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Total Articles: 35

Indiana Employers Must Develop COVID-19 Plan to Ensure Safe Work Environment

By May 11, 2020, all business and entities in Indiana are required to develop a COVID-19 plan implementing measures and institute safeguards to ensure a safe environment for their employees, customers, clients, and members.

Indiana’s Roadmap to get Back on Track after COVID-19 Lockdown

The month of May in Indianapolis is not the same without the Indianapolis 500, which usually runs Memorial Day weekend. Indiana currently plans to hold the race on August 23, 2020. While there will be no cars at the brickyard this May, there is movement toward that goal. According to Governor Holcomb’s announcement on May 1, 2020, Indiana is officially “Back on Track.” Governor Holcomb’s “Back on Track” plan is a five-stage plan or “measured roadmap” to reopen Indiana by July 4, 2020.

Indiana’s New Restrictions on Physician Non-Compete Agreements

Marking a unique variation from Indiana’s body of common law governing the enforceability of restrictive covenants in the state, a new Indiana statute regulating physician non-compete agreements is set to take effect on July 1, 2020. See Pub. L. No. 93-2020 (to be codified in part as Ind. Code § 25-22.5-5.5) (2020).

Indiana Governor Issues Updated Stay-at-Home Order Due to Continued Spread of COVID-19

On April 6, 2020, Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb issued an updated “Stay-at-Home Order,” Executive Order 20-18 (E.O. 20-18), superseding the Stay-at-Home Order that he issued on March 23, 2020. In announcing the updated order, Governor Holcomb noted that COVID-19 had spread to almost every county in Indiana.

Indiana Revises Law on Employment of Minors

The Indiana General Assembly has enacted changes in how and when minors are allowed to work in the state. The new provisions go into effect April 1, 2020.

Indiana Orders Stay at Home, Limits Gatherings, Restricts Business Operations

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb has issued Executive Order 20-08, limiting the activities of all Hoosiers. The Order goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. on March 24, 2020, and will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. on April 6, 2020 (unless terminated sooner or extended).

Indiana Court of Appeals Decision Signals Change in State’s Restrictive Covenant Law

On April 15, 2019, the Indiana Court of Appeals issued a ruling that significantly developed restrictive covenant law in two areas: whether courts may reform contracts (as opposed to blue-penciling them) and whether non-solicitation provisions can include prospective customers.

Indiana Law Now Allows Paycheck Deductions for Uniform Rentals

Under an amendment to the state’s wage deduction statute, employers in Indiana may now deduct from an employee’s paycheck the rental cost of uniform shirts, pants, and other job-related clothing. The amendment, Senate Bill 99, was signed by Governor Eric Holcomb on May 1, 2019, and went into effect immediately. Michael Padgett, a Principal in the Indianapolis office of Jackson Lewis, testified before the Senate on behalf of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce in support of the amendment.

No Subpoena, No Protection?: Indiana Court of Appeals Approves Dismissal of Employee Who Left Work to Voluntarily Testify at Hearing

It is well settled that Indiana is an employment-at-will state, meaning an employer or employee may terminate the employment relationship for any lawful reason. The Indiana Supreme Court, however, recognizes a limited number of exceptions to employment-at-will. For example, an employer may not discharge an employee for complying with a subpoena to provide testimony in a judicial or administrative hearing. Indiana courts have held that terminating an employee under these circumstances violates the state’s public policy. But does this exception apply when an employee voluntarily testifies in an administrative proceeding rather than being compelled to do so by subpoena or judicial order?

Indiana Court Declines to Expand At-Will Employment Exception

Reaffirming Indiana’s “strong” presumption of at-will employment, the Indiana Court of Appeals has declined to expand the public policy exception to the at-will employment doctrine to include an employee’s mistaken belief that he was subpoenaed to testify at an unemployment hearing. Perkins v. Memorial Hosp. of South Bend, No. 18A-CT-1340 (Ind. Ct. App. Apr. 11, 2019).

Indiana Supreme Court: Driver for Large Vehicle Transportation Matching Service Properly Classified as Independent Contractor

Resolving split decisions among Indiana Court of Appeals panels, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled on January 23, 2019, that a transportation matching service properly classified a driver as an independent contractor. Q.D.-A, Inc. v. Indiana Department of Workforce Development. In so holding, the court provided potentially valuable insight into Indiana’s ABC test that may prove helpful to employers with independent contractor drivers.

Indiana Supreme Court Rules Driver Not Employee of Business Connecting Drivers with Customers

A driver who delivers recreational vehicles or trucks under a company’s authority is an independent contractor, not an employee, for purposes of the Indiana Unemployment Compensation Act, the Indiana Supreme Court has ruled. Q.D.-A, Inc. v. Indiana Dep’t of Workforce Dev., No. 19S-EX-43 (Jan. 23, 2019).

