Order establishing paid sick leave for federal contractors. The Executive Order currently applies only to contracts entered into on or after January 1, 2017....more

The New York City Commission on Human Rights Releases Enforcement Guidance on the Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act

Last week, the Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act became effective. It amended the New York City Human Rights Law to prohibit most employers from making employment decisions based on an employee or applicant’s...more

NYC Commission on Human Rights Releases Interpretive Enforcement Guide for the SCDEA

The Commission’s guide outlines narrow interpretation and recordkeeping requirements for employers seeking exemptions to the SCDEA, as well as guidance on enforcement and penalties for SCDEA violations....more

Employment Law - August 2015

California Sick Leave Law Gets Updates - Why it matters: California's Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act just took effect on July 1 but Governor Jerry Brown has already signed into law tweaks to the statute....more

Pay Equity Legislation Aims to Eliminate Wage Disparities Between Genders in Massachusetts

In a hearing before the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development on Tuesday, July 21, roughly two dozen lawmakers and a wide range of business officials, advocacy groups, non-profit leaders, and academics testified...more

Holiday entitlement during sick leave – Where are we now?

An employee’s entitlement to holiday, and the pay he or she receives while taking holiday, has been a hot topic in the courts over the past few years. In the case of Plumb v Duncan Print Group Ltd, the Employment Appeal...more

Employers May Be Able to Limit Treble Damages for Violations of the Massachusetts Wage Act

The Massachusetts Wage Act automatically entitles an employee who proves an unlawful failure to pay wages to treble damages. On June 18, 2015, however, a Massachusetts Superior Court judge ruled in Littlefield v. Adcole...more

RI Employers (Large and Small) Required to Accommodate Healthy Pregnant Workers and New Moms. No, FMLA Leave is Not Enough.

Last month, the Rhode Island Fair Employment Practices Act was amended to require employers with 4 or more employees to provide reasonable accommodations to employees and prospective employees with a “condition”. Such...more

That is SO last week - August 2015

Last week, the world mourned Cecil the Lion, and all eyes were on the Minnesota dentist who killed him. The scrutiny of the dentist unearthed, among other things, a sexual harassment complaint lodged against him by a former...more

Four Big Takeaways from Illinois' Proposed Pregnancy Accommodation Rules

Illinois employers, take note—in mid-July, the State's Department of Human Rights published its proposed rules implementing the State's new pregnancy discrimination law. As readers of this blog will know, the new law took...more

It’s Not Just the DOL That Thinks You May Have More Employees

Just last week, the DOL provided guidance about people treated as independent contractors, but who may really be your employees. That is just part of the trend. Another way you may have “extra” employees is through joint...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - July 2015

New Amendments Clarify California Paid Sick Leave - This month, the California Legislature enacted AB 304, an urgency measure that became effective on July 13 and provides much needed clarity on various aspects of...more

That is SO last week - July 2015 #4

Last week, the Equality Act was introduced in Congress. If enacted, this historic legislation will prohibit discrimination in employment and other life activities on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. It’s...more

EEOC Decision: Title VII Protects Employees' Sexual Orientation

The EEOC’s Decision - On July 18, 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) decided that Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination extends to discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation....more

Employment Law - July 2015 #2

DOL Proposes Major Overhaul of Overtime Rules: Why it matters - Expanding the scope of employees eligible for overtime, the Department of Labor (DOL) released its long-awaited new rules revising the white collar...more

Is Sexual Orientation Now a Protected Class?

In our June 26 alert regarding the U.S. Supreme Court's same-sex marriage decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, we said we would continue to keep you posted regarding new developments in this area of the law. Some of you may...more

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