Category Archives: Employment Litigation

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California Proposes New Legislation Prohibiting Algorithmic Discrimination in the Workplace

Algorithmic discrimination continues to be a focal point of concern, as evidenced by recent legislation introduced in California which, if passed into law, will require employers who use automated decision tools to make consequential decisions to undergo a cost-benefit analysis regarding the use of such technology. Employers must continue to proceed with caution, and be … Continue Reading

Pay Transparency and a Ban on Consideration of Employee Compensation History for Federal Contractors on the 15th Anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

This January marked the 15th anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, providing a good moment for the federal government to propose new rules aimed at increasing gender pay equity in federal contracting and federal government employment. The new rules announced by the White House are expected to require covered government contractors … Continue Reading

What’s Mine is Yours and What’s Yours is Mine: The NLRB’s New Joint Employer Rule Vastly Expands Joint Employer Status

Do you know who your employees are? It seems pretty simple – those individuals on your payroll whose employment you control and supervise, right? Not so fast, says the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board). Under the NLRB’s new joint employer rule, a company can be deemed a “joint employer” of another entity’s employees … Continue Reading

LGBTQ+ Protections, Virtual Harassment, and Social Media Posts: The EEOC Updates Its Harassment Guidance for the 21st Century

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has published draft enforcement guidance regarding workplace harassment, entitled “Proposed Enforcement Guidance on Harassment in the Workplace.” The proposed guidance sets forth the legal standards applicable to harassment claims under federal law and provides a variety of examples with extensive citations to applicable case law. If made final, this … Continue Reading

Cemex Construction NLRB Decision

It’s a cruel summer for employers as the National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) issued both new election rules, and a landmark decision that upended decades of precedent and lowered the threshold for the Board to issue a bargaining order without holding an election. As a result, employers must be ready to act quickly in … Continue Reading

Faith at Work and the New Sacred Balance: Understanding the More Stringent “Undue Hardship” Standard

Employers evaluating religious accommodations under Title VII are now required to strike a new balance due to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent clarification of what constitutes an “undue hardship.” Employers should promptly reassess the factors they use to weigh the costs of providing religious accommodations in the workplace to avoid being caught off guard.… Continue Reading

The Supreme Court Delivers a Win for Employers Seeking a Stay in Appeals Involving Arbitration

In a significant win for employers, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) requires an automatic stay of the case at the trial court level whenever a party appeals the trial judge’s decision to deny arbitration. This decision means that employers appealing an adverse ruling on a motion to … Continue Reading

LGBTQ+: What’s the Fuss?

The Respect for Marriage Act is now law, upholding recognition of interracial and same-sex marriages, and the U.S. Supreme Court has held that sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in the workplace is illegal, but what rights do LGBTQ+ employees have in the workplace and how inclusive must employers be? The EEOC’s attempt to provide … Continue Reading

Born Under a Bad Sign: Avoiding Electronic Signature Blues

When Albert King sang “Born Under a Bad Sign,” he was not referring to a document containing an invalid electronic signature. Nevertheless, in a post-COVID world with large numbers of remote workers, employers can take affirmative steps to minimize the kind of “bad luck” the blues singer referred to by understanding issues that may arise … Continue Reading

A Reminder of Employer Obligations to Service Members

A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision serves as a reminder that employers must not overlook their obligations to reemploy returning service members and accommodate service-related disabilities. The decision concerned whether a state could invoke sovereign immunity, a legal doctrine which prohibits a government from being sued without its consent, to avoid liability under the Uniformed … Continue Reading

Dealing with the Monkeypox Virus at Work

Just as employers have figured out how to navigate the COVID-19 virus, the next one is poised to take hold – the monkeypox virus. Now declared a global and national public health emergency by the World Health Organization and the U.S., the monkeypox virus continues to spread with almost 10,000 cases in the U.S. and … Continue Reading

Thousands of COVID-Related EEOC Charges Filed; More to Come?

