Category — Legal and HR
The media has been full of stories recently about efforts by the city councils in New York City and Philadelphia to pass laws requiring employers to provide employees with paid sick leave. While it appears that the New York City law will come into effect, as it has enough support in the council to overcome the expected veto of Mayor Bloomberg, the Philadelphia city council does not have enough votes to override Mayor Nutter’s veto.
When the New York City law comes into effect, it will join the ranks of San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and the state of Connecticut, each of which have passed laws in recent years requiring employers to provide employees with paid sick leave. At the federal level, the proposed Healthy Families Act, which would require employers to provide paid sick leave, also appears to be gaining traction, particularly in the face of lobbying efforts in many states to pass laws that would specifically preempt efforts by localities to require that employers provide paid sick leave. Where has all this interest in paid sick leave come from?
April 16, 2013 No Comments
Forget Sequestration: Here’s What You Need to Know About the OFCCP’s Expanded Compensation Investigation Procedures
A few days ago, I watched the PBS special, MAKERS: Women Who Make America, about the women’s movement and women’s struggles for equality at home and at work. The documentary highlighted the combined efforts of women across the country in their fight to eradicate gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and unequal pay in the work place. One thing that was particularly shocking was how members of the federal government in the past fought hard to maintain the status quo and keep women out of the workforce.
Oh how times have changed.
Now, there are not only federal laws – such as Title VII and the Equal Pay Act – that prohibit unequal treatment of women in the workplace, but the government is also taking an aggressive approach to ferreting out compensation disparities for female, minority, disabled, and veteran employees of federal contractors and subcontractors.
And we were worried about sequestration. [Read more →]
March 5, 2013 No Comments
The last post, Part 1, set forth the first five items on a wish list from an attorney’s perspective – specific ways in which a Human Resources department can minimize problems down the road. The final five items are just as important. Read on … [Read more →]
February 14, 2013 No Comments
Human Resources professionals have a job that requires a great deal of effort – a good HR Manager will stay on top of developments in employment law; establish sound, consistent procedures for managing typical staff issues, such as leave requests, on-site injuries, and separation from employment; and cultivate good relationships between employees and management. From the other side of the phone line, however, comes a wish list from an attorney’s perspective – what the Human Resources department should consider doing to help minimize difficulty down the road and ensure as successful an HR year as possible. [Read more →]
February 12, 2013 No Comments
Our firm’s latest “Advisory” just went out this afternoon explaining the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals‘ ruling from last Friday that President Obama’s “recess” appointments to the National Labor Relations Board were unconstitutional, and therefore the Board was without the required quorum to act in a case from last year in which it found a soda-bottling company had committed an unfair labor practice.
This case involves a fascinating legal issue of the interpretation of the U.S. Constitution and the separation of powers between the Legislative and Executive branches (at least for those who find such things fascinating). This decision is also good news for a particular soda-bottling company that challenged the NLRB’s decision. [Read more →]
January 29, 2013 No Comments
The horrific Newtown, Connecticut elementary school massacre has brought the gun control debate front and center. But gun violence is not just in our schools. In August, a former employee shot and killed a co-worker near the Empire State Building before being shot by police himself, and eight bystanders were injured in the shoot-out. A 30-person Minneapolis sign company was decimated in September when an employee who was discharged shot and killed six people, including the company’s founder and a UPS delivery driver, and wounded two others before taking his own life. In November, an Apple Valley Farms employee shot four co-workers at a chicken processing plant in Fresno, California, killing two of them, before turning the gun on himself. Not long after, a ConAgra Foods employee in Indianapolis fatally shot his co-worker outside a break room, then killed himself. Two other workplace violence incidents, in Pine Bluff, Arkansas (an employee fatally shot her co-worker) and Manteno, Illinois (an employee shot and wounded his co-worker), took place in July, 2012. [Read more →]
January 3, 2013 No Comments
Despite expected legislative gridlock and election-year politics, 2012 turned out to be an exciting year for changes in the labor and employment law landscape. The headlines just kept coming. [Read more →]
December 20, 2012 No Comments
As the Department of Labor (DOL) reminds us, October is the month the Office of Disability Employment Policy encourages employers, employees, educators, unions, and other organizations to focus on disability awareness. National Disability Employment Awareness Month is an awareness campaign that, among other things, provides employers with a reminder that the employment of individuals with disabilities requires Human Resources managers to (i) regularly check for legal updates, (ii) conduct policy reviews, (iii) implement thorough training of personnel, and (iv) consult with competent legal counsel to ensure all of the appropriate controls are in place to ensure compliance with a potentially tricky and elastic legal landscape. [Read more →]
October 25, 2012 1 Comment
The California Legislature made headlines yesterday by passing legislation that prohibits employers from demanding the social media usernames or passwords of current employees and applicants. The bill also prevents employers from requiring employees or candidates to log in to social media in the presence of the employer (i.e., the employee’s supervisor, or the interviewer, or a human resources manager – you get the point). [Read more →]
September 28, 2012 1 Comment
When you are conducting a workplace investigation, do you instruct employees interviewed not to discuss the investigation with other employees? You probably do. It protects the fairness, integrity and truth-gathering function of the investigation. It allows you to do the best possible investigation.
Did you know, however, that giving that instruction to employees — to not discuss the investigation with co-workers – may be illegal? The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently said it is. Read on for their explanation and what you can do about it. [Read more →]
September 25, 2012 4 Comments