Category Archives: Litigation

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What Is the EEOC up to in the Trump Administration?

EEOC
Despite having only three active members on its five-member Commission and having no General Counsel, the EEOC has remained quite busy in its strategic enforcement of federal workplace discrimination laws. You may remember that since the 2016 election, the EEOC has been operating with an acting Republican Chair and two Democratic Commissioners, with the remaining … 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

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?

law
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?

Paid
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

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

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

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