As the New Year approaches, employers are continuing to examine how to properly identify, audit and address equal pay issues within their organizations. In a bylined article for the Association of Corporate Counsel’s ACC Docket, Partner Lonnie Giamela and Associate LaLonnie Gray teamed up with Arrow Electronics’ Christine Lyman to help employers navigate the evolving arena of pay equity laws to avoid gender-based discrimination claims based on pay, manage overall employee morale, and handle the heightened publicity surrounding pay equity issues.
Workers not treated as “employees” are often not entitled to statutory safeguards, and this has the potential to raise several occupational health and safety considerations for gig economy workers.
Automation will create a seismic shift to the workplace, this much we know. The breadth and scope of the impact, however, will vary across industries. For some, artificial intelligence (AI) will create a collaborative partnership rather than displacement.
Despite recent Texas legislation making it easier for patients to take advantage of the state’s limited medical marijuana program, employers should not expect across-the-board legalization of cannabis anytime soon, according to Steve Roppolo, managing partner of the Houston office.
With employment laws rapidly changing and evolving, it is important for employers to periodically review and revise their employee handbooks to ensure that their policies, practices and procedures comply with applicable federal, state and local laws.
In their byline article for Oregon Business titled “What Employers Need to Know About Oregon’s Paid Family-Leave Law,” Portland associates Stephen M. Scott and Alexander A. Wheatley discuss Oregon House Bill 2005, one of the nation’s most generous paid-leave programs.
Workplace retaliation claims have become one of the most frequently filed claims in employment-related lawsuits. Retaliation appeared in 51.6 percent of all 2018 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charges, prevailing over all other discriminatory bases to claim the top spot for the ninth year in a row.
San Diego Partner James Fessenden and Los Angeles Associate Anet Drapalski look at the recent passage of California AB 5 and how it might affect trucking services in their byline article for Transport Topics.
- Partners Explain How Habitual OSHA Violations Could Prevent Contractors from Securing Public Contracts11.1.19
Dr. David Michaels, former Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, suggested in a recent tweet that a certain construction contractor be banned from work on public lands because the company had pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a worker’s death. Michaels’ tweet hearkens back to the Obama-era’s “Fair Play and Safe Workplaces” Executive Order, which allowed federal contracting officers to consider safety violations when awarding government contracts, putting companies with records of numerous serious, repeated or willful OSHA violations at risk of being denied work.
Employers are collecting more employee data than ever as state legislatures contemplate passing privacy laws fashioned after the GDPR.
- Houston Partner Recommends Awareness of Legal Risks and Remedies for Artificial Intelligence and Biometric Data Use in Health Care10.31.19
Touted by some as the newest “transformation force” in health care, yet viewed more cautiously by those who question whether computers and algorithms can ever detect nuances like a nurse or doctor can, artificial intelligence and biometrics are growing and evolving rapidly.
In her byline article for Corporate Compliance Insights titled “AI and HR: Will AI Chatbots Replace the Employee Handbook?,” Irvine Associate Samantha Saltzman looks at the potential application of AI-powered chatbots in human resources. These chatbots are programs capable of simulating conversations through voice or text, and with many industries using these platforms to provide customer service, the technology is now opening up to HR departments.
- Hospitality and Wage and Hour Co-Chairs Explore “Overtime Rule 2.0’s” Impact on Quick-Service Restaurants10.22.19
In their bylined piece for QSR titled, “What Restaurants Need to Know about the New OT Rule,” Hospitality Industry Group Co-Chair Alden J. Parker teamed with Wage and Hour Practice Group Co-Chair J. Hagood Tighe to discuss the U.S. Department of Labor’s recently released rule governing overtime regulation and its impact on the quick-service restaurant industry.
In June 2019, an auto parts representative shot and killed his director and parts manager in California, before shooting and killing himself, after the dealership terminated his employment.
Until just last year, it was common for public sector collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) to require employees who elected not to belong to a union, but were still covered by the CBA, to pay “fair share” fees to the union as a condition of employment.
In their bylined piece for the Daily Journal titled, “PAGA: The battle for employers continues,” Los Angles Partner Todd Scherwin and Associate Hannah Sweiss discuss the impact that the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) has had on California employers. Over the past 15 years, PAGA has proved highly controversial and its impact on employers continues to be significant.
In their bylined article for the Vancouver Business Journal titled, “What employers need to know before they record their employees,” Partner Clarence Belnavis and Associate Margaret Burnham explore important caveats to be aware of before installing a recording device on the premises. While employers are generally allowed to record employees in Washington, there should always be a legitimate business reason to do so.
Sacramento Associate Erin Price authored a byline article for Workforce titled “’Just Text Me:’ The New Way to Conduct Job Interviews,” discussing a new trend among employers of conducting interviews through text message. She explores how the process works, why employers should consider it and how to make it happen. Erin discusses how this approach can limit legal exposure and protect an employer against a failure to hire claim.
Transit employers thinking about adopting autonomous vehicle technology need to consider the labor law ramifications of automation early in the decision-making process. In a bylined article for the APTA’s Passenger Transport, Michael Greco lays out some of the legal issues public transit employers will need to be aware of when deciding whether to automate their fleets.
