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

California Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses Fall to Lowest Level in 13 Years

Jackson Lewis P.C. • November 24, 2015
The incidence of occupational injuries and illnesses in California remain at their lowest level in 13 years, according to occupational injury and illness data released by the California Department of Industrial Relations. The Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) data reflect a total of 460,000 reportable injury and illness cases in 2014, down from a total of 468,400 cases in 2013. In 2013 and 2014, the rate for cases involving lost work-time, job transfer, or restriction-from-duty cases (collectively, “lost work-time cases”) held steady at approximately 265,000, while cases involving days away from work fell from 146,800 to 142,800. Overall, the incidence of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses in California remains at its lowest level in the past decade.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Finds That UWOA Language Does Not Waive Right to Challenge Adequacy of Consideration for Restrictive Covenant

Fisher & Phillips LLP • November 24, 2015
On November 18, 2015, in a highly anticipated decision, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that employers could not use the language set forth in Pennsylvania’s Uniform Written Obligations Act (“UWOA”) to avoid providing adequate consideration for a restrictive covenant signed by an employee. In Socko v. Mid-Atlantic Systems of CPA, Inc., the Court considered whether a non-compete agreement signed by Socko with Mid-Atlantic following the commencement of Socko’s employment was enforceable despite Mid-Atlantic’s failure to provide any benefit or change in employment status at the time of execution, by virtue of the parties’ statement in the agreement that they “intend to be legally bound” by its terms.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Holds Uniform Written Obligations Act Does Not Allow Employer To Enforce Noncompete Unsupported By Consideration

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • November 24, 2015
In Socko v. Mid-Atlantic Systems of CPA, Inc. (No. J-40-2015), the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled on an issue of first impression: whether the state’s Uniform Written Obligations Act (“UWOA”) allows employers to enforce a noncompete given to an employee while already employed without providing consideration. On November 18, 2015, the high court affirmed a Pennsylvania Superior Court’s May 2014 decision, ruling that without valuable consideration, noncompetes are unenforceable.

Texas Court Rules Religious Institutions not Exempt From all Employment-Related Claims

Ogletree Deakins • November 24, 2015
The United States and Texas Constitutions each provide for the free exercise of religion and the separation of church and state. These constitutional prescriptions frequently bar the application of civil laws, including employment laws, to religious institutions if they require the evaluation of a church’s self-governance. However, in certain circumstances, as reflected in the case below, churches and religious institutions can still be subject to civil laws dealing with employment matters.

District of Columbia Employers Must Provide Transportation Benefit Programs by the New Year

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • November 24, 2015
Employers with employees located in the District of Columbia must provide a transportation benefit program to employees by January 1, 2016. This mandatory commuter benefit is among many environmental and sustainability initiatives required by the Sustainable DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2014 (the “Act”)1 that the Mayor signed on July 29, 2014. Employers must act quickly to ensure they have a program in place by the deadline.

Worker Misclassification Risk? Top 10 Questions to Ask about Your Independent Contractors

Jackson Lewis P.C. • November 23, 2015
Employers’ risk of liability for the misclassification of workers continues to grow, as employee misclassification remains a top enforcement priority for the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”), and class actions asserting misclassification claims are filed almost daily in federal and California state courts. Employers regularly using independent contractors should examine those relationships periodically to ensure that the classification remains defensible.

Missouri Appeals Court Addresses Third Party Harassment Claim Against Parent Company

XpertHR • November 23, 2015
A Missouri appeals court has declined to find a parent company liable for the acts of its subsidiary under the state civil rights law. In Diaz v. AutoZoners, LLC, a case alleging third-party sexual harassment (i.e., an employee alleged being harassed by two customers), the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District reversed a jury verdict and judgments against the parent company.


Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP • November 20, 2015
All businesses have customers. Many maintain an electronic database of their customers that includes such things as contact information, pricing and purchasing information, and other data that has been collected through time and expense. This database can be an important asset to the business and provide it with a competitive advantage in the marketplace. As such, a majority view this information as “confidential” and believe it constitutes a “trade secret” and thus is protected from unauthorized disclosure under the law.

Review of New Laws and Regulations Likely to Impact California Employers in 2016

Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani, LLP • November 19, 2015
Once again, the New Year brings with it new laws and regulations that apply to business in California. Thus, employers are encouraged to review existing policies and procedures, and consult with counsel to implement necessary changes starting on January 1, 2016.

Pacific Northwest Employer Workplace News - November 2015

Jackson Lewis P.C. • November 19, 2015
Oregon Sick Leave: Applicability of Requirements to Employees Occasionally Working in State Unclear Beginning January 1, 2016, Oregon will join a growing number of cities and states mandating that employers provide certain classes of employees with sick leave benefits. For the specific requirements imposed by the new legislation, including when sick leave must be paid, see our article, Oregon Enacts Paid Sick Leave.