Employers should be prepared: while COVID may feel like it’s on the wane, COVID-related charges filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) are on the rise. According to data published by Bloomberg from the EEOC, from April 2020 through December 2021 the EEOC received more than 6,000 discrimination charges relating to COVID, providing … Continue Reading

A Cautionary Tale for Recruiters

Unprecedented levels of employee attrition and turnover are forcing employers to pull out all the stops in attracting—and retaining—top talent. Hiring bonuses, relocation pay, and wellness benefits are quickly becoming the norm in the affected industries. But a recent decision from the California Court of Appeal, White v. Smule, reminds employers to proceed with caution, … Continue Reading

Landmark ADA Case Leaves More Questions Than Answers on Website Obligations

Businesses hoping for clarification on their obligations to ensure their websites comply with Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) will still have to wait, following a recent federal appellate court decision. That decision by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals (covering Florida, Georgia, and Alabama) vacates an earlier ruling by the same … Continue Reading

Sexual Harassment Complainants Guaranteed Their Day in Court – Employers Beware the Implications

Since the onset of the #MeToo movement, allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace are frequently spotlighted in the news and on social media. Still, many claims between employers and employees are resolved outside of the public eye, through mandatory arbitration. New legislation passed this month by the U.S. House and Senate, pending President Biden’s … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Clarifies Whistleblower Retaliation Standard

California employers can expect to see an uptick in whistleblower claims as a result of a recent California Supreme Court ruling that increases the burden on employers to prove that adverse employment actions are based on legitimate reasons and not on protected reporting of unlawful activities. Seeking to settle “widespread confusion” among lower courts, the … Continue Reading

Sweeping Expansions to New York’s Whistleblower Protections Take Effect

New York employers, take heed: sweeping expansions to New York Labor Law (NYLL) Section 740 have fundamentally redefined the protections afforded to whistleblowers within the state. The revised law took effect on January 26, 2022, opening the door to a potential deluge of whistleblower claims against employers. Notable changes to Section 740 include the following:… Continue Reading

A Look Back At 2021 For California’s Private Attorneys General Act, and What To Expect in 2022

Last year was a significant year for California’s Private Attorneys General Act (known as “PAGA”), the 18-year-old wage-and-hour enforcement act that, according to one study, has generated over 20,000 lawsuits against employers over the past five years costing employers, on average, over $1.1 million per case. On its face, PAGA purports to improve enforcement of … Continue Reading

Illinois Imposes New Limits on Non-Competes Effective January 1

Illinois employers will be far more restricted in their ability to bind employees to non-competition and non-solicitation agreements as result of an amendment to the Illinois law governing such agreements. The law amends the Illinois Freedom to Work Act effective January 1, 2022, and imposes some initial hurdles and eligibility conditions on agreements executed after … Continue Reading

The Ramifications of College Athletes Being “Employees”

Consider this: the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board has opined that some student-athletes at the collegiate level are “employees” for purposes of the right to engage in protected concerted activity, and the U.S. Supreme Court has found that student athletes are entitled to certain compensation. So, if student athletes have new rights … Continue Reading

Handling Requests for Religious Exemptions from Mandatory Vaccination Policies

Employers implementing mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policies are facing an avalanche of requests for exemptions as religious accommodations, far more than for medical exemptions. Fortunately, while employers are generally obligated to explore accommodations for requests based on a sincerely held religious belief, they are not necessarily obligated to grant exemptions.… Continue Reading

Appellate Ruling Clouds California’s Ban on Mandatory Arbitration Clauses in Employment

Employers in California may not condition employment on entering into an arbitration agreement, but at the moment, it appears they may continue to enforce such agreements. The situation is muddled as a result of a federal appellate court ruling blocking a 2019 California law that made it illegal for an employer to condition employment or … Continue Reading

Do the Business Liability Shield Laws Give Employers Immunity From COVID-19 Lawsuits

Not really. Like the COVID-19 vaccines, these “business liability shields” may provide a layer of protection for some employers, but they in no way guarantee immunity from lawsuits. Since early last year, business leaders expressed concerns about continuing with operations amidst the COVID-19 pandemic—mainly because they feared exposing their businesses to lawsuits arising from the … Continue Reading

COVID-19 Related Litigation Surges: What Employers Can Do To Minimize Exposure

The much-anticipated surge of COVID-19 pandemic-related litigation has begun. As the pandemic continues to lay siege to the United States economy, claimants’ lawyers and government agencies have begun setting their sights on employers.… Continue Reading
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