Fisher Phillips in the News
COLUMBIA (July 15, 2019) – Columbia partner J. Hagood Tighe and associate Sheila Willis have been elected to leadership positions with the South Carolina Bar. Tighe will serve as secretary on the Board of Governors for the 2019-2020 term and Willis has been elected president of the Young Lawyers Division. With over 16,000 members, the South Carolina Bar is the state’s largest legal organization dedicated to advancing justice, professionalism and understanding of the law.
- Fisher Phillips Partner Todd Scherwin Named to Daily Journal’s 2019 Top Labor and Employment Lawyers List7.12.19
LOS ANGELES (July 12, 2019) – Fisher Phillips Regional Managing Partner in Los Angeles Todd B. Scherwin has been named to the Los Angeles Daily Journal’s 2019 “Top Labor and Employment Lawyers in California” list. In its annual feature, the publication recognizes its top 75 California attorneys, accepting nominations from across the state, and selection is based on attorneys’ caseload and achievements in their practice.
While it may not happen often, there are many reasons an employee may turn down a pay raise. But what should an employer do in this situation? SHRM explores this scenario with Philadelphia partner, Michael Galey, who says: There are no federal laws that would obligate an employer to give an employee an unwanted pay raise.
Jason Geller recently spoke with Commercial Carrier Journal regarding California Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5) and its potential impact on the trucking industry. In the article “Calif. legislature pressing ahead with bill to make ‘Dynamex’ IC decision state law,” Jason explains the bill would affirm the outcomes of the Dynamex case for companies if passed into law.
The United States Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNST) has won their second World Cup title. Given the team’s high profile, their lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation claiming unfair pair is shining a global spotlight on pay equity litigation.
A Colorado Court of Appeals decision in Clark’s Market v. Nieto gives HR and legal departments more assurance that they can place conditions on unused vacation pay under the Colorado Wage Claims Act.
The Department of Labor recently issued an opinion letter regarding whether an organization's rounding practices are permissible under the Service Contract Act (SCA), “which requires government contractors and subcontractors to pay prevailing wages and benefits and apply FLSA principles to calculate hours worked,” according to SHRM. Marty Heller, an attorney in Atlanta, spoke to SHRM about the import of the opinion for employers.
In anticipation of a wave of immigration raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Law360 asked Davis Bae, co-chair of the immigration practice group, how employers should prepare and respond. He said, “You need to be prepared to understand your employee base and protect yourself.”
Employees are increasingly suing employers for being fired over marijuana use. San Diego partner Danielle Moore recently spoke with Law360 on the increasing pressure on companies as more state legalize cannabis in various forms – and build in more protections for employees.
ATLANTA (June 28, 2019) – Terri R. Stewart, a partner in the Atlanta office, was selected for inclusion in The University of Georgia‘s 2019 40 Under 40 class. Stewart is recognized for her exemplary achievements in labor and employment law and her commitment to giving back to her local community. The University of Georgia’s annual 40 under 40 list honors those who have made an impact in their professional and philanthropic endeavors. Honorees must have attended UGA and uphold the Pillars of the Arch, which are wisdom, justice and moderation.
Upon written request, employers must hand over personnel records to employees under a new law starting July 1, 2019. In an interview with SHRM, attorneys Theresa Connolly and Lauren Goetzl said that employers are obligated to turn over the following pieces of information: dates of employment, wages or salary, job description and job title and any injuries suffered on the job.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to sign into law a bill that bans employers from discriminating based on hair textures and hairstyles. Known as The Crown Act, the legislation states “workplace dress codes and grooming policies that prohibit natural hair, including afros, braids, twists, and locks, have a disparate impact on Black individuals as these policies are more likely to deter Black applicants and burden or punish Black employees than any other group.”
In response to the uptick in tougher pay equity laws across the country, Fisher Phillips, was one of the first law firms in the U.S. to create a Pay Equity practice that provides pay gap audits, compliance counseling and litigation defense. In a feature article published by Law.com, co-chairs Cheryl Behymer, Kathleen Caminiti and Cheryl Pinarchick, spoke with reporters on how the firm helps clients navigate the rapidly changing landscape.
Christine Howard’s presentation at the Society for Human Resource Management 2019 Annual Conference & Exposition explored how companies can implement strategies to avoid workplace retaliation claims. SHRM reporters in attendance covered her remarks for the article “How to Curb Workplace Retaliation Claims”.
Chicago (June 21, 2019) – Fisher Phillips, a national labor and employment law firm representing employers, is pleased to announce the addition of Lauren Bever as an associate in its Chicago office.
