Fisher Phillips in the News
Houston, Texas (August 22, 2019) – Fisher Phillips, a national labor and employment law firm representing employers, announces the addition of Hollie Reiminger as Of Counsel in the firm’s Houston office.
Lex Machina released its “Employment Litigation in the Southeast Report,” naming Fisher Phillips one of the busiest employment litigation firms in Florida, Georgia and Texas.
New Jersey Acting Governor Sheila Oliver signed into law Assembly Bill 2903 that ramps up penalties for violations of the state’s wage theft law. Employers in the Garden State are now facing increased financial penalties and first offenders could see prison sentences between 10 and 90 days.
A growing number of states and cities are banning questions about an applicants salary history. The move is designed to help close the pay gap by stopping new salaries from being set off previous ones, but in some cases, employers are still asking the question when they shouldn’t be.
ATLANTA, (August 15, 2019) - Fisher Phillips, a national labor and employment law firm representing employers, announced today that 96 attorneys have been selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2020 edition. The attorneys, selected from Fisher Phillips’ offices across the country, were honored for their practices in Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Management, and Labor and Employment Litigation unless otherwise noted.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (August 13, 2019) – Fisher Phillips, a national labor and employment law firm representing employers, is pleased to announce the addition of Mark Trocinski as an associate in its Memphis office.
ATLANTA (August 9, 2019) – Fisher Phillips, a national labor and employment law firm representing employers, announces the addition of Micah Dickie as an associate in its Atlanta office.
SAN DIEGO (Aug. 7, 2019) – Fisher Phillips, a national labor and employment law firm representing employers, announces the addition of Kathryn Evans as an associate in its San Diego office.
Administrative law judges have struck down 16 of the 17 confidentiality rules that they’ve examined in cases applying the NLRB’s December 2017 decision in Boeing. The rulings provide clues about whether the myriad rules employers impose to control employee conduct in unionized and nonunionized workplaces will ultimately survive board review under the Boeing framework.
- Decision Striking Down EEOC’s Criminal Background Guidance in Texas Likely to Impact Employers Across the Country8.7.19
Texas sued the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) over 2012 guidance cautioning employers to limit the use of criminal background checks during the hiring process for state jobs. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a decision siding with Texas and ruling that blanket bans against hiring those with criminal records could not be enforced against the state.
Starting January 2020, New Jersey employers will no longer be allowed to ask prospective employees about their salary history. Under the new law, Assembly Bill 1094, combined with the Diane B. Allen Pay Equity Act, New Jersey now has some of the strongest wage discrimination protections in the country.
The workplace is one of the many fronts of battle against the U.S. opioid epidemic. Employers need to be aware that workers suffering from addiction are protected under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, unless they’re currently using drugs illegally addition. In an interview with Bloomberg Law regarding best practices for managing the addiction in the workplace, Courtney Leyes explains that a “zero tolerance” approach may put employers at risk.
Margaret Burnham recently spoke with the Vancouver Business Journal regarding the Washington Supreme Court’s landmark decision that makes obesity a protected class under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD).
- Memphis Partner Advocates for Strong Policies, Common Sense to Avoid Both Harassment and Discrimination in the Workplace8.1.19
The #MeToo movement is driving some men to avoid women in the workplace and some companies to fear hiring women at all, recent research shows. In an interview with WMC-TV, partner Courtney Leyes advises companies to have and rely on strong workplace policies.
The NLRB has had a busy July, issuing rulings on bargaining orders, bonuses and violations of the National Labor Relations Act, to name a few. Law360 spoke with Steve Bernstein, partner and co-chair of the firm’s Labor Relations practice for a breakdown of these rulings.
The Washington State Supreme Court recently ruled that it is illegal to refuse to hire an obese individual if they are otherwise qualified for the job. While there are few laws that directly address obesity discrimination, states are taking different approaches to protecting a new class of Americans. HRDive covered this spreading shift in policy and spoke with Myra Creighton and Margaret Burnham on what employers should do to minimize the risk of litigation.
