Showing 4 posts from October 2015.

Facebook “Like” Protected Speech Under the NLRA

We all have them. Friends and family who overshare on Facebook. Their food choices (complete with pictures), exercise routine, and relationship drama, all solidified in the form of a status update. Annoying maybe, but mostly harmless, right? 

But what about status updates about work? Particularly those that criticize a company, supervisor, or work environment? Can your friend’s employer terminate or take recourse against him? Or does social media fall into a category of protected speech the employer cannot touch? More ›

NLRB's Marina Del Rey Decision Provides a Primer on Keeping Employees out of the Workplace After Hours

In the day and age when employees are working longer hours than ever, would an employer want to ban employees from workplace premises after their shift is over? Marina Del Rey Hospital did, and implemented a policy preventing employees from accessing the hospital "only as expressly authorized by this policy." The policy allowed "expressly authorized" entry only if the employee was visiting a patient, receiving medical treatment, or conducting hospital-related business, which included an employee's "normal duties" as directed by management.

But can the hospital lawfully do this? Yes and no. The NLRB recently said yes, an employer may prevent off-duty employees from accessing their worksite, but reprimanded the employer for doing so in an unlawful way. More ›

You Down with OPT? DHS Proposes Longer Post-Graduate Work Authorization for STEM Graduates, with a Catch

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a proposed rule that would amend its F-1 nonimmigrant student visa regulations regarding optional practical training (OPT) for students with higher education degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (i.e., the STEM fields). The proposed rule is in response to a 2015 federal district court case that vacated the current OPT STEM regulations because of alleged procedural errors when those regulations were enacted.  The court stayed its ruling until January 2016, however, allowing the earlier regulations to remain in effect until then and giving DHS time to issue a new rule, which is exactly what they are doing. More ›

The Cat Fights Back: Seventh Circuit Discusses Cat's Paw Theory Post-Staub

In 2011, the United States Supreme Court made the"cat's paw" theory of liability significantly easier for employees to prove. An employee can establish a cat's paw theory of liability in an employment discrimination suit when a biased person who lacks the ability to make employment decisions dupes the official decision-maker into committing a discriminatory employment action. The Supreme Court, in Staub v. Proctor Hospital, made it significantly easier for an employee to prove a cat's paw case when it held that a plaintiff need only show "proximate cause" between the biased person and the final decision. Since then, lower courts have been pouncing on the chance to interpret ambiguities that the Supreme Court left open; last week, the 7th Circuit threw their hat in the ring. More ›