In response to the growing number of tragic mass shootings, most recently in Newtown, Connecticut, federal, state and local governments continue grappling with how to address issues of gun control. Given these arising issues, employers must also be cognizant of their duty to protect employees, clients and customers while still being mindful of individual employee… Continue Reading
It is an age old litigation problem. The employee engaged in conduct the employer found sufficient for termination. The employee claims that was not the real reason and points to alleged discriminatory acts. How does one decide the issue? As importantly, from an HR perspective, how does the employer assess risk as no workplace is… Continue Reading
On November 6, Colorado voters passed Amendment 64, the controversial initiative legalizing the non-medical use of marijuana by adults, making Colorado the first state in the nation to decriminalize the possession, cultivation and sale of marijuana. Our recent Alert, “Rocky Mountain High: Colorado Voters Legalize Non-Medical Use of Marijuana,” discusses the impact of Amendment 64 on employers and workplace policies.
In 2011, the California Legislature passed AB 1396 to amend Labor Code section 2751, and require that employers provide employees with a contract detailing the method by which commission, when applicable, would be computed and paid to employees. The contract requirement is set to go into effect on January 1, 2013, and applies to in-state… Continue Reading
Relying on the federal Department of Labor rounding standard, a California appellate court ruled last week that even in California an employer is entitled to use the nearest-tenth rounding policy if it is fair and neutral on its face and it is used in such a manner that it will not result, over a period… Continue Reading
In a unanimous decision due to be published on May 15, the Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that employers can be held liable for failing to protect employees from harassment based upon sexual orientation. In Patino v. Birken Manufacturing Company, a former employee of the jet engine component maker Birken Manufacturing, Co. accused the company of… Continue Reading
On April 30, 2012, the California Supreme Court issued a decision holding that the fee shifting provisions of California Labor Code sections 128.5 and 1194 do not apply to claims for wages made pursuant California Labor Code section 226.7 for failure to authorize meal and/or rest periods. Kirby v. Immoos Fire Protection, Inc., ____ Cal. 4th ___ (2012).
In California, it is well established that non-compete provisions are unenforceable, subject to certain statutory exceptions. But what about non-compete provisions that are ambiguous as to their protection of confidential information or trade secrets? Recently, when faced with such a provision, one California federal court narrowly construed the provision to find it enforceable.
Does an employee have the right to proceed before the California Labor Commission after signing an agreement to arbitrate all claims? That is a question the California Supreme Court will have to decide after the U.S. Supreme Court vacated its decision in Sonic-Calabasas A, Inc. v. Moreno and remanded the case for further consideration in light of AT&T Mobility v…. Continue Reading
The Virginia Supreme Court issued an opinion on Friday making clear that non-compete provisions that are overbroad as to the function to be performed by the employee are not enforceable in Virginia.
Last week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the Gender Non-Discrimination Act (AB 887), which changes the language of the state anti-discrimination law to specifically include gender, gender identity and gender expression as enumerated protected categories. The governor also signed into law the Vital Statistics Modernization Act (AB 433), which streamlines the process by which transgender individuals may correct the gender marker on their birth certificates.
Last Tuesday, the Ninth Circuit upheld an injunction that blocked an Arizona law that would have eliminated health care benefits for same-sex partners of state employees. Before 2008, health insurance benefits for dependents of Arizona state employees were available only to the spouses and children of those employees. In April of 2008, then-Governor Janet Napolitano implemented… Continue Reading
Beginning June 1, 2011, New Jersey employers will be prohibited from publishing job advertisements that reflect bias against unemployed individuals. The new law, N.J.S.A §§ 34:8B-1, -2, prohibits employers, directly or through an agent, from knowingly or purposefully publishing (in print or on the Internet) job advertisements stating that: (i) current employment is a qualification for the job;… Continue Reading
The NY State Department of Labor is requiring all private sector employers to provide notices to employees effective April 9 (this Saturday) relating to wage rates and other payroll information. The information which must be included is listed below. The Department of Labor has created a template notice, which may be used. In addition, the… Continue Reading
On December 13, 2010, Governor Patterson signed the New York State Wage Theft Prevention Act (the "WTPA"), a new law that amends New York Labor Law and purports to offer workers greater protection from wage law violations by (i) requiring employers to give employees more detailed wage payment information in writing, and (ii) increasing the… Continue Reading
A new year, and a new minimum wage in Arizona. Effective January 1, Arizona’s minimum wage will increase by 10 cents to $7.35 per hour, which exceeds the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. In 2006, voters approved an initiative to establish a minimum wage in Arizona and provide for annual increases based on the cost… Continue Reading
Worker misclassification issues in New York are in the spotlight again, thanks to a recent decision from the state’s highest court in Matter of Empire State Towing and Recovery Association, No. 160 (N.Y. Oct 26, 2010). This unemployment insurance case grew out of an audit of Empire by the New York Department of Labor ("DOL"),… Continue Reading
On November 2, Georgia voters approved an amendment to the state constitution that will have a substantial impact on the drafting, negotiation, and enforcement of non-competition, non-solicitation and non-disclosure covenants in Georgia.
The California election results are unlikely to signal that “Happy Days Are Here Again” for California employers. Companies with California employees should start reviewing their compliance processes and risk management measures.
In prior articles and blog entries, we have reported on the ever-increasing and intense focus of federal and state government on issues of worker misclassification, as lawmakers and agencies around the country have heightened enforcement activity and potential penalties against businesses suspected of misclassifying employees as independent contractors. New York State has been leading the charge… Continue Reading
In previous articles and blog entries, we have written on the growing peril for businesses that misclassify employees as independent contractors, as federal and state governments adopt new laws and increase penalties for worker misclassification and ratchet up enforcement through audits and proceedings. For those who do (or should) track government activity in the area… Continue Reading
It is no secret: Cash-strapped federal and state governments have been stepping up enforcement and increasing penalties against businesses that misclassify employees as independent contractors and exposing these businesses to additional employment-related liabilities for wage and overtime pay, health, welfare and retirement benefits, and income and employment tax contributions and withholding. We have been watching… Continue Reading