HR Legalist

HR Legalist

Employment Law Updates
& Best Practices for Employers

Pokémon No! A Strategy Guide on Handling the Latest Smartphone Craze in the Workplace

Posted in Discrimination, Uncategorized

Playing The Pokemon Go with blur background

Although Pokémon Go is only 21 days young, over 30 million users have downloaded and played the augmented reality game on their smartphones.  In the latest release of the pocket monster franchise, your mission is to capture and train pokémon—facsimiles of real and fictional creatures ranging from caterpillars and pigeons to electric mice and water dragons.  Unlike previous renditions, players must get off their couches and amble through their neighborhoods—picking up important in-game items at pokéstops and battling other players’ pokémon to take over gyms along the way.  The game is now bigger than both Twitter and Tinder, and while millennial nostalgia has contributed to its success, people of all ages are venturing into the world to “catch them all.”  Continue Reading

The Great Debate: Policing Politics in the Office

Posted in Labor Relations, Workplace Policies

With the Republican National Convention well underway and the Democratic National Convention set to begin in Philadelphia on July 25, 2016, the workplace is abuzz with political discussions, a flood of political memes and impassioned debates about this year’s election cycle. As the presidential election heats up—employers have found themselves trying to manage and minimize divisive political debates in the workplace. In a recent survey conducted by the Society of Human Resource Management (“SHRM”), 75% of HR professionals indicated that their organizations discouraged employees from engaging in political activities while at work. Although politics may be a taboo subject, employers must be careful when it comes to policing politics in the office to avoiding “feeling the Bern” of litigation. Continue Reading


Posted in NLRB

Union Worker 02762745The National Labor Relations Board has once again delivered a blow to employers by overturning a decision (and standard) that required the consent of a regular employer and the employer of temporary staff to allow both sets of employees to be part of a single unit for the purpose of collective bargaining.  Miller & Anderson, Inc., 364 NLRB No. 39 (July 11, 2016)  The ruling is not all that surprising considering that the standard has flip-flopped when it was changed by the NLRB under President Clinton and changed back under President Bush. Continue Reading

Employers Beware: DOJ Nearly Doubles Civil Penalties for IRCA Violations

Posted in Immigration, IRCA

judge gavel and old law booksOn June 30th The Department of Justice (DOJ) published an Interim Final Rule adjusting civil monetary penalties for immigration related employment violations set forth in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). IRCA provides civil and criminal penalties for employers who knowingly hire workers who are not authorized to work in the United States.  The law also creates protections for foreign workers against discrimination based on national origin. In order to enforce the provisions of IRCA, the Form I-9 was created, which requires documentation of employment authorization for all employees, not just those who are, or who appear to be, foreign workers.  Improper completion and retention of I-9 forms and unfair immigration-related employment practices can cost employers thousands of dollars in fines based on IRCA violations. Continue Reading

Don’t Mess With Texas: Lubbock District Court Judge Issues Preliminary Injunction Blocking DOL’s Changes to the “Persuader” Rule

Posted in Labor Relations

Employers and trade associations breathed a collective sigh of relief today after Lubbock District Court Judge Sam R. Cummings entered a nationwide injunction preventing the DOL from enforcing its changes to the “persuader” rule. As previously reported by HR Legalist, the Department of Labor recently published a controversial final rule requiring employers and their attorneys (and/or advisors/consultants) to file public reports disclosing their relationship and fee agreements relating to “persuader” activity. “Persuader” activity is defined as advice or counseling for the purpose of persuading employees with respect to union organizing or collective bargaining. The final rule would have applied to all relationships and fee agreements entered into after July 1, 2016. Continue Reading

Supreme Court Criticizes Labor Department for Arbitrary Overtime Regulations

Posted in Fair Labor Standards Act, Wage & Hour

United States Supreme Court Building and American FlagThe Supreme Court ruled on June 20, 2016, that the U.S. Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) 2011 regulation removing a long-standing exemption to overtime pay  for auto service advisors was “procedurally defective.”  In a 6-2 opinion, the Court stated the DOL failed to follow the correct procedures in issuing a regulation by not giving adequate reasons for its decision. Continue Reading

Private Employer Posting Requirements: Prohibition Of Guns In The Workplace

Posted in Workplace Policies

Presumed deterrent for armed criminals.

With recent events regarding gun violence, employers should be aware that several states require private employers to post notices if they ban guns at the workplace. An employer’s obligation regarding specific language and color of the signs vary by state law and there is no federal posting law that regulates signage in the workplace.  Employers should review their current policies to ensure that they are in compliance with state posting laws.  Read on to find out what the posting requirements are in your state. Continue Reading

NLRB’s General Counsel Makes Dramatic Move to Protect Unions from Being Ousted, Even by Employees

Posted in Labor Relations, NLRB

By Memorandum GC 16-03, issued on May 9, 2016, the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB” or the “Board”) General Counsel, Richard Griffin, instructed the NLRB’s Regional Directors to issue a complaint in any unfair labor practice charge case where an employer has withdrawn recognition from a union and the withdrawal is based on anything other than the results of an NLRB conducted election.  The full text of Memorandum GC 16-03 can be found here. Continue Reading

Game Over, Man! Bankruptcies Trump Ongoing Obligations under Expired CBAs

Posted in Gambling, Labor Relations, New Jersey Law

SlotMachineBrokeYesterday, the Supreme Court denied the cert. petition of Unite Here Local 54, Atlantic City’s largest casino workers’ union, which challenged a Third Circuit decision affirming a Delaware Bankruptcy Court decision that allowed Trump Entertainment Resorts to reject the continuing terms and conditions of the parties’ expired collective bargaining agreement because it is undergoing Chapter 11 reorganization. The decision affects the health and pension benefits for over 1,000 Trump Taj Mahal personnel, but its implications reach far wider than these employees, Carl Icahn, who now owns Trump Taj Mahal and Trump Entertainment, or even The Donald himself. Continue Reading

Update: New Jersey Minimum Wage Bill Clears the Assembly

Posted in New Jersey Law, Wage & Hour

With the federal minimum wage stalled at $7.25 since 2009, HR Legalist has been tracking several developments to wage and hour law on both the federal level (via the pending overtime rule change recently reported by HR Legalist on May 18th) and the state level as well.  As detailed in my last post on this topic, earlier this year, New Jersey democrats announced a joint proposal that would increase the state minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, and then continue to increase the rate annually until it reaches $15 per hour. Continue Reading