- Fisher Phillips Attorneys Selected by The National Black Lawyers to Top 100 and Top 40 Under 40 Lists7.31.19
CLEVELAND (July 31, 2019) - Cleveland partner Jazmyn Stover and associate Brittany Brantley have been recognized by The National Black Lawyers (NBL) for their success in and contributions to the legal community. Stover has been selected for inclusion in the 2019 Top 100 Lawyers List and Brantley has been selected for inclusion in the 2019 Top 40 Under 40 Lawyers List. The lists, published annually, honor the top 100 attorneys from each state and the top 40 attorneys under the age of 40 in each state who excel in their profession and promote diversity.
The NLRB has had a busy year, issuing several precedent-shifting ruling so far in 2019. In its roundup of the remaining cases before the NLRB, Law360 examines the issues at stake for employers.
Fisher Phillips, a national labor and employment law firm representing employers, announces the addition of attorneys Amanda N. Buchan, Ryan R. Jones, Radhika V. Mehta, Gulsah Senol and Eryne Walvekar who join as associates in its Seattle office.
As technology continues to advance into all facets of daily life, data security is an ever-increasing concern, and the workplace is no exception. While employee identification badges have been around for decades, employers are increasingly using other forms of biometric data, like fingerprint and palm print scans, facial recognition, iris scans and voice prints, to confirm identity for security purposes or to track employee attendance.
A new wave of lawsuits and regulatory actions could begin rolling into the local courts after the city of Chicago became the latest government to establish an ordinance setting new rules for how employers can schedule their workers. The Chicago City Council approved its new Fair Workweek Ordinance.
- Memphis Partner Says Clear Policies, Treating Women with Dignity Are Keys to Avoiding #MeToo and Discrimination Claims7.25.19
Recent research has shown that, as a result of the #MeToo movement, some male bosses may be more inclined to avoid one-on-one meetings with women in the workplace. This approach can put a company in a position of discriminating against female employees. In an interview with WREG-TV, partner Courtney Leyes explains that Title VII requires men and women to be treated the same in the workplace. Men who treat women with respect and dignity will not run a risk of either harassment or discrimination claims, and all companies should have clear policies and set well-defined expectations of acceptable workplace behaviors, she said.
The job market is tight and employers are looking to sweeten their benefits packages to attract and retain talent. In an article published by Quartz about the potential popularity of universal paid time off policies that aren’t specific to caregivers, attorney Cynthia Blevins Doll, says millennials are driving employers to consider a more agnostic approach to paid leave. “They are looking for any number of benefits that may or may not be because of caregiving responsibilities,” she says. “They like flexibility, they like flexible hours, they like paid time off.”
The DOL clarified that the time drivers spend in sleeper berths does not count as compensable time, unless they are actually performing work or are on call. The guidance is expected to be influential in court challenges on driver sleeper-berth pay issues. Andy Scott told Transportation Topics that these cases were just starting to gather strength.
The EEOC saw nearly 40,000 complaints of retaliation in 2018, the largest category of workplace mistreatment. To avoid becoming part of this statistic, Christine Howard spoke with Law360 on best practices for avoiding retaliation complaints. She recommends that employers be decisive.
SAN DIEGO (July 22, 2019) – Fisher Phillips, a national labor and employment law firm representing employers, announces the addition of Christopher Jevsevar as an associate in its San Diego office.
As the newly crowned world champion U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team members received their winners’ medals, chants of “equal pay!” reverberated through the stadium. While equal pay issues generally don’t garner worldwide attention, increasing attention is being shown to these issues across the United States.
Discrimination lawsuits stemming from the use of artificial intelligence are on the rise. With the lack of federal policy on how this technology can and should be used in the employment context, law firms like Fisher Phillips are filling the void for clients.
The NLRB relaxed the rules for employers to legally stop bargaining future labor contracts. In the Johnson Controls, Inc. decision, the NLRB upheld an employer’s right to suspend bargaining and serve notice within 90 days prior to CBA expiration of its desire to withdraw recognition from an incumbent union thereafter, upon receiving objective evidence that the union has actually lost majority support.
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill that would increase the minimum wage. Atlanta attorney, Caroline Brown, spoke with SHRM about how employers are likely to respond if the bill is eventually made law. According to Brown, some employers may offset the cost of a minimum-wage increase by cutting other benefits.
Bert Brannen, Atlanta Managing Partner and the Daily Report’s 2018 Best Mentor, co-authored an article for the Daily Report on the recent success of The Mentorship Academy of the State Bar of Georgia’s Labor & Employment Law Section and the importance of mentoring programs for up-and-coming attorneys.
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.”