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Category Archives: General Labor and Employment News and Updates

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The Supreme Court Rules that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act Applies to Small Government Employers

Posted in Age Discrimination, Discrimination, Diversity, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Fair Labor Standards Act, General Labor and Employment News and Updates, Government, Supreme Court
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (“ADEA”) forbids employment discrimination against employees who are 40 years of age or older.  Private employers with less than 20 employees are not subject to the ADEA.  On November 6, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously[1] held that the ADEA’s 20-employee threshold does not apply to government employers,… Continue Reading

Jury Okays Firing Transgender Employee for Negative Glassdoor Review

Posted in Discrimination, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Gender Identity, General Labor and Employment News and Updates, LGBTQ Employees, Reasonable Accommodation, Sexual Orientation Discrimination, Terminations
On October 29, 2018, a San Francisco federal jury unanimously found that a Silicon Valley tech company did not commit unlawful retaliation by firing a transgender employee who accused the company of discrimination in a two-star Glassdoor review. Adrian Scott Duane, a transgender man, alleged on the job review website that IXL Learning, Inc. (IXL),… Continue Reading

Judge with Disabled Child Recuses Self from Disability Discrimination Suit

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, General Labor and Employment News and Updates, Government, Labor Relations
Despite the sensitive nature of employment-related claims like discrimination and retaliation and harassment and hostile work environment, it is rare for judges to admit to personal biases that could influence their decision-making. But a federal district court judge has recently just done exactly that.  On August 30, 2018, the Hon. Lewis T. Babcock, a Senior… Continue Reading

In a Win for Employers, Ninth Circuit Upholds Arbitration Clause in UBER Misclassification Lawsuit

Posted in Employment Agreements, General Labor and Employment News and Updates, Labor Relations, New Jersey Law, Wage & Hour
On September 25, 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ended an aggressive five-year legal battle between Uber and its drivers regarding whether or not drivers should be considered employees versus independent contractors.  In O’Connor v. Uber, the court avoided the central issue of the proper classification of drivers by ruling that drivers suing for… Continue Reading

Start Spreadin’ the News: NYC’s “Cooperative Dialogue” Requirement for Accommodations is Effective Today

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Civil Rights, Discrimination, General Labor and Employment News and Updates, Harassment, Labor Relations, New York Law, Pregnancy Discrimination, Reasonable Accommodation, Religious Discrimination, Workplace Policies
A spate of new state and local regulations is making it tougher to be an employer in the City That Never Sleeps.  As previously covered by HR Legalist, new requirements for sexual harassment policies went into effect across New York State on October 9, 2018, and burdensome new requirements for harassment-related training will go into… Continue Reading

New York State Harassment Training Deadline Extended to October 2019

Posted in General Labor and Employment News and Updates, Harassment, Labor Relations, New York Law, Sexual Harassment, Workplace Policies
As previously covered by HR Legalist, employers across New York State have until October 9, 2018,  to implement sexual harassment policies that meet specific minimum requirements defined in the law.  On Monday afternoon, the State of New York issued final guidance which granted employers a significant reprieve on the portion of the law governing mandatory… Continue Reading

#Metoo reaches the federal courts

Posted in Civil Rights, General Labor and Employment News and Updates, Harassment, Retaliation, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Workplace Investigations, Workplace Policies
On July 3, 2018 the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit[1] ruled on the case of Minarsky v. Susquehanna County et al, 17-2646 (Jul. 3, 2018). The case clarifies and limits the scope of the Faragher-Ellerth affirmative defense in workplace harassment cases. Established by the Supreme Court in 1988, the Faragher-Ellerth defense … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Class Arbitration Waivers

Posted in General Labor and Employment News and Updates
The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday decided Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, 16-285 (May 21, 2018), upholding employment contract provisions that require employees to arbitrate their disputes with the company individually rather than on a class-wide basis. This resolves a split among the circuit courts of appeals, creating certainty and uniformity for employers across the country.… Continue Reading

US Department of Labor Still Actively Investigating Per Diem Payments in the Energy Industry

Posted in Fair Labor Standards Act, General Labor and Employment News and Updates
Over the past few years, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has investigated the misuse of per diem payments as a substitute for compensation in a number of industries. At a recent event for employment lawyers in Pittsburgh, an attorney with the DOL indicated that this is still an issue that they were actively investigating,… Continue Reading

Confidentiality and Sexual Harassment Claims – Will New Laws Limit Settlement Agreement Language?

Posted in General Labor and Employment News and Updates, Harassment
  In the recent wave of sexual harassment cases against public figures, it has come to light that women were paid large sums of money to keep their harassment allegations private, thus allowing their harassers to continue their inappropriate behavior.  Prominent recent examples of harassers protected by confidentiality clauses include Harvey Weinstein, Bill O’Reilly, and… Continue Reading

Labor Law Update: Will Employers be Thankful for the NLRB’s new General Counsel?

Posted in General Labor and Employment News and Updates, Labor Relations, NLRB
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) enforces and interprets the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which ensures the rights of employees to engage in collective bargaining and other union-related activities.  During the Obama administration, NLRB General Counsel Richard F. Griffin, Jr. aggressively advocated for labor-friendly positions, and the Democratic-majority Board often agreed.  But this Thanksgiving… Continue Reading

Political Speech, Discrimination and the Law: How Employers Should Respond to Charlottesville

Posted in Cat's Paw Liability, Civil Rights, Discrimination, Diversity, General Labor and Employment News and Updates, Political Discrimination, Social Media, Terminations, Workplace Policies
The recent tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia and other news regarding the activities of white supremacists and similar groups, have served as a rude awakening for many that our national reality has shifted. These events, which occurred in the public square and have been widely documented through social media, are unfortunate examples of bigoted and… Continue Reading

Overtime Update: DOL Signals Changes to the FLSA and White Collar Exemptions may be Coming Soon

Posted in General Labor and Employment News and Updates, Wage & Hour
For the past few years, HR legalist has been following the Department of Labor’s proposed overtime rule, which would have roughly doubled the salary threshold under which employees are guaranteed overtime pay, and made millions of additional employees eligible for time-and-a-half overtime for hours worked over 40 per week.  Last fall, that rule was blocked… Continue Reading

Equal Pay Protections Upset by Recent Ninth Circuit Ruling

Posted in General Labor and Employment News and Updates, Hiring, Wage Equity Ordinance
On April 27, 2017, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an employer was allowed to base “a pay differential on prior salary so long as it showed that its use of prior salary effectuated some business policy and that the employer used the factor reasonably in light of its stated purpose and its… 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

Season’s Greetings: Three Recent Wage and Hour Developments that Employers can be Thankful For

Posted in General Labor and Employment News and Updates
Overview With leaves falling, temperatures dropping, and Thanksgiving less than a day away, Americans are rapidly gearing up for the 2016 Holiday Season—the magical time between Black Friday and New Year’s when retailers kick into high gear, homes and storefronts are decorated to the nines, radio playlists take on a different tune, and we all… Continue Reading