February 14, 2019
Jennifer Williams discusses the city of Miami Beach's attempt to raise the minimum wage and what the court's ruling means for other Florida cities.
February 11, 2019
Stephen Bowers discussed voluntary benefit plans and the role employers play with the voluntary benefits.
February 11, 2019
John Ho discusses the final rule rescinding the requirement for establishments with 250 or more employees to electronically file information from OSHA Forms 300 and 301.
February 05, 2019
Barry Kearney discusses the NLRB's returned to the traditional common-law test for determining independent contractor status in the workplace.
January 29, 2019
Jenny Goltz explains why employers should ensure BIPA compliance to ward off liability following this decision by the Illinois Supreme Court.
January 28, 2019
Susanna Bramlette discusses the executive order signed by the governor of Illinois prohibiting state agencies from asking job candidates about their salary histories.
January 23, 2019
Debra Friedman, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, wrote an article for Recruiter about how employers can take action to prevent and minimize the impact of disgruntled workers, and it all begins with the recruiting process.
January 22, 2019
Barry Kearney discusses how the NLRB under Trump is defining concerted activity.
January 17, 2019
George Voegele and Ben Shechtman discuss a New Jersey court's dismissal of plaintiff’s claims of disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, and retaliation and what this could mean for other states including Pennsylvania, Arizona, Delaware, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Connecticut.
January 17, 2019
Orly Henry discusses the Seventh Circuit's decision and why, even though the legal threshold has not been lowered, employers should remain hyper-vigilant about responding to complaints of sexual harassment.
January 14, 2019
Orly Henry discusses what health care providers need to do to comply with the posting requirement and tweak their current policies and violence prevention programs to comply with the act.
January 01, 2019
Debra Friedman, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, wrote an article for Business Woman about how to create an internship program.
December 18, 2018
Christopher Hennessy, a member in the firm's Chicago office, and Jeremy Glenn, the Chicago office managing partner, co-authored an article in Law360 about new laws in 2019 that will impact Illinois employers.
December 11, 2018
Jennifer Williams, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, wrote an article for the Daily Business Review about anti-harassment and anti-discrimination workplace training.
December 06, 2018
Mariah Passarelli, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, wrote an article for Law360 discussing the top 10 pitfalls of health care employers pertaining to the ADA, the MMA, and the crossroads between these two complicated statutes.
November 20, 2018
Mariah Passarelli, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, wrote an article for the Pittsburgh Human Resources Association on the crossroads facing the ADA and the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act.
November 20, 2018
Brian Balonick, Tiffany Jenca, and Bryant Andrews, all of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, wrote an article for the Pittsburgh Human Resources Association about the FLSA and the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act.
November 02, 2018
Jake Rubinstein discusses the split between the Sixth and Tenth Circuits with regard to whether federal law permits discrimination against transgender employees and the DOJ's brief filed with the Supreme Court.
October 29, 2018
The New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Law, which was signed into law on May 2, 2018 and takes effect today, allows employees to accrue one hour of earned sick leave for every thirty hours worked, up to forty hours each year.
October 23, 2018
David Barron, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, wrote in The Ladders about how Halloween office parties could turn into legal trouble.
October 11, 2018
Orly Henry discusses the Seventh Circuit's ruling striking down a right-to-work ordinance passed by the village in Illinois, holding that the NLRA does not grant local governments the power to, among other things, bar mandatory union membership.
October 03, 2018
Joseph Quinn discusses the new notice requirements for employers that went into effect this month.
September 20, 2018
Orly Henry discusses the decision in Frey v. Hotel Coleman and warns employers of potential exposure to liability under anti-discrimination statutes in their capacity as joint employers.
September 18, 2018
Craig Schloss, Jason Barsanti, Helen McFarland, and Aimee Axelrod Parker discuss California’s Property Service Workers Protection Act which applies to “any person or entity that employs at least one employee and one or more covered workers and that enters into contracts, subcontracts, or franchise arrangements to provide janitorial services.”
September 17, 2018
David Barron and Aaron Holt answers common questions HR professionals have following a hurricane or other natural disaster.
September 11, 2018
Christopher Hennessy, a member of the firm's Commercial Litigation Department, and Jeremy Glenn, a member of the firm's Labor & Employment Department, co-authored an article in Law360 Expert Analysis regarding restrictive covenants.
September 04, 2018
Jeff Pasek discusses the Third Circuit's decision in Cup v. Ampco that states, notwithstanding an agreement letter between the parties referencing such benefits, companies are not required to arbitrate the union’s claim for retiree health care benefits.
August 29, 2018
Jeffrey I. Pasek discusses New York City and state's higher requirements on employers than those required by federal law.
August 28, 2018
Jeff Pasek and John Ho discuss how the decision in Angelica Textile may impact manufacturers, particularly those businesses with multiple locations.
August 22, 2018
Tom Dye discusses the increasing momentum in the ranks of legislators, the U.S. Department of Justice, and state attorneys generals to investigate and take action against companies who enter into agreements between two or more employers not to hire the other’s employees.
August 07, 2018
Aaron Holt warns employers responding to accommodation requests for a reduced schedule or remote employment that physical presence requirements cannot be assumed to be an essential function of a position. Instead, employers must be able to articulate specific, essential tasks for a position that cannot be completed remotely prior to denying such an accommodation request.
July 11, 2018
Joe Quinn and Ben Shechtman discuss the Third Circuit's ruling in Minarsky v. Susquehanna County et al., and how employers should respond with regular training related to their anti-harassment policies and specifically address the issues of non-retaliation and fear of coming forward.
June 29, 2018
George Voegele discusses Pennsylvania Governor Wolf’s Executive Order that raises the minimum wage for employees of the Commonwealth and its agencies, as well as for employees of certain government contractors and lessors of Commonwealth property.
June 27, 2018
Michael Hanlon, Lauren Fox, and Benjamin Shechtman discuss the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overrule Abood; public employers with unionized workplaces may no longer deduct state-mandated agency or fair share fees from employees.
June 20, 2018
Bobbi Britton Tucker discusses the court's decision in Marie Gillispie v. Regionalcare Hospital Partners, Inc., and how the court rules that the EMTALA’s whistleblower provision protects employees who inform personnel in a covered facility of an alleged EMTALA violation, even though the employee does not also inform any governmental or regulatory agency.
June 12, 2018
Barry Kearney discusses the Robb memorandum, which provides guidance with regard to the recently decided Boeing case.
June 07, 2018
Jennifer Williams, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discussed in Daily Business Review what employers need to know when employing interns.
May 29, 2018
Joseph Quinn discusses the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis affirming the enforceability of arbitration agreements that prohibit collective actions.
May 08, 2018
Ben Shechtman discusses two important pieces of legislation recently enacted in New Jersey that meaningfully alter the legal landscape for employers.
April 30, 2018
Susan Eisenberg, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, wrote in the Daily Business Review about the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in the hospitality industry.
April 12, 2018
David Hacket and Anna Will Kentz discuss the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's decision in Bailets v. Pa. Turnpike Comm’n and how it will impact Pennsylvania employers who receive public funds.
April 02, 2018
John Ho, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, wrote an article for Bloomberg Law discussing the checklist to complete to be classified as an exempt executive, administrative professional, computer, or highly compensated employee.
March 27, 2018
Aaron Holt answers frequently asked questions about the paid sick leave ordinance that recently passed in Austin, Texas. The ordinance, which mandates paid sick leave for approximately 87,000 Austin workers, almost immediately came under fire from state legislators and business groups promising to repeal the law during the next legislative session in 2019.
February 23, 2018
John Ho, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, wrote an article for New York Law Journal about the U.S. Department of Labor's internship program.
January 18, 2018
Kate Ericsson, Jeff Pasek, and Jim Davis discuss the Wolf administration's proposal to raise the salary for exempt status from the federal minimum for salaried employees to nearly double that amount in incremental shifts over the next three years.
January 08, 2018
Sarah Kelly, Kate Ericsson and Rory Moore discuss a provision in the new Tax Act proposed by Senator Robert Menendez, (D-N.J.) that bars deductions for settlement payments, including attorney’s fees, related to sexual harassment or sexual abuse if the settlement payment is subject to a nondisclosure agreement.
January 01, 2018
David Barron, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, wrote in Law360 about three trends in 2018 that employers should fear.
December 27, 2017
Helen McFarland reviews what employers need to know and do before Washington's paid sick leave law goes into effect on January 1.
December 20, 2017
Jason Barsanti, member and Aimee Axelrod Parker, counsel of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department wrote in California Lawyer about ten developments that will impact employers and employees in 2018.
December 20, 2017
Brian Balonick provides the key takeaways for employers from three key decisions by the NLRB.
December 15, 2017
Michael Schmidt, vice chair and Jennifer Queliz, an associate of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department wrote in New York Law Journal about New York's trend of enacting laws and regulations at both the state and local levels.
December 13, 2017
David Barron, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, answered the question of the week in the Law.com Newsletter for December 2017.
December 12, 2017
Debra Friedman, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, wrote about the developments of employment law in 2017.
December 07, 2017
Jake Rubinstein discusses how the NLRB's new General Counsel Peter Robb may shift positions taken by his predecessor and how that impacts colleges and universities.
December 05, 2017
Joseph Tilson and Anna Wermuth discuss the general counsel memorandum that signals to many employers that new agency officials will take a more employer-friendly approach.
November 14, 2017
Aaron Holt, an associate of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, contributed to the book Violence Against Women: Contemporary Examination of Intimate Partner Violence.
November 03, 2017
David Barron, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses the potential disasters at holiday parties in Texas Lawyer.
October 24, 2017
John Ho, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, wrote an article for Occupational Health & Safety Online on violence in the workplace.
