Bailey K. Bifoss stresses the importance of updating employee handbooks in her article for mg Magazine titled “Employee Handbooks: A Guide for Cannabis Employers.” Bailey discusses how the employee handbook helps establish a workplace culture and educates employees and managers alike on workplace policies and standards.
In early 2019, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in Rosenbach v. Six Flags Entertainment Corporation and provided plaintiffs and their attorneys new weapons against all private entities in Illinois that use biometric information – including employers.
In his bylined article for the Daily Journal titled “Will California pass legislation addressing the Dynamex ruling,” Sacramento Of Counsel Benjamin M. Ebbink looks at Assembly Bill 5, a proposed bill in California that would codify – and expand the reach of – the Dynamex Operations West v. Superior Court decision.
In their bylined article for Beverage Master titled “Crafting Marijuana Policies? Managing Employees in the Wake of Legalized Marijuana,” San Diego Partner Amy L. Lessa and Associate Nicole E. Stenoish discuss how craft breweries can comply with conflicting state and federal laws on marijuana.
- Columbus Partner Provides Direction for Establishing a “Zero-Tolerance” Workplace in a #MeToo Culture4.3.19
Although employers understand that employees expect them to do more than they have in the past to prevent workplace harassment, commitments to “zero tolerance” sometimes are vague, fueling misperceptions about how employers intend to respond to misconduct. A “one-size-fits-all” approach may lead to cynicism about the fairness of employers’ processes for handling complaints and can have a chilling effect on the reporting of workplace harassment.
Correctly handling an employee’s medical or mental condition, especially one that requires a gap in working, can be complicated and stressful for everyone involved, including the HR representative, well-meaning supervisors and the employee themselves.
While case law on website accessibility under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is still developing, lawsuits are on the rise. In a bylined article for The Federalist Society Review, Memphis attorney Greg Grisham explores the history of the ADA’s application to websites and how the courts are interpreting Title III cases.
- State Supreme Court Sets High Bar on Handling of Biometric Information, Writes Fisher Phillips Attorney4.1.19
The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act is the most stringent biometrics privacy law in the country. In a bylined article for Business Insurance magazine, Chicago attorney Franklin Wolf breaks down the law and explains how a recent ruling—Rosenbach v. Six Flags Entertainment Corp.—increases the risks of workplace violations for employers.
After considerable controversy and years of waiting, the U.S. Department of Labor released its proposed “overtime rule” in late March 2019. Though substantially higher than the current $455 minimum weekly salary required to sustain an overtime exemption, the proposed minimum salary threshold of $679 per week is not nearly as dramatic a change as the $913 minimum weekly salary that was set to take effect in 2016.
Grocery stores could be the next frontier for testing artificial intelligence in the workplace. “Marty” is a robot that can be found trolling grocery aisles, looking for spills, on alert of tripping hazards, and scanning shelves to check on product.
Fair workweek laws are one of the many hot button issues in employment law, and such laws are growing in popularity. Indeed, the state of Oregon and local jurisdictions, such as New York City, San Francisco, San Jose, Calif., and Seattle, have passed fair workweek regulations. Chicago employers should be aware that their city is not far behind with similar legislation.
In the interest of employee health, employers increasingly issue fitness-tracking devices to their employees. In 2018, 21 percent of those employers collected data from their employees’ wearable devices, up from 14 percent in 2017. Organizations concerned with employee privacy believe employers will utilize the information retrieved from fitness trackers inappropriately.
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act has been interpreted not only to require that businesses’ brick-and-mortar facilities be accessible to people with disabilities, but that their websites also must be accessible to these individuals.
In his bylined article for Cascade Business News titled “The Madness of March in the Workplace,” Portland Associate Alexander A. Wheatley calls March Madness the most sustained workday distraction of the year, indicating it can be a worrying time for employers.
The U.S. Supreme Court took an unusual step in vacating a 2018 decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit because the judge who authored the opinion, and was part of the majority in the precedent-setting ruling, died before the decision was published. The high court reversed a landmark pay equity ruling that held employers could not justify wage differentials between men and women by relying on previous salary information.
Recent cases in New Jersey have emphasized the need for employers to revisit their policies when drafting and enforcing arbitration agreements, said Christopher Capone in his article published by The New Jersey Law Journal.