Seventh Circuit Finds Five-Year Sale-of-Business Noncompete Agreement Valid

In E.T. Products, LLC v. D.E. Miller Holdings, Inc., the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that noncompete agreements signed by sellers of a business were enforceable under Indiana law, but the sellers did not violate the agreements. In doing so, the court provided valuable considerations for drafting valid noncompete agreements in the context of a sale of business.

Employers Beware: Indiana Supreme Court Expands the Scope of the “Duty of Care” Owed to a Subcontractor’s Employees

In light of a recent decision from the Indiana Supreme Court, Indiana employers—and construction companies in particular—should review their contracts and subcontracts to determine if they have unwittingly assumed a duty of care for other entities’ employees. In Ryan v. TCI Architects/Engineers/Contractors, Inc. et al., the Court ruled that a general contractor’s “form contract” with its client caused it to assume a duty of care to keep a worksite safe for a sub-subcontractor’s employee—even though the general contractor’s subcontract placed the onus of securing employee safety on the subcontractor. — N.E.3d —, 2017 WL 148885 (Ind. Apr. 26, 2017). As a result of this ruling, a general contractor can potentially be liable to a subcontractor’s employee who suffers a workplace injury.

Indiana Legislature Bans “Ban the Box” Ordinances

Some cities and counties across the country have enacted local ordinances restricting the ability of employers to inquire into the criminal histories of applicants during various stages of the job application process. (These ordinances are commonly known as “ban the box” legislation.) However, the Indiana General Assembly recently passed a bill that prohibits local governments from adopting such ordinances in Indiana. Senate Bill 312 prohibits political subdivisions (including counties, municipalities, and townships) from enacting ordinances that interfere with an employer’s ability to obtain or use criminal history information during the hiring process to the extent allowed by state or federal law.

Indianapolis Office Newsletter – First Quarter 2017

Under a constructive discharge theory, an employee’s limitation period to file a discrimination claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission begins upon the constructive discharge, not before, the United States Supreme Court has ruled, giving clarity to timing considerations of constructive discharge claims. Green v. Brennan, 136 S. Ct. 1769 (2016).

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

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.

Indiana Wage Law Amendments Become Effective on July 1, 2015

Two significant changes to Indiana’s wage laws will become effective on Wednesday, July 1, 2015. First, liquidated damages will no longer be mandatory when an employer violates Indiana’s Wage Payment or Wage Claims statutes. Instead, a court must find that the employer was not acting in good faith to award liquidated damages. Second, as long as all other requirements of the Indiana Wage Assignment Statute are met, Indiana employers now will be expressly allowed to make wage deductions for: (a) the sale of goods or food sold to an employee; (b) the purchase price of uniforms and equipment; (c) reimbursements for education or employee skills training; and (d) payroll or vacation pay advances.

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and Wage and Hour Law

Unless you are living under a rock, you are probably aware of the uproar in Indiana about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that the state passed, triggering an incredible backlash inside and outside the state and a rush by legislators to revise the newly-enacted law. When even NASCAR is criticizing legislation instead of talking about its current season, you know that you have a serious problem. For those of you looking for a more balanced, statutory analysis of the issues underlying the RFRA debate, I would recommend that you start here and here.

Continuing to Withstand Attack: Indiana Supreme Court Unanimously Upholds Indiana's Right to Work Law

Last month, the Indiana Supreme Court unanimously upheld the Indiana Right to Work Law, rejecting a union’s claim that the state statute violates the Indiana Constitution. The Indiana Supreme Court’s decision comes roughly two months after the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (which hears appeals from federal trial courts in Indiana) rejected the same union’s challenges to the Indiana law based on federal preemption and constitutional grounds.

Indiana Court Finds Employee’s Attempt At Humor Was Not Protected Religious Expression

Ronald Ogle worked as a Community Employment Specialist for the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (IDWD). On November 10, 2012, he forwarded to his coworkers an email that included a picture of a barbeque restaurant named “Little Pigs Genuine Pit.” The restaurant’s marquee contained the words, “Safest Restaurant on Earth, No Muslims Inside.” In addition to forwarding the picture, Ogle commented, “I think this is wonderful.” Several coworkers found the email and Ogle’s comment offensive and complained to management. Ogle subsequently was suspended and discharged effective December 12, 2012.

Court Finds Indiana Right-To-Work Law Unconstitutional

In a stunning decision, a state court judge has ruled that Indiana’s hard-won right-to-work law is unconstitutional. The reasoning is strained and rests on the rather peculiar notion that “just compensation” for a union means forcing all employees to pay dues, whether they support the union’s aims or not.

Indiana Supreme Court Clarifies State Blacklisting Statute

The Indiana Supreme Court recently provided its first comprehensive discussion of Indiana's Blacklisting Statute, Ind. Code Sec. 22-5-3-2, in more than a century. In response to several certified questions from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, the Supreme Court for the first time offered a definition of "blacklisting" under the statute. It also clarified that employers cannot face liability under the Blacklisting Statute merely for attempting to enforce a noncompetition agreement or protect trade secrets in court.

