HR Legalist

HR Legalist

Employment Law Updates
& Best Practices for Employers

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

Spring Forward: Constructive Discharge Clock Doesn’t Start Until Employee Gives “Definite Notice” of Intent to Resign

Posted in Discrimination, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Terminations

Resignation Quit Job 27591175_Large

On Monday, the Supreme Court resolved a circuit split over the deadline for employees to pursue their administrative remedies in connection with constructive discharge claims under Title VII.  Generally, employees must file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC no later than 180 days from the date that the alleged discrimination took place. This deadline extends to 300 days if there is a state law prohibiting discrimination on the same basis. Federal employees have to follow a slightly different process, and are normally required to contact an EEO counselor within 45 days. Continue Reading

Obama Signs Law Giving Trade Secrets Federal Protection

Posted in Trade Secrets

Trade Secrets 69924359_LargeA company’s confidential trade secrets are their most coveted assets and give a company a competitive edge over its competitors.  Such trade secrets may include product specifications and formulas, recipes, computer algorithms, marketing strategies, manufacturing techniques and processes, and unpatented inventions,  to name a  few.  Given the value of corporate trade secrets, companies often go to great lengths, and spend lots of money in litigation costs, to prevent their employees and contractors from stealing or disclosing their trade secrets to people outside the company.  Continue Reading

The Wait is (Almost) Over: New Overtime Regulations Announced

Posted in Wage & Hour

Since March of 2014, HR Legalist has been tracking a big change to the federal overtime rules.  When the preliminary rule was announced last July, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) made it clear that the exemption rules would be significantly narrowed — meaning that millions more employees would be entitled to time-and-a-half overtime pay for all hours worked over 40 per week.  After over 280,000 comments from interested parties (including many concerned employers), the White House unveiled the new rule last night with a video and blog post. Continue Reading

FLUSHED: The Debate Over Bathroom Access Rights for Transgender Employees Continues

Posted in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Gender Identity, LGBTQ Employees, Sexual Orientation Discrimination, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Workplace Policies

America is currently in the midst of a debate over sex segregated public bathrooms and their impact on the bathroom access rights of transgender individuals. Over the past few years, there’s been a wave of state legislation around the United States requiring that individuals utilize the bathrooms that correspond to the biological sex identified on their birth certificate (“Bathroom Bills”). Bathroom Bills were proposed in Texas, Kentucky, Florida, Minnesota, Missouri, Washington, South Dakota, Virginia, and North Carolina. Although these proposed bills vary widely, the general effect of the bills is to prevent transgender individuals from using public bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity and/or outward gender expression. Continue Reading