Claims of sexual harassment in the workplace have spiked in recent days. This is, in large part, thanks to movements like #MeToo and Time's Up. In a bylined article for Compliance & Ethics Professional, Louisville Of Counsel Katherine Garbarino tackles workplace sexual harassment during the #MeToo and Time's Up movements.
Under the Trump administration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) significantly increased its worksite enforcement actions against employers during 2018. From October 2017 through mid-July 2018, ICE opened 6,093 worksite investigations and made 675 criminal and 984 administrative worksite-related arrests.
- Denver Managing Partner Explains that Labor Concerns Need Not Deter Transit Agencies’ Use of Partial Automation3.6.19
Fear of labor disputes is a key factor in transit agencies’ hesitation to implement partial automation, according to the Federal Transit Administration. With careful planning, however, labor concerns can be easily addressed, allowing transit agencies to take advantage of partial automation technologies to save money, augment safety and enhance efficiencies, Denver Managing Partner Mike Greco writes in Metro magazine.
New Jersey recently expanded the state’s leave laws to permit employees job-protected leave for a variety of new reasons. The law also expands available state-provided, income-replacement benefits.
In her bylined piece for Workspan titled “Five Things to Consider When Conducting Workplace Harassment Investigations,” San Diego attorney Sharlene Koonce says there is no one-size-fits-all approach to investigating harassment claims but that investigators usually consider five items when conducting investigations. According to Sharlene, the first step is to assess if there is any risk immediate danger to an employee and provide interim protection for the alleged victim.
The number of violent events, some involving disgruntled employees, demonstrates that violence in the workplace is an increasingly problematic issue that employers must learn to effectively minimize and work to prevent. This is important in the construction industry where there is interaction with the public, open jobsites, high turnover and the added responsibility of working with dangerous products and equipment.
In his bylined article for Business Law News, Adam Sloustcher stresses the importance of conducting adequate investigations of workplace-related incidents for employers in the sports industry.
Drug-related deaths have reached staggering levels in the past few years, and employers are not immune to effects of this ever-growing problem. In his bylined article for Kentucky SHRM, Paul Goatley educates employers on how to combat the use of drugs or alcohol in the workplace.
For the second article in its two-part series on the top employment law issues that employers face in the hospitality industry, Law360 returned to Andria Ryan for practical guidance. In her article, Andria takes a closer look at which EEO laws apply to hospitality employers, and examines workplace harassment, employees with disabilities, accommodations, transgender employees, health and safety issues, and regulatory trends.
Lawsuits over non-compliant websites with the Americans with Disabilities Act are on the rise.
For the first of its two-part article series on the top employment law issues that employers face in the hospitality industry, Law360 turned to Andria Ryan for practical guidance. In the first article, Andria explores the special employment-related challenges like wage and hour exemption misclassification, record-keeping, employing minors, tip credits and tip pooling, as well as overtime and classifying independent contractors and interns.
In their bylined piece for The Recorder titled “California Court Ushers in Sweeping Changes for Scheduling Policies,” Los Angeles Partner Shaun J. Voigt and San Francisco associates Aaron D. Langberg and Anthony Guzman discuss the recent California Court of Appeal decision in Ward v. Tilly’s, Inc. The decision states that California employers who require employees to call in two hours before a shift are now obligated to pay the employee for two hours of work even if the employee is informed that there is no need to come in to work that day.
As vehicles become increasingly automated, new technology is giving rise to new partnerships, including those with telecommunications and technology companies.
M&A in the fashion and luxury goods industry remains in style this year, but brands should keep key labor, employment and personnel issues front of mind during the due diligence period.
- Fisher Phillips Attorneys in Louisville Offer Insights into Achieving Diversity at the Law Firm Partnership Level2.14.19
Nationally, many law firms have struggled to achieve gender and racial diversity at the partnership level. Writing for Louisville Bar Association’s Bar Briefs magazine, partner Cynthia Doll and associate Ashby Angell highlighted relevant statistics that underscore the issue and suggested ways firms can encourage and advance diversity.
A San Francisco-based brewery recently received notice that its workers intended to try to form a union. As the largest craft brewer thus far to receive such a petition, the question has been raised: is this a recipe for the unionization of the craft brewing industry? In a Craft Brewing Business article, Denver associate Micah Dawson outlines the current status of the industry, and provides tips on how brewery employers should proceed when workers want union representation.