October 23, 2017
Helen McFarland discusses California's new ban and what employers need to know before it goes into effect on January 1, 2018.
October 17, 2017
Thomas Dye discusses Restrictive covenants in an employment contract and what employers and employees should know about the laws that govern their agreements.
October 02, 2017
John Ho, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment Department, discussed with Bloomberg Law whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee is highly fact sensitive.
September 21, 2017
John Ho, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment Department, discusses drafting independent contractor agreements in Bloomberg Law.
September 18, 2017
Fran Rayer discusses the Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery Program (sometimes referred to as a green card) that enables foreign nationals to apply for permanent residence in the United States without employer or family sponsorship.
September 14, 2017
Debra Friedman, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment practice, discusses the potential perils of employment parental leave policies in Law360.
August 28, 2017
Joseph E. Tilson and Anna Wermuth discuss why Governor Rauner’s veto is good news for Illinois employers.
July 07, 2017
Scott Bettridge, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Immigration practice, discusses hot topics under the new administration in the Daily Business Review.
June 22, 2017
John Ho, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses OSHA and ergonomics in EHS Today.
June 05, 2017
Jeremy Glenn discusses an ordinance that goes into effect on July 1 requiring employers that maintain a business within Chicago to provide paid sick leave to covered employees.
June 01, 2017
Jay A. Dorsch and Matthew D. Clyde discuss the DOL's Fiduciary Rule that state individuals or companies who are considered fiduciaries under the new rule must meet “impartial conduct standards” to qualify for the related prohibited transaction exemptions.
May 30, 2017
Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment Department, discusses the end of overtime pay in Law360.
May 19, 2017
Brian Bulger and Jenny Goltz, both members of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discuss this issue in The OFCCP Digest.
April 26, 2017
Jenny Goltz, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses this topic in the ABA Labor and Employment Law Flash.
March 17, 2017
Michelle Lee Flores, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, and Brett Taylor, of Cozen O'Connor's Commercial Litigation department, discuss the single-user restroom requirement.
February 07, 2017
Joseph Tilson and Anna Wermuth discuss the NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin's announced that scholarship football players at Division I FBS private colleges and universities are employees entitled to protection under the National Labor Relations Act.
January 03, 2017
Our Winter 2017 Labor and Employment Law Observer covers a multitude of topics of interest to in-house counsel, human resources professionals and corporate management.
December 30, 2016
Debra Friedman, David Walton, Charles Wilson and James Glenn, all of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discuss labor & employment law in the upcoming year.
December 27, 2016
Just when employers were heaving a sigh of relief this holiday season over the halting of the Fair Labor Standards Act regulations that were scheduled to take effect December 1st, the New York State Department of Labor is poised to implement changes to its wage orders that significantly increase pay levels for a wide array of businesses and employees.
December 23, 2016
David J. Walton discusses the drastic changes Congress made to trade secret law with the passage of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (the DTSA) that creates a federal civil action for trade secret theft, and we expect plenty of trade secret litigation in 2017.
December 23, 2016
Michelle Lee Flores & Brett Nicole Taylor discuss new laws in California that will take effect in 2017.
December 23, 2016
Susan N. Eisenberg discusses changes made to the FLSA during 2016 and what will happen next in 2017.
December 23, 2016
Jenny R. Goltz discusses obstacles facing the gig economy under a Trump administration.
December 23, 2016
David L. Barron discusses the rise in local legislation and the main areas of state and city legislation that warrant the most attention.
December 23, 2016
L. Stephen Bowers and Jay A. Dorsch discuss the 21st Century Cures Act, which eases restrictions on health reimbursement arrangements sponsored by certain small employers.
December 23, 2016
Michael C. Schmidt discusses the legal landscape in 2016 and how the Trump administration might impact various aspects of workplace issues.
December 23, 2016
Danielle Harris discusses the EEOC release of EEOC Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues and sorts through this new guidance, focusing on the EEOC’s major concerns regarding retaliation and what employers should do in 2017.
December 23, 2016
Debra S. Friedman discusses the executive orders signed by President Obama impacting federal contractors throughout his administration and whether the Trump administration will quickly put the brakes on, or even rescind, these executive orders and their implementing regulations.
December 23, 2016
Brian W. Bulger, James R. Glenn, and Jeremy J. Glenn discuss the 2016 decisions of the National Labor Relations Board.
December 13, 2016
L. Stephen Bowers and Jay A. Dorsch discuss the 21st Century Cures Act that provides government funding and support for a number of health care initiatives.
November 28, 2016
Marcela Stras and Elena Park discuss potential changes to the H-1B visa worker program under President-elect Trump.
November 23, 2016
Jeremy Glenn and Susan Eisenberg discuss a federal court's granting of an emergency motion for preliminary injunction, slamming the brakes on the DOL’s new overtime regulations that would have increased the minimum salary threshold to $47,476 annually for employees employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity.
November 23, 2016
Jeremy J. Glenn and Jenny R. Goltz discuss a November 16 decision from a federal judge in Texas that granted a motion for summary judgment filed by a group of business associations and law firms against the Department of Labor’s (DOL) new interpretation of the so-called “persuader rule,” and entered a nationwide permanent injunction barring the rule’s application.
November 18, 2016
This analysis provides insight into some of the most pertinent business issues President-elect Trump will likely address during his term, and what the election could mean for your industry and your business.
November 07, 2016
Dave Walton, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses data in the HR department in The Legal Intelligencer.
November 03, 2016
Jennifer Queliz discusses New York City's new “Freelance Isn’t Free” Act that requires a written contract between a freelance worker and the business engaging them if either a single engagement or an aggregate of engagements between the parties within the past 120 days has a value of $800 or more.
October 28, 2016
Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses best practices in Hotel Business Review.
October 26, 2016
Brian Bulger, Jeremy Glenn and David Barron discuss a federal judge in the Eastern District of Texas who granted a preliminary injunction blocking portions of the U.S. Department of Labor’s so-called “blacklisting” rules addressing labor law violation disclosure requirements and restriction on use of arbitration agreements.
October 25, 2016
The FTC and the DOJ jointly released Antitrust Guidance for Human Resources Professionals, advising that, going forward, the DOJ intends to criminally investigate companies who agree with competitor(s) to fix wages or other terms of employment or enter into so-called “no-poaching” agreements by agreeing not to recruit each other’s employees.
September 29, 2016
Michelle Lee Flores and Jason E. Barsanti discuss a new California law that gives employees the power to strike down choice of law and venue selection provisions that reach beyond the state.
September 08, 2016
Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses political speech in the workplace in Corporate Counsel.
August 29, 2016
George Voegele, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses the impact of Pennsylvania's new medical marijuana act on employers.
August 24, 2016
Joseph E. Tilson and Anna Wermuth discuss the NLRB decision yesterday that student teaching and research assistants at private colleges and universities are statutory employees who can unionize under the National Labor Relations Act.
July 28, 2016
Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment practice, discusses the consequences of political discussion in the workplace.
July 07, 2016
Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Labor & Employment department, discusses how portable device work will be affected by the DOL agenda in Law360.
June 28, 2016
Jeremy J. Glenn and Anna Wermuth discuss what employers need to understand with regards to Chicago's paid sick leave requirement.
May 18, 2016
David L. Barron, Jeremy J. Glenn and George A. Voegele, Jr. discuss the DOL's final regulations regarding the FLSA executive, administrative and professional overtime exemptions, also known as the “white collar” exemptions.
May 17, 2016
David Walton and David Barron discuss the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 and its civil seizure provision.
May 10, 2016
George Vogele, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses what employers should know about the new PA medical marijuana law in Law360.
April 14, 2016
Helen McFarland discusses this new requirement available to both mothers and fathers equally.
April 01, 2016
Debra Friedman, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses the effect of joint employment on healthcare in AHLA's Labor & Employment newsletter.
March 30, 2016
Debra Friedman, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses the recent Supreme Court case centering on the Affordable Care Act.
March 25, 2016
Jeremy J. Glenn and Jenny R. Goltz discuss the DOL's final “union persuader” rule which would expand the reporting requirements under Section 203(b) of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act to include employers and the labor relations consultants, including lawyers, with whom they work to counter unionization efforts.
March 23, 2016
Jason Barsanti and Jeremy J. Glenn discuss the surprising decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo et al. that plaintiffs can use representative evidence in a donning and doffing class or collective action, so long as those plaintiffs could have used the same evidence in an individual action.
March 18, 2016
Brian W. Bulger and Charles H. Wilson review Chief Judge Garland’s recent opinions in labor and employment cases revealing the judge ruled against the employer in most cases.
March 10, 2016
Debra Friedman, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses the employer conundrum of disclosing workplace violence on Law360.
March 09, 2016
Debra Friedman discusses a proposed rule issued by the EEOC that would require employers with 100 or more workers to show the government how much they pay their employees.
March 09, 2016
L. Stephen Bowers and Jay A. Dorsch discuss a recent class action settlement wherein a large financial services organization agreed to pay nearly $300,000 to settle claims that the notice it provided to health plan participants and beneficiaries of their right to continue their health coverage upon the occurrence of a qualifying event, as is required by COBRA, was deficient.
February 23, 2016
Jeffrey Pasek, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses EEOC's proposed enforcement guidance on retaliation
February 08, 2016
Simon E. Fraser and George A. Voegele discuss a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit that comes as a blow to organized labor and a boon to employers in bankruptcy.
February 04, 2016
David Barron, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses how to navigate the legal minefield of politics in the workplace in Law360.
February 03, 2016
Stephen L. Bowers and Jay Dorsch discuss Bell v. Anthem Inc. et al., and (1) whether it is a breach of fiduciary duty for a large plan to not use its leverage to secure lower administration and investment services fees, and (2) whether the selection of higher-fee mutual funds over similar lower-cost funds constitutes a per se breach of fiduciary duty under ERISA?
