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Showing 44 posts from 2018.

President Trump's Executive Orders Affecting Federal Labor and Employment Law Signify Continued Employer-Friendly Shifts

There have been a lot of changes lately with public sector employment and unions over the last few months.

Of course, first on everyone's minds is the Janus decision at the United State Supreme Court, which held that laws requiring public-sector employees who are not union members to pay union agency fees violate the First Amendment. We previously unpacked this decision in great detail.

Less well known are a series of executive orders that affect federal employees. While these changes do not directly impact private employers or state-level public employees, the executive orders show a considerable paradigm shift in employment law with this administration. As always, these kinds of moves help demonstrate to employers how the environment has changed or may continue to shift. More ›

State Common Law Claims May Be Preempted By The Fair Labor Standards Act

A District Court Judge in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently ruled that the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) preempted a plaintiff’s attempt to add state common law counts for breach of contract and unjust enrichment onto his statutory wage and hour claims. Formica v. US Environmental, Inc., (No. 18-459; July 11, 2018).  The plaintiff alleged FLSA, Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act, and Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law claims.  More ›

Clarifying the SCOTUS American Pipe Decision: Pending Motion for Class Certification does not toll Limitations Period

The United States Supreme Court recently handed the defense bar a useful tool in stemming the tide of class action lawsuits. In the area of employment law, claims for violations of federal wage and hour laws, violations of state and local regulations governing employees, and systemic workplace discrimination are prone to class action claims. More ›

The Fight for $15 and the NLRB

In-N-Out Burger, Incorporated (In-N-Out) found itself on the wrong side of National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) unfair labor practice proceedings for prohibiting its employees from "wearing any type of pin or stickers" on their uniforms. The Fifth Circuit, in In-N-Out Burger, Incorporated v. National Labor Relations Board (No. 17-60241, decided July 6, 2018), upheld a NLRB finding that In-N-Out violated Section 8(a)1 of the National Labor Relations Act by prohibiting its employees from wearing a "Fight for $15" button and for maintaining an overly broad uniform policy. More ›

Wisconsin Supreme Court Mints New Test for Determining Discriminatory Intent in Disability Cases

In a huge win for Wisconsin employers, the Wisconsin Supreme Court rejected the longstanding version of the inference method followed by the Labor Industry Review Commission (LIRC) to determine intent in disability discrimination cases involving conduct that manifests from the employee’s disability. It replaced LIRC’s method with a two-part inquiry that requires employees to prove (1) the employer took an adverse employment action against him or her because of conduct caused by his or her disability, and (2) the employer knew the employee’s conduct was caused by his disability. More ›

Taking Work Restrictions Seriously: The EEOC Is Targeting “100% Healed” Policies as Systemic Disability Discrimination

A “100-percent healed” policy refers to a practice or procedure that mandates that an employee be released to work by his physician without any restrictions before he may return to work. For example, if an employee who took FMLA leave for carpal tunnel surgery was released to return to work with a reasonable restriction, e.g., 10 minute break after every hour of prolonged typing, a 100-percent healed policy would prevent the employee from returning to work, perhaps altogether if the restriction becomes permanent. More ›

Massachusetts Employees Need Not Wait 90 Days to File Wage Act Claim Says 1st Circuit

In Lawless v. Steward Health Care System, LLC, the First Circuit Court of Appeals recently considered a novel question: whether an employee suing for violation of, M.G.L. c. 149, §§ 148, 150 (the “Wage Act”), could recover under the statute despite filing her lawsuit before receiving permission from the Attorney General or waiting 90 days after notifying the Attorney General of her claims. It answered the question yes, rejecting the employer’s position that the Wage Act provided for a grace period of up to 90 days. More ›

Unpacking the Supreme Court's Janus Decision

The United States Supreme Court issued its long-anticipated decision in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employee Council 31 on June 27, 2018.  The five to four majority held that requiring public-sector employees who are not union members to pay union agency fees violates the First Amendment.  In the final paragraphs of the majority opinion, the Court made it clear that in the context of a public sector employer-union relationship, non-member employees in the bargaining unit must provide express consent before union dues can be deducted from their paychecks.  Janus' implications for public employers are wide-ranging. However, the immediate question that unionized public-sector employers must address is how to administer existing agency fee provisions in collective bargaining agreements and distinguish between union members and non-members, whose express consent is now required before union dues can be deducted from their paychecks.  It is important to note that this decision is grounded in constitutional principles and only applies to public sector unionized employees. More ›

Strategies for Age Inclusion in Honor of the ADEA's 50th Birthday

In honor of the golden anniversary of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the EEOC issued a report entitled "The State of Age Discrimination & Older Workers in the U.S. 50 Years After the ADEA." At a time when sex and race issues are at the forefront of the news, the EEOC reminds us that older workers face struggles of their own obtaining and retaining employment. More ›

Multiple Minimum Wage Increases to Take Effect on July 1, 2018

On July 1, 2018, multiple state and local authorities will increase the hourly minimum wage rate ever closer to the $15.00 per hour wage demanded by the Fight for $15 advocates. The following lists of minimum wage increases are not exhaustive and may not reflect increases within a certain working sector (for example, increase in minimum wages for tipped workers or hotel workers).Therefore, we encourage you to contact legal counsel for up-to-date information regarding your city, county or state. More ›

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