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Ignorance of Interplay between FMLA and ADA Can Be Costly To Employers

Jackson Lewis P.C. • February 15, 2018
One mistake often made by employers is assuming that after an employee has exhausted his or her 12 weeks of protected Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave, the employer’s obligation is fulfilled.

Mass Shootings Demand “Stop the Bleed” Training for Workplaces.

Fisher Phillips • February 15, 2018
There is no easy solution to preventing and responding to mass shootings. (Comprehensive data on mass shootings).We should debate legal changes and provide regular employee training and drills, such as Run-Hide-Flight. However, we need to take IMMEDIATE concrete steps to minimize deaths as we wrestle with stopping these deadly events.

Protecting the Collected Knowhow of an Assembled and Trained Workforce

Nexsen Pruet • February 15, 2018
The notion of protecting knowhow is strange to those who think of intellectual property as comprising patents, trademarks, and copyrights. Knowhow is not associated with agencies of the US federal government that issue “Letters Patent” and Trademark and Copyright Registration Certificates. Knowhow has no federal agency to give it sovereign gravitas. However, public and private schools issue documents, such as diplomas, degrees and certificates, that indicate particular students have demonstrated knowhow by meeting defined requirements.

Did You Know There Is a Supplement to the ‘EEO Is the Law’ Poster for Federal Contractors? Here’s Where to Find It

Ogletree Deakins • February 15, 2018
In addition to posting the Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law poster, federal contractors and subcontractors that enter into new or modified federal contracts on or after January 11, 2016, must also post the EEO is the Law Poster Supplement. The poster and supplement are available in Arabic, Chinese, English, and Spanish.

Changes to EEO-1 Reporting for Employees at Client Sites

Jackson Lewis P.C. • February 15, 2018
As we shared previously, the portal is currently open for EEO-1 Reporting. In addition to the change in timing of reporting and other administrative items, the EEOC Joint Reporting Commission has made a change to the way employers must report certain types of employees.

HR Intel: Sexual Harassment 2.0 – Now Comes the Harder Part

XpertHR • February 15, 2018
The fall of 2017 may forever be remembered for launching the #metoo movement as bombshell sexual harassment claims against big names arose seemingly every other day.

Is the New Employer Tax Credit for You?

FordHarrison LLP • February 14, 2018
Under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), businesses are entitled to a general business credit which is made up of several component credits, including the Work Opportunity Credit, the Indian Employment Credit, credits for employing and housing employees affected by Hurricane Katrina, and a number of others. The recently-enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA” or the “Act”) added a new component credit for businesses that qualify – the Paid Family and Medical Leave Credit (“FML Credit”).

Business Immigration Zone (BIZ) - Special St. Valentine's Edition: Immigration Options for Married or Engaged Individuals

Phelps Dunbar LLP • February 14, 2018
Non-U.S. Spouses of U.S. Citizens Close family ties, such as a spousal relationship, are the most common way to obtain permanent residence in the United States. Non-U.S. spouses of U.S. citizens are able to obtain permanent resident status, symbolized to many as the “green card,” which gives a non-U.S. spouse the right to live and work in the United States without a time limitation and qualify as an “immediate relative” of a U.S. citizen. They are also highly preferred as candidates for immigration with no numerical limitation placed on the number of immediate relatives of citizens who may become permanent residents in any one year. Eligibility is simple: The marriage must not be a “sham.” Rather, (a) it must have been legally entered into, and (b) it must still exist. Same sex couples are afforded equal protection for purposes of spousal immigration cases and may access spousal immigration benefits.

You're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat: Pay Equity Initiatives Flood the State Legislatures

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • February 14, 2018
In 2017, legislatures in more than 40 jurisdictions across the United States considered more than 100 bills intended to narrow the lingering pay gap between men and women. While only a handful of those proposals ultimately became law, this wave shows no signs of subsiding. Most state legislatures are back in session, and lawmakers are quickly picking up where they left off.

Grubhub Notches Victory for Gig Economy in Big Classification Win in California Federal Court

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • February 14, 2018
In a recent classification case involving the “gig” or shared economy, a U.S. magistrate judge handed down a significant win for Grubhub, concluding that a driver who sued the company under California’s minimum wage, overtime and employee expense reimbursement laws was not covered by those laws because he was an independent contractor, not an employee.

There is No Finer Valentine's Day Gift: the ABA's Summary of 2017 FMLA Court Decisions!

Franczek Radelet P.C • February 14, 2018
Leave the dozen roses and box of chocolates at the office. And no need to make a reservation at your favorite restaurant for two.