January 29, 2016
Stephen L. Bowers, Jay A. Dorsch and Jeffrey I. Pasek discuss the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Montanile v. Board of Trustees of the National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan and how it impacts fiduciaries of employee benefit plans governed by ERISA.
January 22, 2016
Jeremy J. Glenn, George A. Voegele and Charles H. Wilson discuss the Department of Labor's Administrator’s Interpretation released January 20, 2016 outlining two new standards for determining joint employer status under both the FLSA and the MSPA.
January 06, 2016
The 2015/2016 Labor and Employment Observer looks back at significant developments in labor and employment law over the past year and forward to what employers can expect in 2016.
December 17, 2015
Under revisions to the so-called “Ban the Box” ordinance, which were approved by Mayor Nutter two days ago, employers will be further restricted in their approach to criminal background checks for prospective employees in several notable ways.
December 17, 2015
Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department, discusses how New York’s new wage deduction law will affect employees.
December 08, 2015
Here are the top five new laws signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo that are designed to continue the push toward pay equity, expand legal protections against workplace discrimination, and otherwise further regulate the employer-employee relationship.
December 02, 2015
David Barron discusses how to handle political chatter in the workplace
December 01, 2015
The Third Circuit held that corrections officers need not be paid for any portion of their one-hour meal breaks, because the time at issue is predominantly for the employees’ benefit.
November 17, 2015
Michael Schmidt discusses the new Ban-The-Box law and how it will affect employers.
October 01, 2015
While the actual revisions to existing law are slight, these rigid systems may affect an employer’s ability to offer competitive salaries to high-value employees without impacting overall salaries within the company.
September 16, 2015
David Barron offers helpful tips for HR professionals and employers preparing for the hurricane season.
September 16, 2015
Hospitals and nursing homes may find themselves pulled into union elections or collective bargaining with staffing agencies, outside service providers and hitherto independent contractors.
September 14, 2015
There is an ever-increasing number of public and private sector employees who find that their religious beliefs clash with their work responsibilities. In this Alert, we review some of the lessons every employer may take away from the controversy highlighted by Kim Davis.
August 18, 2015
In dismissing the petition for election, the Board overturned a 2014 decision by Chicago’s Regional Director, Peter Ohr, finding that the scholarship football student-athletes were employees under the Act and entitled to vote in a union election.
July 23, 2015
Michael Schmidt offers tips to employers to avoid violating the Department of Labor’s recently proposed rule of changing overtime regulations.
July 15, 2015
Debra Friedman discusses the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission’s (EEOC) recently issued notice of proposed rulemaking with respect to employer-sponsored wellness programs, focusing on the interplay between the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
July 13, 2015
David Barron and Jeremy Glenn authored an article concerning the Department of Labor’s proposed changes to the federal overtime rules.
July 01, 2015
The proposed rule would amend the existing regulations governing the white-collar exemptions and raise the required salary threshold for exemption from overtime to $50,440 per year by next year.
June 30, 2015
David Walton and Leigh Ann Benson discuss the importance of employers preventing cybersecurity incidents and what the outcome of the Supreme Court case Spokeo v. Robins would mean for class actions brought by their employees.
June 18, 2015
While the case highlights the growing tension between state and federal marijuana law, it is also welcome relief for employers who have or are considering a zero-tolerance drug policy based on federal law’s continued classification of marijuana as an illicit drug.
June 17, 2015
The ordinance raises the minimum wage for Chicago workers: for non-tipped employees it will increase to $10, for tipped employees the minimum will be $5.45.
June 02, 2015
In a decision that came as no major surprise to Supreme Court watchers, on June 1, 2015, the Court ruled 8-1 in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch that Abercrombie & Fitch violated the civil rights of a Muslim job applicant when it refused to hire her because the headscarf that she wore pursuant to her religious obligations conflicted with the company’s dress code policy.
April 09, 2015
In an article titled “US Supreme Court Considers Religious Accommodations,” Stephen Miller, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department, discusses an important case regarding employers' obligations to accommodate employees' religious practices under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Must the employer have actual knowledge that the applicant or employee requires a religious accommodation, or does a hunch suffice? And must that knowledge come from direct, explicit notice from the applicant or employee, or can it come from some other source? The justices will try to answer these questions in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores.
April 02, 2015
In an article titled “Trick Or Tweet: The Perils Of Punishing Employee Posts,” Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department, discusses a company’s ability to take some form of employment-related action in response to an employee’s negative social media post while maintaining compliance with guidance of the National Labor Relations Board.
March 27, 2015
On March 25, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a plaintiff can demonstrate at least a genuine dispute as to whether an employer violates the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) by accommodating certain categories of injured or disabled employees, but not pregnant women.
March 26, 2015
In a move that should remind all employers (whether unionized or non-unionized) to regularly review their employee handbooks, Richard F. Griffin, the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (Board or NLRB), recently issued a memorandum addressing the kind of handbook language that could run afoul of the National Labor Relations Act.
March 12, 2015
In an article titled “No Mouthpiece, No Privilege: Pennsylvania Superior Court Holds that the Attorney-Client Privilege Does Not Survive the Dissolution of a Business Entity,” Emily Miller, an associate in Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department, discusses a recent Superior Court of Pennsylvania decision which held for the first time that the attorney-client privilege dissolves along with the business, rendering previously privileged documents and communications subject to discovery.
February 13, 2015
By late-Spring, employers within the city of Philadelphia will be required to offer sick leave to employees. On February 12, 2015, Philadelphia City Council passed Bill No. 141026 (as amended), and Mayor Michael Nutter signed it into law shortly thereafter. The ordinance requires employers with 10 or more employees in Philadelphia to provide paid sick leave, while those with less than 10 employees (for at least 40 weeks in a calendar year) will be required to provide unpaid sick leave. This Alert offers an overview of the ordinance, warns of hidden traps to avoid, and provides information on steps employers should take now to ensure compliance.
February 02, 2015
In an article titled ''Complaints from Transgender Employees by the EEOC: How Can a Company Prepare & Respond?'' Jason Cabrera, an associate in Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department, discusses how companies should prepare for and learn how to respond to Title VII claims from transgender employees given the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s recent enforcement actions in fall 2014.
January 23, 2015
In an article titled, ''Is OSHA About To Ramp Up Its Whistleblower Program?'' Debra Friedman, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment Department, discusses the significant challenges employers face when a whistleblower complaint is filed with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and recommends that employers prepare themselves by implementing a whistleblower complaint procedure program.
January 20, 2015
Heather Marx, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department, and Kristi Zentner, a member in the Business Law Department, co-authored the “Minnesota Human Resources Manual” for the American Chamber of Commerce. This comprehensive human resources manual explains, in plain English, the duties of the employer during the entire employment process – everything from pre-hire through post-termination. It covers more than thirty primary topics and includes practical advice on what should be done, solid advice on how to do it and a complete explanation of why it is important.
January 15, 2015
In an article titled “U.S. Supreme Court Analyzes Pregnancy Discrimination,” Stephen Miller, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department, and Jessica Hurst, an associate in the Labor & Employment Department, discuss Young v. United Parcel Services, in which the U.S. Supreme Court will decide the appropriate standard to apply in determining whether an employer has violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. More specifically, the court will determine under what circumstances pregnant employees are entitled to work accommodations that are provided to their non-pregnant coworkers.
December 31, 2014
The 2014/2015 Labor and Employment Observer looks back at significant developments in labor and employment law over the past year and forward to what employers can expect in 2015.
December 18, 2014
In an article titled ''Department of Labor Targeting Oil and Gas Contractors,'' David Barron, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment Department, highlights the increased scrutiny on employers in the oil and gas industry and offers some important tips for maintaining compliance with wage and hour regulations.
December 09, 2014
So do all those Amazon.com workers filling your holiday orders need to be paid extra for undergoing security screenings at the end of their shift? The U.S. Supreme Court today said no. The Court’s highly anticipated, unanimous ruling emerged from Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk, a case involving the interpretation of the Portal-to-Portal Act, 29 U.S.C. § 254(a), which exempts employers from FLSA liability for claims based on “activities which are preliminary to or postliminary to” the performance of employees’ principal work duties.
December 09, 2014
Tina Syring, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, wrote a follow-up article for Inside Counsel on the impact of the NLRB on non-union employers.
December 01, 2014
On November 20, 2014 President Obama announced a series of executive actions to reform the “broken” immigration system after Congress failed to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill this year. These initiatives have not been implemented, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is not accepting any requests or applications at this time. We have been informed that over the next few months, USCIS will issue detailed explanations, instructions, regulations and forms as necessary. While USCIS is not currently accepting requests or applications, anyone who believes that he or she may be eligible for one of the immigration initiatives should prepare by gathering documents that establish his or her: (1) Identity; (2) Relationship to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident; and (3) Continuous residence in the United States over the last five years or more.
December 01, 2014
Tina Syring, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, wrote about the employer and employee ownership of intellectual property in Legal Solutions.
December 01, 2014
In an article titled “Steps to a Company Party? Eat, Drink and Be Wary,” A. Martin Wickliff, Jr., a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department, suggests a number of steps employers should take to minimize potential legal problems when hosting office happy hours and holiday parties.
November 18, 2014
In an article titled “Pay Transparency: The New Way of Doing Business,” Debra Friedman, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department, discusses the federal government’s recent Executive Orders mandating pay transparency for the federal contracting community. This new way of doing business has potentially profound implications for all employers. Companies must be prepared for employees, the federal government and third parties to closely scrutinize their compensation systems and decision-making practices.
November 11, 2014
Tina Syring, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, wrote an article for Inside Counsel about the impact of the NLRB on non-union employers.
