The Ninth Circuit issued a decision in late April holding that an employer does not violate the federal Equal Pay Act by paying men and women differently for the same work where their starting pay was determined by their salaries in their previous jobs. The court applied a decades-old precedent in reaching its decision, one that is likely to have little impact on private sector employers in California but that might be helpful to employers elsewhere in the circuit.
"How much did you make at your last job?" While job candidates dread this question, employers relish it. A candidate's prior salary history provides employers with a better understanding of whether the candidate is worth pursuing and helps employers determine the current market value for comparable positions. Restricting this valuable information from employers would unnecessarily hamper their ability to compete in the free market, but that's exactly what the Illinois General Assembly is on track to do.
Across the country, plaintiffs’ attorneys are targeting restaurants, bars, and retail establishments to bring claims for technical violations of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It is not unusual for a single individual to file 200 to 300 ADA lawsuits in a relatively short period of time. Yet often this individual was never a patron of the targeted establishments. Instead, a disabled individual, or even just an attorney, can simply drive by for the express purpose of finding an ADA violation in order to file suit. These actions, known as “drive-by” lawsuits, are on the rise and are costing the hospitality industry millions of dollars per year.
Responding to years of pressure from union advocates and their allies, the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) has proposed a first-in-the-nation, industry-specific rule aimed at hotel housekeepers. If enacted, this proposal would greatly impact the industry in California (as well as operators who conduct business in multiple states including California). In addition, as California tends to lead the nation in employment and workplace safety standards, operators in other states should monitor this proposal closely - what happens in California may come to your state next!
Recent headlines about Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly have undoubtedly increased awareness regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. With the heightened interest amongst employees regarding workplace rights, metro Atlanta employers should brace themselves for more sexual harassment-related inquiries.
Recently, The Daily News ran a story regarding the U.S. Department of Labor’s current investigation of Google. Specifically, the government allegedly discovered “systemic compensation disputes” across Google’s workforce. The dispute in this case, as with most pay equity cases, is what constitutes “comparable work.”
On April 4, 2016, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the New York Paid Family Leave Benefits Law (PFLBL), guaranteeing job protected, paid family leave (PFL) for virtually all private sector employees, effective Jan. 1, 2018. These benefits fully phase in over a four-year period—by Jan. 1, 2021—and will increase annually in both maximum duration of leave and the amount of weekly paid benefits. New York will join California, Rhode Island and New Jersey as the four U.S. states providing PFL benefits. Unless other states act by 2021, New York will have the longest and most comprehensive PFL program in the country.
With ever-changing technology, employers must be more conscious than ever of protecting trade secrets and customer relationships when an employee decides to leave, especially if the departing employee is joining a competitive business or starting their own competing venture. When a top salesman or other key employee leaves, employers sometimes become frazzled and neglect to take steps to preserve and protect confidential information. By instituting the five simple steps outlined below, employers and their counsel can ensure they preserve and protect confidential information when the top dog decides to leave the company.
By now, nearly everyone has likely heard of the “Gig Economy” (aka the “Sharing Economy” or “On-Demand Economy,”) which consists of non-traditional “employment” arrangements in which individuals perform temporary assignments or “gigs” in exchange for payment. Gig Economy companies (Gig companies) essentially serve as digital platforms facilitating gigs between workers and customers seeking their services. The entire Gig Economy business model is based on the expectation that the individuals providing services to actual customers would be functioning like sole proprietors operating their own micro-businesses, much like independent contractors.
When it comes to a dealership’s legal liability for employment-related problems, the basis of the liability generally falls in two categories – actions the dealership took and those it failed to take. And, when it comes to big dollar jury awards and settlements, a dealership’s failure to take immediate and appropriate action generally is a more significant factor than the inappropriate conduct itself
In recent years, there has been an alarming rise in student-on-student sexual violence on college campuses across the nation. In fact, nearly one in four women are sexually assaulted while in college, according to a recent report by the Association of American Universities.
The 2016 election brought the discussion of paid family leave into millions of American households on a nationwide scale. In one of the most divisive presidential elections in recent history, both Republican Donald J. Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton supported paid family leave. During the campaign, Trump proposed a plan of six weeks of paid maternity leave for new mothers after childbirth. Clinton put forth a plan of 12 weeks of partially paid leave for men and women whether they become parents through pregnancy, surrogacy or adoption.
In deciding whether California's overtime laws apply to nonresident employees who spend full days or weeks working in the state, the California Supreme Court has previously held that the state's labor code applies to overtime work "performed in California." By focusing on the location of the work performed, the Supreme Court signaled the state's strong interest in enforcing its overtime laws for work performed within its borders without regard to either party's residence as controlling factors.
- Government Contractor Paid Leave Accrual - Does It Apply to Your Employees? And If So, What Does It Require?4.14.17
Regulations implementing Executive Order 13706, which requires affected employers to provide paid sick leave of up to 56 hours per year to certain employees, became effective on January 1, 2017. While it remains to be seen whether the Trump Administration will withdraw or modify the Executive Order and its implementing regulations, it has been in effect now for more than three months. Despite the effective date, many government contractors and subcontractors are not subject to the Order and regulations, and many others who potentially will be, are not currently affected.
President Donald Trump is expected to soon sign a Congressional resolution revoking one of several Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules vulnerable to the Congressional Review Act. In response to Dr. David Michaels' argument against Trump signing the resolution in an article previously published by Bloomberg BNA, Partner Edwin G. Foulke has written the following, suggesting that OSHA move away from an enforcement-driven model to a compliance assistance model to help improve safety in the workplace.
The Philadelphia Police Department is now enforcing its first-ever tattoo policy forbidding on-duty officers from having “offensive, extremist, indecent, racist, or sexist” tattoos. The policy, titled Directive 6.7, forbids head, face, neck, and scalp tattoos, effective March 1, 2017.
Since the election of President Donald Trump, the California Legislature has been vocal and active in efforts to resist announced or anticipated actions of the Trump administration. This includes efforts to make California a “sanctuary state,” measures to protect California’s environmental standards, legislative resolutions and statements against the travel ban and other Trump proposals, and actions to provide services and support to immigrants in California.
There is no greater area of business innovation than in the shared economy. Companies like Uber, AirBnB and Postmates are among the leaders in technical innovation and business strategy. At the heart of the shared economy is the creative way these entrepreneurs look at traditional business models. Uber is a car-driving company with no cars, AirBnB is a lodging company with no real estate and Postmates is a food delivery service that has no restaurants. Although the shared economy works in different industries, they share a common thread of using freelancers instead of employees.
- A new era of immigration enforcement is coming. Here’s how employers can follow the law, protect themselves, and support their workers.3.10.17
President Trump’s second attempt at a travel ban arrived this week, with provisions intended to prevent it from being blocked in court, as the first one was. On Wednesday, Hawaii became the first state to challenge the new immigration order in court, but there’s no sign Trump plans to relent. He has promised to increase the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) force by 15,000 officers, many of whom will be tasked with ensuring employers’ compliance with immigration law.