California is Spooky—California’s Recently Enacted Laws Provide Further Fright (aka Legal Obligations) to California Employers

Posted in Employee Handbooks & Policies, Employment Counseling & Workplace Claims Prevention

Just in time for Halloween and employee handbook update season, the California Legislature has passed an onslaught of new employment legislation sure to give employers compliance nightmares. From expanding the concept of “family” for leaves of absence, to more time to take that supplemental paid COVID-19 leave, protection against discrimination for cannabis use and reproductive health decision-making, pay transparency, and enhanced workplace safety rights, failure of a California employer to keep up on these changes can be scary! Here’s what employers need to know now to avoid a horror show in the future.

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New Pay Transparency Laws Change Job Postings From Coast to Coast

Posted in Employee Handbooks & Policies, Employment Counseling & Workplace Claims Prevention, Social Media, Wage & Hour

A growing number of cities and states are pushing for greater pay transparency in the hiring process. To add to that growing list, California and New York have both passed pay transparency laws in recent months, leaving employers to modify how they seek out new talent. However, employers should keep in mind that not all pay transparency laws are the same, and must take the proper steps to ensure they are fully complying with the laws of the states in which they are based and where their employees reside.

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The EEOC Poster Just Had A Makeover – Here Is What Employers Need To Know…And Do!

Posted in Employee Handbooks & Policies, Employment Counseling & Workplace Claims Prevention

It will now be even easier for employees to access, understand, and enforce their rights to be free from unlawful workplace harassment and discrimination—with just the aim of their smartphone or other cherished device. The “EEO is the Law” poster, which has mandatorily adorned employee break room bulletin boards across the country, just had a makeover, and it includes an upgrade to the digital age. This proves that there can truly be a QR code for anything and everything—in this case saving workers precious seconds and adding convenience and expediency when they seek to file a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charge against their employer, make an inquiry, or learn more about the laws enforced by the EEOC.

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Does Your Clawback Need A Manicure?

Posted in Employment Counseling & Workplace Claims Prevention

You’ve wined and dined and trained and invested in your new hire, and now they’re leaving you in the midst – before you were ready – can you still get the ring back, or in this case, “clawback” your training and other related expenses? Based upon a recent inquiry by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau), your clawback may end up needing a manicure. The CFPB, which “is charged with monitoring markets for consumer financial products and services to ensure that they are fair, transparent, and competitive,” currently has employer repayment agreements under its microscope – and the end result could mean a major clipping. Continue Reading

NLRB Proposes New Joint Employer Rule

Posted in Employment Counseling & Workplace Claims Prevention, Labor Relations

Do you know which workers are your employees? That answer may change if a new rule proposed by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) takes effect. Last month, the NLRB issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the joint-employer standard. If that announcement sounds familiar, that may be because the NLRB previously issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the joint-employer standard in September 2018, and that final rule took effect on April 27, 2020. A little more than two years later and with a different political administration, the NLRB’s proposed rule seeks to rescind and replace the April 27, 2020 rule.

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Top 10 Labor & Employment Issues in M&A Transactions

Posted in Immigration Planning & Compliance, Labor Relations, Wage & Hour, Workplace Safety & OSHA

Your business is buying (or selling) a company – now what? Due diligence is an essential part of a successful merger or acquisition, and there are countless labor and employment issues that may come up during this process. Should due diligence reveal that the target company is not in compliance with a certain law, the parties will have to analyze the risks associated with the transaction as a result of non-compliance. Is it too costly to come into compliance now? Are the risks of litigation or government action material? Here are the top 10 labor and employment issues in M&A transactions that businesses should keep in mind during the due diligence process:

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Emerging Trend: Curbing Non-Compete Agreements

Posted in Non-Compete & Trade Secret Litigation

Employers may find it increasingly difficult to protect customer relationships built on their dime as more states enact enhanced restrictions on non-compete agreements, or even bar them altogether. While employers may want to protect their investment by having employees sign agreements that restrict them from working for competitors or servicing the same customers once the employment relationship ends, such agreements are governed by state law and enforcing them is increasingly challenging. Employers seeking to use the same agreement for employees in multiple states face added challenges because of significant differences among state laws.

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Born Under a Bad Sign: Avoiding Electronic Signature Blues

Posted in Employment Counseling & Workplace Claims Prevention, Employment Litigation

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 when using electronic signatures.

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A Reminder of Employer Obligations to Service Members

Posted in Employee Handbooks & Policies, Employment Discrimination Harassment & Retaliation, Employment Litigation

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 Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA). In short, the Supreme Court said “No.”

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Profanity or Protected Speech?

Posted in Labor Relations

Imagine this, an employee writes profanity (“whore board”) on a company bulletin board, the employer terminates the employee for the profanity, and the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) holds that the employee’s profanity is speech protected by the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”). That is exactly what happened to an aluminum products maker a few years ago. The NLRB held that the profanity constituted “protected concerted activity” under the Act, and the D.C. Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals (“Court”) recently upheld the NLRB’s decision. This decision highlights the expansive nature of protected concerted activity and why it is so important that employers tread carefully in this area.

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