Brett Owens of the Tampa office wrote the article “Time’s Up, Florida: Creating Workplaces Free from Sexual Harassment and Retaliation” for HR Florida Review.
Rob Ratton of the Memphis office authored the article “Guest Column: Despite DOJ, Court Rules Transgender Discrimination Violates Federal Law” featured in the Memphis Business Journal.
Earlier this year, Vermont legislators introduced House Bill 556, an outright ban on noncompetes and any other restrictive covenant that restrains an individual’s livelihood. This legislative overhaul of Vermont restrictive covenant law is one of several state-level reform efforts proposed in the wake of the White House’s 2016 “call to action” for state restrictive covenant reform. Indeed, since the call to action, over a dozen state legislatures from across the country have proposed and enacted legislation reforming employers’ use of restrictive covenants. As more and more states answer the “call” and alter an already inconsistent legal landscape, employers who use restrictive covenants should review their agreements to ensure compliance with the states’ laws in which they operate.
Collin Cook and Bailey Bifoss authored the California Constructor Magazine article “Building Workplace Culture on a Solid Foundation in the #Metoo Era.”
- Acquiring Workers Through Agencies or Other Third Parties Does Little To Reduce the Risk of Potential Legal Claims of Harassment5.30.18
In the Houston Medical Journal article “Acquiring Workers Through Agencies or Other Third Parties Does Little To Reduce the Risk of Potential Legal Claims of Harassment,” Lariza Hebert discusses the implications of the joint employer relationship when harassment claims occur.
Mike Greco authored the article “8 Tips to Prevent Autonomous Vehicle Cyber Breach Liability” published in Automotive iQ.
It is no secret American workers are falling behind when it comes to saving for retirement. Currently, the retirement system does not provide opportunities for employees working for small business or as independent contractors to take advantage of employer-sponsored retirement plans. As an increasing number of workers continue to join the gig economy, it is imperative for lawmakers and regulators to create a new retirement system that allows for freelancers and individuals working for multiple businesses to easily save for retirement. Although the American workforce is changing, the traditional retirement system does not yet present an option for the evolving workforce. Gig workers are currently not entitled to enjoy a traditional employer-based retirement plan because such plans are subject to stringent rules and only permitted to cover employees and not independent contractors.
Samantha Monsees authored the Kansas City Star article “‘Ban the box’ Rewrites Some Employer Rules.” In this article, Samantha provides suggestions on how Kansas City employers should modify their hiring practices to comply with the new “ban the box” ruling.
- Emergence of the Healthcare Industry as the Country’s Largest Employer Presents New Challenges and Considerations for Employers4.30.18
Lariza Hebert authored the Houston Medical Journal article “Emergence of the Healthcare Industry as the Country’s Largest Employer Presents New Challenges and Considerations for Employers”.
Sam Lillard was recently published in the Columbus Bar Association’s Legal Connections on “A Changing Pay Equity Landscape.” This article reviews the federal and state laws that prohibit pay discrepancies based on sex.
Raul Zermeno authored the article “California Appellate Court Expands Law on Rest Period Pay for Commission-Based Employees,” which appeared in the Winter Edition of San Diego Dealer. In this article, Raul examines the outcomes of several cases that involved commission-based employees such as sales people. The ruling in the Vaquaro v. Stoneledge Furniture LLC, case from last year set the precedent that employees who are paid strictly by commissions must be compensated for legally required rest periods, but did not determine what method of pay would be best for this.
Sarah Moore of the Cleveland office authored the article “Landmark Ruling Finds That Transgender Discrimination Violates Federal Anti-bias Law” featured in Crain’s Cleveland Business.
Martin Thompson from the Memphis office authored an article that was published in HR Professionals Magazine.
Steve Loewengart authored the article “The Rise of Love Contracts: Workplace Relationships in a Post #MeToo Era” featured in Ohio Matters Magazine. In a post #MeToo era it has become necessary for employers to establish and promote clear policies on office romances.
Alden Parker authored the article “NLRB Curses Restaurants with Unworkable Joint-Employer Test—For Now” featured in QSR Magazine.
David Lichtenberg of the New Jersey office wrote the article “What’s to Come from the Governor’s Desk Re: Employment” featured in the New Jersey Law Journal. In this article, David informs us on Phil Murphy’s legislative agenda as New Jersey’s new governor. Governor Murphy’s first executive order focused on employment, prohibiting state agencies from asking job applicants about their salary histories. He has also pledged to raise the minimum wage, combat the opioid crisis, legalize recreational marijuana and make statewide paid sick leave a top priority.