A New York legislative proposal to let “gig economy” workers form unions offers an interesting solution to solving labor questions for this new American workforce. Portland partner Richard Meneghello was quoted in the Law360 article “NY Bill Opens New Front in Debate Over Gig Workers’ Status” on whether the bill would address the heated debate over whether gig workers should be classified as employees or independent contractors.
A recent restrictive covenant ruling out of Rhode Island shows that a healthcare executive violated his noncompete agreement. Healthcare Dive turned to Washington, DC partner Theresa Connolly for insight into what the ruling means.
ATLANTA (June 19, 2019) – Corey Goerdt, an associate in the Atlanta office of Fisher Phillips, has been selected for inclusion in the Daily Report’s 2019 “On the Rise” class. The Daily Report’s “On the Rise” recognizes Georgia’s most promising lawyers age 40 and under who have made an impression on their colleagues, their clients and the larger legal communities in which they work. Corey is one of 14 lawyers across the state selected for this honor.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that California’s wage and hours laws do not apply to workers who work on offshore drilling rigs.
The new international workplace safety standard ISO 45001 will help businesses reduce the burden of occupation-related accidents and create safer workplace conditions.
Reuters turned to Steve Bernstein, co-chair of the firm’s Labor Relations practice, for insight into what a vote for unionizing would mean for the Volkswagen AG’s Tennessee plant.
- Employers Should Understand How Artificial Intelligence Helps Make Hiring Decisions, Says Fisher Phillips Attorney6.12.19
Illinois is set to become one of the first states to regulate the use of artificial intelligence to screen potential employees. Gov. J.B. Pritzker is expected to sign the Artificial Intelligence Video Interview Act into law which would give applicants the option to have video data deleted, as well as disclosing that artificial intelligence is being used in the video interview.
Steve Miller, regional managing partner of the Chicago office, was named to the Crain’s Chicago Business 2019 list of Notable GenX Leaders in Law. His profile focuses on his work counseling management, before litigation, on issues related to employees and the workplace and specifically noted his extensive experience handling lawsuits related to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
ATLANTA (June 11, 2019) – Fisher Phillips, a national labor and employment law firm, announces that partners Roger Quillen, Charles Caulkins and Jeff Weintraub have been selected by Human Resource Executive magazine as members of the “Most Powerful Employment Attorneys” in the United States.
In the article for the San Fernando Valley Business Journal titled “Bill Codifies Dynamex,” Los Angeles Partner Lonnie D. Giamela discusses California Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5), a bill that codifies the Dynamex ABC worker classification test into state law. AB 5 passed the state Assembly on May 29 and now advances to the Senate for review.
In the Bloomberg Law article titled “Offshore Oil Rigs Governed by Federal Wage Law, Justices Say,” Seattle Partner Catharine Morisset reviews the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Parker Drilling Mgmt. v. Newton, where the Court held that federal wage and hour law applies to offshore oil rig workers, rather than state laws.
Earlier this year, Illinois lawmakers legalized recreational marijuana and became the first state in which a legislature approved commercial sales. Ahead of recreational sales beginning on Jan. 1, Illinois employers are in desperate need of information about the impact the new legislation will have on the workplace. In an authored article for Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Jason Keck outlines which policies and procedures need to be changed ahead of the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act going into effect.
SAN FRANCISCO (June 6, 2019) – Fisher Phillips, a national labor and employment law firm representing employers, announces the addition of Brandon Kahoush as an associate in its San Francisco office. Kahoush is the fourth attorney to join the firm’s San Francisco office since the start of 2019.
SAN DIEGO (June 6, 2019) – Regina Petty, Chief Diversity Officer and partner at Fisher Phillips, was named to Lawyer of Color’s Inaugural Nation’s Best list. The 2019 list, presented by Major, Lindsay & Africa with the support of the Diverse Partners Network, recognizes exceptional law firm partners and senior-level corporate counsel who have achieved prominence and distinction in their fields and demonstrated a strong commitment to advancing diversity in the legal profession. Petty is the only honoree from the nation’s top labor and employment firms listed in the Western Region of the Nation’s Best list.
The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Title VII’s administrative exhaustion requirement—whereby an aggrieved employee first must file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or a state agency before filing a lawsuit—is merely a claim-processing rule, rather than jurisdictional. Bloomberg Law, Business Insurance and SHRM interviewed attorneys Jeffrey Fritz and Paul Goatley to provide analysis on what the ruling means for employers.
