HR Legalist

HR Legalist

Employment Law Updates
& Best Practices for Employers

As the Northeast Prepares for a Major, Late Season Snow Storm, HR Legalist Reminds our Readers of the Importance of Employer Responsibility to Employees in a Time of Inclement Weather

Posted in OSHA, Workplace Policies

In January 2015, HR Legalist contributor, Teleicia Dambreville, wrote about employer responsibilities towards employees when a serious weather event occurs.    As a major snow storm is set to hit the Northeast of the United States this week, we thought it wise to remind our readers of Ms. Dambreville sound advice.  In the meantime, stay warm and dry! Continue Reading

Senate Kills Federal Contractor Work Safety Rule

Posted in General Labor and Employment News and Updates, Government

On March 6, 2017, the Senate voted 49-48 to eliminate President Barack Obama’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule through the Congressional Review Act (CRA). The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule was finalized in August 2016 by the U.S. Department of Labor, but subsequently blocked by court order in October 2016. Continue Reading

Circuit Court Is Asked To Overturn NLRB’s Decision Allowing Surreptitious Workplace Recordings

Posted in NLRB, Workplace Policies

Can employees record conversations at the workplace without the consent of the speakers? Or, can an employer enforce a policy that prohibits employees from recording conversations at work unless they have the consent of all the parties being recorded?  Employers are up in the air over this issue.  The reality of the modern workplace is that nearly every employee owns and carries a smartphone that is capable of producing high quality audio and video recordings.  It is a safe bet that without a clear and strict policy to act as a deterrent, smartphones will be used by employees surreptitiously, potentially damaging workplace relationships, compromising protected information and exposing employers to potential liability. Continue Reading

Of Public Schools and Private Employers: Trump Reverses Direction on Male, Female and Gender Neutral Restrooms

Posted in Discrimination, Gender Identity, LGBTQ Employees, Workplace Policies


Employers are caught, once again, between agency pronouncements and White House actions. While President Trump commented on the campaign trail that transgender people should “use the bathroom they feel is appropriate,” he appears to have rethought this position as commander-in-chief. Continue Reading

Employees Bound by Non-Compete Agreement When They Clicked “Accept” to a Bonus on Intranet

Posted in Noncompetition Agreements

Two employees who clicked “accept” on an online form in order to receive a bonus were bound by additional language that included an agreement to not compete in the future.  Messrs. Lynch and Halpin worked in sales for ADP, and every year to collect their annual bonuses, they had to “accept” a non-compete agreement through a “clickwrap” button on an internal company webpage. They claimed, however, to be unaware that by accepting the bonus they were also consenting to a non-compete agreement. In ADP, LLC v. Lynch and Halpin, No. 16-3617 (3d Cir. Feb. 7, 2017) (slip op.), the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the grant of a preliminary injunction by the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey in favor of employer ADP against former employees Lynch and Halpin. Continue Reading

Medical Marijuana Act Clouds the Rights of Employers to Establish and Enforce Marijuana Policies

Posted in Medical Marijuana, Workplace Policies

Pennsylvania’s recently passed Medical Marijuana Act (MMA) has left employers dazed and confused about whether they may continue to enforce zero tolerance drug policies. The MMA, which provides qualifying patients with access to medical marijuana through a safe and effective delivery method, is intended to balance patient need for access with patient safety. However, balancing these interests is not always an easy task, especially because marijuana remains an illegal substance under the Federal Controlled Substances Act. The attempt to balance patient access and safety, and the juxtaposition between state and federal law, can put employers in a sticky situation, particularly when it comes to establishing and enforcing zero tolerance drug policies. Continue Reading

One Bite, Two Apples: Third Circuit Confirms That Requests For Leave Under the FMLA Can Simultaneously Qualify As A Request For A Reasonable Accommodation

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Family Medical Leave Act

The interplay between the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) is an area of confusion for most employers. This confusion is understandable as both statutes serve distinct purposes but require a covered employer to grant medical leave to employees in certain circumstances. Employees may require a leave of absence for a myriad of reasons and in many scenarios the employer’s obligations differ greatly in each situation. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently decided a case that makes navigating the FMLA/ADA waters a bit trickier. In Capps v. Mondelez Global, LLC, No. 15-3839, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1593 (Jan. 30, 2017), the Court held that under certain circumstances a request for FMLA may also qualify as a request for a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. Continue Reading

Wage and Hour Update – Federal and Local Laws on the Chopping Block

Posted in General Labor and Employment News and Updates, Wage & Hour

During the Obama administration, federal agencies enacted wage and hour regulations that tended to favor employees, even while the federal minimum wage remained unchanged. State and local governments also played a role, moving forward with laws and ordinances governing wages and paid leave.    Continue Reading

President Trump Orders a Wall and Other Major Immigration Measures in His First Week in Office

Posted in Immigration

Satin flag with emblemOn January 25, 2017, President Trump issued three Executive Orders related to our immigration system and national security. Broadly speaking, the President’s orders focus on the following:  border security, removal of undocumented immigrants from the U.S., and the visa issuance by U.S. consular posts abroad.  Continue Reading