Because M&A Due Diligence Was Not Already Complicated Enough…

A recent federal appeals court decision suggests that businesses looking at potential acquisitions or mergers have yet another, relatively new concern to their due diligence list when examining the target business: an increased potential for claims alleging federal wage-and-hour law violations under a successor employer theory. In the case, the United State Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit concluded that the federal common law standard for successor liability – a much easier standard for plaintiffs to meet than state law successorship standards – applies to federal Fair Labor Standards Act wage-and-hour claims. This evolving successor liability standard means merger and acquisition considerations just received another layer of potential complexity. Continue reading this entry

Who Needs Miss Manners? Apparently Not Employees, NLRB Says

Employee policies remain a hot topic with the National Labor Relations Board, especially for non-unionized facilities. As but one illustration of this Board focus, the NLRB recently provided more eyebrow-raising guidance for employers trying to walk the tight line between drafting policies that will result in a positive and productive working environment and complying with Section 7 of the National Labor Relation Act’s (“NLRA”) protection of an employee’s right to engage in concerted activities for mutual aid or protection. Continue reading this entry

You Can’t Wear That Here: EEOC Issues Guidance Regarding Religious Garb and Grooming in the Workplace

Last month the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued updated guidance on the requirements employers must follow when an employee seeks an accommodation for religious clothing or personal grooming requirements. In its Question and Answer and Fact Sheet publications, the EEOC attempts to clarify when an employer must make such accommodations and for whom. The most recent guidance offers a good opportunity to revisit an employer’s obligation when it comes to modifying its policies and practices when religious beliefs and practices issues arise. Continue reading this entry

Keep Quiet No Longer: President Prohibits Retaliation for Pay Data Disclosure and Wants to Poke Around Federal Contractor Compensation Data

“All information regarding Company wages and benefits is confidential and employees are prohibited from discussing or disclosing such information to others. Employees who violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.” Continue reading this entry

“Why I Oughta …” Leave Retaliation to the Stooges and Avoid Liability

Retaliation was a linchpin of the slap stick comedy of The Three Stooges. A retaliatory poke in the eye, a tit-for-tat clout to the top of the head, or a responsive jab to the gut — all animated by some well-coordinated but silly sound effect.

But the issue of retaliation in the workplace is strictly serious business. And the related challenges for employers continue to grow. Claims of retaliation are steadily increasing, exposing employers to ever more potential liabilities and requiring more and more employer resources to defend against such mounting claims. In its fiscal year-end charge data published this past February, the EEOC reported that retaliation is the most common claim asserted in charges filed with the EEOC in its FY’13 report. Some 38,500 charges filed with the EEOC last year alleged retaliation, representing over 41% of all charges filed. Moreover, this proliferation of retaliation claims is not new — the number of EEOC charges  alleging retaliation has increased in each of the last eight years. Continue reading this entry