Fisher Phillips in the News
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.
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.
Howard Mavity interviewed with The Washington Post and SHRM to answer questions about whether employers can require employees to get vaccinated in light of the growing measles outbreak.
- 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.
ATLANTA (April 26, 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. Goerdt is one of 14 lawyers across the state selected for this honor.
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).
COLUMBIA (April 17, 2019) – Sheila Willis, an associate in the Columbia office of Fisher Phillips, has been named as a University of South Carolina School of Law 2019 Compleat Lawyer award recipient. She is one of nine honorees to receive the award.
In the Daily Journal article titled “New owners might get out of a union agreement, NLRB says,” Christopher Conti discusses the NLRB’s decision in Ridgewood Health Care Center, where the board narrowed the terms under which new management must adhere to a standing collective bargaining agreement after acquiring a company with a unionized workforce.
In his bylined article for the Sacramento Business Journal titled “California proposal would prohibit employment race discrimination based on hairstyles,” Sacramento Of Counsel Benjamin M. Ebbink discusses California Senate Bill 188, which would amend the definition of race under the Fair Employment and Housing Act to include “traits historically associated with race, such as hair texture and protective hairstyles.”
In the race to go public, ride-share companies Uber and Lyft are offering employees bonuses that can be used to purchase stock. But these stock bonuses could come up in state and federal litigation over whether their drivers are employees or independent contractors.
Roger Quillen spoke with the Daily Report regarding the legal developments in labor and employment law that fueled growth for Fisher Phillips in 2018. He said: “The firm has been very busy in states with aggressive enforcement regimes, because the federal regulatory framework for labor and employment issues continues to lag.
In a move that is the first of its kind in the U.S., the New York City Council passed a bill that would prohibit employers from requiring job applicants to take drug tests for marijuana use. The bill would impact public and private employers in New York City, including companies with headquarters elsewhere. Melissa Osipoff, partner in New York, spoke with The New York Times about how and why employers use drug testing and how the legalization of marijuana has shifted these policies and attitudes.
- Workplace Safety and Catastrophe Management Co-Chair Interviews on Employer Obligations for Supplying Personal Protective Equipment4.11.19
NASA’s recent snafu with the fit of space suits brought forth a renewed focus on employer requirements for providing personal protective equipment (PPE). Ill-fitting equipment and clothing can pose safety hazards and can make some employees feel discriminated against if proper sizes aren’t provided.
The California Supreme Court changed the misclassification standard with its infamous Dynamex decision, which ushered in the notorious ABC test to determine who qualifies as an independent contractor.
In the Daily Journal article titled “New state law could raise burden for employers, attorneys say,” Irvine Partner Colin P. Calvert discusses the recent changes to the California Fair Employment and Housing Act under SB 1300, which took effect Jan. 1, 2019. The law made a number of changes to the FEHA statute that could signal a higher bar for defending claims.
SACRAMENTO (April 9, 2019) – Fisher Phillips, a national labor and employment law firm representing employers, announces the addition of Robert C. Rodriguez as an associate in its Sacramento office.
As developments continue to evolve surrounding when and how employers will need to report their pay data, Columbia partner Cheryl Behymer answered questions from SHRM regarding how to report the right information.
- Fisher Phillips Continues 2019 Expansion with Six Attorneys to Build One of the Nation’s Most Powerful Workplace Safety PracticesNational Labor & Employment Law Firm Opens Pittsburgh Office; Adds Team in Denver4.8.19
PITTSBURGH & DENVER (April 8, 2019) – Fisher Phillips announced today it has opened an office in Pittsburgh and expanded its capabilities in Denver with the addition of six attorneys who focus their practices on workplace and mine safety. The attorneys join the national labor and employment firm from the law firm Jackson Kelly and include partners R. Henry “Hank” Moore, Arthur M. Wolfson, and Patrick W. Dennison who open the Fisher Phillips office in Pittsburgh, and partners Kristin R.B. White and Christopher G. Peterson, and associate Benjamin J. Ross in the firm’s Denver office.