In Lanette Suarez’s article, “Overly Technical Violations and the Rise of FCRA Class Actions” featured in the Daily Business Review, she discusses the increase of class action suits based on technical violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Lanette provides instruction on how employers can avoid lawsuits and ensure compliance with FCRA.
- International Trade Secret Dispute in Ultrasound Industry Results in Worldwide Injunction and $5.6 mm in Damages3.12.18
Verasonics, Inc. recently prevailed in an international trade secret dispute involving a South Korean company, Alpinion Medical Systems Co., Ltd. Verasonics is a privately held company based out of the state of Washington that provides cutting edge ultrasound devices and technology to medical researchers. Verasonics is a leader in the research ultrasound market. It has advanced ultrasound devices with unique features and technology that make them especially suitable for research purpose
A widely unknown consequence of employment-related lawsuits is the potential for individual liability on behalf of managers. While managers are not liable under every employment law, and many laws actually protect managers from individual liability, there are a vast number of common and statutory laws which can impart individual liability. Claims asserting individual liability can put managers in a terrible position of having to personally defend themselves in a lawsuit, which could mean paying defense costs and attorneys' fees (and exposing their personal assets, like their home, car and bank accounts).
Candice Pinares-Baez and Lisa McGlynn recently authored the article “Ensuring Your Healthcare Website is Accessible to Everyone” featured in Florida Health Industry Communications. In this article, Candice and Lisa explain that according to Title III of the ADA, healthcare companies need to do more than ensure patients can physically access their facilities.
Danielle Moore, Bailey Bifoss, and Christopher Conti authored the article “’Labor Peace’ Agreements Unlikely to Give Employers Peace” featured in MG Magazine. This article explains the “labor peace agreement” cannabis employers have been using in their business.
- Is OSHA’s New Silica Rule Dust in the Wind? Likely not. Court Rejects Several Challenges to the New Standard3.1.18
Travis Vance authored the Rock Road Recycle article “Is OSHA’s New Silica Rule Dust in the Wind? Likely not. Court Rejects the Several Challenges to New Standard.” After OSHA published the new, strict Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica Rule limiting worker exposure to crystalline silica, it faced challenges.
The article “Moving From #Metoo to #Allofus: Stopping Sexual Harassment by Redefining Workplace Culture” written by Wendy McGuire Coats and Sharlene Koonce was published in the Contra Costa Lawyer. In this article, Wendy and Sharlene define what sexual harassment is under California law and who is protected. They stress the importance of creating effective policies and protocols as well as training leaders in the workplace to build more civilized workplaces.
Wendy McGuire Coats’ article “Kick the A**holes Out of the Kitchen” is featured in the Women Chefs & Restaurateurs Legal Bites. Wendy aims to promote change in the restaurant industry by introducing two resources, Brené Brown’s “Daring Greatly Leadership Manifesto,” and Robert I. Sutton’s “The No A**hole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t.” These two pieces of work are meant to help build a new culture in the workplace and purge them of unwanted behaviors and misconduct.
Rich Meneghello authored the article “OP-ED: Just (Don’t) Do It: A Warning Against ‘Cat’s Paw’ Retaliation” that ran in the Daily Journal of Commerce. In this article, Rich provides background information on the recent retaliation claim against Nike that was revived using the legal concept, the “cat’s paw” theory. In this claim, a worker filed for wrongful termination due to his whistleblowing that safety standards were not being met.
Michael Avila from the Philadelphia office authored the response to Law.com’s “Question of the Week.” The question for this week was “My company is moving employees from the U.S. to Europe. How will that change the amount of leave and pay they receive when they have or adopt a child?” Michael informed them that among other things, the employee will receive the benefits that other employees in the local jurisdiction are entitled to.
David Monks authored the article “So, You Think You Have a Strong Severance Agreement?” featured in HR Daily Advisor. This article discusses the important factors that all Human Resource managers should consider before asking an employee to sign a severance agreement. For a severance agreement to be effective, he recommends giving the employee a sufficient amount of time to evaluate the release agreement and clearly state that the employee can file claims with government agencies. Lastly employers should prepare a severance package, fulfilling the needs of the adequate consideration requirement in the agreement.
Louisville Business First published the article “GUEST COMMENT: Encouraging a Culture of Civility and Empathy at Work” by Thomas Birchfield, the managing partner of the Louisville office. In this article Tom explains how “A civil and empathetic workforce would undeniably enhance the bottom line and go a long way towards making our workplaces better for everyone.”
Wendy McGuire Coats and Megan Walker co-wrote the article “Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance” that was featured in the Daily Journal’s “Top Verdicts” supplement. This article discusses the importance of preparing for appellate litigation at the trial stage.
