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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 ›

The 12 Days of California Labor & Employment Series – Day 9: Janitorial Businesses and Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training

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 ninth day of the holidays, my labor and employment attorney gave to me: nine drummers drumming and AB 547.

Currently, California law requires employers who provide janitorial services to register with the Labor Commissioner annually and prohibits them from conducting business without an active registration.  More ›

The Blue Pencil Doctrine is Always an Eraser

Under Indiana law, courts have routinely employed the "blue pencil doctrine" to revise noncompetition agreements that they have deemed to be unreasonable. Specifically, a court will delete the problematic terms and enforce the remaining parts determined to be reasonable. Traditionally, the doctrine has been strictly applied to only be an "eraser"—where a court can delete, but never add terms. However, what happens when the contract itself contains a provision that authorizes a court to add terms to fix a contractual problem? More ›

The 12 Days of California Labor & Employment Series – Day 8: Additional Leave for Organ Donation

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 next "12 days of the holidays" to blog about one California law daily and its impact on California employers. On the eighth day of the holidays, my labor and employment attorney gave to me: eight maids a milking and AB 1223. More ›

The 12 Days of California Labor & Employment Series – Day 7: Cal/OSHA Reporting Requirements

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 daily about one of these new California laws and its impact on California employers. On the seventh day of the holidays, my labor and employment attorney gave to me: seven swans a swimming and AB 1804 and 1805. More ›

NLRB Clarifies "Wright Line" Test

When motive is at issue in resolving certain unfair labor practices under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), the National Labor Relations Board (the Board) utilizes the burden-shifting framework established under Wright Line to make a determination. In Tschiggfrie Properties, Ltd., the Board took the opportunity to clarify the initial burden of proof required by the General Counsel in light of what it perceived to be confusion over a number of its recent decisions, as well as criticism from a number of federal courts, including, most recently, the Eighth Circuit. More ›

The 12 Days of California Labor & Employment Series – Day 6: Au Naturel Hair is Always Welcome

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 daily about one of these new California laws and its impact on California employers. On the sixth day of the holidays, my labor and employment attorney gave to me: six geese a laying and SB 188. More ›

"Ok Boomer"... From Internet Meme to Workplace Age Discrimination

Conflict exists between every generation, at least to some degree, and this is not new. Advancements in technology, the status of the economy, and other large-scale factors create differences in perspective between older and younger generations. But employers should be vigilant and warn employees about the use of "Ok Boomer" and other age-related comments, as well as dismissive attitudes directed towards older workers. Given the prevalence of lawsuits alleging age discrimination and harassment, this latest popular phrase is cause for concern. More ›

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