In Part 1 and Part 2 of this series of posts, we began the discussion of what the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), enacted in May 2016, really means for employers in defending their trade secrets. In particular, we addressed some of the “good” the DTSA offers for employers, including: (1) a clear path to federal court, (2) ex parte seizure orders and (3) international application. In Part 3, we addressed the bad — four potential downsides of the DTSA for employers, including mandatory disclosure of whistleblower protections. In this final Part 4, we outline questions left unanswered by the DTSA which are worth watching for future developments. Continue Reading The Defend Trade Secrets Act: What Does it Really Mean for Employers? The Good, the Bad and the Ambiguous, Part 4
Beginning on March 1, 2017, California employers and businesses will need to re-label any single-stall restroom facilities as available to users of either gender. Such facilities are required to be identified as “all gender” and be universally accessible. Continue Reading Single-User Restrooms Must Be Made Available To All in California
Back in April 2015, we told you about a new player in the world of employee whistleblower enforcement: the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC grabbed everyone’s attention in 2015 by issuing its first administrative order finding that a public company violated SEC rules based solely on language in an employment agreement. Continue Reading Employment Agreements Under the Bright Light of the SEC’s Enforcement Efforts
A recent federal Appellate Court decision offers employers greater flexibility and decision making authority in considering job reassignments for qualified disabled employees. In EEOC v. St. Joseph’s Hospital, a case decided by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Georgia, Florida and Alabama), an employee sought a job reassignment as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The employer allowed the employee thirty days to apply for vacant positions, but did not automatically grant her a new position. Rather the employer required the employee to compete for a new position pursuant to its best qualified applicant hiring policy – she would be given the job only if she was the best qualified applicant for the position. Continue Reading Are Disabled Employees Entitled to Be Reassigned to an Open Position?
Out with the old and in with the new? Not so fast. For California employers, it’s more like keep the old and add the new. And, as so often happens, the new year brings new concerns. While this list is not exhaustive, California employers should keep their sights on the following new state and local regulations or requirements for 2017: Continue Reading Catch the Wave: New California Employment Regulations and Requirements for 2017
In Part 1 and Part 2 of this series of posts, we began the discussion of what the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), enacted in May 2016, really means for employers in defending their trade secrets. In particular, we addressed some of the “good” the DTSA offers for employers, including: (1) a clear path to federal court, (2) ex parte seizure orders and (3) international application. In this Part 3, we address the bad — four potential downsides of the DTSA for employers. Continue Reading The Defend Trade Secrets Act: What Does it Really Mean for Employers? The Good, the Bad and the Ambiguous, Part 3
A nationwide junction was issued Tuesday evening blocking implementation of the U.S. Department of Labor’s new rules increasing the minimum salary levels required for most white collar exemptions. These new rules had been scheduled to go into effect on December 1, and would have raised the minimum annual salary level for most exemptions from $23,660 to $47,476. The injunction halts enforcement of the rule until the Department of Labor receives a contrary order from the issuing court or an appellate court. But, since Texas is in the Fifth Circuit, which is a traditionally conservative court, the Department of Labor faces an uphill climb and it is unlikely that the new rules will go into effect in the foreseeable future. Continue Reading Nationwide Injunction Prohibits Implementation of the Department of Labor’s New Overtime Rules
The press has been filled with stories about the new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations which raise the minimum salary level required for employees to be exempt from overtime pay. Specifically, the new regulations — currently set to take effect on December 1, 2016 — raise the minimum salary level required for exempt employees under the executive, administrative and professional exemptions from $455 per week to $913 per week, or from roughly $23,660 annually to $47,456 annually. Often overlooked, however, is the fact that the new regulations also significantly affect the “highly compensated employee” (“HCE”) exemption, as well. Continue Reading Highly Compensated Employees and the New FLSA Regulations
As we all learned in school, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits Congress from making laws that “abridge the freedom of speech.” Employer-created rules and decisions are not acts of Congress, of course, and are not subject to the First Amendment. So, employers can terminate their at-will employees (all employees without an employment contract) for a good or even a bad reason, including having a bad attitude, right? Wrong, according to the National Labor Relations Board, at least when that bad attitude expresses itself in voicing concerns about their job.
In another example of the National Labor Relations Board (“the Board”) reaching into a non-union employer’s workplace, it ordered dance production companies that run two Las Vegas shows (Vegas! The Show and The BeatleShow) to reinstate several dancers whose employment was terminated for performance and attitude problems that spanned several years of time. David Saxe Prods., LLC, 364 NLRB No. 100 (Aug. 26, 2016). In a letter to one of these employees, the owner of the production companies stated: Continue Reading Are Employees Entitled to Free Speech?
In Part 1 of this post, we began the discussion of what the Defend Trade Secrets Act, passed in May 2016, really means for employers in defending their trade secrets. In particular, Part 1 addressed some of the “good” the DTSA offers for employers, particularly: (1) a clear path to federal court, (2) consistency in application, and (3) ex parte seizure orders. In this Part 2, we address the rest of the good — five more positive benefits of the DTSA for employers. Continue Reading The Defend Trade Secrets Act: What Does it Really Mean for Employers? The Good, the Bad and the Ambiguous, Part 2