By the nature of the work in the healthcare industry, many employers can find it challenging to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act. Healthcare Risk Management spoke with Laurel Cornell, partner and co-chair of the firm’s Healthcare Industry Group, on best practices for compliance to mitigate litigation over the long list of complex requirements.
Media turned to attorneys at Fisher Phillips for a breakdown of Assembly Bill 5, passed by the California Assembly. The bill would install the Dynamex ABC test for worker classification into state law. In an interviews with the Daily Journal and The Recorder respectively, Megan Walker and Rich Meneghello explain the challenges the bill, if signed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, would bring for employers and what it might look like when it gets to his desk.
In the SHRM article “Will California Employees Get More Paid Time Off?” Natalie Fujikawa examines California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desire to expand the state’s paid family leave program. Under a revised budget plan, California workers could receive up to eight weeks of paid family leave – up from the current level of six weeks.
SAN DIEGO (May 30, 2019) – Fisher Phillips, a national labor and employment law firm representing employers, announces the additions of Daniel J. Kanter as of counsel and Jason A. Fischbein as an associate in its San Diego office.
The California assembly passed AB 5 which seeks to make it harder to classify workers as independent contractors, building on the state’s Supreme Court decision in Dynamex that made a similar ruling.
Wellness regulations that govern an employer’s collection of employee data to set rewards and/or impose penalties for health-related behaviors are in limbo. SHRM asked attorneys Mathew Parker and Melissa Shimizu how employers should manage compliance of wellness programs as employers await clarification.
In Law360’s annual Glass Ceiling Report, Fisher Phillips was ranked one of the top 70 law firms in the country for female attorneys. The annual report recognizes U.S. firms implementing best practices in retaining and promoting women lawyers and fostering environments committed to achieving that success. Fisher Phillips ranked fifth in the category for law firms with 300 to 599 attorneys.
In the Business Insurance article “OSHA drug testing, incentive proposal may bring relief to employers,” Charlotte attorney David Klass commented on the new proposal and the Trump administration’s general focus on rolling back regulations from prior administrations.
Howard Mavity interviewed with Associated Press, Bloomberg Law, The Washington Post, SHRM and Employee Benefit News to answer questions about whether employers can require employees to get vaccinated in light of the growing measles outbreak.
California regulators have issued proposed rules to increase safety on farms during nighttime operations, focusing on technical requirements for the illumination of workspaces. Alden Parker told SHRM that not only would compliance be difficult, but the new standard also would be very expensive for businesses. He said, "The biggest thing that is an issue here is the requirement of all these different illumination levels in different places throughout the worksite at night.”
In his byline article for Cascade Business News titled “Proposed Paid Family Leave Law Could Rattle Employers Statewide,” Portland Associate Stephen M. Scott reviews Oregon House Bill (HB) 3031, which as proposed would be one of the most aggressive paid family leave statutes in the country.
In an article about the Trump administration’s regulatory agenda, Law360 interviewed Mathew Parker about how a new head of the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission will influence the outcome of the forthcoming wellness regulations.
KANSAS CITY (May 20, 2019) – Fisher Phillips, a national labor and employment law firm representing employers, welcomes James (Jim) C. Sullivan as a partner in the firm’s Kansas City office. Sullivan joins from Polsinelli, where he practiced in the firm’s complex commercial and employment litigation practices for nearly 30 years.
With the current surge in workplace immigration raids and I-9 audits, many employers may be tempted to be overly aggressive in the screening of job applicants.
In Law360’s annual ranking of the 400 biggest law firms by U.S. attorney head count, Fisher Phillips landed the 117th spot for 2019, up from 124 in 2018.
According to a 2018 social-media-recruitment survey, 70 percent say they use social-networking sites to research job candidates. But are there risks for employers when using social media to determine hiring or firing decisions? In an interview with HR Executive, LaKisha Kinsey-Sallis says when it comes to candidate vetting, proponents of social-media monitoring suggest using a third-party vendor or someone not involved in hiring decisions to conduct these searches. “A better approach, however, is to have a solid."
The National Labor Relations Board said in a memo that Uber drivers are independent contractors who aren’t eligible to unionize. The memo declares that gig economy workers aren’t “employees” under federal workplace law. Rich Meneghello told Law360 that the memo is a strong one for gig economy employers looking to avoid unions.
- Pay Equity Partner Interviews with Law360 on how #Metoo Backlash Presents New Legal Problem for Employers5.14.19
The #MeToo movement has galvanized proponents of equal pay, but a backlash is also underway, as explained in Law360’s article, “#MeToo Raises Stakes On Efforts To Root Out Wage Gaps.” In the article Cheryl Behymer, co-chair of the firm’s national Pay Equity Practice Group, explains how some men’s response to #Metoo is giving rise to a new problem: gender discrimination based on pay and opportunity.
