Maryland has become the first state to pass a bill, the User Name and Password Privacy Protection Act (SB 433/HB 964) (the “Act”), that bans employers from asking employees and applicants for social media passwords and login information. Specifically, the bill would prohibit an employer from taking or threatening any form of adverse action based on an employee’s or applicant’s refusal to provide a user name or password to a personal account accessed through a communications device. Governor Martin O’Malley likely will sign the bill into law in May 2012.
On February 15, the Department of Labor published proposed regulations to the Family and Medical Leave Act in three specific areas: 1) Military Family Leave; 2) Flight Crew FMLA Eligibility; and 3) the manner in which employers calculate increments of FMLA leave.
After three years, the California Supreme Court has finally issued its much-anticipated decision regarding how employers must manage meal periods and rest breaks. On April 12, 2012, the state’s highest court issued its unanimous decision in Brinker Restaurant Corporation v. Superior Court, clarifying California employers’ obligations to “provide” meal periods and “authorize or permit” rest periods. To hear a detailed discussion of the decision and its implications for employers, please join Littler’s webinars on April 17, 2012, from 10 to 11 a.m. PST, and on April 26 from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. PST.
We have an employee who works four days per week. He regularly calls off work one day every other week due to his chronic bad back. Can we require that he “make up” his day off later in the workweek?
A New Jersey district court recently held that an employee handbook provision could not be enforced as a valid confidentiality agreement between a company and a former employee. Metropolitan Foods, Inc. d/b/a Driscoll Foods v. Kelsch [pdf] involved a former employee of Driscoll Foods (Kelsch), who was accused of soliciting orders for his new employer while still working for Driscoll. Driscoll sued Kelsch under a number of causes of action, including breach of contract.
Companies seeking to prohibit unlawful solicitation of customers should be encouraged by a recent federal court decision.
That pesky State of Maryland! (Not that I hold grudges all these years after your Maryland Terapins beat my Indiana Hoosiers for the 2002 NCAA basketball championship!)
In a recent trade secrets case, Stryker v. Hi-Temp Specialty Metals, Inc. [pdf], a federal court in New Jersey made clear that the involuntary termination of an employee does not preclude enforcement of reasonable post-employment restrictions.
As we reported earlier, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DLWD)amended its wage and hour regulations in September 2011 to eliminate inconsistencies between state and federal overtime law. In so doing, the DLWD inadvertently omitted the exemption for commissioned sales employees, commonly referred to as the â€œinside salesâ€ exemption, from the amendment. The DLWDâ€™s mistake, which it acknowledged was inadvertent, potentially put employers at risk for misclassification lawsuits.
Effective May 4, 2012, the Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) Reform Act (the Act), which was enacted in August 2010 with the controversial “ban the box” legislation, will significantly change the way employers access, use, and maintain information obtained through the Commonwealth’s CORI system. The Act will allow all employers access to a new online records system, but also imposes obligations on employers that acquire criminal history information from private sources, such as consumer reporting agencies (background report vendors). Employers should review their hiring and background check policies now to determine whether any updates are necessary.
A recent decision from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania demonstrates that, despite allegations of employee wrongdoing and trade secret misappropriation, the facts may not support claims under some statutory computer offense laws. Even the New Jersey Computer Related Offenses Act (NJCROA), which is broader than the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), requires specific elements to support a claim. Thus, what many consider a run-of-the-mill misappropriation case will not necessarily lead to a NJCROA claim.
An employee who recently returned from FMLA leave claims that a portion of his leave of absence should not count against his FMLA entitlement because he responded to a number of work-related e-mails and telephone calls while he was out. Can we still count this time as FMLA leave?
With the growth of blogs and other social networking like Linkedin and Twitter, news comes at us fast and furious these days. In a recent blog post, LexBlog CEO and legal marketing guru Kevin O’Keefe cited a recent survey finding that 55 percent of people hear about breaking news on Facebook and 20 percent on Twitter.
In a case of first impression, a Massachusetts Superior Court judge recently held that an employer may adopt a policy prohibiting employees from accepting tips from customers without violating the Massachusetts Tips Law. Any such policy, however, must clearly and conspicuously be announced to customers, such that a reasonable customer would understand that any money left by the customer would not be given to employees as a tip.
A federal court in Los Angeles dismissed the plaintiffâ€™s trade secrets claims in Aqua Connection Inc. v. Code Rebel, LLC [pdf], despite the fact that the plaintiff (Aqua Connect) alleged that its trade secrets were improperly obtained through reverse engineering in violation of a user agreement.