October 30, 2014
In an article titled “Attorney: Halloween parties don’t have to be scary for employers,” David Walton, vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department, discusses the key steps employers should take to avoid any potential legal headaches that might arise from an office Halloween party.
October 28, 2014
Tina Syring, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, wrote for Inside Counsel about the strategies employers should consider in developing and implementing such arbitration agreements and class waivers and potential pitfalls to avoid.
October 20, 2014
In an article titled ‘’Internships: Worthwhile Programs or Liability Traps,’’ Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department, discusses the recent surge in lawsuits brought on behalf of a company’s current (and former) unpaid interns and the steps companies can take in order to avoid such litigation.
October 14, 2014
Tina Syring, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, wrote for Inside Counsel about the arbitration agreements, the use of class waiver and the enforcement of the same in the employment context.
September 30, 2014
Tina Syring, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, wrote about the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 for Inside Counsel.
September 16, 2014
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has announced a proposed rule on pay transparency, to be published in the September 17, 2014 Federal Register. The proposed rule would implement Executive Order 13665, which prohibits federal contractors from retaliating against applicants and employees for inquiring about, disclosing or discussing pay information. The proposed rule applies to covered federal contracts and subcontracts exceeding $10,000 in value that are entered into or modified on or after the effective date of the final rule. While the proposed rule could change before it is finalized, it is time for federal contractors to consider their policies and practices on pay information.
September 11, 2014
On September 10, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014. The Act applies to public and most private employers and mandates paid sick leave to workers starting on July 1, 2015. Specifically, California employees will accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to a total of six paid sick days per year. Because it establishes leave based on the amount of hours worked, the law will cover part-time, temporary and seasonal workers.
September 08, 2014
Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department, authored an article for Law360 titled, “5 Things To Consider Before Posting Social Media Policies.” The article addresses the need for employers to develop an appropriate mindset when it comes to managing social media use by their employees and creating their social media policies and practices. Michael reviews five common workplace issues and explores the National Labor Relations Board’s position on each.
August 13, 2014
On August 11, 2014, Governor Chris Christie signed into law the Opportunity to Compete Act, New Jersey’s version of “ban the box.” When the law takes effect on March 1, 2015, companies who employ 15 or more employees will be prohibited from inquiring orally or on a job application about a job applicant’s criminal history until after the employer conducts a first interview. The Act will also prohibit employers from posting job advertisements that exclude applicants with criminal histories from consideration. Employers will be permitted to inquire about an applicant’s criminal history after the first interview. Moreover, employers may still refuse to hire an applicant based upon the applicant’s criminal record, unless that record has been expunged or erased through executive pardon.
August 04, 2014
President Obama does it again, issuing yet another Executive Order aimed at those seeking to do business with the federal government. On July 31, 2014, Obama issued the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, which the White House expects to be implemented in stages on new federal contracts valued at more than $500,000, beginning in 2016. This new Executive Order targets three areas: (1) disclosure to the federal government of a prospective contractor’s labor law violations over the three years preceding the contract; (2) disclosure of information necessary for the employees of federal contractors and subcontractors to verify the accuracy of their paychecks; and (3) for those federal contracts or subcontracts with an estimated value exceeding $1 million, a prohibition against the imposition of pre-dispute arbitration agreements covering claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (Title VII), or for torts related to or arising out of sexual assault or harassment.
July 23, 2014
Continuing to use executive authority to act in the absence of Congressional action, President Obama signed an Executive Order on July 21, 2014 that gave new protections against discrimination to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees of federal contractors and subcontractors, and the federal government. (For the federal government, discrimination was already prohibited on the basis of sexual orientation and is now also prohibited on the basis of gender identity.) The new rules relating to federal contractors won’t be effective until additional regulations are issued in the next three to nine months, but the rules relating to employment by the federal government are effective immediately.
July 16, 2014
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett gave final approval to two bills that drastically expand the scope and enforcement provisions of the Pennsylvania Whistleblower Law. Under the amendments, which take effect on August 31, 2014, employees of any business or nonprofit organization that receives public contracts or funding from the commonwealth or its subdivisions will now receive whistleblower protection.
July 15, 2014
In an article published in Bloomberg BNA, Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment Department, advises on the "Do's and Don'ts" of company social media policies and reviews recent NLRB positions on five common workplace issues.
July 03, 2014
In an article published in The Legal Intelligencer, Stephen Miller and Kaitlin DiNapoli, attorneys in Cozen O’Connor’s Litigation Department, discuss the U.S. Supreme Court’s exploration of two Fair Labor Standards Act cases that have far-reaching consequences for employers, since back pay, overtime and double damages for employees are on the line. The cases involve the compensability of certain activities—donning and doffing protective gear in the case decided in January and going through a security screen in the new case—that employees must complete to perform their jobs, but are not necessarily the crux of the jobs themselves.
July 02, 2014
The U.S. Supreme Court this week issued its long-awaited decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., regarding the ability of for-profit corporations to refuse to abide by regulations that require them to provide cost-free contraception to their female employees. The Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby, holding that the regulations imposing the contraception mandate of the Affordable Care Act violated another federal law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Although the Court seemed to emphasize the limited nature of its holding, this case has broad implications for all corporations and all types of government regulations.
June 26, 2014
The U.S. Supreme Court today released its much-anticipated opinion in National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning, holding that President Obama exceeded his authority in appointing Sharon Block, Richard Griffin, and Terrence Flynn to the NLRB during a three-day recess of the Senate. Because the appointments were invalid, only the two previously appointed members of the board could legitimately conduct board business, which is insufficient to constitute the necessary quorum. By affirming the decision of the D.C. Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court struck down the board’s decision in Noel Canning — and implicitly invalidated all other decisions rendered by the Block/Griffin/Flynn/Pearce/Hayes-constituted board.
May 23, 2014
This week, Pennsylvania became the 19th state to extend the right to marry to gay and lesbian couples when a federal judge struck down as unconstitutional a 1996 statute defining marriage as “[a] civil contract by which one man and one woman take each other for husband and wife.” The same statute stated that a same-sex marriage entered into in a state recognizing such marriage “shall be void in this Commonwealth.” Governor Tom Corbett’s announcement that he would not appeal the decision cements Pennsylvania’s new status and heralds a new era for Pennsylvania employers. Here is what you need to know in light of this significant change in the law.
May 06, 2014
Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor and Employment Department, and Jason A. Cabrera, associate in the Labor and Employment Department, co-authored an article for The Legal Intelligencer titled, “Restricted Covenants in the Internet Age.” The article discusses the impact of social media on restrictive convents.
April 18, 2014
There are two trends that continue to gain steam in the employment law world: an increase in employee protections by the new Mayor De Blasio administration in New York City, and an increase in employment law claims made by interns. Both trends have come together in a new law affecting New York City employers beginning on June 14, 2014.
April 09, 2014
On April 8, 2014, President Obama took two significant actions in the employee pay arena. He signed an Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from retaliating against their applicants and employees for inquiring about, disclosing or discussing pay information. He also issued a Presidential Memorandum directing the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to issue new regulations requiring federal contractors to provide compensation data to the federal government, broken down by gender and race.
March 28, 2014
Everyone recognizes that college athletics are big business for the schools, but do they exploit the student athletes under the guise of amateurism? Thanks to a new decision out of the Chicago office of the National Labor Relations Board, we will likely find out if scholarship athletes will be treated as employees with the right to unionize under the National Labor Relations Act. On March 26, 2014, the NLRB regional director concluded that the scholarship recipients on the Northwestern University football team are employees and ordered an election to determine if they desire union representation.
March 27, 2014
In an eight to zero decision (with Justice Kagan recused), the U.S. Supreme Court held on March 25 in United States v. Quality Stores, Inc. that severance payments made to involuntarily terminated employees are “wages” under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) and must be taxed accordingly.
March 17, 2014
In a White House ceremony on Thursday, March 13, 2014, President Barack Obama signed a memorandum ordering the Secretary of Labor to “propose revisions to modernize and streamline the existing overtime regulations” governing the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Although the president did not direct specific changes, he clearly stated that the goal of any regulatory changes would be to make more workers eligible for overtime pay under federal law. The president’s directive is
expected to lead to proposed rules that would require employers to pay overtime to millions of workers who are currently classified as exempt employees.
March 01, 2014
In an article titled “Understanding State Anti-Discrimination Statutes,” Debra Friedman, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department, discusses state anti-discrimination statues and how important it is for employers that operate in multiple states to be able to navigate which state’s anti-discrimination statutes apply.
January 28, 2014
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law last week a bill that specifically adds pregnancy to the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJ LAD) and requires employers to offer reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees who request accommodation. The new law, which was passed unanimously by the state Senate and with just one dissenting vote in the state Assembly, makes several major changes to existing law. Employers should be mindful of this new law because it strengthens the already tough NJ LAD and goes farther than the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
January 28, 2014
The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday released its much-anticipated decision in the case of Sandifer v. United States Steel Corporation, and held that Section 203(o) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) — which allows parties to a collective bargaining agreement to decide for themselves through negotiations whether “time spent in changing clothes … at the beginning or end of each workday” is compensable — applies to articles of protective clothing such as flame-retardant jackets, pants, hoods, snoods, wristlets, leggings, hardhats, work gloves and steel-toed boots.
January 17, 2014
Employers operating in New York City should be reminded of two significant additions to the checklist of employment obligations that will become effective in the coming weeks.
January 01, 2014
We are pleased to provide you with our 2013/2014 Observer, which looks back at the developments in labor and employment law over the past year and forward to what employers can expect in 2014.
December 13, 2013
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has stepped up its efforts in recent years to assert jurisdiction over more health care providers. As a result, a growing number of health care providers are struggling to comply with OFCCP's many regulatory requirements, while others are warily watching developments in this area. Now, federal contractors are faced with new regulations principally aimed at increasing employment opportunities for veterans and individuals with disabilities. These regulations, which cover an estimated 200,000 federal contractor establishments, become effective March 24, 2014, and require contractors to make additional, significant recruitment and outreach efforts to these groups.
