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New Statutory Framework Mandated for Employers Seeking to Limit Notice to Putative Class Members in an Enforceable Arbitration Agreement

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently articulated a new statutory framework for determining whether notice to a putative plaintiff should be issued under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). At issue was whether a district court may authorize notice to potential plaintiffs who had entered into arbitration agreements waiving the right to participate in a collective action; or in the alternative, whether these employees are “similarly situated” to a plaintiff that has not waived their right to participate in a collective action. More ›

Federal Court Allows ADEA Disparate Impact Claims over Employer Policies to Proceed

Ever since the Supreme Court's 2005 decision in Smith v. City of Jackson, plaintiff employment lawyers have struggled with how best to assert a viable claim of disparate impact age discrimination. The concept of disparate impact discrimination was recognized by the Supreme Court decades ago in Griggs v. Duke Power, which established that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made it unlawful—even if facially neutral—for employer practices to have a materially adverse impact on a protected group, unless the neutral practice is supported by business necessity. More ›

Final Rule from U.S. Department of Labor Provides Clarifying Update to Joint Employer Regulations

The U.S. Department of Labor recently issued a Final Rule to update longstanding "joint employer" regulations which will take effect March 16, 2020, under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Under the FLSA, an employee may have one or more employers that are jointly and severally liable for violations of the FLSA. The new regulations provide clarity and, consequently, increase employers' comfort levels as to agreements with independent service providers. More ›

U.S. Department of Labor Rings in the New Year with New Opinion Letters Regarding FMLA and the FLSA

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued three opinion letters on January 7, 2020—one addressing the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and two on the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FMLA letter clarifies whether a combined general health district must consider employees of the county located in said health district when determining FMLA eligibility. As for the FLSA letters, one explores how a nondiscretionary bonus factors into an employee's regular rate of pay, while the other looks at whether per-project payments satisfy the salary basis test for exemption. Below, we take a closer look at each of these letters. More ›

D.C. Circuit Instructs NLRB to Revisit its Approach to Balancing Section 7 Rights with Other Employer Obligations

The Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit recently remanded a decision of the National Labor Relations Board (the "Board"), thus compelling the Board to revisit and clarify its position on the scope of Section 7 protection for speech or conduct which may subject an employer to liability under other statutes, including Title VII. The D.C. Circuit concluded that the Board failed to consider key arguments raised by the employer, namely, the conflict between the Board's interpretation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and an employer's obligation to provide a workplace free of unlawful harassment under state and federal equal employment opportunity laws. More ›

The 12 Days of California Labor & Employment Series – Day 12: Employee and Job Applicant Information is Exempt from CCPA Compliance for One More Year

It's the end of the year and while everyone is busy, employers in California should be aware of new laws and regulations that go into effect on January 1, 2020. In the spirit of the season, we are using the "12 days of the holidays" to blog about one California law daily and its impact on California employers. On the twelfth day of the holidays, my labor and employment attorney gave to me: twelve lords a leaping and AB 25.

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) goes into effect on January 1, 2020. This law provides consumers with various rights with regard to their personal information which is held by businesses, including the right to request a business to disclose specific pieces of personal information it has collected and to have information held by that business deleted, as specified. More ›

The 12 Days of California Labor & Employment Series – Day 11: Arbitration – To Be or Not To Be

It's the end of the year and while everyone is busy, employers in California should be aware of new laws and regulations that go into effect on January 1, 2020. In the spirit of the season, we are using the "12 days of the holidays" to blog about one California law daily and its impact on California employers. On the eleventh day of the holidays, my labor and employment attorney gave to me: eleven ladies dancing and AB 51 and SB 707. 

Arbitration has frequently been in the news in 2019. Common arbitration issues of debate included: Are mandatory arbitration policies enforceable? Can an employer arbitrate an issue? More ›

NLRB Restricts Employee Use of Employer-Provided Email for Section 7 Purposes

Earlier this week, the National Labor Relations Board ("Board") issued an important decision, returning to its prior precedent with respect to employee use of employer-provided email for Section 7 purposes. In Caesars Entertainment and International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, District Council, the Board overruled the Obama-era decision of Purple Communications, Inc. and returned to the rationale the Board had adopted during the George W. Bush era in Register Guard.

The Board held that the Purple Communications decision was out of line with its prior precedent and impermissibly discounted employers' property rights with respect to their IT resources while overstating the importance of those resources to Section 7 activity. In returning to the Register Guard holding, the Board recognized and created an exception to the Register Guard rule in cases where an employer's email system is the only reasonable means for employees to communicate with one another. More ›

Finally Some Good News for Employers Challenging Pension Withdrawal Liability Assessments

On January 1, 2020, new arbitration procedures for the American Arbitration Association (AAA) with respect to withdrawal liability assessments will go into effect. It is not uncommon for employers—and a good many labor lawyers—to think that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974's (ERISA) provisions regarding withdrawal liability are among the most "unfair" laws they have to contend with. However, changes to the arbitration fee structure and fee allocation rules will give employers some relief. More ›

The 12 Days of California Labor & Employment Series – Day 10: Civil Penalties for Unpaid Wages

It's the end of the year and while everyone is busy, employers in California should be aware of new laws and regulations that go into effect on January 1, 2020. In the spirit of the season, we are using the "12 days of the holidays" to blog about one California law daily and its impact on California employers. On the tenth day of the holidays, my labor and employment attorney gave to me: ten pipers piping and AB 673.

California law currently provides for a civil penalty to be imposed on employers who fail to pay the wages of an employee as provided in specified provisions of the Labor Code. Current law requires the Labor Commissioner to recover that penalty as part of a hearing held to recover unpaid wages and penalties or in an independent civil action. In the independent civil action, a specified percentage of the penalty recovered is to be paid into a fund within the Labor and Workforce Development Agency dedicated to educating employers about state labor laws, and the remainder be paid into the State Treasury to the credit of the General Fund. More ›

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