Employer Liability Issues

News & Analysis as of

You’re NOT Paranoid – the Agencies ARE Ganging Up

Feeling a bit paranoid these days, especially where government oversight or agency investigations are involved? Your perception of reality is probably being driven less by paranoia and more by the upticks in government...more

National Labor Relations Board Majority Holds That Seeking Co-Worker Assistance with an Individual Harassment Complaint is...

Last week, the NLRB took an exceptionally broad view of what constitutes “concerted activity” and what kind of efforts are aimed at “mutual aid or protection” under the National Labor Relations Act. For employers, this could...more

NLRB is Poised to Find "Joint Employer" Relationships Just About Everywhere

As we have previously reported, on July 29, Richard Griffin, General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, announced his intention to charge McDonald's USA, LLC, as a "joint employer" with its franchisees in a series...more

Update: New Jersey Limits Use of Criminal History in Hiring Decisions

As we reported in December 2013, New Jersey was on the road to joining 6 other states which have recently passed legislation banning or limiting the use of criminal background checks in the hiring process. ...more

Sixth Circuit Prints Out Victory for Recipients of Fax-Blasting

An unsolicited fax comes into your business, but via your computer’s network, not on an old-fashioned fax machine. Nothing prints out on paper, but someone still has to deal with the unwanted advertisement. What’s been...more

EEOC Ratchets Up Focus on Pregnancy Discrimination with Updated Guidance

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s recent guidance regarding pregnancy discrimination in the workplace heralds that agency’s renewed focus on that topic. After three decades of silence on the issue of...more

EEOC Issues Part II of FY 2011 and Part I of FY 2012 Annual Report on Federal Work Force

Small Gains Made in Diversity Government-Wide, Data Shows EEO Complaints Were Down - WASHINGTON - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today released the second part of its Annual Report on the...more

Employers: Be Vigilant About ADA Compliance During the Hiring Process

While certain job duties may legitimately require that employers screen applicants and employees for medical conditions, organizations risk violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and incurring serious legal...more

Dial F for Fraud: Whistleblower hotlines are the way to go

You might think that when it comes to fighting fraud in the workplace, that the best methods are too expensive, too high-tech, or too complicated. Turns out, the best way to fight fraud actually starts with a tip....more

Focused on Franchise Law - August 2014

FRANCHISOR 101: NLRB McDonald's Ruling May Put Crimp on Franchising - On July 29, 2014, the general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) stated that McDonald's could be held jointly liable with its...more

New Difficulty With Settlements at the New York State Division of Human Rights

The New York State Division of Human Rights’ (NYSDHR or the Division) standard stipulation of settlement document does not always include all of the terms that an employer would want when agreeing to pay a monetary settlement...more

Update on Covenants Not to Compete

Covenants not to compete can be valuable for an employer. But, as in many areas of employment law, non-compete law is always changing. Below are some issues for employers to consider, as well as some recent court...more

Wage and Hour Cases in the News

Several restaurant industry labor law cases could make considerable changes in how the industry manages workers. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), tipped employees are subject to hourly wages that are lower than the...more

NLRB Divides Sharply on Employee Concerted Activity for “Mutual Aid or Protection”

In a complex, twenty-eight page opinion, a sharply divided NLRB has ruled that when an individual employee seeks assistance from fellow employees with respect to a violation under Title VII (or other workplace laws), the...more

Termination of Police Officer Whose ADHD Limits Ability to Get Along With Others Does Not Violate ADA, Ninth Circuit Says

In Weaving v. City of Hillsboro (--- F.3d ----, C.A.9 (Or.), August 15, 2014), the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals was asked to decide whether, consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), the city...more

Maryland Employers Can Be Liable for up to Treble Damages for Misclassification "Overtime Pay" Claims Under State Law

On August 13, 2014, the Maryland Court of Appeals held in Peters v. Early Healthcare Giver, Inc. that employers can be held liable under the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law ("Wage Payment Law" or MWPCL) for all...more

Partial-Day Leave Deductions Lawful for Exempt Employees

A California court of appeal recently confirmed that employers may require exempt employees to use accrued leave for partial-day absences, even if shorter than four hours. In Rhea v. General Atomics, plaintiff Lori Rhea, on...more

Lessons on Social Media in the Workplace

The following is a guest blog post by Tyler M. Paetkau, a partner with Hartnett, Smith & Paetkau in Redwood City. Tyler represents employers in all aspects of labor and employment law. He’s a frequent author and speaker on...more

Court of Appeals Rejects Mandatory Treble Damages Under Wage Payment and Collection Law

Last week, in the case of Peters v. Early Healthcare Giver, Inc., the Court of Appeals had another opportunity to reflect on the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law (“WPCL”) and specifically discuss the application of...more

Don’t Stress, You’re Not Covered: Court Denies Recovery Under Jones Act for Work-Related Stress

The Eleventh Circuit in Skye v. Maersk Line, Ltd. held seamen cannot recover for work-related stress under the Jones Act. Is work-related stress starting to take its toll? ...more

Federal Contractors See Hike in SCA Health & Welfare Rates

On July 22, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its annual memorandum announcing that, pursuant to 29 C.F.R. Section 4.52, the prevailing hourly health and welfare fringe benefit rates under the McNamara-O'Hara...more

Let’s Shake On It: Texas Case Exemplifies the Perils of Adopting a Company-Wide Practice of Oral Agreements

An opinion out of the Fourteenth Court of Appeals demonstrates why employers need to be weary of developing a practice of oral agreements in regards to compensation upon which at-will employees may detrimentally rely. The...more

Two Recent Cases May Indicate Expansion of the NLRB’s Position Regarding Organizing Activity

In June, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that Starbucks violated labor law by firing a worker, union supporter Joseph Agins, who used profanity in front of customers. In 2010, the NLRB found that Starbucks...more

District Court Allows ERISA Section 510 Retaliation Claim to Proceed

A federal district court in Pennsylvania concluded that Irene Najmola, a former employee of Chester County Hospital, sufficiently pled a retaliation claim under ERISA section 510 by alleging that her employment was terminated...more

Social Media Policies in the Workplace

Social media usage is now ubiquitous: - Facebook users spend more than 10.5 billion minutes per day on the website. - LinkedIn has more than 277 million members in over 200 countries and territories. - Twitter...more

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