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Total Articles: 40

Retail Industry Workplace Law Update – Fall 2017

Oregon has become the first U.S. state to regulate employer scheduling practices in the retail, food service, and hospitality industries. Read full article...

Retail Industry Update (No. 3, October 2017)

An employer’s personnel decisions do not always have to be “correct” in order to avoid liability under most federal and state antidiscrimination laws. If you decide to terminate an employee for engaging in workplace misconduct, the fact the employee was actually innocent of the alleged misconduct should be deemed irrelevant in a subsequent discrimination lawsuit.

Retail Industry Workplace Law Update - Summer 2017

Curbing a litigation tactic used by class action plaintiffs, U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that such plaintiffs may not voluntarily dismiss their claims upon receiving an adverse class certification decision and subsequently invoke 28 U.S.C. § 1291, the general rule that appeals can be taken only from a final judgment, to appeal the decision as a matter of right. Read full article…

Retail Industry Update (No. 2, June 2017)

Though the internet has been in our lives for decades and online retailers are hardly a new concept, many brick-and-mortar retailers continue to evaluate the risks and benefits of moving away from the shop on the corner and toward the shop dot com. One factor you will need to keep in mind if you consider closing up or shrinking your physical presence is how to handle employee layoffs.

Retailer Successfully Defends Text Messaging TCPA Claim

Earlier this month, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Blow v. Bijora upheld a lower court decision rejecting a plaintiff’s claim that she did not consent to receive text messages from the defendant retailer.

Retail Industry Workplace Law Update - Spring 2017

The Occupational and Safety and Health Administration released a preliminary list of the 10 most frequently cited safety and health violations for 2016, compiled from about 32,000 inspections of workplaces by federal OSHA staff.

Retail Industry Update (No. 1, March 2017)

The I-9: How Much Trouble Can One Piece Of Paper Cause?

Mind the (Pay) Gap: Retailers May Want to Prep for Pay Equity Inquiries From Investors

In 2016, several technology companies received or responded to proposals from investors that requested shareholder votes regarding whether the companies should be required to prepare reports addressing their policies and goals to reduce the gender pay gap. This year, shareholder activists are turning their sights on the retail industry, citing concerns with pay gaps across gender and racial lines. According to a January 10, 2017 report in Bloomberg News, pay equity-related shareholder resolutions have been submitted to several major retailers.

The Top 10 Labor and Employment Issues Retailers Will Face in 2017

The coming of a new year always presents uncertainty for retail employers on the labor and employment front, but particularly so this year with the coming of the Trump administration and Republican majority in Congress. Questions abound about whether and how the Trump administration will roll back the Obama administration’s executive orders and rulemaking in the employment arena, what the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will look like and do, and how the Trump administration’s new appointments to the federal bench may shape the interpretation of laws impacting retail employers into the future.

Retail Employer Workplace News - Winter 2017

Class Action Trends Report on Defending Class Discrimination Claims Experienced plaintiffs’ counsel have turned to class claims alleging systemic gender, race, or other forms of discrimination as a mechanism for bringing large-scale, large-dollar lawsuits against all sectors of the business community. Read more...

Keeping the Scrooge Out of Seasonal Hiring: 6 Tips for Retailers

November and December account for a substantial portion of retail sales—up to 30 percent of annual sales for some businesses. And while there are reports that this holiday shopping season has been delayed due to the presidential election, sales are still expected to top last year’s. A survey conducted by the National Retail Federation predicts that retailers will hire almost 700,000 seasonal workers to meet their needs this holiday season.

Retail Employer Workplace News - Fall 2016

Despite a lawsuit to block the regulations, retailer employers must prepare for the Department of Labor’s updated regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act governing overtime exemptions for executive, administrative, and professional employees, commonly known as the “white collar exemptions” or “EAP exemptions.” The new regulations will go into effect on December 1, 2016.

Retail Industry Update (No. 3, September 2016)

The NLRB, Franchisees, And Temporary Employees: A Confusing Mess

HR Intel: What Can HR Do About Retail “Shrinkage?”

You may have noticed, but brick and mortar retail stores are not doing so hot these days. It’s hard not to notice with the bevy of big box stores closing in neighborhoods everywhere, leaving strip malls with giant, shuttered eyesores and a ton of unused parking spaces littered with rolling tumbleweeds. So with some big companies essentially throwing in the towel on the physical vs. virtual shopping battle, what’s the impact this will have on HR?

Retail Employer Workplace News - Summer 2016

Retailer employers must prepare for the dramatic changes imposed by the Department of Labor’s updated regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act governing overtime exemptions for executive, administrative, and professional employees, commonly known as the “white collar exemptions” or “EAP exemptions.” The changes include raising the salary level from $23,660 ($455 per week) to $47,476 ($913 per week) beginning December 1, 2016.

