Off-Duty Employees

News & Analysis as of

Fenwick Employment Brief

California Legislative Update - In the latter half of 2016, California Governor Jerry Brown signed numerous bills into law. Below is a summary of those laws that will affect California employers in 2017 and...more

Dear Littler: Can A Boss Fire Someone for Off-Duty Political Activities?

Dear Littler: I saw one of my employees on the local news the other night participating in a political rally over the weekend. We try to maintain a tension-free workplace. Can I discipline him for this conduct? Can I at least...more

Massachusetts Has Legalized Marijuana — Should Your Workplace Policies Go Up in Smoke?

On November 8, 2016, voters in Massachusetts (along with their counterparts in Maine, California, and Nevada) voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. This means that recreational marijuana use is now legal in...more

C’est La Vie: No ‘Right to Disconnect’ in U.S., But Non-Exempt Workers Must Be Paid for ‘Connected’ Time

Could a “right to disconnect” become law in the U.S.? France is trying it. Effective January 1, a new French law went into effect giving workers a “right to disconnect” when not at work. French employers with 50 or more...more

California Employers May Not Control How Employees Spend Their Break Time or Require On-Call Rest Periods

Action Item: California employers are urged to review their rest period policies and practices, and consider changes that will ensure they relinquish control over how employees spend their break time and relieve their...more

California Supreme Court: California Prohibits On-Duty And On-Call Rest Periods

Augustus v. ABM Security Services, Inc. On December 22, 2016, the California Supreme Court in Augustus v. ABM Security Services, Inc., ruled that California law prohibits on-duty and on-call rest periods. You may...more

California Supreme Court Rejects On-Call Rest Breaks

The California Supreme Court recently issued a significant opinion regarding the issue of off-duty rest breaks in Augustus v. ABM Security Services, Inc. (Dec. 22, 2016). The Court, in the context of employees being required...more

Alert: California Supreme Court Rejects On-Duty or On-Call Rest Breaks

On December 22, 2016, the California Supreme Court addressed two related issues: (i) whether California law requires employers to permit off-duty rest periods – that is, time during which an employee is relieved from all...more

Recreational Marijuana Use Becomes Legal in Massachusetts: Questions and Answers for Dazed and Confused Employers

Seyfarth Synopsis: Massachusetts has voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. For employers that want to maintain drug-free workplaces, the new marijuana law raises a number of questions regarding employer rights...more

When and Where Can the "Line" Be Drawn? NLRB Considers When Off-Duty Employees May Picket a Hospital Employer

The National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) recently addressed hospital employers’ ability to prohibit picketing by off-duty employees on their own premises. Although the Board concluded that a hospital employer may...more

Get Off My Lawn (Or Gurney): Off Duty Employees Allowed To Picket on Hospital Employer’s Property

Seyfarth Synopsis: In a split decision, the NLRB ruled that off-duty employees of an acute care hospital had the right to picket the hospital’s main lobby entrance. After the collective bargaining agreement between acute...more

The Great Debate: Policing Politics in the Office

With the Republican National Convention well underway and the Democratic National Convention set to begin in Philadelphia on July 25, 2016, the workplace is abuzz with political discussions, a flood of political memes and...more

Medical marijuana-using welder must give employer treatment records: arbitrator

A worker who used medical marijuana has been ordered to give his employer any medical records touching on his treatment. The worker was a long-service journeyman welder employed at the employer’s potash mine.  He claimed...more

@Work: Your HR and Employment Law Update - June 2016

With the Ohio Senate’s passage of House Bill 523 on May 25, 2016, Ohio is poised to become the nation’s 25th state to legalize medicinal marijuana. Although the proposed state law provides direction for employers, a new OSHA...more

Marijuana in the Workplace

The recent passage of marijuana-use legislation in states around the country raises new issues for employees and employers alike. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia permit some form of "legalized" marijuana....more

“Up in Smoke – Are Employers Required to Accommodate Medical Marijuana Use?”

For reasons that are subject to debate, 4/20 has become known as a holiday for those who enjoy marijuana. However, over the course of many years, the face of “pot culture” has changed to include not only those lighting up...more

Purple Haze Remains Over Employees' Personal Rights on Employer Email Networks

More than a year after the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) momentous Purple Communications, Inc. decision, determining that employers must allow off-duty employees to use the company email system to engage in...more

Federal Court in Illinois Finds No Overtime Due to Police For Off-Duty Use of BlackBerrys

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled in the City of Chicago’s favor on December 10, 2015, denying police officers’ claims that they were owed overtime pay for their off-duty use of work-issued...more

So What About Those “BlackBerry Claims” We’ve Been Worried About?

BlackBerry devices may be a thing of the past; but smartphones–and their ability to allow employees to be constantly connected–certainly aren’t going away any time soon. On Thursday, a judge in the Northern District of...more

When public perception and the law differ: man fired for heckling TV reporter at soccer game is rehired after arbitration process

Just because members of the public call for the firing of an employee for yelling sexual taunts at a TV reporter at a sports match, does not mean that the firing is legally justified, a recent case illustrates....more

Rethinking the 24/7 Response

Always connected. Always available. Always responsive. In an era where personal electronic devices have become more of a technological appendage than merely a handy gadget, a growing number of employers are grappling with the...more

eWorkplace Policies Restricting Employees’ Acceptable Use of Technology, Social Media & The Cloud

I. OVERVIEW – THE MODERN LANDSCAPE - A. Physical Conduct PLUS Digital Activity - Traditional concerns for employers have included: conduct leading to liability to third-parties; “frolic and detour” or other...more

After Hours iPhone and Android Use By Employees Raises Wage/Hour Concerns (Again!)

So, you remember February 2009, right? We were all aflutter over Liam Neeson in Taken (ok, I still haven’t seen it). And we were listening to “My Life Would Suck Without You” by Kelly Clarkson (still a good song.)...more

Does NC Law Prohibit Employers From Acting on Drunk Facebook Behavior?

In recent years, numerous employers have fired or taken other disciplinary action against employees based on antics posted on social media sites. The classic example of such reaction involves parents who discover that their...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

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