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The MSHA Quarterly Stakeholder Conference: Workplace Examination Rule and Working Alone Initiative

Ogletree Deakins • April 26, 2017
The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) held its quarterly stakeholder teleconference on April 25, 2017. The call served three purposes: (1) It provided an update to the timeline of the agency’s final Examinations of Working Places in Metal and Nonmetal Mines rule, amending 30 C.F.R. Sections 56.18002 (surface) and 57.18002 (underground). (2) It discussed several recent fatalities and injuries suffered by miners working alone and suggested best practices for avoidance of known hazards in this context. (3) It reviewed first quarter serious injuries and fatalities in both the coal and metal/nonmetal sectors.

F-Word Facebook Firing Flipped By Federal Court

Fisher Phillips • April 26, 2017
In a ruling that could leave employers fuming and possibly cursing, a federal appellate court ruled that an employee who used a public Facebook page to curse out not just his boss, but also his boss’s mother and entire family, should not have been fired from his job. Instead, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals decided late last week that the expletive-filled rant was protected by federal law because it was considered protected concerted activity (NLRB v. Pier Sixty, LLC).

Association of Corporate Counsel Issues Guidelines for Law Firm Cybersecurity Practices

Fisher Phillips • April 26, 2017
The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) recently released a set of guidelines intended to serve as a benchmark for law firm cybersecurity practices. The guidelines include information retention, return, and destruction, data handling and encryption, data breach reporting, physical security, employee background screening, and cyber liability insurance. The requirements were developed based on corporate law departments’ experiences and with input from several law firms.

OSHA Launches Campaign on Young Worker Safety

Jackson Lewis P.C. • April 26, 2017
Promoting the message, “Young workers! You have rights!” the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched a campaign on workplace safety among youth workers.

Mine Safety Agency Issues Alert to Prevent Fall Accidents

Jackson Lewis P.C. • April 26, 2017
The Mine Safety and Health Administration has issued a safety alert on preventing accidents at mines from miners falling.

"Common Sense Reality": Seventh Circuit Holds That Sexual Orientation Discrimination Violates Title VII

FordHarrison LLP • April 26, 2017
Executive Summary: In a landmark decision overruling decades of precedent, the Seventh Circuit en banc declared that sexual orientation discrimination violates Title VII in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College. This comes as the first decision of its kind. The Seventh Circuit’s decision was followed by a Second Circuit panel decision days later in Zarda v. Altitude Express reaffirming its recent holding in Christiansen v. Omnicom that the long-held view that sexual orientation is not considered to be a protected class under Title VII remains good law. It is now unquestionable that the Circuits have split on the matter.

OSHA Interviews: Understanding and Exercising Your Rights

Goldberg Segalla LLP • April 26, 2017
Section 8(a) of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970 authorizes OSHA to inspect workplaces “during regular working hours and at other reasonable times, and within reasonable limits and in a reasonable manner.” While employers have some level of protection since the mandate specifically states the word “reasonable,” more specific rights exist—and should be exercised—at all stages of an OSHA inspection, including before, during, and after the interview process.

New Regulations Further Limit Use of Criminal History for Employment Decisions

Jackson Lewis P.C. • April 26, 2017
Effective July 1, 2017, new regulations will further limit employers’ ability to consider criminal history when making employment decisions.

Both the City of San Diego and the State of California “Clarify” Their Sick Leave FAQs

Jackson Lewis P.C. • April 26, 2017
As we recently reported regarding the City of Los Angeles, both the City of San Diego and the California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement (“DLSE”) have updated their “Frequently Asked Questions” (“FAQs”) related to the respective local and state sick leave requirements. Below are some of the more salient points from each.

Texas Pre-Suit Discovery – Obligations Under Unusual Procedure Clarified

Jackson Lewis P.C. • April 26, 2017
Although most employers are very familiar with the usual discovery process of litigation, they may not be as familiar with the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure’s Rule 202, which concerns pre-suit depositions.

Gig Economy Game-Changer? New Florida Law Ensures Contractor Status For Drivers

Fisher Phillips • April 26, 2017
The state of Florida is about to enact first-of-its-kind legislation that will ensure most ride-sharing drivers are independent contractors and not employees, eliminating costly misclassification battles and providing a massive boost to the gig economy. After passing the state legislature last week, Governor Rick Scott tweeted yesterday that he intends to sign the bill into law when he returns from a foreign trade trip. Once it takes effect on July 1, 2017, Florida will offer unmatched protections to sharing economy companies that do business in the state, hopefully spurring other states to follow its lead.
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