Employment Policies

News & Analysis as of

NLRB: Facebook “Like” is Protected, Concerted Activity Under the Labor Act

The NLRB recently issued another case on employer social media policies, ruling that clicking Facebook’s “Like” button can constitute “protected, concerted” employee activity under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)....more

Oklahoma, Louisiana and Rhode Island Continue Trend Enacting New Password-Protection Laws

In 2012, Maryland became the first state to prohibit employers from requiring employees or job applicants to provide passwords to their personal social media accounts. Since then, the trend for states to limit employers'...more

Discrimination and Harassment Training A Necessity In Male Dominated Industries

If you have ever seen Parks and Recreation, a TV show featuring a cast of funny all-stars such as Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones, then you might be familiar with one episode where Leslie Knope (Poehler) decides it’s time to...more

Employment Law Commentary -- Volume 26, Issue 8 -- August 2014: The Death of Courtesy And Civility Under The National Labor...

In January 2013, we reported on the increasing focus of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or the “Board”) on employer policies and rules in non-unionized workplaces. The NLRB has continued in full force, creating more...more

NLRB Continues Aggressive Crackdown on Social Media Policies

In the past few years the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) has taken an increased interest in whether workplace policies prohibiting employees from discussing the terms and conditions of their employment on social...more

Rhode Island Enacts Employee Social Media Privacy Legislation

Rhode Island has recently enacted legislation intended to protect job applicants’ and employees’ social media accounts and information. The new law prohibits employers from requiring job applicants or employees to disclose...more

Illinois Employer May Be Liable for Failing to Investigate Employee's Murderous Email Threats

Can an employer be liable for wrongful death by failing to investigate an employee's email threats to murder his family? The Illinois Appellate Court recently ruled that the answer may be "yes" based on the employer's...more

California Appellate Court Tells Employers to Pay Part of Employees' Cell Phone Bills or Face Class Action Liability

On August 12, 2014, the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, ruled in Cochran v. Schwan's Home Service, Inc. that employers are required to reimburse employees for all business-related calls made or received...more

The Latest From The NLRB On Employment-At-Will Policies

Just two years ago, employers weren’t terribly worried about the approach the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) took toward employment-at-will policies. True, the board did seem to signal at the time that it might...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

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

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