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Who Invited You? OSHA Reverses Itself on Fairfax Memo

OSHA recently announced it will no longer bring union representatives to inspections of non-unionized workplaces.  As a result, barring a designation by an employee (which I'll discuss further below), non-unionized employers no longer have reason to fear that an OSHA compliance officer will appear at the door accompanied by a union representative on an inspection or walk-around. More ›

House Passes American Health Care Act: Potential Impact on Employer Plans

Earlier this afternoon the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA).  While the AHCA must still get through the Senate and eventually be signed by the President before becoming law, with the passage of the AHCA employers now have a first look at how the health care landscape may change under the Trump Administration. More ›

Management Rights Clause Does Not Give Management Right to Skip Bargaining Over Non-Compete and Confidentiality Agreement D.C. Court of Appeals Says

In Minteq v. NLRA, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held an employer committed an unfair labor practice under Section 8 (a)(5) by failing to notify and bargain with a union over its requirement that new employees sign a non-compete and confidentiality agreement as a condition of employment. More ›

May Employers Weed Out Medical Marijuana Patients Through Drug Testing? Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Will Weigh In

The ever-changing landscape of medical marijuana laws in states across the nation has given rise to several lawsuits regarding an employer’s right to enforce anti-drug policies against employees who hold valid state-issued medical marijuana licenses. As the Employment Law Observer has previously reported, the Colorado Supreme Court and a federal district court in New Mexico previously held that these states’ medical marijuana laws do not impose any duty on employers to accommodate medical marijuana use. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is set to weigh in on the issue next. More ›

Historic Seventh Circuit Decision Gives LGBTQ Employees More Protections

In a landmark opinion issued Tuesday, the Seventh Circuit became the first federal appellate court in the country to extend the protections afforded by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to sexual orientation discrimination in its Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College decision. More ›

Federal Contractors and Sub-contractors Win in Rollback of "Blacklisting" Rule

President Trump signed a Congressional Review Act resolution that rolled back the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Act, which would have required bidders for federal contracts to disclose their alleged labor and employment law violations for a three year period for consideration in the bidding process. More ›

SEC Charges More Public Companies for Confidentiality Agreements That Might Deter Whistleblowers

In the past two years, the SEC has charged six public companies with violating SEC Rule 21F-17, which prohibits confidentiality agreements that could impede employees from making whistleblower claims directly to the SEC. Since the Employment Law Observer reported on the SEC’s first case attacking a confidentiality agreement., the SEC has charged five more companies with Rule 21F-17 violations. In each case, the employer had confidentiality or severance agreements that either: (a) purported to limit the types of information that an employee may convey to the SEC or other authorities; or (b) required departing employees to waive their rights to any individual monetary recovery in connection with reporting information to the government. The employers settled the cases by, among other things, amending the agreements and paying a significant civil penalty. More ›

Supreme Court Leaves Transgender Bathroom Issue Unresolved

Gavin Grimm is a transgender boy living in Virginia.  Grimm attends school in the Gloucester County School District, which adopted a new policy requiring students to use the bathroom of their birth gender.  Previously, Grimm had been given permission to use the boys restroom and did so for almost 2 months without any incident.   After complaints from parents, the new policy was put into place. Grimm fought this new policy requesting the right to continue using the boys' restroom. More ›

Employer Beware: The Time to Use the New Form I-9 Is Now

On January 22, 2017 employers became obligated to use a new Form I-9, dated November 14, 2016.  Prior versions of the I-9 form are no longer valid.  You can find the new Form I-9 hereMore ›

TREND WATCH: Philadelphia Becomes the First City in America to Ban Inquiries into a Job Applicant’s Wage History

On Monday, with the signing of the Philadelphia Wage Equity Ordinance, the city's Fair Practices Ordinance was amended to prohibit employers from asking about an applicant's wage history at any point during the hiring process, making Philadelphia the first City to enact such a prohibition.  More ›

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