December 12, 2013
So far 20 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws permitting and regulating the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Colorado and Washington have gone further and legalized the recreational use of marijuana. Moreover, Americans’ tolerance for the legalization of marijuana is increasing. An October 2013 Gallup poll showed that 58% of Americans favor legalizing marijuana. What does this trend mean for retailers, especially those operating in multiple states? The answer is complex, as the law is evolving.
November 27, 2013
Many associate bullying with kids and schools. State laws, educational awareness campaigns and all-too-frequent tragedies focus our attention on the problem of school bullying. Much less attention is paid to workplace bullying. In fact, in telling my school-age child that there are bullies at some workplaces, her response was: “There are no bullies at work. It is just people complaining.” This misconception is common, and unfortunately extends to many employers. As a result, many employers don’t see the need to take a proactive stance against workplace bullying. Even employers who acknowledge the prevalence of bullying in the workplace often see no need to act because currently there are no federal or state laws that expressly make workplace bullying illegal. This inaction, however, can translate into missed opportunities and increased costs.
October 16, 2013
Most employers tend to focus on federal law as a source of labor and employment obligations. However, employers should also pay careful attention to state and local laws on workplace issues. The first half of this month has already seen two significant developments in New York.
September 25, 2013
What could be better than new love, except perhaps secret new love? Few in the throes of budding romance are willing to acknowledge the possibility that what is sweet now might sour later, let alone eventuate in a lawsuit. But when the romance in question is between co-workers, and especially where there is a supervisory relationship involved, the company hosting their courtship should take protective measures once the relationship comes to light. Otherwise, what began as an innocent (or not-so-innocent) dalliance could end in a nasty and costly lawsuit.
September 12, 2013
New Jersey has joined a growing list of states enacting changes to their unemployment insurance laws to comply with an upcoming federal deadline. Starting October 22, 2013, New Jersey will refuse to relieve an employer’s account of charges for erroneous benefit payments if (1) the payments were made because the employer failed to timely respond to requests for information from the New Jersey Division of Labor and Workforce Development, and (2) the employer has a pattern of failing to respond to such requests.
July 03, 2013
The scene is not uncommon, a beautiful hotel with several floors of luxurious rooms, restaurants and bars, and cascading waterfalls out at the pool. It is not your typical office, yet it is critical that hotel employers understand that the men and women who work in this setting are employees and that the hotel is a workplace. So, as informal, perhaps even as romantic, as the scene may be, employment laws proscribing harassment in the workplace apply in hotels as equally as they do in a medical practice, a law firm or an insurance brokerage house.
July 02, 2013
Remember that group of employees laid off a few months ago? One has applied for a new job opening and was not rehired. Now that employee is claiming that the company has engaged in unlawful, discriminatory action in failing to rehire her. This scenario is all too real. Indeed, Gonzalez v. Molded Acoustical Products of Easton, 118 FEP Cases 877 (E.D. Pa. 2013), a recent case out of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, should remind employers of the risk exposure associated with hiring for positions that were previously impacted by reductions-in-force.
June 25, 2013
On June 20, 2013, in a 5-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) does not permit courts to invalidate a contractual waiver of class arbitration on the ground that the plaintiff’s cost of individually arbitrating a federal statutory claim exceeds the potential recovery.
June 14, 2013
Many companies with unpaid internship programs have been closely watching a case filed by unpaid interns who worked on the film Black Swan, and this week, the outlook turned grim. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled that two of the named interns in the case were employees of Fox Searchlight Pictures (Fox) under the Fair Labor Standards Act (and the New York Labor Law) who should have been paid for the hours they worked.
May 01, 2013
During Barack Obama’s first term as president, most of his pro-employee legislative agenda was stymied by Congress. Undeterred, the Obama Administration turned to administrative agencies such as the Department of Labor, National Labor Relations Board, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to move forward its workplace agenda. The stakes continue to be high for employers during President Obama’s second term, particularly in the diversity-focused areas of equal employment opportunity and immigration.
April 08, 2013
Over the years, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), which enforces affirmative action and equal opportunity regulations for federal contractors and subcontractors, has tried to assert jurisdiction over hospitals that provide medical care to federal employees in various controversial ways. For example, OFCCP has claimed hospitals are federal subcontractors when they provide medical services to Blue Cross/Blue Shield and/or HMO policyholders pursuant to the insurance providers’ agreements with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia just gave the green light to OFCCP to assert its jurisdiction over hospitals, at least where HMOs covering federal employees are involved.
April 02, 2013
On March 29, 2013, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that will raise the New York minimum wage in staged increases over the next three years.
April 01, 2013
Disability discrimination remains a hot button issue in the workplace. Employees and applicants file more disability discrimination charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) each year, totaling some 25,000 charges in fiscal year 2011 alone.
March 27, 2013
One of Barack Obama’s first actions when he became president was to sign the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, resetting the statute of limitations each paycheck for equal-pay gender discrimination lawsuits and making it easier for employees to pursue them.
March 19, 2013
The New York City Council continues to grow the chasm that exists between New York City employment law and its state and federal counterparts. Specifically, on March 13, 2013, the council overwhelmingly enacted (by a 43-4 vote) a local law that precludes employers and employment agencies from refusing to consider or hire an applicant because he or she is unemployed, and from posting advertisements that require job applicants to be employed. This comes less than a month after New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg initially vetoed the legislation, which now is set to become effective on June 11, 2013.
March 14, 2013
On March 8, 2013, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a new Employment Eligibility Verification Form, Form I-9, and a revised Handbook for Employers, M-274. The main changes to the new Form are that it contains further instructions on how to complete the Form I-9 and also expands the Form itself to two pages. Employers should review the revised Handbook and may begin using the new Form I-9 immediately both for new hires and for work authorization reverification. USCIS is allowing employers two months to transition to the new Form I-9, but beginning on May 7, 2013, employers must use the new Form I-9. Employers do not need to complete a new Form I-9 for current employees with a proper I-9 on file.
March 04, 2013
Effective February 28, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) rescinded its much criticized 2006 Compensation Standards and Voluntary Guidelines (Compensation Standards) utilized in pay discrimination compliance evaluations of federal contractors. The Compensation Standards essentially had applied one analytic approach to pay discrimination, regardless of industry, job type or other data specific to the federal contractor’s pay practices. Not surprisingly, the OFCCP claims that the narrowly defined "cookie cutter" compliance evaluation procedures imposed by the Compensation Standards impeded the OFCCP’s investigation efforts.
March 01, 2013
On February 6, 2013, the Department of Labor (DOL), Wage and Hour Division, published a Final Rule amending the regulations for the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA). The 2013 Final Rule sets forth new regulations implementing amendments made to the FMLA by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (NDAA FY 2010).
February 14, 2013
Besides sending flowers or a card to your sweetheart on Valentine's Day, we like to remind our employer clients that a good way to show some love to your employees is by taking steps to protect them from workplace violence. But first, a little history.
January 29, 2013
We have all heard and read about the ubiquitous internet "cloud." But what exactly is the cloud? And what specifically does that mean for e-discovery?
January 28, 2013
On Friday, January 25, 2013, in Noel Canning v. NLRB, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals held that President Barack Obama's recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) were constitutionally invalid, throwing into question the enforceability of all NLRB decisions issued by the Board since January 2012. The petitioner in the case argued that a February 8, 2012 NLRB order was invalid because three members of the five-member Board (Sharon Block, Terence F. Flynn and Richard F. Griffin) were improperly appointed as recess appointments.
January 25, 2013
The devastating shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., beg the question: “What should employers do to protect the workplace?”
January 23, 2013
This whitepaper provides an overview of construction related issues potentially raised by storm damage, including delay claims, areas of responsibility of municipalities and design professionals, environmental concerns and other topical matters.
January 17, 2013
What will you do when the CEO calls tomorrow morning and says, ''I just got a report that two of our employees are carrying loaded guns at work, or they have them in their cars in the employee parking lot?''
January 08, 2013
For more than 20 years, Pennsylvania retirees who accepted an early retirement incentive plan have been denied unemployment compensation benefits under the Unemployment Compensation Law (UC law). The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania departed from well-established precedent on December 28, 2012, opening the door for early retirees to qualify for unemployment compensation.
January 08, 2013
Last year, we notified you that the National Labor Relations Board will now consider a general employer rule requiring confidentiality during an internal investigation into an employee complaint to be an unfair labor practice. The Board has now taken things even further.
January 01, 2013
We are pleased to provide you with our 2012/2013 Observer, which looks back at the developments in labor and employment law over the past year and forward to what employers can expect in 2013.
December 21, 2012
Historically, employers have been free to discontinue union dues check-off arrangements upon the expiration of a collective bargaining agreement. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) changed that long-standing rule on December 12, overturning 50 years of precedent and ruling employers must honor dues check-off arrangements until the parties execute a new collective bargaining agreement or reach a bargaining impasse. The fact that this decision came just one day after Michigan joined the ranks of Right-to-Work states, by banning requirements that non-union employees pay union dues, raises the question of whether the NLRB is seeking to give where state legislatures take away.
November 13, 2012
With the re-election of Barack Obama and the prospect of continued political gridlock at the congressional level, the administration will likely turn to regulatory and administrative avenues in an effort to pursue workplace policy goals. The landscape is very different than it was just four short years ago.
September 18, 2012
Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) just made things a little easier for employers. Effective November 6, 2012, employers in New York will have greater flexibility when it comes to permissible deductions from employee wages.