Retail Industry Update (No. 2, June 2016)

In today’s technology-driven society, retailers are increasingly using the internet to provide information, goods, and services to the public. While having a website is almost a mandatory aspect of operating a retail business, it’s important to ensure that the website does not also market the business to potential lawsuits. Websites have become the new hotbed of litigation brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); retailers who are increasingly relying on their web presence need to take note.

Attorney Generals From Nine States Cooperate on Predictable Scheduling Inquiries of Retailers

As we previously reported, “predictive scheduling” is one of the most closely watched issues by retailers today. In April 2015, New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman garnered national news headlines when he launched an inquiry into the on-call scheduling practices of a slew of large national retailers in New York, expressing public concern about the impact of such practices on workers and raising questions about the possible illegality of such practices under existing New York law requiring “reporting pay” for employees who report to work but are not required to perform any work due to events like the closure of the business because of inclement weather.

Retail Employer Workplace News – Spring 2016

Retailers face a possible increase in whistleblower complaints under new guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that relaxes the standard for investigators tasked with determining whether a whistleblower statute has been violated. OSHA provides whistleblower protection under 22 federal statutes. Read more…

Criminal Activity At Work Can Land Retailers In Hot Water

Recent workplace violence incidents have driven some employers to take steps to minimize the risk of criminal behavior at their locations. Whether it is beefing up physical security measures on premises, installing surveillance cameras, or providing basic security training to workers, there are many varied approaches to solving the problem.

Retail Employer Workplace News - Winter 2016

Retailers should stay tuned in the year ahead to the busy agenda of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as it attempts to finalize significant rulemakings and guidance documents. OSHA initiatives on electronic injury and illness recordkeeping, employer safety incentive programs, and employer safety and health programs could affect retailers.

Equal Pay: A Growing Issue for Retail and Hospitality Employers to Watch in 2016

The equal pay movement gained significant ground in 2015, with new equal pay legislation enacted in two large states, new pay equity rules issued for federal contractors, and equal pay legislation introduced in several states. President Obama discussed the need for equal pay during his 2015 State of the Union address and Hollywood drew attention to the equal pay issue as well with two high-profile actors speaking out publicly against pay inequality.

USDOL Is "Reaching Out" To Retail Workers

Employers in the retail industry take note: The U.S. Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division has announced that it is "reach[ing] out to [retail] workers to educate them about their rights" under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

Retail Employer Workplace News - Summer 2015

A bill in the U.S. Senate would require employers to consider their employees’ requests for changes to their work schedules and to provide more predictable and stable schedules for employees in certain occupations with evidence of unpredictable and unstable scheduling practices.

Bath & Body Works Latest Retailer to End On-Call Scheduling

Bath & Body Works Latest Retailer to End On-Call Scheduling.

A Reminder for Retailers: Risks Associated With Hiring Third-Party Workers

As the retail sector grapples with the many challenges of a perpetually evolving economy and an increasingly mobile, independent, and dynamic workforce, it has become common practice for retailers to engage third parties to provide specialized, non-core services. Whether engaged through staffing agencies or “traditional” subcontractors, third parties provide security, cleaning, and maintenance services to retail establishments. Of course, this phenomenon is not limited to retailers: U.S. businesses alone now engage approximately 2.7 million temporary and staffing agency workers—and that figure does not include the many workers engaged through other subcontracted service providers.

Swatting Gnats

Since the early 2000s, the buzzing gnats of employment litigation involving retailers have been individual Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) lawsuits. Whether brought for unpaid overtime, working through lunches, or working off the clock, this type of individual FLSA claim has been filed thousands of times.

Federal Wage Claims? That's The Easy Part!

Retailers are all too familiar with collective actions filed under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) making claims for unpaid overtime based on alleged misclassification of employees as exempt, working off the clock, or not counting all hours worked. But complying with the FLSA is a relatively simple task when compared to complying with the myriad of different state wage and hour laws that impact everything from paydays to vacation time.

What’s Ahead in 2015 for Retailers in Labor and Employment Law? Part I

The recent Ogletree Deakins webinar, “What’s Ahead in 2015 for Retailers in Labor and Employment Law,” featured leaders in the retail industry and labor and employment attorneys—Randel K. Johnson, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Kelly Kolb, vice president of government affairs at the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA); Hal Coxson, shareholder and chair of Ogletree Deakins’ Governmental Affairs Practice Group, and Brian Hayes, former member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), shareholder, and co-chair of the Traditional Labor Relations Practice Group at Ogletree Deakins. They discussed what retailers can expect from Congress, the White House and administrative agencies, such as the NLRB, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 2015.

What’s Ahead in 2015 for Retailers in Labor and Employment Law? Part II

The recent Ogletree Deakins webinar, “What’s Ahead in 2015 for Retailers in Labor and Employment Law,” featured leaders in the retail industry and labor and employment attorneys—Randel K. Johnson, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Kelly Kolb, vice president of government affairs at the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA); Hal Coxson, shareholder and chair of Ogletree Deakins’ Governmental Affairs Practice Group, and Brian Hayes, former member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), shareholder, and co-chair of the Traditional Labor Relations Practice Group at Ogletree Deakins.

