Employment Policies

News & Analysis as of

Canadian Employment News Series - July 2015

Self-Reporting Drug Use Policies at Work: Are They Discriminatory? Employers seeking to strengthen policies aimed at reducing drug and alcohol abuse in safety sensitive workplaces should take note of this recent Alberta...more

NJ Appellate Division Rules that Continued Employment Means Consent to Arbitration

On July 23, 2015, the New Jersey Appellate Division upheld Ernst & Young’s alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) policy statement as valid and enforceable. In Jaworski v. Ernst & Young, No. A-5259-13T2, three former...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

10 Tips for Minimizing Company Liability for Terminating Employees who Steal Trade Secrets

When your company uncovers evidence that an employee misappropriated trade secrets it must act swiftly. The company may want to fire the employee to protect itself from the potentially devastating consequences. But how can...more

OSHA Directive on Inspection Procedures for the Hazard Communication Standard

OSHA has just announced a compliance Directive on “Inspection Procedures for the Hazard Communication Standard,” CPL 02-02-079 (July 9, 2015)....more

“Common Sense” Shows The Value of a Well-Written Dissent: Southern New England Telephone Company v. NLRB

It must be frustrating to be in the minority of an administrative adjudicatory body and to constantly be forced to write dissenting opinions, as was the case for former National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) member Brian E....more

NLRB Judge Orders Reinstatement Of Employee Who Made Racist Taunts Toward African-Americans

The National Labor Relations Board promotes itself as a government agency that “safeguards employees’ rights,” but you would not know it from a recent ruling upholding racist statements made by union supporters on a picket...more

EEOC Rules That Title VII Prohibits Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

In a 3-2 decision published on Thursday, July 16, 2015, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) concluded that intentional discrimination against an employee based on their sexual orientation is sex...more

Surprise! NLRB Approves Employer’s Challenged Social Media Policy

In somewhat of a surprise, recently the NLRB affirmed an Administrative Law Judge’s decision, which had rejected the NLRB General Counsel’s challenge to a portion of an employer’s social media policy as unlawful. The...more

New Amendment to California Sick-Leave Law Takes Effect

On July 13, 2015, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 304 – an amendment to California’s recently effective (as of July 1, 2015), statewide sick-leave law, known as the California Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of...more

The Modern Slavery Act: What You Need To Know

The Modern Slavery Act was passed in March 2015. When section 54 of the Act comes into force, large businesses will be required to report annually on their efforts to ensure the business and its supply chains are free of...more

Employees’ “Low-Tech” Sloppiness Causes High-Tech Problems

A good reminder for employers about maintaining cybersecurity comes from a recent Washington Post article (“This is why the government keeps getting hacked” by Jeffrey Neal) about the breach at the Office of Personnel...more

Miners & Marijuana

As in other industries, mining companies must contend with employees and contractors using or being under the influence of illegal drugs in the workplace. Marijuana is one of the most prominent substances detected in drug...more

Quirky Question #265, Can I have an English-Only Policy?

Question: Our Company may implement a policy that requires employees to speak in the English language. What risks should we be aware of? ...more

Hostile Work Environment: Playing Defense to Offensive Workplace Conduct

A hostile environment can result from the unwelcome conduct of supervisors, co-workers, customers, contractors or anyone else with whom the victim interacts on the job when the unwelcome conduct renders the workplace...more

Recent Amendments Give California's Sick Leave Law A Much-Needed Shot in the Arm

California's passage of the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (otherwise known as California's paid sick leave law) had left open a number of questions regarding compliance with the law. As a result, the...more

NLRB Reversed for Ignoring “Common Sense”

In Southern New England Telephone Company v. NLRB, the D.C. Circuit reversed an NLRB decision finding it unlawful to prohibit public-facing employees (including in-home service technicians) from wearing a particular t-shirt...more

San Francisco’s First “Retail Workers’ Bill of Rights” Creates More Obligations for Retail Employers

As of July 3, 2015, retail employers in San Francisco are required to comply with new regulations regarding the work hours, scheduling, pay and retention of their employees based on the passage of San Francisco’s first-ever...more

EEOC Rules Discrimination Based on Employee's Sexual Orientation Is Sex Discrimination Under Title VII

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC or Commission) has issued a potentially groundbreaking decision finding that discrimination based on "sexual orientation" can be brought under Title VII of the Civil...more

Department of Labor Publishes Guidance on Employee Misclassification

In recent years, various initiatives and enforcement efforts on both the state and federal level have arisen in an attempt to combat the misclassification of employees as independent contractors. Misclassification occurs when...more

Independent Contractors And Overtime: The DOL Steps Into The Ring With Jarring New Regulations

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has recently taken a firm stance on two of the most controversial issues facing American employers: overtime compensation and misclassification of employees as independent contractors. ...more

California Amends Paid Sick Leave Law

This week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law an amendment to the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, a law passed last year which requires employers to provide paid sick leave. The law has been...more

For Employers, Recent Decision Highlights Complexity of Medical Marijuana Laws

Last month, the Colorado Supreme Court affirmed the right of an employer to terminate an employee who tests positive for marijuana in violation of the employer’s drug policy. Although the impact of the decision is largely...more

AB 304: Sacramento Heard Your Cries for Help!

Less than 2 weeks after California’s mandatory sick leave law went into effect, California significantly amended the law, effective immediately. California employers had been forced, in some cases kicking and screaming,...more

California Paid Sick Leave Law Amended, Effective Immediately

On July 13, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown approved AB 304 Sick Leave: Accrual and Limitations, which amends the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (i.e., Sections 245.5, 246, and 247.5 of the California Labor...more

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