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For OSHA Purposes, First Circuit Deems Subcontractor Employee of General Contractor

Construction contractors are familiar with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Multi-Employer Worksite rule. Under this rule, a general contractor (GC) can be held liable for safety violations committed by...more

Maine Prohibits Employers From Discrimination Based on Off-Duty Marijuana Use

In 2016, Maine voters approved a referendum that legalizes use of recreational marijuana in the state. Among other things, the referendum prohibits employers from discrimination against employees based on off-duty marijuana...more

Employees Again Sue Jimmy John's Based on Hiring Restriction

A few years ago, the Jimmy John’s sandwich restaurant chain ran into problems over noncompetition agreements entered into with hourly workers at its franchisees’ stores. Several state attorneys general contended that...more

Fourth Circuit Raises Bar for Dismissal of Sexual Harassment Claims

Through the 2000s, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (which includes North Carolina and South Carolina) had the reputation as one of the most employer-friendly U.S. appellate courts. As new judges took to the bench over the...more

U.S. Labor Department Sends Notices of Contractor Compliance Audits

On February 1, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs sent letters to 1,000 federal contractors notifying them of their selection for compliance evaluation audits. OFCCP informed employers...more

Fourth Circuit Requires Employers to Calculate Value of In-Kind Compensation

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employee compensation counted for purposes of fulfilling minimum wage and overtime obligations need not be paid all in cash. According to Section 203(m) of the FLSA, wages also include...more

PTO and Schedule Swaps May Not Fulfill Employer's Religious Accommodation Obligations

Title VII requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for employees’ religious beliefs and practices. While this accommodation obligation may not be as high as that imposed for disabilities under the ADA, a recent...more

DOL Reinstates Bush-Era Wage and Hour Opinion Letters

Last year, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division announced its intent to again issue opinion letters in response to wage payment questions posed to the agency by employers and employees. Last month, DOL...more

Extended Consideration of Accommodation Request OK in Unusual Circumstances

Employers understand their obligation to engage in an interactive process to address accommodation requests made by disabled employees. How long does the employer have to reach a conclusion with regard to the accommodation...more

Fourth Circuit Tosses Arbitration Agreements Signed After Litigation Began

Mandatory arbitration agreements can help employers avoid some of the costs and delays involved in litigation and eliminate the possibility of an uninformed or random jury decision. While courts generally favor agreements to...more

DOL Throws in Towel on Standard for Unpaid Internships

Last month, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals became the fourth appellate circuit to reject the Department of Labor’s six-part test for determining whether internships at for-profit companies must be paid. The DOL test...more

Fourth Circuit Raises Bar for Early Dismissal of Equal Pay Claims

Under the federal Equal Pay Act, once a plaintiff has made a prima facie case of pay discrimination based on gender, the burden of proof shifts to the employer to demonstrate legitimate business reasons for the disparity....more

Company Owner Pleads Guilty to Criminal Charges Stemming From Wage-Hour Investigation

When involved in a criminal investigation, the cover-up is usually worse than the underlying crime. Last month, a New Hampshire business owner learned this lesson the hard way when he pleaded guilty to charges based on his...more

Employer Cannot Cap Bonus Plan Already in Effect

Several years ago, we received a call from a client’s vice president of human resources who was facing an unusual problem. The company had a regional salesperson who was having an extraordinary year....more

Prior Harassment Warning Used to Attribute Knowledge of Subsequent Conduct to Employer

Under Title VII, employers are only liable for an employee’s – as opposed to a supervisor’s – sexual harassment of a co-worker if it knew or should have known of such conduct. Last month in an unpublished decision, the Second...more

N.C. Appellate Court Refuses to Declare Noncompete Invalid Prior to Discovery

In some situations, lawyers can determine that post-employment noncompetition agreements are likely to be declared automatically invalid. For example, a North Carolina employer that attempts to obtain a five year...more

New Tax Law Prohibits Deduction for Sexual Harassment Settlements With Confidentiality Clauses

The new tax reform law contains a provision intended to address continuing concerns over sexual harassment in the workplace. Now employers that settle sexual harassment or sexual abuse claims with employees cannot deduct...more

Refusal to Take Flu Vaccine Not Based on Religious Beliefs

From time to time, health care employers find themselves faced with employees who refuse to take mandatory vaccines intended to protect themselves and their patients from exposure to infectious diseases. Sometimes these...more

Workplace Fatalities Decrease for Health Care Practitioners

Health care was among the occupations that saw the largest declines in fatal work injuries in the most recent year federal data is available, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It recently released statistics...more

Federal Court Nixes EEOC's Wellness Rules But Delays Effective Date

In 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission adopted regulations that limit the amount of incentives employers can provide employees to participate in wellness programs under the companies’ group medical insurance...more

NLRB Acts Swiftly to Overturn Multiple Pro-Labor Decisions From Obama Era

It did not take long for the National Labor Relations Board to act on the advice of its new general counsel and upset multiple precedents put in place by the prior majority Democratic board. In a series of 3-2 decisions, the...more

Should N.C. Restrictive Covenants Prohibit Solicitation of Prospective Customers?

We routinely encounter language in North Carolina employment contracts that prohibits the employee from soliciting the company’s customers or prospective customers for a period of time following separation from employment. In...more

FMLA Requires Written Agreement With Exempt Employees for Intermittent Leave Calculation

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, employees are entitled to take intermittent leave to deal with a serious health condition. The intermittent leave can be in increments as small as one hour. The employer must maintain...more

Overseas Affiliate Not Subject to Title VII Jurisdiction

Employment laws and standards of conduct greatly vary from country to country. U.S. employees working overseas for their U.S. employer generally enjoy the same legal protections as if they were working at home. ...more

Full Eleventh Circuit Declines to Revisit Meaning of Race Under Title VII

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits race discrimination in employment, but it does not define what race means. Over the past decade, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has shifted its definition of...more

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