Three Technology Trends That Will Change the Gig Economy in 2018

Fisher Phillips • February 14, 2018
Bill Gates once said “Information Technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without the talking about the other.” The advent of the gig economy along with the integration of technology has changed the traditional job market. Employers may view technology as an obstacle, but it is crucial they get on board given the increased mobility of today’s workforce.

Does Being Fit Increase Your Company’s Risk of Security Breaches?

Fisher Phillips • February 14, 2018
As we are early into the new year, for many, hope springs eternal to get in shape during 2018. Many of us wear some kind of fitness activity tracker that monitors steps, heart rate, calories, sleep patterns, etc. Recent news coverage of Strava, the running and cycling fitness tracking app, has caused concern for the United States military. But might it cause concerns for some businesses that operate under high levels of security, as well?

Gig Worker Found to Be Independent Contractor in First-of-Its-Kind Ruling

XpertHR • February 14, 2018
A restaurant delivery driver for the online food-ordering company Grubhub was properly classified as an independent contractor under California law, a federal court has ruled.

Workplace Romance and Top Employer Mistakes in the #Metoo Era

XpertHR • February 14, 2018
With Valentine’s Day upon us, love is in the air and very much in the workplace. In today’s society, it seems rather natural for individuals to meet at work and form close friendships as well as romantic relationships.

Be My Valentine! – BUT First Please Review and Sign Below

FordHarrison LLP • February 13, 2018
Executive Summary: This Valentine’s Day, employers across industries are reevaluating their workplace dating and sexual harassment policies. Various surveys show that 40 percent of workers date or have dated co-workers. With the recent surge in sexual harassment allegations, evolution of the #MeToo movement, and ongoing legislative reform, it is crucial that employers remain proactive in setting boundaries around interoffice relationships. Employers can minimize liability associated with interoffice relationships by establishing clear policies, providing annual training for employees and managers, improving procedures to report sexual harassment complaints, and monitoring developments in relevant legislation and case law.

EEOC: Retaliation Tops Discrimination Charges Filed in Fiscal Year 2017

Jackson Lewis P.C. • February 13, 2018
Retaliation was the most common workplace discrimination charge received by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in fiscal year (FY) 2017, according to the agency. (The fiscal year runs from October 1 to September 30.) Retaliation has been at the top since FY 2010.

President's FY 2019 Budget Proposal Signals Cuts to Labor and Employment Funding

Jackson Lewis P.C. • February 13, 2018
President Trump's budget proposal for fiscal year 2019 indicates the administration intends to scale back the Department of Labor (DOL) and National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The White House is also interested in crafting a new parent paid leave program administered through the unemployment insurance system, boosting apprenticeship programs, and mandating the use of E-Verify.

Lessons From The Waymo v Uber Trade Secrets Trial

Fisher Phillips • February 13, 2018
Just hours after the Eagles clinched their upset Super Bowl win over the Patriots, a different battle royale began in a San Francisco courtroom between an established juggernaut and its upstart rival. For techies and trade secret geeks, the Waymo v. Uber trial was shaping up to be the Super Bowl of trade secret litigation. The lead-up to the trial had more surprises than a Justin Timberlake halftime show (though fewer wardrobe malfunctions).

Third Circuit Confirms “But-For” Standard for Retaliation Claims Under the False Claims Act

Fisher Phillips • February 13, 2018
Last month, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals held that an employee’s protected activity must be the “but for” cause of an adverse action to support a claim for retaliation under the False Claims Act (“FCA”). The Court further affirmed that the plaintiff’s constructive discharge claim did not establish an adverse employment action as a matter of law.

States Ask Congress To Prohibit Arbitration In Sex Harassment Claims

Fisher Phillips • February 13, 2018
A unanimous block of attorneys general from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, not to mention several U.S. territories, sent a letter to Congress yesterday asking federal lawmakers to prohibit the use of mandatory arbitration agreements when it comes to claims of sexual harassment. If Congress responds by passing legislation as requested, employers would need to adjust to a new reality that would have significant implications on human resources practices and employment litigation.

NLRB Continues to Ask Whether Voters Were Potentially Disenfranchised When Polls Not Timely Opened

Jackson Lewis P.C. • February 13, 2018
The National Labor Relations Board has reaffirmed it will apply a “potential-disenfranchisement” test, not an “actual-disenfranchisement” test, in determining whether employees were affected by a late opening of the polls at an NLRB-conducted election. Bronx Lobster Place LLC, Case 02-RC-191753 (Feb. 2, 2018) (unpublished).

