Category Archives: Uncategorized

Subscribe to Uncategorized RSS Feed

Recent OFCCP Activity Signals Greater Transparency and Collaboration for Federal Contractors

Safer
In response to town hall meetings held late last year, the OFCCP has taken a number of actions geared toward addressing some of the contractor concerns discussed during those meetings. In particular, several of the directives and other publications issued by the OFCCP in recent months signal the OFCCP’s intent to provide greater transparency with … Continue reading this entry

You Might Be a Federal Government Contractor — Better Check Now

federal
If your company: sells goods or services to the federal government; or sells goods or services to companies that use those goods or services in the products they sell to the federal government, you need to read this article. If you have human resource management responsibility, and you do not know to whom your company … Continue reading this entry

OFCCP Signals Emphasis on “Religious Liberty” in Federal Contractor Compliance

OFCCP
On August 10, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued a new policy directive aimed at protecting the religious freedom of employees and ensuring a “level playing field” for religious organizations to compete for federal contracts. While the 2014 Obama administration rule prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender … Continue reading this entry

California Supreme Court Says Employers Must Pay for Several Minutes of Off-the-Clock Work

Off-the-clock
Last Thursday, July 26, the California Supreme Court issued an opinion concluding that coffee retailer Starbucks must pay its employees for off-the-clock duties that take several minutes per shift. In issuing its opinion, the Court rejected Starbucks’ request to invoke a federal wage rule (known as the de minimis doctrine) that excuses employers from paying … Continue reading this entry

The Heat Is On: Is Your Company in Compliance with State Sun and Heat Worker Protections?

heat
With summer in full swing and heat waves sweeping the country, it is important that employers comply with any state regulations protecting employees who work outdoors from suffering from heat-related illnesses. Just last week, with the National Weather Service issuing excessive heat warnings for California, Cal/OSHA reminded all employers with outdoor workers to be mindful … Continue reading this entry

Good News for Private Employers in California: Federal Court Temporarily Enjoins Several Provisions of New Law Prohibiting Cooperation with Immigration Enforcement Agents

immigration
Private employers received good news this month when a federal court temporarily stopped the state of California from enforcing most of a new law that restricts an employer’s ability to cooperate with officers who enforce federal immigration laws. This new California law is known as Assembly Bill 450 or the “Immigrant Worker Protection Act”.  It … Continue reading this entry

Non-Compete: Who is the Bad Actor?

non-compete
Against the backdrop of a continuing trend of low rates of unemployment throughout the United States, there has been a recent surge of people searching for new and better jobs. As a result, there has also been increased attention paid to restrictive covenants and an increase in litigation as employers seek to protect their confidential … Continue reading this entry

“Smoking Guns” and Unofficial Rules: A Reminder for Employers

Marijuana
If you work in human resources, or are an executive or employment lawyer, at some point you probably have thought, heard or said words to the effect of “Juries are very unpredictable and can do some crazy things.” I admit that I often scratch my head reading about the conclusions juries have reached in some … Continue reading this entry

Big Data Breaches Shine Spotlight on Laws Impacting Employee Data Protection

Data
It seems like almost every week we learn of a massive new data breach, risking the loss of thousands of individuals’ personal and confidential information to a faceless hacker halfway around the world. A quick internet search for the latest news about data breaches reveals the sheer volume of information hacked or leaked on a … Continue reading this entry

Getting PAID – A New Path for Employers to Address Federal Wage and Hour Violations

wage
It is a dilemma that many employers have faced. You discover that your company violated federal law on minimum wage or overtime payments. You want to fix the problem, but you do not know how to do so without prompting employee demand letters, a Department of Labor audit or, perhaps worst, a class action lawsuit. … Continue reading this entry

Happy 25th Birthday, FMLA! 25 Years Later – Where Are We Now?

FMLA
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month. On February 5, 1993, President Bill Clinton signed the FMLA into law guaranteeing certain employees up to 12 unpaid weeks off of work a year to care for children or ill family members, or to recover from one’s own serious health … Continue reading this entry

Iceland’s Pay Equity Law: The Start of a New Approach?