September 13, 2012
Fluctuating Workweek Overtime Method Not Permissible Under Pennsylvania Law - Labor and Employment Alert - A federal court in Pennsylvania recently held that the "fluctuating workweek method" of calculating overtime compensation violates Pennsylvania’s Minimum Wage Act (PMWA), 34 Pa. Code. § 231.43(d)(3). See Foster v. Kraft Foods Global, Inc., No. 2:09-cv-00453 (W.D. Pa. Aug. 27, 2012).
August 13, 2012
Pennsylvania Adopts FLSA's 8/80 Overtime Rule for Health Care Industry Employers - Labor and Employment Alert - Pennsylvania has taken a major step toward making its overtime requirements for employers in the health care industry consistent with federal rules.
August 02, 2012
Asking Employees to Keep Mum During Internal Investigations Could Constitute an Unfair Labor Practice, NLRB Rules - Labor and Employment Alert - The National Labor Relations Board took another step into territory most employers previously assumed was safe when it decided on July 31 that a general rule requiring confidentiality during an internal investigation into an employee complaint constitutes an unfair labor practice.
July 02, 2012
Third Circuit Establishes New Test for "Joint Employers" - Labor and Employment Alert - A determination that a company is a “joint employer” can dramatically increase its potential exposure to liability under the Fair Labor Standards Act, because joint employers can be held responsible for each other’s violations of the law.
June 25, 2012
Philadelphia's Sick Leave Ordinance Takes Effect July 1 - Labor and Employment Alert - Beginning July 1, 2012, certain employers within the city of Philadelphia will be required to provide up to 56 hours of paid sick leave for their regular full-time employees each year.
June 19, 2012
Supreme Court Approves Treatment of Pharmaceutical Sales Reps as Exempt from Overtime Under the FLSA - Labor and Employment Alert - The U.S. Supreme Court has issued its much-anticipated opinion on whether pharmaceutical sales representatives can properly be treated as exempt from overtime under the Fair Labor Standard Act’s “outside salesman” exemption.
February 01, 2012
DOL Issues Proposed Regulations Regarding FMLA Entitlement for Military Families and Airline Flight Crew Members - Labor and Employment Alert - On January 30, 2012, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued proposed regulations to implement
amendments to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) that were passed in 2009. These amendments cover “qualifying exigency leave” and “military caregiver leave” available to military families under the FMLA.
January 24, 2012
From Smoke-Free to Smoker-Free Workplaces - Law360 -
January 12, 2012
New Jersey has joined 46 other states in adopting a version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA). Signed into law by Governor Christie on January 9, 2012, the New Jersey Trade Secrets Act (the Act) became effective immediately. While the Act codifies a significant portion of the common law, it includes some important changes.
January 12, 2012
Technology: The Power of Transparency - InsideCounsel - Cooperation. Collaboration. Transparency. These are not the concepts we think of when discussing our legal system.
November 10, 2011
From the Experts: Unpaid Internships' Swan Song? - Corporate Counsel - Two men who worked as unpaid interns on the 2010 Oscar-nominated film "Black Swan" have sued the film's production company for allegedly violating the FLSA and the New York Labor Law.
October 24, 2011
The National Labor Relations Act was enacted in 1935 to protect trade unionists from unfair labor practices by employers, and afford employees a greater ability to organize and collectively bargain. Social media entered the scene approximately 60 years later, when society (including the labor work force) recognized the ease and benefit of engaging in collective activity without ever leaving one's computer keyboard.
October 06, 2011
Postponement of Mandatory Poster for Union and Non-Union Employers Regarding Employee Rights Under NLRA - Labor and Employment Alert! - In an August 30, 2011 ALERT, we advised you that the NLRB had promulgated a Final Rule requiring all employers subject to the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to conspicuously post an 11-inch-by-17-inch notice advising employees of their rights under the NLRA, including the right to organize a union, and providing contact information for the NLRB in the event that any of these rights are violated.
September 16, 2011
"Social Media in the Workplace Creates New Legal Risks" - Corporate Counsel - Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have forever changed how people communicate. Every little detail of people’s lives is now broadcast, tweeted, or blogged about on the Internet. The social media activities of employees have increasingly pushed the boundaries of lawful workplace behavior and created new legal challenges for employers seeking to control this new communication forum and minimize the legal risks to their organization.
September 12, 2011
Packing Heat in Parked Cars - Texas Lawyer - Effective Sept. 1, Texas employees can store weapons in their vehicles while at work. The new law specifically allows employees to store and have access to guns kept in privately owned vehicles parked on or in employer-provided parking areas. If in-house lawyers haven't done so already, now is the time to review company policies in light of the new law.
August 30, 2011
Mandatory Poster for Union and Non-Union Employers Regarding Employee Rights Under NLRA - Labor and Employment Alert! - Today’s Federal Register includes a Final Rule promulgated by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) requiring all employers subject to the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to conspicuously post an 11-inch-by-17-inch notice advising employees of their rights under the NLRA, including the right to organize a union, and providing contact information for the NLRB in the event that any of these rights are violated. The rule also requires that the notice be posted
July 19, 2011
Annie Get Your Gun ... and Bring it to Work - Labor and Employment Alert! - Texas Governor Rick Perry signed a bill into law that will limit an employer’s right to prohibit guns and ammunition in the workplace. While the law does not necessarily allow employees to carry firearms at work, it does allow employees to store, and have access to, firearms kept in privately owned vehicles that are parked on or in employer provided parking areas. Considering the fact that 461,724 Texas residents hold a concealed handgun license
July 01, 2011
Our Summer 2011 Labor and Employment Law Observer covers topics of interest to in-house counsel, human resources professionals and corporate management.
June 29, 2011
Further Updates - FBAR Reporting Requirements for Employee Benefit Plans - Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Alert! - Since our previous Alert, the Treasury Department has issued final regulations and a new disclosure form for the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), instituted a new Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program, and provided certain individuals with extensions of filing deadlines.
June 20, 2011
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, enacted March 23, 2010, revises the definition of medical expenses as it relates to over-the-counter drugs for employer-provided accident and health plans, including health flexible spending arrangements (FSAs) and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), as well as the definition of qualified medical expenses for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Archer Medical Savings Accounts (Archer MSAs).
April 27, 2011
New Validation Instrument for Business Enterprises (VIBE) program. - Immigration Alert! - In a misguided effort to “simplify” the sponsorship process for the employer, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has complicated the process further by instituting its new Validation Instrument for Business Enterprises (VIBE) program. VIBE is web-based tool used to confirm company details provided by the petitioner in employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant visa petitions.
March 29, 2011
Effective next week (April 9, 2011), employers must comply with significant, substantive, and procedural obligations in New York’s new Wage Theft Prevention Act (Act). This alert highlights the new requirements, which apply to virtually every company that employs individuals in New York. While many of these new obligations will cause administrative and logistical headaches, the potential consequences for failing to comply have increased as well.
March 07, 2011
On February 17, 2011, Philadelphia City Council Member Donna Reed Miller introduced a bill which would amend the Philadelphia law ''Regulation of Businesses, Trades and Professions,'' by adding a chapter titled ''Fair Criminal Record Screening Standards.'' If enacted, this bill would outline procedures for all Philadelphia employers in the timing and conducting of criminal background checks on potential employees during the initial interview or primary application process.
March 04, 2011
On Tuesday, March 1, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in the long-awaited “cat’s paw” case of Staub v. Proctor Hospital. The decision will likely broaden the permissible theories under which a current or former employee might bring a discrimination lawsuit against a company. It may also serve as another cautionary tale for those who use social media for employment-related decisions.
February 18, 2011
Our Winter 2011 Labor and Employment Observer covers topics of interest to in-house counsel, human resources professionals, and corporate management.
January 31, 2011
Purchaser of Assets May Be Liable as Successor for Seller's Unpaid Benefit Fund Contributions - Labor & Employment Alert! - Under the traditional common law rule of successorship liability, it is well established that, absent a specific agreement to the contrary, an entity that purchases the assets of another entity does not assume the seller’s liabilities unless one of the following exceptions applies: the transaction is a merger or is deemed to be a merger; the purchasing entity is a mere continuation of the seller; or the transfer of assets is for the fraudulent purpose of escaping liability for unpaid debts.
January 26, 2011
Supreme Court Broadens Scope of Title VII Retaliation Provision to Include Close Family Members - Labor & Employment Alert! - In Thompson v. North American Stainless, No. 09-291, a Title VII retaliation case. In an 8-0 opinion written by Justice Scalia, the Supreme Court held that the fiancé of an employee had a Title VII cause of action as a “person aggrieved” under Title VII, in circumstances in which the employer terminated the fiancé within weeks of learning of the employee filing a discrimination charge.
December 22, 2010
NLRB Proposes Posting Requirement to Inform Employees of Rights Under the National Labor Relations Act - Labor & Employment Alert! - On Wednesday, December 22, 2010, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) in the Federal Register requesting comments on a proposed requirement that all private sector employers subject to the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) post a notice informing employees of their rights under the Act.
November 22, 2010
Some veterans seeking civilian employment will enter the workplace with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and/or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), conditions that are often misunderstood. To avoid missteps, employers should learn as much as they can and be aware of their legal obligations.
November 10, 2010
The IRS issued Notice 2010-6 (Notice) earlier this year, providing taxpayers with a mechanism to correct certain IRC Section 409A document errors. Under the Notice’s transition rules, if certain document compliance errors are corrected by December 31, 2010, the affected employee may avoid incurring any income tax or penalties (other than income tax on amounts actually received).
October 28, 2010
We are pleased to present the latest edition of the Labor and Employment Observer. We hope you find this issue both useful and informative.
October 19, 2010
On October 19, 2010, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a notice in the Federal Register proposing to change the way in which the noise exposure standards for construction and general industry are interpreted, and modifying its enforcement policy accordingly.