Indiana’s Right-to-Work Law: Frequently Asked Questions

On February 1, 2012, Governor Mitch Daniels signed into law a bill that makes Indiana the nation’s 23rd right-to-work state. Below are answers to frequently asked questions about the law. In addition, on Wednesday, February 22, Ogletree Deakins will host a webinar to discuss the law in greater detail.

Indiana Enacts Right-To-Work Legislation: Will The Rest Of The Rust Belt Follow?

On February 1, 2012, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels signed right-to-work legislation into law. Right-to-work laws prohibit anyone from forcing a person to join or support a union as a condition of employment. That is to say, they protect an individual's fundamentally American "right to work" without being forced to join, or pay any of their earnings, to any group. Right-to-work laws do not in any way prevent people from joining or paying dues to a union if they freely choose to do so.

Indiana Enacts Right-to-Work Law: Becomes the Only Right-to-Work State in the Central Midwest

On February 1, 2012, Governor Mitch Daniels signed into law a bill that makes Indiana the nation’s 23rd right-to-work state. The bill’s legislative supporters describe the law as “a victory for job creation and individual freedom for workers to decide for themselves if they want to financially back a union.” The bill’s supporters envision “a surge in economic development interest” in Indiana because Indiana is now the only right-to-work state in the central Midwest.

New Law Guarantees Right to Employee Representation Elections

Effective July 1, 2011, a new Indiana statute guarantees employees the right to vote by secret ballot in any election that is required or permitted by Indiana or federal law for the designation, authorization or retention of employee representation. This same statute (codified at I.C. 22-6-5-1 et seq.) guarantees the right of any employer to engage in a campaign in connection with such an election.

New Indiana “Non-Disclosure” Gun Law Takes Effect July 1

Last year, the Indiana General Assembly passed a law that prohibits most employers from adopting a rule or policy prohibiting employees from possessing firearms or ammunition in an employer’s parking lot, so long as they are kept in a locked vehicle and out of sight. This year, the Indiana legislature passed, and the Governor signed into law, another bill further restricting employers from regulating the possession of firearms by their employees.

Preliminary Injunction Granted for Parts of New Indiana Immigration Law

As predicted in our prior Legal Alert on this topic on May 13, 2011, Indiana's recently enacted immigration law has been challenged in court. On June 24, 2011, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana granted a preliminary injunction, preventing certain provisions of the new law from going into effect as planned on July 1, 2011.

Indiana Gets Tough On Employers Of Illegal Aliens

On May 10, 2011, Governor Daniels signed a new law imposing significant consequences on Indiana employers who employ unauthorized workers. The law goes into effect on July 1, 2011.

Indiana Further Limits Employers With Respect to Guns and Ammo

On April 18, 2011, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels signed a new law clarifying and bolstering employees' and applicants' right to lawfully possess firearms and ammunition. The law takes effect July 1, 2011.

Governor Daniels Signs Workplace Gun Bill Into Law.

On Thursday, March 18, 2010, Governor Mitch Daniels signed P.L. 90-2010 into law, allowing workers who may otherwise lawfully possess firearms or ammunition to keep firearms and ammunition in their locked vehicles in trunks, glove compartments, or out of plain sight while parked on company property. The law is a response to Indiana employers (and employers around the nation) who prohibit employees from having firearms anywhere on company property through corporate gun policies and workplace violence rules. The “take your gun to work” law, as termed by the media, now makes it illegal for Indiana employers to adopt any policy that prohibits, or has the effect of prohibiting, employees from having firearms in their locked vehicles while the vehicle is on company property. In addition, the law authorizes civil lawsuits by employees and allows for actual damages and attorneys’ fees for employees who prevail in a court action against a non-complying employer.

Indiana Court Rejects Negligence Suit Brought By Murder Victims’ Estate.

A state appellate court recently ruled in favor of an employer whose employee left a job site in the middle of a shift, drove several miles away in his personal vehicle, broke into a home, and murdered two residents. According to the Indiana Court of Appeals, because the harm caused by the employee was not reasonably foreseeable, the employer was not responsible for negligently hiring and retaining him.

Indiana Supreme Court Rules on "Workplace Bullying" Case.

In a 4-1 decision, the Indiana Supreme Court upheld a $325,000 verdict against a cardiovascular surgeon accused of being a “workplace bully.” Previously, the trial and appellate court decisions in the case had received nationwide attention because of the interest in the concept of “workplace bullying.” Raess v. Doescher, No. 49S02-0710-CV-424, Indiana Supreme Court (April 8, 2008).

New Law Requires Indiana Employers To Provide Leave.

The ongoing war in Iraq has spurred several states to approve legislation creating workplace leave entitlements for individuals with family members in the military. Following that trend, mid-sized and larger employers in Indiana now are required to provide job-protected leave to eligible employees with family members on active duty in the U.S. armed forces and the Indiana National Guard.
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