Fisher Phillips, a national labor and employment law firm representing employers, announces the election of Christine E. Howard to a three-year term on the firm’s Management Committee. Howard is the first woman to serve on the three-member Management Committee – the equivalent of the board of directors for the 34-office, over 400-lawyer firm. Her term starts on June 1, 2019.
SAN FRANCISCO (May 10, 2019) – Fisher Phillips, a national labor and employment law firm representing employers, announces the addition of Hassan A. Aburish as an associate in its San Francisco office.
ATLANTA (May 9, 2019) – Fisher Phillips announces eleven Practice Group and Industry Team leaders. This follows a blockbuster year of growth as the firm continues to expand its labor and employment services across the U.S. The appointment of the eleven is a step in the firm’s plan to create and sharpen practice groups and industry teams to better meet client interests and needs.
- Danielle Moore Honored for her Unwavering Commitment to Advancing Gender Diversity5.8.19
SAN DIEGO (May 8, 2019) – Danielle Hultenius Moore, partner in Fisher Phillips San Diego office and chair of the firm’s Development Committee, has been shortlisted for the Chambers Diversity & Inclusion Awards: USA 2019. Moore, who is also the former co-chair of the firm’s nationwide Women’s Initiative Leadership Council (WILC), was shortlisted for Gender Diversity Lawyer of the Year for her dedication and commitment to gender diversity programs that help further the advancement of women in the legal profession.
Los Angeles Partner Cheryl L. Schreck has been recognized in the Daily Journal’s “Top Women Lawyers” awards. Cheryl was one of 75 women attorneys in California honored in the award series, which features women across the state who have made a significant impact on the legal community.
- San Francisco Regional Managing Partner Interviews with Local and National Media on Retroactive Application of Dynamex Test5.2.19
The Ninth Circuit ruled that the Dynamex test – a standard used to decipher when workers should be classified as employees rather than independent contractors – applies retroactively.
Are gig economy workers contractors or employees? That was the question addressed by a Department of Labor (DOL) Opinion Letter released on April 29, 2019 that said in this particular instance, the workers are independent contractors. Rich Meneghello spoke with Wired about the opinion.
Kathleen Caminiti, partner at Fisher Phillips and co-chair of the firm’s Pay Equity Practice Group, was featured in an extensive article by CNBC on the rise in pay equity litigation and the steps employers are taking to increase compliance with pay equity laws to mitigate the risk of lawsuits and retain important talent.
Commissioner Cynthia Attwood will leave the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) at the end of April, leaving the commission without the numbers needed to form a quorum.
Attorneys Darcey Groden and Megan Walker answered questions from SHRM, Law360 and Daily Journal, about the U.S. Supreme Court’s employer-friendly ruling in Lamps Plus v. Varela.
- Firm Also Ranked Among the Best in the U.S. for Labor & Employment Law4.25.19
ATLANTA (April 25, 2019) – Fisher Phillips, a national labor and employment law firm representing employers, earned 40 individual attorney rankings in Chambers USA 2019. The firm is also ranked as one of the top labor and employment law firms in the United States. In addition, the Fisher Phillips offices in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas City, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas are ranked among the top labor and employment law firms in their respective states, with Georgia also receiving high marks in immigration.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed into law legislation that would offer employers immunity from workplace-bulling lawsuits if they adopt the state’s model anti-bullying policy. The law, HB 856, expands the state’s Healthy Workplace Act to include private employers.
Can employers require vaccinations? That is the question SHRM posed to Atlanta partner Howard Mavity as the measles outbreak spreads across states.
The Compassionate Care Act, H.3660 is making its way through the South Carolina legislature. The Act, if passed, would allow the use of medical marijuana and would also prohibit employers from firing, refusing to hire, or otherwise discriminating against an employee or candidate solely on the basis of their status as a legally authorized marijuana user. Ben Dudek spoke with Columbia Regional Business Report and South Carolina Lawyers Weekly regarding the impact The Act would have on state employers.
Low unemployment numbers and labor shortages across the country have providers looking at creative ways to attract and retain workers, but they must exercise caution if their strategies involve hiring underage employees such as high school students.
- U.S. Supreme Court Case Could Curtail Information Shared with Government Agencies, Says Fisher Phillips Attorney4.19.19
A U.S. Supreme Court case could require the public disclosure of additional information that employers share with the Official of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (OFCCP).