- Attorney Authors Article for Fast Company on Trio of Title VII Cases before the United States Supreme Court10.9.19
Is it up to the courts or Congress to decide? That is the question that Randall Coffey poses in a bylined article for Fast Company analyzing a trio of cases before the US Supreme Court that will determine if Title VII applies to sexual orientation and if employers can legally fire employees for being gay.
Just this last year, the Philadelphia City Council passed two of the most progressive workplace ordinances in the nation. In a bylined article for Law360 attorneys Rick Grimaldi and Samantha Bononno explain how these ordinances and other pieces of legislation have thrust Philadelphia into the forefront of municipalities enacting worker protections.
In this Q&A for Law.com, Christine Baran describes how a regular dose of exercise helps her decompress.
During the end of the year, many employers are beginning the performance review process and will soon make decisions about year-end bonuses and raises for next year.
Workplace raids by Immigration and Customs – a priority under the Trump administration – are likely to increase. In a guest column for the Memphis Business Journal, David Jones, managing partner of Fisher Phillips’ Memphis office, explains that ICE officials can enter any public area without a warrant and may arrest any undocumented immigrant they encounter. David breaks down the actions employers may and may not take if ICE shows up unannounced at their places of business.
- Distracted-Driving Policies Will Help Employers Prevent Injuries and Minimize Potential Legal Liability, Columbus Attorney Says10.7.19
Because motor-vehicle collisions now account for more worker fatalities than any other cause and because distracted driving triggers one-fourth of all traffic crashes, it’s no surprise that OSHA recognizes distracted driving as a hazard under the OSH Act’s General Duty Clause.
Employee burnout is now an officially diagnosable condition. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), which recently updated its definition, employee burnout is not a medical condition; instead, the WHO calls burnout an “occupational phenomenon.”
A labor organization, Offshore Mariners United – a consortium of U.S. maritime unions – has filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board against two boat companies seeking access to company vessels to communicate with and solicit employees to join the union.
In his byline article for The Recorder titled “Calif. Supreme Court Provides Blueprint for Arbitration Agreement Strategy,” San Francisco attorney Anthony Guzman discusses the California Supreme Court decision in OTO v. Kho, a case that focused on unconscionability in arbitration agreements.
In his byline article for Cyber Defense eMagazine titled “Employers Catch One-Year Break on Impending California Privacy Law,” Irvine Partner Usama Kahf discusses California Assembly Bill 25 and the temporary reprieve it might grant employers if signed into law.
- Kansas City Attorney Cautions Against Misperceptions that May Stand in the Way of Hiring Talented Older Workers10.1.19
Employers cannot afford to pass on hiring workers older than 50, especially in a labor market rife with talent shortages.
When the Diane B. Allen Pay Act became law on July 1, 2018, New Jersey became the state with the most progressive pay equity statute in the nation. In the year since, employers and their trusted advisors have turned their attention to the daunting task of understanding and complying with the legal mandates of this sweeping pay equity legislation. In her article published by New Jersey CPA, Kathleen Caminiti, co-chair of the firm’s Pay Equity practice, takes a look at the state’s Equal Pay Act and examines how accountants can help identify and address pay disparities to avoid costly litigation.
Most employers are aware that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) can issue monetary penalties for health and safety violations occurring in the workplace. However, what employers may not know is that OSHA has also been referring workplace safety violations to state district attorney offices in fatality cases for potential manslaughter or other state criminal charges.
In their article for the California Lawyers Association, San Diego attorneys Jason Fischbein and Adam Sloustcher outline how an employer classifies its workers has become the subject of hotly-contested litigation and how the sports industry may be impacted.
Earlier this year, the Mine Safety and Health Administration announced the issuance of a program policy letter, giving mine operators guidance regarding an existing requirement to provide escape ways or refuges at underground metal and nonmetal mines when miners must shelter in place.
In their article for Credit Union Times, Rosemary Gousman and David Erb, co-chairs of Fisher Phillips’ Financial Services practice, and Philadelphia attorney Jeffrey Csercsevits outline five best practices that can help to facilitate a smooth transition for a new hire and reduce the likelihood of a lawsuit being filed by their prior employer.
Illinois recently enacted sweeping legislation in an effort to combat sexual harassment in the workplace. Illinois Senate Bill 75 created the Workplace Transparency Act, amended the Illinois Human Rights Act and the Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act, and introduced the Sexual Harassment Victim Representation Act and the Hotel and Casino Employee Safety Act.
In his byline article for the Daily Journal titled “Business: prepare for AB 5 to rewrite worker classification law,” San Diego Partner James C. Fessenden reviews the recent developments in California independent contractor law, focusing on the recent passage of Assembly Bill 5.
In his byline article for QSR Magazine titled “Don’t Get Burned When Hiring Minors,” Irvine Partner Tyler Woods discusses how restaurants can stay in the clear when hiring individuals under the age of 18.
With aging workers retiring later than ever, there are now five generations working together in today’s modern workforce. From the Silent Generation to Generation Z, retailers are faced with unique challenges and pitfalls managing a multigenerational workforce.
In an Op-Ed published by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Ed Foulke reviews the credentials of the new U.S. Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia.