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“Weakest link” is no way to run your workplace

Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP • November 21, 2014
If news reports are true (and perhaps they are not), then the ex-General Manager of NBC’s Today show provides a good example of how not to treat employees.

‘Tis the (Retail) Season, Part I: OSHA’s Tips for a Safe Black Friday

Ogletree Deakins • November 21, 2014
In advance of the holiday season, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is reminding retail employers to take precautions to prevent workplace injuries during major sales events, including Black Friday. According to a news release issued by OSHA on November 17, 2014, “[t]ragic consequences and risk to workers can occur if the proper safety procedures are ignored.” The release also reminds retailers about the 2008 trampling death of a retail worker when shoppers rushed through the store to take advantage of Black Friday sales. “During the hectic shopping season, retail workers should not be put at risk of injury or death,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “OSHA urges retailers to take the time to adopt a crowd management plan and follow a few simple guidelines to prevent unnecessary harm to retail employees.”

President Obama Announces Executive Action on Immigration

Fisher & Phillips LLP • November 21, 2014
Last night, President Obama announced his plan for a partial fix of what many believe is a broken U.S. immigration system. This Executive Action will offer over four million undocumented individuals relief from deportation and provide them the opportunity to apply for temporary work authorization under what is being called Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA), expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, strengthen border security measures, expand provisional waivers to include spouses and children of lawful permanent residents (LPR), and support high-skilled businesses and workers.

Beware of How you Pay Your Employees You May Pay More

Fisher & Phillips LLP • November 21, 2014
Todd Scherwin and Jonathan Liu’s article “Beware of How you Pay Your Employees You May Pay More” was featured in California Clubs of Distinction’s Third Quarter Newsletter.

Newspaper Carriers were Employees, Despite Independent Contractor Agreement, California Court Rules

Jackson Lewis P.C. • November 20, 2014
A newspaper misclassified its newspaper carriers as independent contractors, the Superior Court for the County of Sacramento has ruled following a trial in a class action for employees’ unpaid mileage expenses under Section 2802 of the California Labor Code. Sawin v. The McClatchy Co., No. 34-2009-00033950 (Cal. Super. Ct. Sept. 22, 2014). Although the newspaper carriers signed agreements stating they were independent contractors, set their own schedules and routes, and could hire their own workers, the Court found the newspaper exercised such significant control over the newspaper carriers’ performance of their duties that it “belie[d] the contrary pronouncement in the form contracts….”

New Jersey Workplace Poster Requirements Continue to Grow

Ogletree Deakins • November 19, 2014
New Jersey employers may need to put “bigger bulletin board” on their holiday list this year as the number of required workplace posters continues to grow, especially with the proliferation of municipal paid sick leave laws. Several laws also have time-of-hire and annual distribution (not just posting) requirements, so employers are wise to confirm that they are up to date on all the latest requirements.
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