A recent Fifth Circuit Court opinion reminds employers of the Title VII mandate which states they should take reasonable steps to protect employees once they are aware of abusive behavior or harassment by a patient.
Safety professionals are often engaged by attorneys to work as expert witnesses to help the attorney make certain technical arguments at trial or understand technical issues in a case.
- HR Executive Features Fisher Phillips Attorney’s Step-by-Step Guide to Conducting a Pay Equity Audit2.7.19
In a bylined article for HR Executive, Cheryl Pinarchick, Co-Chair of the Fisher Phillips Pay Equity Practice Group, provides a step-by-step guide for employers conducting a pay equity audit to identify and remedy gender disparities in their organizations.
Jeffrey Smith is a partner who works with employers on their employee benefits programs, including the employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA. He reminds clients that the “E” in ERISA stands for employee, not employer.
In her bylined article for the San Diego Daily Transcript titled “Five workplace law predictions for 2019,” Darcey Groden previews five workplace law issues that employers can expect in 2019.
In their bylined piece for Seattle Business Magazine titled “Paid Sick Leave Traps,” Seattle partners Stephanie Alexander and Catharine Morisset examine Washington state’s Paid Sick Leave Act, one year after taking effect.
- Philadelphia Attorneys Author on Changing Legal Landscape for Enforcing Restrictive Covenants in U.S.2.1.19
With recent activity surrounding requirements for and enforcement of restrictive covenants in U.S. state legislatures, now is a good time for employers to take a fresh look at how they are using non-competes. In their article for Risk and Compliance, Chris Stief, co-chair of the Fisher Phillips Employee Defection and Trade Secrets practice, and Lauren Cell, attorney in the firm’s International Employment practice, explore why using a one-size-fits all approach may expose employers to legal and financial risk.
In his bylined piece for The Recorder titled “Déjà Vu All Over Again? Pair of Vetoed #MeToo Proposals Re-Introduced in the California Legislature,” Sacramento Of Counsel Benjamin M. Ebbink discusses California Assembly Bills 170 and 171, two #MeToo-inspired bills that have been reintroduced in the legislature after being vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2018.
Every public accommodation serving customers should ask itself this question: Is my business accessible to customers with disabilities in compliance with Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act? In an authored article for Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Chicago managing partner Steve Miller and associate Scott Fanning explain the increased use of 'surf-by' web accessibility lawsuits.
Companies hiring new employees face a daunting array of legal requirements and concerns. Although the law’s application differs from employer to employer, most organizations can ensure success for both themselves and their new hires by giving careful thought to a few key matters.
In their bylined piece for Hotel Management titled “How to avoid workplace retaliation claims,” Los Angeles Partner Nathan Okelberry and Associate Rayan Naouchi discuss the increase in workplace retaliation claims and how employers can avoid these claims altogether. Nathan and Rayan encourage employers to ensure they have strong anti-retaliation and whistleblower protection policies in place.
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits public places, like restaurants and retail stores, from discriminating against disabled persons with the goods and services they offer – even online.
In her bylined article for Autonomous Vehicle Technology titled “The liability hot potato: who’s to blame in the age of autonomous vehicles?,” Anet Drapalski discusses potential liability for employers who own or lease AVs for employee travel or business purposes.
- Denver Partner Says Labor Concerns Need Not Stand in the Way of Transit Agencies Implementing Autonomous Vehicles1.16.19
Transit agencies often point to labor relations as a barrier to implementing autonomous vehicles. Those concerns are more of a mole hill than a mountain, however, Denver partner Mike Greco writes in Mass Transit.
Voters in Michigan have now given recreational marijuana its first toehold in the traditional Midwest, as the movement has moved from the coasts and mountains. With an expected 300,000 U.S. jobs in the marijuana industry by 2021, employers need to understand their potential obligations under the NLRA and the employees’ potential right to join unions.
In what is becoming an annual warning, lawsuits under the Fair Credit Reporting Act are again on the rise. Whether brought against consumer reporting agencies for reporting inaccurate or outdated information or employers for failing to satisfy disclosure and notice requirements, FCRA litigation increased by 4 percent from 2017.
Laws and regulations related to tip-pooling were ever-changing in 2018. It is important to understand the background of the tip rule changes to get a better grasp on the current state of the law and what the restaurant industry can expect moving forward.