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ten most recent state employment law articles Ten Most Recent State Law Articles

Tennessee Supreme Court Throws Out Applicant's Workers' Compensation Retaliation Claim Against Prospective Employer

FordHarrison LLP • August 28, 2015
Executive Summary: On August 21, 2015, the Tennessee Supreme Court held that a job applicant does not have a cause of action under the Tennessee Workers' Compensation Act (TWCA) against a prospective employer for failure to hire based on the applicant's workers' compensation claim against a previous employer. Yardley v. Hospital Housekeeping Systems, LLC.

Tennessee's "Guns in Trunks" Law: What employers need to know now

Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP • August 28, 2015
New legislation affects the ability of employers with operations in Tennessee to take action against employees for bringing guns to work.

Job Applicant Cannot Sue for Failure to Hire under Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Act

Jackson Lewis P.C. • August 27, 2015
Ruling on a question of law from a federal district court, the Tennessee Supreme Court has determined that a job applicant has no cause of action against a prospective employer in Tennessee if the prospective employer failed to hire the job applicant because the applicant had filed, or is likely to file, a workers’ compensation claim against a previous employer. Yardley v. Hospital Housekeeping Systems, LLC, No. M2014-01723-SC-R23-CV (Aug. 21, 2015).

Washington Supreme Court Extends Minimum Wage

Fisher & Phillips LLP • August 27, 2015
In a narrow 5-4 decision on August 20, 2015, the Washington Supreme Court reversed a lower court ruling and applied the City of SeaTac’s $15 minimum wage law to all workers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Indiana Employment Law Update: 5 Changes to Laws You Should Know

Ogletree Deakins • August 27, 2015
A number of significant changes to Indiana employment law took effect on July 1, 2015. These changes affected employer’s obligations in areas such as hiring, wages, discrimination, and termination. If employers have not already done so, they should review and revise their policies and procedures to ensure that they are in compliance with these changes.

Got A Prescription for That?: Colorado Supreme Court Says You Can Fire A Worker for Smoking Medical Marijuana

Brody and Associates, LLC • August 27, 2015
In a blow to legalized marijuana advocates but a move that is sure to please employers, the Colorado Supreme Court recently ruled that a company could lawfully fire an employee who used medical marijuana on his personal time. The legal status of marijuana, and medical marijuana in particular, remains hazy. While more and more states are legalizing medical marijuana – and in 2013, Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana – marijuana use remains illegal under federal law. To make this issue even cloudier, even under federal law employers must be careful –use of medical marijuana may require a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which would make its use legal in that circumstance. Thus, how to handle marijuana use in the workplace remains unclear.

Constitutional Challenge to California's Background Check Law Rejected

Jackson Lewis P.C. • August 26, 2015
If a background check includes information about a job applicant’s character, California’s background check law applies, the California Court of Appeal has held, rejecting an employer’s challenge to the California Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (Cal. Civ. Code § 1786 et seq.) (“ICRAA”). Connor v. First Student, Inc., No. B256075 (Cal. Ct. App. Aug. 12, 2015).

California Court Holds Arbitrator Decides Class Arbitrability Where Agreement Specifies AAA Rules

Jackson Lewis P.C. • August 26, 2015
An employment arbitration agreement that incorporated the American Arbitration Association’s National Rules for the Resolution of Employment Disputes vested the arbitrator with the power to decide whether the agreement authorized class-wide relief, the California Court of Appeal has ruled. Universal Protection Service LP v. Superior Court, No. C078557 (Cal. Ct. App. Aug. 18, 2015). The Court denied an employer’s petition to set aside the trial court’s order compelling class arbitration and ordered that the arbitrator should determine the class issue.

Illinois Latest State to Institute Voluntary Veteran Hiring Preference

Jackson Lewis P.C. • August 26, 2015
Adding to the line of other states, Illinois now joins the ranks of jurisdictions that allows for employers to establish a voluntary veteran hiring preference. The Illinois state bill becomes effective January 1, 2016.

Connecticut Becomes Latest State to Protect Employee Online Accounts From Employer Inquiries

Brody and Associates, LLC • August 25, 2015
We have regularly reported on states as far flung as Rhode Island, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Wisconsin passing laws limiting employers’ ability to check their employees’ and applicants’ online accounts. Effective October 1, 2015, Connecticut employers join the list of those generally restricted from accessing the social media accounts of their employees and applicants.