As ‘Ban The Box’ Widens, Employers Review Criminal Screens

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s recent signing of a “ban the box” law preventing employers from asking up front about a job applicant’s criminal history extends a trend that experts predict will continue to spread across the U.S. and prompt multijurisdictional employers to evaluate how they use criminal background checks while hiring. Christie signed the […]

Rising Tide Of FMLA Claims Unlikely To Recede, Attys Say

Family and Medical Leave Act lawsuits tripled from 2012 to 2013, a surge lawyers attributed to factors including workers’ increased awareness of their rights and an improving job market. And though businesses are becoming more savvy about their obligations, lawyers say the upward trajectory of FMLA claims isn’t likely to level off in the near […]

Staffing Agencies Beware: OSHA’s New Policy Memorandum Highlights OSHA’s Enforcement Priorities with Respect to Temporary Workers

On July 15, 2014, Thomas Galassi, OSHA’s Director of Enforcement Programs, released a memorandum addressed to all OSHA regional administrators regarding OSHA’s Temporary Worker Initiative—a program developed to increase the agency’s focus on the safety of temporary workers. The purpose of the memo was to clarify the responsibilities of staffing agencies and host employees and to remind […]

5 Steps For Franchisors To Avoid Joint Employer Claims

Following a recent decision by the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel to treat McDonald’s Corp. as a “joint employer” of workers at franchised restaurants, lawyers expect to see an uptick in employment claims against franchisors and companies with outsourced services but say companies can take steps to avoid landing in legal hot water. NLRB […]

Retail Employers Need To Know Pregnancy Accommodations

Retail employers struggle to avoid pregnancy discrimination and accommodation claims because the law on this issue appears to be ever-changing. Indeed, just recently the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Young v. United Parcel Service Inc. to determine whether the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires an employer providing accommodations to nonpregnant employees must provide those […]

10 Sins of Termination (#1 Time to Prevent Lawsuits)

Sin #1. Terminating Rashly in a Fit of Anger Boss: That’s the last straw, you’re out of here—and I mean now! There are at least three things wrong with an on-the-spot termination: People don’t make good decisions this way. There are many factors to considered before terminating. Being disrespectful encourages people to sue. Bottom line, […]

No Hostile Workplace Claim If Victims Oblivious: 11th Circ.

By Daniel Siegal The Eleventh Circuit issued a precedential ruling Tuesday in an appeal by Austal USA LLC workers who saw their racial discrimination claims against the shipbuilder defeated by a lower court, holding that employees alleging an objectively hostile work environment cannot complain about conduct to which they were “oblivious.” The appeal came after […]

4 Tips To Avoid Landing In Trade Secrets Hot Water

By Bill Donahue Law360, New York (July 09, 2014, 7:09 PM ET) – Companies are getting smarter about protecting their trade secrets alongside the rest of their intellectual property, but they also need to be equally wary about accidentally stealing somebody else’s. With high-profile criminal cases, dramatic overseas accusations and the talk of new federal […]

5 Ways to Avoid Trouble When Using Background Checks

While the rules of the road for employers that use criminal background checks in the hiring process remain uncertain, it’s clear that using past brushes with the law as a screening tool can incur the wrath of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, lawyers say. The EEOC has proven its willingness to go after employers on […]

Employers, Beware of Older Workers’ Benefit Protection Act’s “Knowing and Voluntary” Requirements!

Employers need to be very mindful of the Older Workers’ Benefit Protection Act’s “knowing and voluntary” requirements in drafting severance agreements, particularly in connection with a reduction in force. Consider a federal court’s invalidation of the release of an age discrimination claim in a recent case in Colorado – see article below. Courtesy of George […]