The Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Secretariat of Labor and Social Welfare of Mexico (STPS) signed an agreement on April 3, 2014, to strengthen the relationship between both nations and promote compliance of the labor laws of both countries, especially as it relates to the protection of migrant workers. Through this joint effort, both governments seek to ensure that migrant workers become more knowledgeable of their legal rights, as well as of the employer’s obligations.
Articles Discussing Human Resources And Other Workplace Topics.
In past Franczek Radelet Alerts and webinars, my colleagues and I have talked at length about the potential pitfalls for employers of background checks and the changes that the advent of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the resulting reorganization at the FTC meant for employers. Yes, I know, this is a wage and hour-focused blog, but before you can tackle wage and hour issues, you have to hire employees! Many employers who do background checks have not given much thought to what (if any) documentation they collect from applicants or employees before running them, so with hiring season upon us for many seasonal industries, now is a good time for a reminder about this “pre wage and hour” issue.
Legislation would Effectively Prevent NLRB’s Representation Election Rule From Moving Forward.
Is an arbitration clause enforceable if it is in an expired contract and the parties omitted it from the contract’s survival clause? Yes, said the Sixth Circuit in Huffman v. The Hilltop Companies, noting “whether the strong presumption in favor of arbitration applies postexpiration when an arbitration clause is not listed in a survival clause appears to be one of first impression among the circuit courts.”
Brace yourselves, employers: March Madness is upon us.
In the 24/7 healthcare world, it is not uncommon for nurses and other health care professionals to work long hours and overnight shifts. In a recent case in Ohio, a family of a deceased 38 year old nurse is suing The Jewish Hospital of Cincinnati where she used to work as a nurse in the bone marrow unit. A year ago, the nurse lost control of her vehicle driving home after completing a 12 hour shift at the hospital and passed away.
A Florida hospital recently reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to pay $85 million to settle part of a whistleblower lawsuit initiated by a former employee who accused the hospital of illegal kickbacks to its cancer doctors and neurosurgeons, and Medicare fraud. (U.S. et al. v. Halifax Hospital Medical Center et al., case no. 6:09-cv-01002, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida). This case was closely watched by healthcare entities, as potential liability reportedly exceeded $1 billion.
The pervasive use of Facebook, email, LinkedIn, and other forms of social media “presents new opportunities as well as questions and concerns,” according to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Chair Jacqueline Berrien at Wednesday’s public meeting. The meeting was held to pinpoint the various ways in which an employee’s and an employer’s use of social media, and the blurring of the line between what is considered public and private information, could raise EEO concerns. As with the National Labor Relations Board, the EEOC is yet another federal agency exploring the impact of social media on laws within its jurisdiction.
Recent activity at the federal level — including a U.S. Supreme Court decision this month and an increase in congressional funding for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) — points to greater protection for employees who report wrongdoing or violations by their employers. With such high-level attention being paid to whistleblower protection by the judiciary, regulators, and lawmakers, these developments should serve as a reminder to all companies to ensure that proper policies and procedures are in place for handling whistleblower complaints.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have issued joint guidance to employers, employees and job applicants on the use of background checks in employment. The tip sheets do not deviate from prior agency guidance on this topic, but rather provide “best practices” guidelines and additional resources. The first document, Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know, targets employers, while the other, Background Checks: What Job Applicants and Employees Should Know, is directed at employees and job
Executive Summary: March Madness, Super Bowl, and Fantasy Football pools have become ingrained in the American workplace and seem harmless to many; however, permitting such activities creates a wide range of risks for employers, from productivity loss to discrimination and disability issues and even criminal penalties. Newly allowed online gambling can also create headaches for employers and IT departments. Before turning a blind eye or participating in the pool, here are a few risks with which employers should become familiar.
At 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 9, 2014, people all across the United States set their clocks forward one hour to start Daylight Saving Time (DST). The change is intended to place more sunlight into “daytime” hours in order to seemingly stretch the day longer and conserve energy. In fact, 2014 marks the eighth year DST was expanded by four weeks pursuant to the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
In Lawson v. FMR LLC,1 the Supreme Court massively expanded the scope of the anti-retaliation provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), from 4,500 publicly held companies to millions of private companies that are “contractors,” “subcontractors” or “agents” of a publicly held company. Going forward, privately held employers should be aware that SOX provides a remedy for almost all U.S. employees who suffer adverse employment actions for reporting fraud. Employers should train their management and human resources personnel to identify potential employment issues of this type and remedy them before they become costly litigation.
United States employers operating in France often face a dilemma. While they may be bound by the whistleblowing requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX”) and its Dodd-Frank amendments,1 they also are bound by the data privacy requirements of French law, which can be at odds with U.S. whistleblowing laws. The French data protection authority (La Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés or “CNIL”) periodically issues guidelines that provide some clarity on how employers can resolve this conundrum. On January 30, 2014, the CNIL finalized amendments to these guidelines2 expanding the scope of the topics that could be disclosed through an anonymous whistleblowing hotline. The amendments also clarify the conditions under which SOX-type anonymous whistleblowing is permitted under French law.
Congress passed the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) in 1925 to place arbitration agreements on the same footing as other contracts.1 Under the FAA, an arbitration provision “shall be valid, irrevocable, and enforceable, save upon such grounds as exist at law or in equity for the revocation of any contract.” 9 U.S.C.A. § 2. This simple idea has, of course, spawned considerable controversy and litigation, and the tension between the FAA and State laws continues to appear on many fronts.