Proposed Budget Seeks to Cut DOL Funds

Jackson Lewis P.C. • February 13, 2018
The highly anticipated proposed budget released today by the White House included expected budget cuts for the U.S. Department of Labor. While cutting funds for the DOL, the proposed budget did not resurrect the previously raised possible merger of OFCCP and EEOC.

Why International Payroll, Learning and Development, and the Gig Economy Heart Blockchain

XpertHR • February 13, 2018
2018 seems to be the year in which HR gets serious about blockchain applications in the workplace. In fact, four of the first five emails I opened today had some mention of blockchain, including a range of communications from tech industry blogs to established, white-shoe law firms promoting a new practice area.

New Scams Target Employees' Payroll Direct Deposits

XpertHR • February 13, 2018
The FBI is warning employers of new email phishing scams targeting employees to gain access to their direct deposit information on the company's self-service payroll platform. Many employers use direct deposit for payroll because it is generally a more secure, efficient and inexpensive method than paying employees in cash or with paper paychecks. In January, the IRS warned about Form W-2 scams aimed at HR and payroll departments.

"No Poaching" Agreements Could Be Subject to Criminal Enforcement by DOJ

XpertHR • February 13, 2018
The Department of Justice (DOJ) appears poised to bring criminal enforcement actions against employers that have "no poaching" agreements in place. A no-poaching agreement is an agreement between employers not to recruit certain employees or not to compete on compensation terms.

Increased Workplace Fatalities Raise Concerns

XpertHR • February 13, 2018
A 2017 report on fatal workplace injuries shows that fatalities jumped 7 percent in 2016. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' Census of 2016 Fatal Occupational Injuries reported 5,190 workplace fatalities in 2016, compared to 4,836 in 2015. It also noted an increase in deaths related to opioid use.

Employers Must Post OSHA 300A From February 1 – April 30

Jackson Lewis P.C. • February 12, 2018
Employers covered by OSHA’s recordkeeping rule are required to prepare and post the OSHA Form 300A, “Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses,” beginning February 1 and keep the form posted until April 30. The form must be posted at each establishment covered, in a conspicuous place where notices to employees are customarily posted.

Engage Your Staff in Developing Your Strategic Plan

XpertHR • February 12, 2018
How do we get our employees engaged so they help achieve the goals and objectives in our strategic plan?

Minimum Salaries for White-Collar Employees: Will States Pick Up Where US Labor Department Left Off?

XpertHR • February 12, 2018
After the Department of Labor’s rule raising the minimum annual salary for most overtime-exempt employees from $23,660 to $47,476 was invalidated by a federal court last year, it appears some states may step in to finish the job started by the Obama administration.

Employers are Subject to Criminal Antitrust Charges for Wage-Fixing and No-Poaching Agreements

Nexsen Pruet • February 12, 2018
On January 19, 2018, the Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust, Makan Delrahim, announced that in the coming months the Department of Justice (DOJ) expects to bring its first criminal antitrust charges involving agreements among competitors not to solicit each other’s employees – referred to as “no-poaching agreements.” Delrahim’s comments make it clear that going forward, the DOJ will treat wage-fixing and no-poaching agreements between competitors as per se criminal cartel activity; i.e., in the same way it traditionally treats price-fixing, bid-rigging and customer allocation agreements among competitor firms.

Love Contracts and Policies on Office Romance: What Can an Employer Do if Love is in the Air?

Nexsen Pruet • February 12, 2018
February is often called the “month of love,” and for employers, it may be an appropriate time to consider how to address issues surrounding workplace romance. Regardless of whether employers approve, it is likely inevitable that, at some point, the love bug will bite at work. According to a 2017 survey by CareerBuilder, 41 percent of employees said they had dated a work colleague within the prior year. Another study, by the University of Chicago, revealed that nearly 22 percent of U.S. married couples met at work. But because not every office romance results in wedding bells or fairy tale endings, such relationships create the potential for workplace conflicts, allegations of sexual harassment or retaliation and even litigation. Employers have several options for addressing possible problems in order to avoid legal headaches.

A New Valentine’s Day Conundrum for Employers: Could Emoji Messages Amount to Harassment in the #MeToo Era?

Ogletree Deakins • February 12, 2018
It’s Valentine’s Day yet again, but this year the climate is different for employers. Between the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, and the near-daily collapse of famous and powerful men (and some women) due to allegations of sexual harassment, employers are on high alert for any sign that sexual misconduct could be going on underneath their noses. While the holiday season usually brings the most challenges for human resources professionals trying to ensure holiday parties do not get out of hand and religious accommodation issues are properly handled, another holiday causes heartburn for many: Valentine’s Day.

