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Department of Justice Guidance on Companies’ Claim of Inability to Pay Criminal Fines

The Department of Justice Criminal Division has clarified its policy on the Department’s assessment of a company’s claim that it cannot afford to pay a criminal fine in a memorandum issued on October 8, 2019. Criminal Division department head Brian Benczkowski had previewed the memorandum during a speech in September.

Gig Employer Blog Court Uses 8-Factor Test To Hand Gig Businesses Victory In Next Round In New Prime Arbitration Battle

A Massachusetts federal court just ruled that gig workers cannot escape arbitration provisions by claiming they are exempt transportation workers. The September 30 decision in Austin v. DoorDash marks the second win for gig businesses following a troubling Supreme Court ruling in January 2019 that opened the door to a possible arbitration exemption. However, there remain other federal courts that have ruled for workers on this issue, and the Massachusetts court even indicated there could have been worker victory had the fact pattern been slightly different, so companies are not out of the woods on this issue by a long shot.

What Employers Can Learn From Major League To Avoid Big League Problems

The iconic sports movie, Major League, premiered 30 years ago. Three decades later, nearly everyone remembers the classic comedic scenes with characters such as Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn (Charlie Sheen), Jake Taylor (Tom Berenger), Willie Mayes Hayes (Wesley Snipes), and Pedro Cerrano (Dennis Haysbert).

Today’s Affinity Groups: Risks and Rewards

Affinity groups, also known as employee resource groups (ERGs), bring together employees with similar backgrounds or interests and can have a powerful influence in the workplace.

Dear Littler: Should I Allow Leave for Domestic Abuse Affecting an Employee’s Family Member?

Dear Littler: I am a manager at a mid-size company in Florida. An employee just asked for time off so that she can help her sister, who lives with her, deal with issues related to abusive behavior by the sister’s boyfriend. We have a leave policy in compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act, but this does not look like a typical FMLA-covered request. What are our obligations here? We are seeking to expand into Maine, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey, and we want to set the stage for good policy going forward.

Celebrate National Cybersecurity Awareness Month with CCPA FAQs!

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM)! NCSAM is an annual event designed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and co-led by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCSA). NCSAM is a collaborative effort by both government and industry leaders intended to enhance public awareness regarding cybersecurity . This year’s agenda emphasizes personal accountability and taking proactive steps both at home and in the workplace to enhance cybersecurity. This year’s motto is Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT – #becybersmart, and focuses on areas such as consumer privacy, consumer devices and e-commerce security.

Final IRS Regulations for Hardship Distributions Incorporate a Decade of Legislative Changes

On September 23, 2019, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published final regulations that modify the hardship distribution rules for profit sharing, 401(k), 403(b), and eligible governmental 457(b) plans. The final hardship distribution regulations generally expand and streamline the use of hardship distributions for changes made in legislative acts spanning more than a decade: the Pension Protection Act of 2006, the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.

Whistleblower Protections and Retaliation Risks

Whistleblower issues are in the news, mainly because a U.S. intelligence officer recently filed a complaint against President Trump under the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act (ICWPA). The complaint, which asserts that the president engaged in improper conduct in interacting with the government of Ukraine, has led to an impeachment inquiry. The ICWPA was enacted to provide intelligence community employees a safe process to report alleged wrongdoing.

SCOTUS Case Watch 2019-2020: Welcome to the New Term

The Supreme Court of the United States kicked off its 2019-2020 term on October 7, 2019, with several noteworthy cases on its docket. This term, some of the issues before the Court will likely have great historical significance for the LGBTQ community. Among these controversies are whether the prohibition against discrimination because of sex under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 encompasses discrimination because of sexual orientation. In addition, the Court is slated to consider Title VII’s protections of transgender individuals, if any. Here’s a rundown of the employment law related cases that Supreme Court watchers can expect this term.

Common Mistakes Companies Make with Gig Economy Workers

It is no secret that traditional employers often benefit from non-traditional workplace arrangements available in the gig economy, such as relief from paying unemployment insurance and worker’s compensation plans or being exempt from many minimum wage or overtime laws that apply to the traditional employer-employee relationship. Companies also can save in traditional onboarding, ramp-up, and training costs since temporary gig workers do not require the same training or retention efforts.
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