October 12, 2010
Immigration Alert - Labor & Employment Alert! - We are pleased to present our Immigration Alert informing our clients of the current availability of the H-1B Temporary Worker Visas, the Diversity Visa Lottery and a Legislative Update
September 24, 2010
Employers in New York have taken great comfort over the years in citing the ''at will'' nature of an employee's job status when taking virtually any action ranging from discipline, to a diminution of salary or job responsibilities to outright termination. New York has generally been considered a pro-employer jurisdiction, with employees often having to clear high hurdles before circumventing the cornucopia of legal precedent.
September 09, 2010
The first enactment establishes a test to determine if a construction industry worker is an independent contractor or an employee, and is entitled “The New York State Construction Industry Fair Play Act.”
July 01, 2010
Our Summer 2010 Labor and Employment Law Observer covers topics of interest to in-house counsel, human resources professionals and corporate management.
June 21, 2010
U.S. Supreme Court Holds Employer's Review of Employee's Text Messages Sent on Employer's Pager was Reasonable and Did Not Violate Fourth Amendment - Labor and Employment Alert! - In a closely watched case and in a nearly unanimous decision, the United States Supreme Court has held that the City of Ontario Police Department did not violate the Fourth Amendment privacy rights of its employee, police sergeant Jeff Quon, when it audited text messages he had sent and received on a department-issued paging device. City of Ontario, California, et al. v. Quon, et al., 560 U.S. ____ (2010).
June 21, 2010
The new health care reform legislation provides an opportunity to employers who offer medical coverage to retirees to obtain government reimbursement of certain claims expenses. Called the ''Early Retiree Reinsurance Program,'' it is designed to assist employers who provide health care coverage for individuals who retire before becoming eligible for Medicare (i.e., ages 55 to 65) to continue to provide such coverage. However, there is a catch: the reimbursement program is temporary and is capped at $5 billion in total reimbursements.
June 18, 2010
Supreme Court Holds Two-Member NLRB Had No Authority to Act - Labor and Employment Alert! - On June 17, the U.S. Supreme Court released its much anticipated decision on whether the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has the authority to decide cases with a complement of only two Board members. In a 5-4 decision, the Court held in New Process Steel, L.P. v. NLRB, 560 U.S. ___ (2010), that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) does not grant a two-member Board authority to act.
April 14, 2010
Call it what you like: Corporate raiding, predatory hiring — whether it's just 'don't be a pig' or 'don't let workers linger' here are a few easy rules corporate counsel can follow to avoid piracy-related claims.
March 01, 2010
Our Winter 2010 Labor & Employment Law Observer covers a multitude of topics of interest to in-house counsel, human resources professionals and corporate management.
February 25, 2010
The doctrine of inevitable disclosure is alive and well. Pennsylvania and its neighbors all recognize the concept that, in certain situations, can act as a sort of de-facto noncompete agreement to prevent employees with access to confidential information from going to work for a competitor. This controversial doctrine states that certain employees possess intangible confidential information that cannot be returned to the company at the end of their employment, and therefore, they cannot go to work for a competitor without ''inevitably'' disclosing this confidential information.
December 17, 2009
The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal of a case in which a federal appeals court ruled that an employer violated an employee’s right to privacy when it audited his text messages and found sexually explicit and otherwise personal messages. The implications of the Supreme Court’s ruling will be significant.
November 30, 2009
FMLA Expanded Yet Again - Labor and Employment Alert! - Certainly by now, all covered employers should have revised their Family and Medical Leave Act policies to include the military-related leaves that were enacted under the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008:
November 23, 2009
The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has determined to perform its most expansive and widespread audit initiative in recent history. Beginning in early 2010, the IRS will audit the federal tax returns of 6,000 companies to assess compliance with tax and labor regulations. This new audit initiative will be conducted in three phases, with the IRS studying the tax returns of 2,000 companies in each of 2010, 2011 and 2012.
November 03, 2009
Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Split on NLRB's Authority to Act with Two Members - Labor and Employment Alert! - On November 2, the Supreme Court agreed to decide whether the National Labor Relations Board can decide cases with its current complement of only two Board members. The Board has been functioning with two members – current Chair Wilma Liebman and Member Peter Schaumber – since January 2008 following the retirement of former Chair Robert Batista and the expiration of the recess appointments of Members Dennis Walsh and Peter Kirsanow.
November 03, 2009
As we rapidly approach the end of 2009, it is clear that wage and hour lawsuits continue to make up a large portion of all new cases filed in federal court.
October 01, 2009
We are pleased to present the latest edition of the Labor and Employment Observer. We hope you find this issue both useful and informative.
September 14, 2009
New York employers must now comply with new notice obligations owed to employees, and also must now consider tougher penalty provisions for violations of New York's wage and hour laws.
August 20, 2009
Pennsylvania joined a growing majority of states by enacting a ''mini COBRA'' law to provide former employees of smaller companies with an alternative to obtain health insurance. Federal COBRA provides that employers who provide their employees with health insurance coverage and have at least 20 employees are required to offer continuing health coverage if an employee would lose their health benefits due to a ''qualifying event'' (such as termination of employment). Employers of fewer than 20 employees are exempt from this requirement.
July 22, 2009
Federal Minimum Wage Increase to $7.25 Per Hour Goes Into Effect July 24, 2009 - Labor and Employment Alert! - Beginning on Friday, July 24, 2009, the federal minimum wage will increase from $6.55 to $7.25 per hour. This is the last of three increases called for by the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007. This latest increase will raise the minimum wage in thirty states (Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma,
July 20, 2009
Expanded FBAR Reporting Requirements for Employee Benefits Plans - Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert! - Recent IRS pronouncements have expanded the obligation of retirement and other employee benefits plans, along with other taxpayers, to file the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (“FBAR”). FBAR reporting requirements have been around for many years. A “U. S. person” (U. S. citizens and residents, certain foreign persons doing business in the U. S. and domestic corporations, partnerships and trusts, including employee benefits trust)
July 01, 2009
''It’s unclear what impact ‘say on pay’ votes will have. A shareholder vote that ‘yes this is a good program’ or ‘no this is not a good program’ doesn’t provide any guidance on why the shareholders have concluded a program is or is not appropriate.''
June 22, 2009
Times are tough. Employers in the hotel and hospitality industries are not immune from the impact that the weakened economy has on their personnel issues. In order to minimize the legal tsunami that can result from economy-driven employment decisions that are made, it is critical for hotel and hospitality employers to take appropriate steps to minimize potential legal exposure.
June 16, 2009
New Interim Final Rule Sheds Light on Compensation Restrictions for TARP Recipients - Labor and Employment Alert! - Entities which have received money through the
Troubled Asset Relief Program (“TARP”) must take note of recently released guidance from the Department of Treasury (“Department”), because it clarifies changes in the way certain employees can be compensated. On June 15, 2009, the Department’s interim final rule regarding standards for
executive compensation and corporate governance under TARP was published in the Federal Register.
June 15, 2009
Employment Risks to Consider in a Challenging Economy - The Legal Intelligencer - Companies operating in these challenging economic times might have to navigate a number of pressing
issues in order to weather the storm. Before making hasty employment-related decisions, companies
would be wise to analyze the legal ramifications of such decisions, especially when it comes to
reductions in force.
This article will address five legal risks that an employer should consider before reducing its workforce.
June 01, 2009
Our Spring 2009 Labor and Employment Law Observer covers a multitude of topics of interest to in-house counsel, human resources professionals and corporate management. Many of these articles are particularly timely given the changing political climate and our increasingly technology driven society.
March 09, 2009
Economic Stimulus Package Likely to Boost Whistleblower Claims - Labor and Employment Alert! - Attention, employers: The economic stimulus plan
that President Obama signed into law on February
17, 2009 takes effect March 19, 2009, and contains
significant new whistleblower protections that will catch the
unwary by surprise.
February 27, 2009
Update: Ninth Circuit Withdraws Decision on Application of California Labor Code to Out-of-State Workers; Certifies Issue to California Supreme Court - Labor and Employment Alert! - We reported in our Winter 2009 Commercial Disputes
Observer on the panel decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Sullivan, et al. v. Oracle Corporation, 547 F.3d 1177 (9th Cir. November 6, 2008). In that decision, a panel
of the Ninth Circuit determined that an employer which employs out-of-state residents to perform work in California was required to pay overtime pursuant to the provisions of the California Labor
Code. Recently, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
February 24, 2009
On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 (the Act). The Act contains provisions which are intended to make health care coverage, particularly COBRA coverage, more affordable. Unfortunately, some of the burden of achieving this goal is placed on employers, including certain actions which must be taken quickly. Following is a brief description of the COBRA provisions of the Act.
February 03, 2009
Employees Involved In Internal Investigations Of Discrimination Are Protected From Retaliation - Labor and Employment Alert! - In a case which follows the adage that bad facts make bad law, the United States Supreme Court has held that an employee who responded to an employer’s questions in an internal investigation of a complaint of employment discrimination is protected by the anti-retaliation provisions
of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The virtually unanimous decision (all Justices concurred in the judgment; but Justice Alito filed a concurring opinion in which Justice Thomas
January 08, 2009
International Review of Employment: The Definitive Voice on International Employment Matters - International Review of Employment - President-elect Obama has openly expressed his desire to work with various labor organizations to alter existing labor laws. On top of the union agenda is passage of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), which passed the House in 2007. EFCA would dramatically change the union organizing process by eliminating 'secret ballot' elections under the auspices of the National Labor Relations Board. Instead, it would allow unions to be certified to negotiate pay, benefits and working conditions
January 01, 2009
Our Winter 2009 Labor and Employment Law Observer covers a multitude of topics of interest to -in-house counsel, human resource professionals and corporate management. Many of these articles are particularly timely given the changing political climate and current difficult economic environment.
