Fisher Phillips in the News Archive
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.