Reasonable
Iceland has been touting gender pay equity legislation as a short-term goal since early last year. So it is no surprise that the country’s new law  — which mandates pay equity for males and females – went into effect a few weeks ago.  By enacting specific legislation, Iceland is taking a proactive approach to address actual … Continue reading this entry

OSHA Update—OSHA Chief Nominee Confirmation Hearing Adjourned

The Senate committee hearing on the White House’s nominee for the Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Scott Mugno, has now been adjourned.  During the hearing, Mr. Mugno fielded various questions from the Senators, including about OSHA’s past policy of issuing press releases after issuing violations in excess of $40,000 … Continue reading this entry

OSHA Update—OSHA Chief Nominee Confirmation Hearing Underway

On October 27, 2017, the White House announced its intent to nominate Scott Mugno to lead the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.  His and others’ confirmation hearings are currently underway before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions.  Gardere will monitor these  proceedings and report back with updates, but you can watch … Continue reading this entry

OSHA Announces Delay of Electronic Filing Deadline; Filing of OSHA 300A Now Required By December 15, 2017

OSHA
The compliance date for employers to file their 2016 OSHA 300A reports on the new electronic website has been delayed an additional two (2) weeks pursuant to a regulation issued on Wednesday, November 22, 2017, and which is expected to be published on November 24.  OSHA explained that the additional two weeks would allow employers … Continue reading this entry

OFCCP Offers Limited Compliance Relief for Federal Contractors in Wake of Recent Hurricanes

Hurricanes
In the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has taken two concrete steps to provide federal contractors compliance relief.… Continue reading this entry

Arbitrator Awards $40 Million in Gender and Sexual Orientation Case

Arbitration
Employers face several trade-offs when considering the implementation of mandatory arbitration policies. One of the positive attributes of arbitration, from an employer’s perspective, is the avoidance of a runaway jury award.  However, a recent arbitration decision provides a reminder that arbitration does not necessarily foreclose a huge award.… Continue reading this entry

OSHA Update—Reminder to Stay Safe during Summer Heat

With summer upon us, employers need to remember to stay proactive in addressing on-the-job heat hazards.  We wrote about this topic last summer on the Work Knowledge Blog.  While OSHA does not regulate heat-related illnesses and injuries specifically, the agency has the ability, and willingness, to cite employers under the General Duty Clause if employers do … Continue reading this entry

Non-Competes Can Cost You More Than A Job

California
Normally in this space we write about case developments after the case is decided.  This time, though the story involves a mid-case development which led to a company firing an employee it fought hard to keep.… Continue reading this entry

How Weak Are Employee “Nondisclosure Agreements”? The Answer May Make You Gag

Background
We live in a world of “leaking” and threats of dire consequences for the leakers. Does an employer have the legal means to prevent disclosure of information acquired during employment?  Likewise, can an employer seek legal redress for such disclosures?… Continue reading this entry

Employers Must Use Caution When Basing Pay Decisions On Prior Salary History

Employer
Imagine a scenario where an employer hires two individuals – a male and female – to fill two identical jobs (i.e., same job qualifications and same job duties). Both individuals satisfy the educational, skill, and other technical requirements for the job and they have similar employment histories.  However, at their prior places of employment, one … Continue reading this entry

How to Avoid Costly Beneficiary Designation Litigation – Helpful Hints for All Benefit Plans

Employer
When administering an employee benefits plan, it is critically important to provide clear and specific instructions as to how a participant can designate a beneficiary. A recent federal district court opinion in Florida demonstrates the potential pitfalls that plan administrators may face with respect to disputes over beneficiary status and provides guidance as to how administrators … Continue reading this entry

Employment Authorization Issues Arising From Corporate Restructuring

Authorization
American business experienced a near record number of mergers and acquisitions in 2016, and this trend is likely to continue in 2017. Such corporate transactions raise a number of legal issues, including employment issues.  During its due diligence review, the buyer considers whether the seller’s workforce is covered by collective bargaining agreements, what benefits are … Continue reading this entry

OSHA Update—Proposed Delay for New Beryllium Rule Effective Date

On March 1, 2017, the United States Department of Labor proposed another delay to the effective date of Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (“OSHA”) new beryllium rule.  The proposed delay is again in conjunction with the White House’s Regulatory Freeze Pending Review Memorandum (the “Memorandum”).  If implemented, it will make the rule’s new effective date … Continue reading this entry