November 20, 2008
December 31, 2008 is the deadline for revising nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements to comply with Internal Revenue Code Section 409A. While the rules have been in effect since 2004, the deadline for conforming all documents that are subject to Section 409A was extended from the end of last year and is not expected to be extended further. Although Section 409A addresses only non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements, the final regulation.
November 18, 2008
Family and Medical Leave Act - Labor and Employment Alert! - Yesterday the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued final regulations under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). These regulations mark the first sweeping changes made to the FMLA since its enactment in 1993. The regulations, which may be accessed at http://www.dol.gov/
esa/whd/fmla/finalrule.pdf, go into effect on January 16, 2009. Employers need to understand the changes and be ready to implement them.
November 17, 2008
E-Verify for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors Required Starting January 15, 2009 - Labor and Employment Alert! - Beginning January 15, 2009, many federal contractors and subcontractors doing work in the United States will have to start using E-Verify. The E-Verify system, previously called “Basic Pilot,” is an automated system administered by the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) to confirm the employment authorization of employees working in the United States.
November 17, 2008
Educate yourself and your employees about best practices to help avoid wage-and-hour lawsuits - Nation's Restaurant News -
November 11, 2008
An Obama Administration's Impact on Labor and Employment Issues - Labor and Employment Alert! -
November 01, 2008
Mandatory Wellness Programs: Considerations for Avoiding Legal Pitfalls While Ensuring Organizational Health - The Corporate Counselor - Most employees typically spend more than half of their waking hours at work. Unsurprisingly, work
culture can have a serious impact on their health. As a result, many companies have designed wellness programs to promote a healthier work
environment and prevent and manage diseases in an effort to maintain employee health and productivity. Another significant consideration for implementing a wellness program is combating the rising costs of health care coverage.
November 01, 2008
A recent American College of Trial Lawyers/Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System survey revealed 83% of lawyers believe the resolution of a case was typically determined by costs -- especially discovery-related -- not merits. And 68% believe many cases do not get filed because of prohibitive litigation costs. Armed with increasing technical proficiency, attorneys have learned different ways to use e-discovery and its associated costs to blackmail opposing counsel into settlement. Here are some tips for minimizing e-discovery challenges: 1. Adopt and follow an effective document retention policy. 2. Preserve early. 3. Take it one step at a time. 4. When asking for electronically stored information (ESI) from your adversary, be precise. 5. Limit the number of potential ESI sources for your employees. 6. Train your employees.
October 20, 2008
On October 9, 2008, Governor Rendell signed the Prohibition on Excessive Overtime in Health Care Act (H.B. 834), which prohibits health care facilities from requiring nurses and certain other employees to work mandatory, unscheduled overtime. The Act, which takes effect on July 1, 2009, will dramatically affect health care facilities operating within Pennsylvania, many of which rely on mandatory overtime as a staffing tool.
October 08, 2008
A New Jersey court of appeals recently made employers’ New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) defense toolbox significantly lighter. Until recently, New Jersey courts were silent on whether an employer could be held liable for harassment by a nonsupervisory co-worker, about which the company had no knowledge. This led some employers to believe that such liability would not attach as a matter of law.
October 02, 2008
Layoffs Likely To Spark Legal Wrangles - Law 360 -
August 15, 2008
Our Summer 2008 Labor and Employment Law Observer covers a multitude of topics of interest to in-house counsel, human resources professionals and corporate management.
July 17, 2008
Federal Minimum Wage Increase to $6.55 Per Hour Goes Into Effect July 24, 2008 - Labor and Employment Alert! -
July 01, 2008
Business Groups Challenge Florida "Guns at Work" Law - Inside Counsel - A new state law that will allow Florida residents to keep firearms in their cars at work is being challenged by several employer groups. The law, which takes effect July 1, prohibits public and private employers from having policies prohibiting firearms in their parking lots. It allows employees with valid weapons permits to keep guns locked in their cars in employers’ parking lots.
June 25, 2008
On June 10, 2008, the New York Court of Appeals issued a decision that is significant for the financial services industry, the real estate and insurance brokerage industries, and any other industry or employer that compensates its New York employees in whole or in part on a commission basis. Specifically, the Court of Appeals decided in Pachter v. Bernard Hodes Group, Inc. that New York Labor Law provisions governing the payment of wages and commissions
April 01, 2008
Study on the Regulatory Prohibition of Sexual Harassment in American Workplace - Journal of China Women's University -
February 29, 2008
Our Winter 2008 Labor and Employment Law Observer covers a multitude of topics of interest to in-house counsel, human resource professionals and corporate management. Recently, President Bush signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law, which expands the FMLA to provide enhanced leave for families of military personnel. Additionally, in mid-February 2008, the Department of Labor propounded new proposed regulations regarding the FMLA. Moreover, in late February, the Supreme Court weighed in on the use of ''me too'' evidence during trials.
February 27, 2008
Supreme Court Defines ADEA Charge Permissively - Society for Human Resource Management -
February 26, 2008
Supreme Court: Admissibility of 'Me, Too' Testimony Depends on the Fact - Society for Human Resource Management -
January 28, 2008
FMLA is Expanded For the First Time in 15 Years - Labor and Employment Alert! - Congress has expanded the scope of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act
(“FMLA”) to include enhanced leave provisions for families of U.S. military
personnel. This is the first expansion of the law since it was enacted 15 years ago.
November 07, 2007
Specifically, in this issue, we examine two topics currently at the forefront of the sports and entertainment industries. First, we explore the ongoing strike between the Writers Guild and the Association of Motion Picture and Televisions Producers. Next, we outline the various immigration issues and options for foreign athletes who seek employment in the United States.
November 01, 2007
Caregivers At Work: New EEOC Guidelines Should Prompt Company Action - Corporate Counsel -
November 01, 2007
As of October 16, 2007, New York law has been amended to require that the terms of employment for all commissioned salespersons be put in writing.
September 01, 2007
Our Fall 2007 Labor and Employment Law Observer covers a multitude of topics of interest to in-house counsel, human resource professionals and corporate management.
July 19, 2007
Federal Minimum Wage Increase to $5.85 per Hour Goes Into Effect July 24, 2007 - Labor and Employment Alert - 7/18/2007 - Beginning on Tuesday, July 24, 2007, the federal minimum wage will increase from
$5.15 to $5.85 per hour. This is the first of three scheduled increases called for by the
Fair Minimum Wage Act signed by President Bush this past May. On July 24, 2008
the minimum wage will increase again to $6.55 per hour, and on July 24, 2009 the
final increase will take effect to lift the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour. The U.S.
July 10, 2007
Summer 2007 - Business Law Observer -
July 01, 2007
What to Do When an HR Employee Sues - Workforce Management - When an HR staffer alleges employment discrimination, it’s automatically a different kind of claim. Here’s how to proceed when the claimant is someone who is likely to know damaging,
embarrassing or unflattering information about the company—and might be willing to use it to
bolster a case. It’s not all bad news, however. Sometimes it’s easier to deal with an HR claimant.a
June 25, 2007
On April 10, 2007, the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service issued final regulations on nonqualified deferred compensation under Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code (the ''Final Regulations'').
June 15, 2007
Employment Law: Language debate - Daily Business Review - While the debate over immigration reform heats up in Washington, English-only policies in the
workplace are sparking numerous legal challenges in the courts. Labor and employment attorneys say that, in recent years, a growing number of businesses have created English-only policies, triggering a backlash of discrimination lawsuits by immigrant workers.
April 19, 2007
With Updated E-Discovery Regulations, Employers Must Face New Battle - Workforce Management - Recent amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedures relating to electronically stored information raise the bar for what will be expected of e discovery in terms of employer's monitoring and policies. Employers will ultimately feel the brunt of these sweeping changes, with dramatic changes to the way discovery will be conducted in federal court, where most discrimination suits are filed.
April 12, 2007
On April 10, 2007, the Internal Revenue Service (the ''IRS'') and the Treasury Department released the long-awaited final regulations regarding the taxation of non-qualified deferred compensation under Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the ''Code''). Code Section 409A provides that amounts deferred under non-qualified plans and arrangements may be subject to current taxation and penalties if certain requirements are not satisfied.
April 01, 2007
Garden Leave: Helping Employers Control The Prickly Landscape Of Employee Departures - The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel -
April 01, 2007
Staying Above Water - Corporate Counsel - While employers face a wave of confusion over existing FMLA mandates, the government could turn the tide yet again. In addition to likely updated regulations, legislation proposed by senator Christopher Dodd aims to provide six weeks of paid leave when an employee takes leave for his own serious health condition, or to take care of a parent, spouse, or child with a serious health condition. the senator also intends to broaden the reach of the FMLA.
March 01, 2007
Clicking With New E-Discovery Rules - The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel -
February 01, 2007
Title VII Disparate Pay Claims: A Possible Flood? - The Corporate Counselor - The U.S. Supreme Court is currently considering a case of great importance to employers, Ledbetter v.Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Inc. It
will decide when the statute of limitations
begins to run under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (as amended) (“Title VII”) for certain types of disparate pay claims.
October 09, 2006
The Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) contains several new reporting and disclosure requirements which will be of immediate interest to plan sponsors. Outlined below are the new reporting and disclosure requirements for single employer plans.
September 17, 2006
Fall 2006 - Labor and Employment Observer -
September 01, 2006
9/01/2006 - Employee Benefits Alert! -
July 11, 2006
Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Increased to $7.15 Per Hour - Labor and Employment Alert! -
June 23, 2006
Employment Discrimination Retaliation Claims Made Easier - Labor and Employment Alert! -
May 15, 2006
Spring 2006 - Labor and Employment Observer! -
January 01, 2006
Reasonable Accommodations And The ADA - SBN Magazine -