Employer Liability Issues

News & Analysis as of

Watch Out for the Cat’s Paw - Employers May Be Accountable for Low-Level Employee Actions

In the world of employment law, there is something called the “Cat’s Paw” theory of liability. The name comes from a fable dating back to the 17th century in which a clever monkey persuades a naïve cat to pull roasting...more

Seattle City Council Passes Secure Scheduling Ordinance With Sweeping Implications for Employers in the Food Service and Retail...

On Monday, the Seattle City Council unanimously passed a “Secure Scheduling Ordinance,” set to take effect in July 2017, that will place substantial limitations on covered employers’ ability to flexibly schedule workers....more

If Pain, Yes Gain—Part XXII: Morristown No. 13 in New Jersey to Pass Paid Sick Leave Law

Seyfarth Synopsis: Following the path of 12 other New Jersey municipalities, on September 13, 2016, the Morristown, NJ, Town Council passed a mandatory paid sick leave ordinance (the “Morristown Ordinance”). The ordinance...more

Harassment Investigation Techniques

In a recent post, we talked about how digital technology can provide a platform for sexual harassment in the workplace. Today, we want to focus on the investigation of complaints of sexual harassment, including a review of...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – September, 2016 #2

Dear Legal Mailbag: Recently, a parent called to complain about a teacher’s being “spaced-out” when she talked to him about her child. This parent is quick to draw judgments about people and even quicker to share them. I...more

Lessons Unlearned: Franchise and Independent Contractor Agreements Can Be Kiss of Death

The Third Circuit’s decision is a pointed reminder to franchisors, as well as businesses that use independent contractors, that the form of their agreements can either serve their legal interests or harm them in employee...more

Seattle City Council Passes Secure Scheduling Law

In keeping with its goal of pioneering workers’ rights, Seattle’s City Council passed its controversial Secure Scheduling Ordinance on September 19, 2016, which will require certain retail and food establishments to provide...more

Maryland Employers: Are You Ready? The Maryland Equal Pay for Equal Work Act Goes Into Effect October 1, 2016

Maryland’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (the “Act”) is scheduled to take effect on October 1, 2016. The Act amends Maryland’s existing Equal Pay law, expanding its protections against wage discrimination on the basis of sex...more

Hawaii Labor Department Imposes Massive Penalties, Sends Clear Message to Employers

Taking advantage of a new law that substantially increases penalties, the Wage Standards Division of the Hawaii State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations (“DLIR”) has issued penalties totaling $767,095 to a...more

One Expensive Bottle of Orange Juice: Denial of a $1.69 Orange Juice Costs Dollar General $277,565 in Back Pay and Damages

On September 16, 2016, a Tennessee jury awarded Linda Atkins, a former Dolgencorp LLC (“Dollar General” or the “Company”) Sales Associate, $277,565 in back pay and compensatory damages after being fired for drinking orange...more

Wage and Hour Compliance: 80% of Employers Likely Out of Compliance

The U.S. Department of Labor recently settled a lawsuit filed by the American Federation of Government Employees Local 12 for $7 million. The lawsuit, filed a decade ago, claimed that Labor Department employees had not been...more

Seattle’s New Secure Scheduling Ordinance

The Seattle City Council unanimously passed the Secure Scheduling Ordinance (Ordinance) on September 19, 2016. The Ordinance imposes new requirements on certain employers in the retail and food services industries for their...more

Seattle City Council Approves Secure Scheduling Ordinance

As widely anticipated, on September 19, 2016, the Seattle City Council passed the Secure Scheduling Ordinance (SSO), CB 118765, by a unanimous vote. The SSO mandates that large retail and food service employers provide two...more

Oklahoma Partners With U.S. DOL to Investigate Worker Misclassification

On September 13, 2016, Oklahoma became the 35th state to enter into a partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor (U.S. DOL) to share information and conduct joint investigations regarding independent contractor...more

National Organization for Onboarding and Training of New Employees Industry Wide in the Oil and Gas Industry Provides Example for...

Seyfarth Synopsis: The National STEPS Network provides a working model of an industry wide employee onboarding and safety training program. We attended the World Safety Organization International Environmental and...more

Mayflower Seafood of Goldsboro Agrees To Pay $81,500 To Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Server/Cashier at Restaurant Subjected to Sexual Harassment and Then Retaliation for Complaining About It, Federal Agency Charged - RALEIGH, N.C. - A Goldsboro, N.C., seafood restaurant will pay $81,500 and furnish other...more

Supervisor's Remarks May Constitute Direct Evidence of Discriminatory Bias

On September 2, 2016, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland (which sits in the Fourth Circuit, along with North Carolina and South Carolina) held that the EEOC can move forward in its case against a...more

OSHA Joins the SEC in Attacking Confidentiality and Other Provisions in Private Settlement Agreements

On September 15, 2016, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released new policy guidelines for its review of private settlement agreements presented to the agency for approval in whistleblowing...more

New York State DOL Issues Regulations on Payroll Debit Cards

On September 7, 2016, the New York State Department of Labor adopted regulations governing the payment of employee wages by any method other than cash or check, including direct deposit and payroll debit cards. The purpose...more

PTSD Poses a Long-Term Health Risk for Workers

Traumatic events can cause severe psychological damage that can persist for years, even decades after the event transpired. A workers’ compensation lawyer in Illinois can help individuals file claims for the long-term damage...more

MA Supreme Court Reinforces Employer Obligations on Sexual Harassment

The court’s decision to restore a $500,000 punitive damages award for failure to adequately address a sexual harassment complaint highlights employers’ duty to investigate every allegation and take appropriate remedial...more

Don’t Be A Cat’s-Paw

Most sexual harassment policies include a procedure to investigate complaints, often specifying that the investigation will be timely and thorough, and may include interviews with the employees involved, witnesses, and anyone...more

Respondeat Superior: An Employer’s Liability for Torts of Its Employees and “The Required Vehicle Exception.”

Woodland Hills personal injury lawyer Barry P. Goldberg is always looking for alternative sources of recovery, particularly in substantial injury and wrongful death cases. When the applicable bodily injury limits for the at...more

Special Edition: President of International Franchise Association (IFA) Visits Lewitt Hackman

For more than 55 years, the International Franchise Association has been committed to improving methods and business practices for all participants in franchising - whether working with the Federal Trade Commission, lobbying...more

Accountant and Attorney Liability Newsbrief - Fall 2016

Massachusetts recently amended its pay equity statute, which substantially enforces the protections of the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act. These changes will go into effect in July 2018. The prohibitions against discriminating...more

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