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Airline Industry Alert: DOL Announces Meeting to Solicit Public Input on Aviation Act Whistleblower Protection Provision – AIR21

Executive Summary: On August 20, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) announced it will hold a meeting on October 8, 2019 in Washington, D.C., for the purpose of soliciting public comments from stakeholders on issues pertaining to whistleblower protections under the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (“AIR 21”). This meeting will be the fourth in a series of meetings held by OSHA with the goal of seeking public comments and suggestions on ways it can improve whistleblower customer service and further the public’s understanding of the whistleblower laws.

Benefits Outside the Box: Using a Charitable Foundation to Enhance Your Culture and Community

If your Company leadership is looking for an innovative employee benefit – something outside the standard employee benefit package of retirement, health, and welfare benefits, a Company-sponsored charitable foundation might be your answer. A charitable foundation not only can further your Company culture while serving the community, but it also has tax benefits to boot.

Employer Do’s and Don’ts for Back to School Time

It’s that time once again in many parts of the country – time to put away the sunscreen and beach chairs, pack up those backpacks, get those school lunches together and start those carpools as its time to head back to school.

Third Thursdays with Ruthie: Lessons Learned From Recent Cases

In this episode of the Third Thursdays podcast, Ruthie Goodboe examines two recent circuit court labor cases—one involving protections for striking employees and the other involving protected speech versus unprotected threats during union campaigns—and the practical lessons and tips that employers can take away from these two important holdings.

Commandment #4: Don't Delay Employee Interviews- and Memorialize the Statements

Over the last several weeks, I’ve been providing some practical advice on what to do and what not to do during federal, state or local investigations. Those Top Ten Commandments are:

2019 Mass Shootings Shed Spotlight on Active Shooter Situations

The pair of mass shootings within 24 hours in El Paso and Dayton are another reminder for employers to revisit whether they are taking every precaution needed to prevent an attack, or be prepared if one happens, in their workplaces.

Fifth Circuit Finds EEOC Exceeded its Authority in Issuing Enforcement Guidance on Arrest and Conviction Records

Executive Summary: On Tuesday, August 6, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit held that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (“EEOC”) Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII (“the Guidance”) is unlawful in the state of Texas. (See State of Texas v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, et al., August 6, 2019). The court agreed with the State of Texas that the EEOC and the Attorney General cannot treat the EEOC’s Guidance as binding in any way. The court concluded that the Guidance is a final agency action because it determines rights and obligations and legal consequences can flow from it. Thus, the EEOC went outside of its statutory authority when it issued the Guidance.

Recent Progression in the Legalization of Marijuana has left Employers Dazed and Confused

In the last year, a record number of states have amended or enacted laws which regulate marijuana testing, accommodations, and use. Among these states, at least two states have specifically banned pre-employment testing of marijuana. Some states have also enacted provisions which protect employees from being discriminated against for obtaining a medical marijuana license, require reasonable accommodations and provide privacy rights outside of the workplace. In total, 15 states currently have medical cannabis laws that provide some form of explicit employment protection for medical cannabis users. Needless to say, the rapid progression in marijuana legalization has left employers “Dazed and Confused.”

Fifth Circuit Rules that Courts, Not Arbitrators, Decide “Gateway Issue” of Class Arbitrability

In 20/20 Communications, Inc. v. Crawford, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently ruled that the question of whether a dispute can be arbitrated on a class-wide basis is a threshold issue that is presumptively for a court, not an arbitrator, to decide. This is the latest in a series of decisions by the Supreme Court of the United States and courts of appeals in favor of arbitration agreements that waive class procedures.

Tech-Tuned Workplace, Episode 2: Artificial Intelligence and Its Impact on the Workplace

In the second episode of our “Tech-Tuned Workplace” series, Jennifer Betts, Ruthie Goodboe, and Zeb Curtin (Senior Labor & Employment Lawyer and Team Lead at Cargill) discuss artificial intelligence in the workplace. They provide examples of how AI is currently affecting the workplace, potential future uses of AI in the workplace, and the legal implications for employers including the potential for bias.
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