Employer Liability Issues

News & Analysis as of

LinkedIn Pays Nearly $6 Million After US Labor Department Investigation

After being investigated by the US Labor Department for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, LinkedIn has been forced to pay out nearly $6 million in damages and unpaid overtime to 359 employees....more

New Burdensome Federal Contracting Requirements

On July 31, 2014, President Obama signed the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, which—for the first time—requires large federal contractors to disclose prior labor law violations, designate a Labor Compliance...more

Are You Properly Reimbursing Your Employees?

When an employee drives to a client’s office to close the sale, employers know they must reimburse the employee for that mileage. When an employee flies to a work-related convention to work a booth, employers know they...more

Global HR Hot Topic—August 2014: How to Launch an International HR Policy, Code of Conduct or Benefits Plan

In this era of internationally aligned business operations, multinationals roll out cross-border human resources policies, global codes of conduct and international benefits offerings. But launching these cross-border...more

Washington Court of Appeals Expands "Jeopardy" Element of Claim for Wrongful Discharge in Violation of Public Policy

This month the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division III issued a ruling in Becker v. Community Health Systems, Inc. that expands protections in a wrongful termination action based on violation of a public policy....more

Act Now Advisory: California Court of Appeals Holds That Employees Must Be Reimbursed for Using Personal Cell Phones for...

In Cochran v. Schwan's Home Service Inc., the California Court of Appeals posed the following question: "Does an employer always have to reimburse an employee for the reasonable expense of the mandatory use of a personal cell...more

EEOC Benchslaps Just Keep Coming

Yesterday we reported on an entertaining “man bites dog” case initiated by a former EEOC Phoenix Regional Office investigator who sued the EEOC for race discrimination, retaliation, and violation of her civil rights. “Another...more

Healthcare Reform in the U.S. Territories; Prepayment of Taxes for Puerto Rico Retirement Plans

The summer of 2014 has brought further guidance for health plan coverage in the U.S. territories and for retirement plan coverage in Puerto Rico. Issuers and employer sponsors of Puerto Rico group health plans and employer...more

Flash No. 42 FedEx Ground Drivers Found to be Employees: A Sequel To Ruiz

In a decision issued on August 27, the Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals, in a case captioned Alexander v. FedEx Ground Package System, determined that FedEx Ground drivers were employees as a matter of law under...more

California Legislative Update: August 2014

AB 2074 amends Section 1194.2 of the California Labor Code to allow an employee who alleges minimum wage violations to file suit for liquidated damages any time before the expiration of the statute of limitation on the...more

California Supreme Court: Holding Franchisor Liable as Employer Depends on Level of Control Over Day-to-Day Employment Decisions

Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC, No. S204543 (August 28, 2014): On August 28, 2014, the California Supreme Court issued a decision holding that a franchisor that did not exhibit the characteristics of an “employer” was not...more

Want to Arbitrate Employee Disputes? Keep Your Paperwork!

Arbitration agreements, and their use as a means to avoid class action disputes in particular, have been repeat news items in the last several years, and many companies continue to consider their use as a means to mitigate...more

NLRB Expands the Boundaries of Employee Protest; Limits Employers’ Discipline Rights

Last week, the NLRB addressed whether, and to what extent, employees can criticize their employer in public. In MikLin Enterprises, the Board held 2-1 that a Jimmy John’s franchisee violated Section 8(a)(3) of the National...more

California Court Interprets Vague Language in Arbitration Agreement in Favor of Employee

Rebolledo v. Tilly’s Inc., No. G048625 (July 8, 2014): In a recent decision, a California Court of Appeal held that an employer cannot compel arbitration of a wage claim when the language in the parties’ arbitration agreement...more

Under the FLSA, a Day Late is a Dollar Short [Wage & Hour FAQ]

From time to time, we hear from employers that ask us about the consequence of delaying payroll because of cash flow. The situation is one that I faced over the years in startup businesses, and even a few established ones:...more

Developments Impacting Benefits for Same-Sex Spouses

As federal and state agencies and courts further examine the implications of the Supreme Court of the United States’ ruling on same-sex marriage in U.S. v. Windsor, the laws and regulations governing employee benefits for...more

FMLA FAQ: Can an Employer Persuade an Employee to Work Instead of Taking FMLA Leave Because Her Job is Really Important?

Evans was employed by Books-A-Million (BAM) as a payroll manager. Evans apparently became pregnant at an inopportune time — right at a time when BAM was implementing a new payroll system. As supervisors are prone to do,...more

Division of Labor and Law Firms

Two recent articles/blog posts piqued my interest. The first was written by Pam Woldow of Edge International, and the second by Robert Gogel of Integreon. Both were insightful, and I would like to both share the insight and...more

Federal Ninth Circuit Court Of Appeals Rules FedEx Drivers Are Employees, Not Independent Contractors, Under Both California's and...

Class actions were brought against FedEx in both California and Oregon by FedEx drivers contending they had been misclassified as independent contractors. (Alexander, et al. v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. and Slayman,...more

Workplace Protections Expanded for Job Applicants and Pregnant Employees in Illinois

On Tuesday, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn announced he signed the Law to Stop Discrimination Against Pregnant Women in the Workplace and thereby expanded workplace protections to job applicants and employees experiencing...more

District Courts Reviewing ERISA Cases Under the Arbitrary and Capricious Review Standard Serve Only in an Appellate Role

In McCorkle v. Metro. Life Ins. Co., 13-30745, 2014 WL 2983360 (5th Cir. 2014), the Fifth Circuit reversed the district court’s holding that MetLife’s adverse determination regarding the plaintiff’s claim for benefits due to...more

EEOC Sick Over Wellness Programs

Last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the “EEOC”) filed a lawsuit against an employer under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) related to its maintenance of a wellness program. Although far from a...more

New Pregnancy Discrimination and Accommodation Amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act

On Monday, August 25, 2014, Governor Pat Quinn signed into law new pregnancy discrimination and accommodation amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA), which will afford expectant mothers specific workplace...more

Employee Resignation in Breach of Contract

Mr Rodgers worked as a broker for Sunrise Brokers LLP (Sunrise). He was subject to a 12-month notice period and enforceable post-termination non-compete restrictions. In March 2014, he accepted an offer of employment from a...more

More Reasons for Employers to "DISLIKE" Facebook

The National Labor Relations Board is at it again – wading into the social media foray, that is. In a case that has been percolating since 2011, the NLRB has ruled that an employer must reinstate an employee who was...more

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