Summer (and with it, summer vacations) is coming!

Summer

As we head into the start of summer and employees begin to request more time off for vacation, this is a great time to review your vacation policies to ensure they are legally compliant and meet business needs.

With the exception of certain state or local paid sick leave laws, employees generally do not have a right to paid vacation unless an employer has voluntarily agreed to provide paid vacation (i.e., through a policy, practice or contract). However, once an employer decides to provide vacation, it must be mindful of a number of potential pitfalls and legal hurdles. Some of the key issues to consider addressing in your vacation policy are the following:

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You Have a Creative Genius in the Workplace. Who Owns the Creative Works?

Creative

The cardinal principle of copyright law is deceptively simple. It protects a creative work as it passes from the fevered brow of its creator to something more tangible – a writing pad, an electronic manuscript, a sound recording, a stone tablet, etc., and, at that moment, ownership vests in the creator. But, of course, deceptively simple rules never are and always have exceptions.  In this instance, one of those exceptions is the so-called Work Made for Hire principle.

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“High” Stakes for Employers Dealing With Evolving Cannabis Laws

Marijuana

The evolving legalization of marijuana for both medical and recreational uses continues to cause workplace issues for employers. Nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana, and 32 states have legalized medical marijuana under varying circumstances. In addition, three more states have 2018 ballot initiatives considering either recreational or medical marijuana uses.  Employers need to consider their position as the pendulum continues to swing towards marijuana legalization in various forms.

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Supreme Court Ends the Debate and Upholds Class Action Waivers

Waivers

Welcome news for many employers rolled out of Washington, D.C. earlier this morning. The Supreme Court has ended a long-running debate over the enforceability of arbitration agreements with class action waivers in the employment context, particularly as applied to the wage and hour class action litigation. In short, such waivers are enforceable and do not violate the National Labor Relations Act.

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Intermittent FMLA Leave is So Easy to Administer. Yeah, Right!

FMLA

Block FMLA leave has its own challenges. But intermittent FMLA leave can be downright painful – including the fact that intermittent leave claims are the most common type of lawsuit under the FMLA.

When employees need to take scheduled time off for an entire day, week, or even month, an employer has more notice and ability to find ways to make sure the employee’s work is still being done. However, when employees get valid certification for intermittent leave, the employer often will have no idea when the need for leave will arise or even how much time in a given day an employee may be out.

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