Wisconsin Jury Rejects Fired Jail Officer’s Claims of Discrimination and Retaliation

Jackson Lewis P.C. • February 11, 2018
A case involving a former jail officer shows how keeping detailed, contemporaneous records of complaints of discrimination and unfair treatment can help defend against employee claims.

How Can Employers Compete with this Sporting Trifecta? The Super Bowl, Olympics, and March Madness Approach

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • February 11, 2018
Beginning with the Super Bowl on February 4, 2018, Americans can enjoy three doses of the thrill of victory (and the agony of defeat) over the course of two months. Opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, take place on February 9, and the games will run through February 25. And just a few short weeks later, March Madness kicks in on March 13, with the championship game scheduled for April 2.

EEOC's Background Check Guidance Suffers Loss in Texas Federal Court

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • February 11, 2018
On February 1, 2018, a federal judge enjoined the EEOC and U.S. Attorney General from enforcing against the State of Texas the EEOC’s 2012 Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (the “Guidance”).1 The judge granted summary judgment for the State of Texas on the narrow basis of the EEOC’s issuance of the Guidance without providing notice to the public and an opportunity to comment, as required under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). Although the injunction itself is specific to the State of Texas, the order opens the door to other similar lawsuits against the EEOC and is likely to push the EEOC to reconsider the Guidance.

Employers Take Note: Labor Board Poised to Reverse Additional Obama-Era Work Rule Interpretations

Jackson Lewis P.C. • February 11, 2018
The National Labor Relations Board has taken another giant step toward repudiating the Obama-era Board’s highly restrictive interpretations of work rules, set forth in Lutheran Heritage-Livonia, 343 NLRB 646 (2004).

A Blueprint For Contractor Classification Success, As Taken From The Grubhub Trial Victory

Fisher Phillips • February 11, 2018
By now, you’ve probably heard the good news: a federal judge yesterday ruled in favor of Grubhub and pronounced that a delivery driver who was challenging the independent contractor classification model was not, in fact, an employee. This appears to be the first time that a classification case in the gig economy reached a judicial merits determination, so it’s sort of a big deal. And while it only applies specifically in California, the decision rested upon a familiar test (centered around the company’s “right to control” its workers) that is commonly used in other jurisdictions across the country, and could be used by other courts looking to rule on similar cases.

Victory For Grubhub In First-Ever Gig Economy Trial

Fisher Phillips • February 11, 2018
In what is believed to be the first time in our nation’s history that a trial court has reached a judicial merits determination in a gig economy misclassification case, a federal judge in California ruled in favor of the company this afternoon and found that a delivery driver was properly classified as an independent contractor. By rejecting the driver’s claim that he was actually an employee deserving of minimum wage, overtime, and other benefits associated with employee status, the court handed gig economy companies everywhere a groundbreaking victory.

Love in the Workplace: The Rise of 'Love Contracts' in the #MeToo Era

Fisher Phillips • February 11, 2018
Tony Dick’s article “Love in the Workplace: The Rise of 'Love Contracts' in the #MeToo Era” was featured in Crain’s Cleveland Business. With a heightened focus on sexual harassment in the wake of the burgeoning #MeToo movement, it is more important than ever that employers have a plan in place to properly address dating in the workplace.

Ogletree Deakins | California | The Opportunities and Obligations of Venture Capital and Private Equity in the #MeToo Environment (February 01, 2018)

Fisher Phillips | California | Glimmers of Hope? Pair of Recent PAGA Cases Provide Rare Procedural Victories for California Employers (January 31, 2018)

Ogletree Deakins | California | California’s Salary History Ban: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (January 23, 2018)

Fisher Phillips | California | The ICEman Cometh? Recent War of Words Puts California Employers in the Crosshairs of National Immigration Debate (January 22, 2018)

Jackson Lewis P.C. | California | Trial Court Properly Denied Attorneys’ Fees To Plaintiff Who Proved His Termination Was Substantially Motivated By His Disabilities, But Was Not The Prevailing Party At Trial (January 21, 2018)

Ogletree Deakins | California | Cal/OSHA Approves Long-Awaited Housekeeper Injury Prevention Regulations (January 24, 2018)

Fisher Phillips | California | DLSE Publishes Voluntary Template for Required Employer AB 450 Notice (February 11, 2018)

Fisher Phillips | California | Cal/OSHA Approves Hotel Housekeeping Injury Standard – Likely to Go Into Effect Later This Year (January 21, 2018)

Ogletree Deakins | California | As Marijuana Shops Thrive, California Employers Revisit Drug Policies (January 18, 2018)

Jackson Lewis P.C. | California | Reminder! California Employers Must Provide Notice of the Federal and California Earned Income Tax Credit (January 15, 2018)