Orlando (April 5, 2019) – Fisher Phillips, a national labor and employment law firm representing employers, announces the addition of Justin McConnell as an associate in its Orlando office.
In the Daily Journal article titled “Department of Labor aligns with NLRB in proposed joint employer rule,” Irvine Partner John M. Polson breaks down the Department of Labor’s recently proposed joint employer rule. The rule lays out four factors for determining joint employer status: hiring or firing; employment conditions; rate of pay; and maintenance of employee records.
The Department of Labor has proposed a new joint employer rule that would align with the rule of the National Labor Relations Board, narrowing the definition of a joint employer and limiting a business’s employment law liability.
Retaining and advancing women in law has been a longstanding priority for Fisher Phillips. In an interview with Crain’s Cleveland, Melanie Webber, partner in the firm’s Cleveland office and chair of the firm’s Women’s Initiative and Leadership Council (WILC) spoke with reporters regarding the firm’s efforts to retain top female talent and develop the firm’s future leaders.
In the Vancouver Business Journal article titled “Protectable Interests,” Seattle Partner Catharine Morisset discusses a proposed law in Washington state that narrow the restraints of noncompetition covenants.
In the Daily Journal article titled “Bill will cause deluge of equal pay class actions as it passes US House, attorneys say,” Irvine Partner John K. Skousen discusses the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill passed on Mar. 27 that amends the Equal Pay Act and changes defenses for pay disparities from “any factor other than sex” to “bona fide factors.”
Discriminatory and hostile work environments can, at times, be treated as a health and safety issue. Recent cases allege that discriminatory symbols of racial animus are showing up in the workplace.
Fisher Phillips is pleased to announce the addition of Jazmyn J. Stover as a partner in its Cleveland office.
- Fisher Phillips Partner Richard Meneghello Named to JD Supra Readers’ Choice Awards for Third Straight Year3.26.19
PORTLAND (Mar. 27, 2019) – Fisher Phillips Partner Richard R. Meneghello has been recognized as a Top Author in JD Supra’s 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards.
In a case that employers are watching, the Fifth Circuit ruled that an employer must again show why it shouldn’t have to reinstate an employee who prevailed on a workplace bias case, kicking the case back to the lower courts.
Fisher Phillips announces the addition of Kelly N. Oki as an associate in its Los Angeles office.
It remains to be seen whether employers will have to include pay data in their EEO-1 reports, which are due May 31.
New Jersey (March 21, 2019) – Fisher Phillips announces the addition of Holly Wintermute as an associate in its New Jersey office.
Denver (March 20, 2019) – Fisher Phillips announces that LaLonnie Gray has joined the firm as an associate in the Denver office.
For Law.com’s “How I Made Partner” series, Chicago partner Jessica Causgrove reflects on her path to partnership at Fisher Phillips. ”
The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals heard opening arguments over a law passed in 2017 that prohibits employers in Philadelphia from asking a prospective employee about his or her salary history.
In response to a workplace violence case watched closely by the business community and workplace safety groups, Atlanta partner and president of Fisher Phillips Safety Solutions, Ed Foulke, explained why the case hinged upon the “general duty” clause of the OSHA Act to Law.com.
A federal appeals court rejected the National Labor Relations Board’s “subgroup majority status rule” for determining when college and university faculty members are deemed managers and therefore excluded from coverage under the National Labor Relations Act. I
The Department of Labor’s proposed new overtime rule has the potential to make about 1 million more U.S. employees eligible for overtime. In an interview with the Kansas City Business Journal, Kansas City Managing Partner Jim Holland advised employers to closely watch the proposal to avoid running into expensive legal troubles
The Department of Labor revealed its long-awaited proposal to expand access to overtime for an estimated 1 million workers. To address the impact on employers, Atlanta attorney Marty Heller spoke with The Associated Press for an article that was picked up by The Washington Post, The New York Times, ABC News and other national and local media outlets.
