Employment Policies

News & Analysis as of

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

When Acting to Prevent Data Breaches and Comply with Privacy Laws, Remember Overarching Employee Rights

The grocery business may be “fresh and easy,” but drafting a confidentiality and data protection policy that withstands the scrutiny of the current National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is not. The NLRB, in its recent 2-1...more

Texas’ Mess Premature

Back in November, we alerted you to Texas’ lawsuit against the EEOC over the EEOC’s Enforcement Guidance prohibiting categorical employer policies that preclude hiring convicted felons. Texas v. EEOC, No. 5:13-CV-255-C (N.D....more

Risks of BYOD

Q: BYOD (Bring your own device) is standard for our employees. What, if any, are the risks for BYOD when compared to company-provided devices?...more

Wearable Devices in the Workplace Challenge Data Security and Privacy

Wearable devices, including health and activity monitors, video and audio recorders, location trackers, and other interconnected devices in the form of watches, wristbands, glasses, rings, bracelets, belts, gloves, earrings,...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

Six Tips for Avoiding Transgender Discrimination in the Workplace

Transgender employees present special concerns for employers when developing and applying personnel policies and procedures, from restroom access issues to preventing discrimination and harassment. Employers who do not...more

Empire State High: New York Joins Ranks of States Legalizing Medical Marijuana Use. But What Does This Mean For Employers?

New York's Compassionate Care Act, enacted on July 7, 2014, places New York in the company of 22 other states and the District of Columbia who permit the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Important for employers, the law...more

Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Service, Inc.; Court Tells Employers to Pay Part of Employees’ Cell Phone Bills - Action required:...

Labor Code section 2802 requires an employer to reimburse an employee who uses a personal cell phone for work-related calls, according to the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District....more

Facebook asks its app developers for transparency

At this point, you’ve probably called your Candy Crush app every name in the book. (‘Annoying’, ‘addicting’, and ‘impossible’ are a few family-friendly ones that come to mind.) Now, Facebook is hoping you’ll be able to call...more

NLRB Work Rule Decisions Continue to be a Mixed Bag

As the NLRB continues to wade through the pool of issues arising from social media policies and other workplace rules, an Administrative Law Judge’s recent decision in Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless (July 25, 2014)...more

Get Your Vacation Policy Right, and Then Relax!

Enjoying vacation time this summer? We all need a vacation at some point, and thankfully many employers provide for paid vacation leave. But as with many wage and hour issues, employers get themselves into legal trouble by...more

West Virginia Supreme Court Upholds the Enforceability of Employer's Alternative Dispute Resolution Program

Employers in West Virginia who want to avoid litigating employment disputes in the courts received a significant victory. The West Virginia Supreme Court recently upheld a company's alternative dispute resolution (ADR)...more

Employers May Deduct from Vacation Pay for Exempt Employee's Partial Day Absences of Less than Four Hours

An employee’s exempt status under both federal and California law is dependent on the employee’s duties falling within one of the exemptions (administrative, professional, executive) and the employee being paid on a “salary...more

The “Dirty Dozen”: Top 12 employer harassment mistakes

According to statistics collected by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, harassment charges have stayed relatively stable over the past three years, and the number of “cause” determinations has actually declined....more

10 Tips for Preventing Third-Party Harassment and Discrimination

Workplace harassment is a serious issue, whether it involves unwanted sexual advances or derogatory remarks about a person's race or skin color. Employment laws hold employers responsible for ensuring that the workplace is...more

A Disturbing Picture

It’s 2:30 in the afternoon. Trying to fight off midday malaise, you head for the break room. As you walk down the hall, you grow uncomfortable when you notice the stares of your co-workers. Your friend Colleen grabs you...more

Update: Final Rules Clarify New York City Employers’ Sick Leave Obligations

In response to widespread employer concerns over ambiguities in New York City’s Earned Sick Time Act (“ESTA”), the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (“DCA”) published its Final Rules regarding the ESTA on July 30,...more

NLRB ALJ Finds Civility Requirement in Employer's Social Media Policy Legally Permissible

Federal Administrative Law Judges continue to adjudicate claims brought by the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel, challenging the legality of employer social media policies. As reported in EmployNews, the NLRB...more

Background Checks: Back to Basics

Recently two federal agencies, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC), issued joint guidance on job applicant and employee background checks and "What Employers Need to Know."...more

UPDATE: Still No Love for No Gossip Policy

We previously reported that a National Labor Relations Board Administrative Law Judge found that an employer violated the National Labor Relations Act by implementing a "no gossip" policy and firing an employee who violated...more

3 keys to preventing problem officers in your ranks

During my 30+ year career in law enforcement, I had the privilege of working with some of the best and brightest investigators in law enforcement. I watched in amazement as crimes were solved and arrests were made by building...more

Rhode Island Enacts New Social-Media Privacy Law

Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee recently signed the 2014 Student and Employee Social Media Privacy Acts into law. In a press release, lawmakers said that the new law was modeled on similar laws in California that are “considered one...more

Act Now Advisory: New York State's Medical Marijuana Law Gives Workplace Anti-Discrimination Protection

On July 7, 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo publicly signed into law New York State's first marijuana legalization law—the Compassionate Care Act ("Act"). The Act (which was actually signed on July 5, 2014, after weeks of...more

NJ Appellate Courts Permit Employers to Shorten Statute of Limitations Period Through Employment Applications

A New Jersey Appellate Court recently held that a provision in an employment application shortening the statute of limitation from two years to six months was enforceable under New Jersey law. As a result, the employee’s...more

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