Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter has vetoed legislation that would require local employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees.
Articles Discussing Labor And Employment Law In All Fifty Us States And Puerto Rico.
The New York State Court of Appeals had good news for municipal employers in the state when it clarified a provision of the 2009 law that created a contributory tier for newly hired police and firefighters in the state. In two decisions issued on April 2 of this year the New York State Court of Appeals ruled that police officers and firefighters hired after January 1, 2010, must make contributions toward their pensions — even if the language of the applicable collective bargaining agreements states that employees are not required to contribute toward their pensions.
New Mexico’s new equal pay law, the Fair Pay for Women Act (“FPWA”), prohibits wage discrimination based on an employee’s sex and allows employees to bring wage discrimination claims directly in court, without first filing with any administrative agency. Signed by Governor Susan Martinez, the FPWA applies to all employers with at least four employees and takes effect in June 2013. Remedies under the FPWA are expansive and include injunctive relief, damages, attorney’s fees, punitive damages, and potential treble damages.
Legislation under consideration in Indiana would require all public and charter schools to have a trained, armed “school protection officer” on the school’s premises during regular school hours. If adopted, the legislation (Ind. S.B. 1, as amended, Apr. 2, 2013) would be the first in the nation to require armed employees in schools. The proposed legislation does not apply to private schools.
Human trafficking is one of the 21st century’s buzz phrases. There is some disagreement on exactly what human trafficking means, but regardless of precisely how it is defined, it is widely accepted as a detrimental practice that should be stopped. Accordingly, a wide variety of local, national and international governments and institutions have taken or enacted measures to address trafficking. Likewise, a number of businesses have promulgated internal self-governance policies with the aim of eradicating human trafficking from their supply chains.
Class certification is unwarranted where auto center managers and assistant managers alleged they were improperly classified as exempt and denied overtime and meal and rest breaks in violation of the California Labor Code, the California Court of Appeal has ruled. Affirming a trial court determination, the Court concluded that the class representative could not rely on random statistical samples to establish liability and that individual issues predominated over common issue in this case. Dailey v. Sears, Roebuck and Co., No. D061055 (Cal. Ct. App. Mar. 20, 2013). The Court also held the class representative failed to show the employer had a uniform policy of depriving managers of meal or rest breaks.
In a recent decision with profound implications for defending workers’ compensation claims in New York, the Court of Appeals reversed the First Department and held that the doctrine of collateral estoppel bars a plaintiff from litigating duration of disability in New York State Supreme Court when the plaintiff previously litigated the same issue to a full and final decision as a claimant in a corresponding matter before the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB).
An employee’s claim of sexual orientation harassment is not viable under the Ohio Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination because of sex, the Ohio Court of Appeals has ruled. Inskeep v. Western Res. Transit Auth., 2013-Ohio-897 (Ohio Ct. App. Mar. 8, 2013).
Reversing a $3 million jury verdict in favor of a former human resources executive on his wrongful termination claim, the California Court of Appeal has ruled that the executive failed to establish that the employer’s decision not to continue his employment following a corporate acquisition was retaliatory. Winston v. Countrywide Financial Corp. et al., No. B232823 (Cal. Ct. App. Feb. 19, 2013) (unpublished). The Court declined to apply the “cat’s paw” doctrine, which permits the improper motive of a non-decision maker to be imputed to the decision maker in certain circumstances. Here, the executive offered no evidence that the decision maker knew about the executive’s prior protected activity or that the executive’s former supervisor had any influence in the employer’s decision not to continue his employment.
An on-call surgical technician injured while driving home after assisting with an emergency surgery at a hospital was eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, the Supreme Court of Tennessee has decided. Shannon v. Roane Med. Ctr., Tenn., No. E2011-02649-WC-R3-WC (Mar. 13, 2013). The Special Workers’ Compensation Appeals Panel of the Court determined the evidence established that the employee falls within an exception to the rule under the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Act that bars compensation when the employee is injured while going to or from work.
California’s Rules of Professional Conduct generally prohibit an attorney, directly or indirectly, from communicating with a represented party, including the party’s employees. However, this rule did not apply to prohibit communications between two qui tam plaintiffs and the defendant-employer’s current employees, the California Court of Appeal has held in a case under the California False Claims Act (FCA). San Francisco United Sch. Dist. ex. rel. Contreras v. First Student, Inc., No. A134405 (Cal. Ct. App. Feb. 19, 2013). Vacating the injunction granted by the trial court, the Court also ruled that the injunction violated the state law’s prohibition against employer interference with employee communications and raised First Amendment concerns.
A California Court of Appeal dealt another blow to employers this month when it held automobile mechanics, who earned at least minimum wage for every hour worked, were entitled to separate hourly compensation for any time not spent performing auto repairs. See Gonzales v. Downtown LA Motors, LP, 2013 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1728 (March 6, 2013). The attorneys for Downtown LA Motors (DTLA) argued it “can’t be right” to find that employers who guarantee their employees the minimum wage for every hour worked somehow failed to satisfy their minimum wage obligation. The appellate court disagreed, awarding the class in excess of $1.5M.
In this podcast, Littler’s Christopher Cobey elaborates on employment laws that were recently passed in California. He provides insight on the significance of these laws for employers and human resources professionals and explains how they must comply in 2013.
On March 13, 2013, Portland’s City Council unanimously passed a sick leave ordinance that, effective January 8, 2014, will require private sector businesses with six or more employees to provide up to 40 hours per year of paid time off for sick leave. Businesses with less than six employees will be required to provide up to 40 hours per year of unpaid time off for sick leave. To qualify for this benefit, an employee must work at least 240 hours in a calendar year within the geographic boundaries of the City.
Key Points: Recent California case law and new regulations stress the importance of the employer’s duty to engage in the interactive process with disabled workers who require accommodation. Now more than ever, it is important for employers to review their current policies and procedures to ensure compliance with California’s broader disability protections.