In a surprise move, a federal court struck down a rule that freed employers from reporting their pay data. Cheryl Behymer and Cheryl Pinarchick, co-chairs of the firm’s national Pay Equity practice, spoke with reporters at NPR, SHRM, HR Executive, The National Law Journal and Law360 about what the ruling means for pay equity compliance.
The Department of Labor recently released its overtime proposal which increases the salary-level threshold for white-collar exemptions to $35,308 per year from $23,660. In an interview with SHRM, David Klass explores how employers may react to these changes, including reclassifying employees.
In a Tampa Bay Business Journal article regarding the abrupt closure of a large medical facility in the Bay area, Fisher Phillips attorney Brett Owens is interviewed on the use of the Federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN).
In an interview with NPR's Morning Edition, Philadelphia partner Lori Armstrong Halber discusses the growing momentum in state legislatures for paid family leave.
- Fisher Phillips L.A. Partner Sarina Saluja Selected as Fellow With Leadership Council on Legal Diversity3.4.19
LOS ANGELES (March 4, 2019) – A partner in the Los Angeles office of the national labor and employment law firm Fisher Phillips has been selected by the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) to be a member of the 2019 class of Fellows. Sarina Saluja has been with the firm since 2014 and represents employers in various aspects of labor and employment law.
The New York State Department of Labor just announced that it has dropped its efforts to institute new regulations aimed at providing employees with predictive scheduling statewide, or compensating them for last-minute schedule changes. What do employers need to know about this announcement?
- Denver Partner Speaks to Proposed Bill that Would Allow Municipalities to Set Their Own Minimum Wage Rates3.4.19
Colorado’s lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow the state’s cities and counties to set their own minimum wage rates. If it passes, cities and counties would have to pass their own ordinances if they want their minimum wage rates to exceed the state’s.
In the Daily Journal article “Could a 3rd Category of Worker Resolve Flexibility Versus Benefits Disputes?,” Los Angeles Managing Partner Todd Scherwin discusses a study that proposed a third category of workers called “independent worker.” According to the study, the theoretical independent worker would gain the ability to collectively bargain and participate in tax withholdings and workers’ comp while surrendering wage and hour protections.
Irvine Partner Colin P. Calvert is quoted in the Daily Journal article “9th Circuit says Janus doesn’t make exclusive bargaining unconstitutional,” discussing the court’s application of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Janus decision beyond mandatory union fees to exclusive bargaining provisions.
TAMPA (February 27, 2019) – Fisher Phillips announces the addition of LaKisha M. Kinsey-Sallis in its Tampa office.
The frequently used phrase “the customer is always right” can land employers in hot water if they fail to protect employees from harassment by customers. Putting policies in place that protect workers from mistreatment by fellow employees is a no-brainer for any employer, but companies in industries that see a lot of customer interaction also need to account for potential harassment from guests, or other clients, Atlanta partner Andria Ryan told Law360.
Law.com and Human Resource Executive featured legal analysis from Fisher Phillips in stories regarding a surprising development in Yovino vs. Rizo, a case that considers whether employers can use past salary history to justify paying men and women differently.
In reaction to the growing #MeToo movement, New Jersey may soon join states like New York, California and Washington in prohibiting non-disclosure agreements in workplace sexual harassment and discrimination cases.
For HR Dive’s Back to Basics column, Atlanta partner Matt Simpson spoke with reporters on what employers need to know about the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The FCRA sets standards for employers when conducting background checks during the hiring process, and while it’s not terribly difficult for employers to comply with the FCRA, there are still common mistakes that can put employers at risk.
PHOENIX (Feb. 25, 2019) – Fisher Phillips, a national labor and employment law firm representing employers, announces the addition of Lori A. Guner as an associate in its Phoenix office.
SAN FRANCISCO (February 22, 2019) – Fisher Phillips announces the addition of Alyssa Graf as an associate in its San Francisco office.