Much can be (and has been) made about the newly constituted National Labor Relations Board overturning many precedents of the prior Board, which was largely appointed by President Obama. Nonetheless, even with a more “conservative” (i.e., pro-employer) Board, some employers still cross the line. In one recent case, it all came down to what an electric utility lineman said on the aptly named online forum, “Linejunk.”
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 and to protect their employees by making sure they are in compliance with heat illness regulations.
Intellectual property assets are the lifeblood of many businesses today. No employer wants to see those assets walk out the door when an employee leaves. Employee invention assignment agreements are one crucial tool for protecting intellectual property, but the laws governing them contain traps for the unwary. If the agreement is too narrow or ambiguous, it may allow inventions to slip away. Further, if the agreement fails to include certain provisions, it may be invalid in certain states.
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 became effective in January 2018. As we explained in an earlier post, this new law prohibits an employer in California from voluntarily (1) allowing an “immigration enforcement agent” to access nonpublic areas of the employer’s facilities; (2) allowing the agent to access, review, or obtain employee records; and (3) reverifying a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, unless otherwise required by federal law.
With the summer (and many vacations) now in full swing, it would be easy for employers to miss the anti-sexual harassment protections that were added to the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules (NY CPLR) and New York’s General Obligation Law, effective July 11, 2018, as well as the additional training, policy and other obligations that will become effective in September and October. For the ever-vigilant employers out there, however, here is a brief summary of the new laws to watch out for in the near term: