A bill that would “invalidate” non-compete, non-disclosure, and non-solicitation agreements entered into between an employer and its former employee, if the former employee is eligible for unemployment benefits following the cessation of his or her employment, has been introduced in the New Jersey State Assembly. Assembly Bill 3970 would apply only to agreements entered into after the legislation was enacted.
Articles Discussing Labor And Employment Law In All Fifty Us States And Puerto Rico.
“Paid time off” (PTO) hours are indistinguishable from earned vacation time under the Nebraska Wage Payment and Collection Act; accordingly, since that Act requires an employer to pay earned but unused vacation leave to an employee upon separation of employment, employers must likewise pay terminating employees their unused PTO benefits upon separation of employment, the Nebraska Supreme Court has ruled. Fisher v. PayFlex Systems, USA, Inc., and Norton v. PayFlex Systems, USA, Inc., 285 Neb. 808 (May 3, 2013).
Shawn Kee and Jessica Liss write on the Jackson Lewis website about two recent cases interpreting Missouri law on non-competes, Whelan Security v. Kennebrew, 379 S.W.3d 835 (Mo. 2012) and TLC Vision (USA) Corp. v. Freeman, 2012 WL 5398671 (E.D. Mo. Nov. 2, 2012).
An arbitration agreement contained in an employee handbook was not invalid simply because the employer could change the handbook in its discretion, the California Court of Appeal has ruled. Serpa v. California Surety Investigations, Inc., No. B237363 (Cal. Ct. App. Apr. 19, 2013). Reversing an order denying the employer’s motion to compel arbitration, the Court held that the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing limited the employer’s right to alter the agreement unilaterally; thus, the agreement was not illusory or unconscionable for lack of mutuality, as the plaintiff argued.
On April 25, 2013, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled in Bowman v. Sunoco, Inc. that a waiver of a right to sue third parties for injuries covered by workers’ compensation — signed as a condition of employment — bars a negligence lawsuit against the employer’s customers.
Effective July 1, 2013, Colorado becomes the ninth state to restrict an employer’s right to obtain and use credit information for making employment decisions. Colorado joins California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.
On April 19, 2013, Colorado Governor John W. Hickenlooper signed into law Senate Bill 13-018 (the “Employment Opportunity Act”), which will significantly restrict the ability of Colorado employers to use “consumer credit information” for hiring and other employment purposes unless use of the information is limited to the narrow category of positions set forth in the statute. With this law, Colorado becomes the ninth state to regulate the use of credit-related information for employment purposes, following laws enacted in California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.1 Colorado’s law goes into effect July 1, 2013.
An amendment to Tennessee’s Wage Regulations Act eliminating private suits for state wage-hour violations and giving the state Department of Labor exclusive power to enforce the law has been signed by Governor Bill Haslam. Previously, aggrieved workers could initiate a civil court proceeding; now, they must bring their complaints to the Department. The amendment, signed on April 23, 2013, also provides for an award of reasonable expenses, including attorneys’ fees and disbursements, for claims brought under the Act (TCA Title 50, Chapter 2, Part 1 and Title 50, Chapter 4, Part 1) in certain circumstances. The Act protects wage earners from unfair practices regarding pay.
As previously reported in a legal alert issued by Jackson Lewis on May 12, 2011, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed the Georgia Restrictive Covenants Act into law almost two years ago, on May 11, 2011. Since that time, many employers have required employees to sign new covenants that comply with the law.
A trial court properly excluded an employee’s “me too” evidence of alleged discrimination against employees of races different than the plaintiff’s, the California Court of Appeal has ruled in a race and national origin discrimination case under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. Hatai v. Department of Transp., No. B236757 (Cal. Ct App. Mar. 28, 2013). However, since plaintiffs in employment discrimination or harassment cases can bring “me too” evidence showing discrimination against other workers within their same protected class, the Court found the trial court properly permitted the employee to introduce evidence of discrimination against other persons of the same race as the employee. The jury nevertheless rendered a verdict in favor of the employer and the Court of Appeal affirmed.
An “accommodation of underlings” was not a reasonable accommodation as a matter of law, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled, affirming summary judgment in favor of the employer in a disability discrimination case under the Louisiana Employment Discrimination Law. Bell v. Hercules Lifeboat Co., No. 12-30843 (5th Cir. Apr. 11, 2013) (unpublished). The Court held that an employee who could perform the essential functions of her position only by delegating them to two subordinates failed to establish she was an “otherwise qualified disabled person.”
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has vetoed legislation that would have expanded the definition of projects requiring greater use of Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) for New Jersey’s public works. Governor Christie cited the detrimental effect the bill (S2425) could have on the continued Hurricane Sandy repair efforts in issuing his absolute veto.
“Agencies are barred from using a partner in a law firm as an advocate in a contested matter and another partner from the same law firm as an advisor to the decision maker in the same matter,” the California Court of Appeal has ruled in an arbitration case involving the termination of a police officer. Sabey v. City of Pomona, No. B239916 (Cal. Ct App. Apr. 16, 2013).
A bulletin on employment, labor, benefits and immigration law.
Executive Summary: New Jersey legislators have proposed making a variety of post-employment restrictive covenants unenforceable where the employee is eligible for unemployment benefits. Many high-level sales employees and employees with specialized technical knowledge are subject to such restrictions, which range from limiting competition with a former employer to prohibiting disclosure of trade secrets and confidential information learned during employment.