Second Circuit Finds Arbitration Agreement Insufficient to Block Employees’ Misclassification Claims.

With many changes in labor and employment law over the past few years, it’s not unusual for employers to react quickly to each concern as it arises but miss opportunities for a more comprehensive and holistic approach.  For example, an employer might respond to the rising costs of litigation by entering arbitration agreements with its […]

Extreme Pressure Tactics in Investigatory Interviews May Create Employer Liability

A recent decision from the Southern District of New York serves as a cautionary example for employers investigating suspected employee misconduct. Shkreli v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., 13 Civ. No. 5647 (LGS) (S.D.N.Y. March 27, 2015). During an internal review, JPMorgan Chase Bank (“Chase”) began to suspect that one of its Personal Bankers – Robert […]

SCOTUS Addresses EEOC’s Conciliation Obligation in Mach Mining, LLC v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

On April 29, 2015, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Mach Mining, LLC v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that addressed a disagreement among the Circuit Courts on whether employers have grounds for challenging the adequacy of the EEOC’s efforts to resolve allegedly discriminatory practices through informal means before resorting to litigation.  In some cases, […]

NLRB Rejects Employees’ Request to Withdraw ULP Charge After $900,000 Settlement with Employer.

There may be a growing trend in which employees’ attorneys file claims in multiple forums, including the National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) as a way of escalating the employer’s costs and so increasing the company’s incentives to reach an early settlement.  This tactic depends, in the long run, on the employees’ ability to withdraw […]

Supreme Court Establishes New Framework for Pregnancy Accommodation Cases

Employers often have occasion to consider the scope of their responsibility to accommodate pregnancy-related work restrictions, and there have been sharp disagreements over the correct interpretation of federal law on this issue.  On March 25, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court has clarified the employer’s federal obligations in Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc., No. 12-1266, […]

Responding to Suspected FMLA Misuse

Suppose an employee requests two weeks of vacation, and the request is denied – perhaps on grounds of seniority or for operational reasons.  You then receive a doctor’s note stating that the employee needs two weeks of medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for precisely the same dates as the earlier […]

Looking for Patterns in Performance Evaluations

Most employers expect their managers to complete regular performance evaluations for the staff they supervise, which can be used to track employee progress and provide at least a minimal employment history.  An observer could reasonably ask, however, whether companies derive as much benefit from this process as they assume.  A January 9, 2015 online article […]

Pending Federal Minimum Wage and Overtime Requirements for Home Care Workers Struck Down

On Wednesday, January 14, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia vacated Department of Labor (“DOL”) regulations that would have extended the minimum wage and overtime requirements imposed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) to most home care employees across the country. Home Care Association et al v. Weil, 14-cv-967 (D.D.C. Jan. 14, […]

Is Your Employee Social Media Policy (Still) Lawful?

Employers are probably already familiar with the National Labor Relations Board’s prior rulings that employees’ right to engage in concerted activity protected by Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act extends to non-unionized as well as unionized workplaces, and to online social networks as well as discussions in person. A decision by the National Labor Relations […]

Reconciling Medical Leave with Critical Deadlines Requires a Considered Approach

Your company has a major project deadline coming up, but an essential employee is about to go on unpaid FMLA leave following the birth of her child. The project has already been pushed back once, and you really need this employee’s help to avoid further complications.  Can you ask her to forgo the unpaid leave […]