What’s Ahead in 2015 for Retailers in Labor and Employment Law? Part III

The recent Ogletree Deakins webinar, “What’s Ahead in 2015 for Retailers in Labor and Employment Law,” featured leaders in the retail industry and labor and employment attorneys—Randel K. Johnson, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Kelly Kolb, vice president of government affairs at the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA); Hal Coxson, shareholder and chair of Ogletree Deakins’ Governmental Affairs Practice Group, and Brian Hayes, former member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), shareholder, and co-chair of the Traditional Labor Relations Practice Group at Ogletree Deakins.

Ten New Year's Resolutions Retail Employers Should Consider Making in 2015

Now that the busy 2014 holiday shopping season is over and the new year has begun, it’s a good time for retail employers to take a breath and think about 2015—what’s coming, what issues they should be watching, and what should be on their “to do” lists for the new year. To find out what the most pressing labor and employment issues of concern are for retailers in 2015, I polled a group of in-house counsel and human resources professionals at some of the nation’s top retailers. Here are the common themes that emerged and 10 New Year’s resolutions (in no particular order) that retail employers should consider making at the start of the new year, as well as links to helpful information.

What’s Next For Retailers After Integrity Staffing?

It is well-established that employees are responsible for a vast amount of inventory theft—or shrink—that retail employers experience on a daily basis. Recognizing this fact, retail employers utilize various loss prevention policies, procedures, processes, and methods to combat internal theft and minimize its potential effect on the bottom line.

'Tis the (Retail) Season, Part IV: Are Seasonal Workers Entitled to Health Care Coverage? A 2014 Update

As the holiday shopping season approaches, we are considering a number of issues that employers of seasonal workers might be facing. Primary among these is whether employers are required to provide health care coverage to seasonal workers. Last year, we covered the significant problems for employers involved with hiring seasonal workers as a result of the new requirements of the Affordable Care Act. Here are three of the most significant issues to consider, including tips on handling these issues, incorporating the most recent developments regarding the ACA in 2014

‘Tis the (Retail) Season, Part III: Five Tips for Hiring Seasonal Workers

It’s that time of year once again! Retailers are gearing up for the holidays and hiring seasonal workers in droves. Unfortunately, the flurry of activity and the common misperception that seasonal workers have a different employment status because they are “temporary” workers can often result in employers cutting corners when it comes to onboarding. To ensure that you have a happy holiday season, keep in mind the following important tips on hiring seasonal workers.

Ebola in Retail Establishments? How to Prepare

News sources recently reported that one of the Dallas nurses infected with the Ebola virus visited a retail establishment before boarding a plane from Cleveland to Dallas. Since then, retailers and customers have been concerned about Ebola in the retail environment.

Gun Control Advocates Focus on Retailers

National corporate campaigns are not just the province of unions anymore. An organization that advocates for gun control, Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America, has gotten into the action as well. The group focuses on national retailers and chain restaurants via social media to pressure them to enact policies against the open carrying of guns in their establishments. The group has chapters in every state and has partnered with Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a bipartisan coalition of 15 mayors that advocates for laws that aim to reduce gun violence.

Seven Key Supreme Court Cases for Retailers to Watch

The Supreme Court of the United States is ending its summer recess and will start hearing oral arguments next week. There are seven key cases on the Court’s docket for the current term that could affect retailers. Here is a quick run-down of the important cases for retailers to watch and a summary of the issues at stake in each.

Retail Industry: New Year's Resolutions: Five Areas Of Focus For 2014

The Affordable Care Act has dominated the headlines of employment newsletters (justifiably) for the last six months. It will continue to be an area of focus for all employers. But don’t lose sight of the fact that all the other employment laws remain on the books and continue to pose significant compliance issues in the retail arena.

Avoiding Mistletoe Mishaps, Part I: Seven Employment Topics To Consider When Hiring Seasonal Workers

As 2013 comes to an end, we will consider a number of issues that employers might be facing at the end of the year. In this blog series, we will cover topics such as seasonal hiring, religious discrimination claims stemming from the holidays, liability issues arising from corporate holiday parties, and the tax implications of holiday gifts. The first post in this series covers several employment issues about which employers must be aware if they plan to hire seasonal workers.

Upgrading Through Free Agency: Seasonal Hires In A Down Economy

Seasonal hiring is a critical element of retailers to successfully maximize sales and profits over the holidays. Increased crowds of shoppers require additional staff to provide quality customer service. With the competition of Internet shopping, retailers must provide an in-store service experience that cannot be accomplished with normal staffing levels. By way of example, major retailers such as Target and Wal-mart have announced expectations that they will hire tens of thousands of seasonal workers.