Does Your Severance Trigger ERISA? Why You Should Care and What You Should Do

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Generally speaking, many employers do not think about the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) when it comes to severance, whether at the front end, when employment agreements or policies are negotiated and planned, or at the back end, when termination occurs and the severance is paid. However, a recent case from a trial court in Pennsylvania serves as an important reminder about when ERISA is triggered and why employers should care. Continue reading this entry

Dealing With Trade Secret Thieves: Strategies for Cost-Effective Settlement

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Trade secret thieves are almost always an employee or business associate. They are known, generally held the trust of the business, and are perceived as traitors. The urge for retribution against such trade secret thieves can be hard to resist.

Retribution often takes the form of aggressive litigation. But if a business brings such litigation without any consideration of an advantageous settlement, its interests may needlessly suffer. Accordingly, business should consider responsive strategies to trade secret theft rationally, not emotionally, because like it or not, trade secret theft is almost bound to happen to any business of sufficient size or longevity. Continue reading this entry

When is Aberrant Workplace Behavior Sufficient to Justify Termination?

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Aberrant workplace behavior caused by stress or a psychological condition is not uncommon. However, such behavior can also cause employers to become anxious regarding how to lawfully deal with the disruption and its effect on co-workers. The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (covering Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin) recently provided guidance. Continue reading this entry

The Second City Adopts Paid Sick Leave Following Burgeoning National Trend

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Late last month, the Chicago City Council unanimously approved a new paid sick leave ordinance requiring virtually every employer in the city to provide at least some paid time off to employees for sick leave purposes. Cook County’s Board of Commissioners is expected to approve a similar ordinance later this year. Chicago is not forging any new paths by doing so — it is only the latest example of a nationwide trend to mandate that employers provide paid time off to employees to care for themselves or their families — a trend certain to continue and expand. Continue reading this entry

EEOC’s Revised Proposal to Collect Pay Data Keeps Focus on Pay Discrimination Agenda

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As we reported previously, enforcement of equal pay laws and remedying of pay disparities continue to be top priorities for the U.S.Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and U.S. Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). The EEOC again highlighted this ongoing focus this past week when it announced revisions to its February 2016 proposal to collect pay and hours-worked data as part of the annual EEO-1 reporting process. In announcing the revised proposal, EEOC Chair Jenny Yang emphasized the agency’s view that pay discrimination remains a “persistent problem” for many workers and reiterated the government’s belief that “[c]ollecting pay data is a significant step forward in addressing discriminatory pay practices.” According to the Q&As accompanying the EEOC’s EEO-1 reporting changes, the EEOC and OFCCP will use the pay data collected via the annual EEO-1 reports to “focus agency investigations,” evaluate complaints regarding pay discrimination, and identify statistical pay disparities warranting further review. Continue reading this entry