Kevin Troutman’s article “Plaintiff’s Turning “Whistleblower” Shield Into a Sword – How to Protect Your Hospital” was featured in Houston Medical Journal. Kevin explains that according to a broad provision within Texas Health and Safety Code (THSC) legitimate whistleblowers are protected against retaliation if they report a violation of the law. This statute could create an opportunity for exploitation by employees and pose a burden to employers.
Corey Goerdt authored the article “Lessons from the WayMo v. Uber trade Secrets Trial” featured in Law Week Colorado. This article discusses the surprising business partnership that resulted from the WayMo vs. Uber trial. Under the terms of the settlement, Waymo dropped its claim of Uber stealing proprietary information when hiring former Waymo employees, including engineer Anthony Levandowski. Corey provides insight on how to avoid trade secret litigation when employees depart and the importance of taking preventive action when acquiring new talent, especially from a competitor.
Art Lambert’s article “Worker Classification Questions Remain Post-GrubHub Win” was featured in Law360. He discusses the recent ruling in favor of the employer in the hotly contested and closely watched California case, Lawson v. GrubHub Inc. that came out on February 8, 2018.
Todd Scherwin and Andrew Hoag’s article “GrubHub Driver Found to Be Independent Contractor, Not Employee” was featured on the SHRM website. In the article, they discuss the Lawson v. GrubHub recent ruling and its impact on employers.
The Columbus Bar Association and Columbus Business First featured the article “Workplace Relationships in a Post #MeToo Era” authored by Steve Loewengart. He suggests that employers review and update their sexual harassment policies in light of current attitudes.
Danielle Moore and Megan Walker authored the Daily Journal article “Workplace Romance in the Age of #MeToo.” With Valentine’s Day around the corner, Danielle and Megan revisit policies surrounding consensual romantic relationships in the workplace. In this article, they discuss different forms of sexual harassment, along with workplace romance and its complications.
Nathan Okelberry's article "Protect Your Business From "Surf-By" Lawsuits" was featured in Small Business Today." The article discusses the increase of lawsuits against businesses alleging their websites are not accessible by individuals with disabilities and violate the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") or its equivalent state law. These lawsuits are even more frustrating than typical ADA lawsuits alleging physical barriers at a business location.
Rich Meneghello, Adam Bridgers and Ben Ebbink’s article “Champing at the Bit: Can You Pay Your Workers in Bitcoin?” was featured in YOUNGUPSTARTS. In the article, they discuss the upside and downside of paying employees using Bitcoin. They also provide solutions for employers to overcome the potential downside. In addition, they provide additional insight on what an employer needs to consider before using this type of payment method for their employees.
Michael Marra authored the New York Law Journal article “New York Employers: The Governor Has a Few Ideas You Might Not Like…” In the article, he discusses the nearly two dozen policy and legislative proposals he unveiled in early January.
Tony Dick’s article “Love in the Workplace: The Rise of 'Love Contracts' in the #MeToo Era” was featured in Crain’s Cleveland Business. With a heightened focus on sexual harassment in the wake of the burgeoning #MeToo movement, it is more important than ever that employers have a plan in place to properly address dating in the workplace.
Christine Howard’s article “Workplace Sexual Harassment: More HR Guidance Needed” was featured in Risk Management Monitor. Smart employers are planning and training now to reduce sexual harassment to mitigate risk, and therefore, potential damage claims affecting executives and employees across employer ranks.
David Jones’ article “Is Your Foreign National’s Job 'Special' Enough for an H-1B?” was featured in The Business Journals. This article discusses the stricter requirements for H-1B visas and suggests ways companies can increase their approval.
Mathew Parker’s article “Labor and Employment Law Predictions for 2018” was featured in the January/February issue of Ohio Matters Magazine. With President Trump in the White House and Republican control of Congress, employers will see continued deregulation at the federal level and an uptick in state and local-level protections.
Pamela Williams and Lariza Hebert authored the article “The Impact of the #MeToo Movement on the Healthcare Industry: #MeToo Movement” featured in the Houston Medical Journal. Due to increased media exposure related to the #MeToo movement, employers are noticing a spike in sexual harassment reports.
Joshua Nadreau authored the Back Bay Patch article “Avoid Snap Judgments When Using Snapchat to Recruit Millennials.”
Jeff Smith’s article “Adviser: New Tax Law Provides Credit for Paid Employee Leave” was featured in Crain’s Cleveland Business. Jeff provides insight into the Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TCJA) which was recently passed and signed into law by President Trump on December 22.
Charles Caulkins's article, "Quartet of Momentous Labor Board Decisions Spells New Day for Employers Everywhere," was featured in the Daily Business Review. The National Labor Relations Board issued four major decisions that will impact workplace law. After eight years of a pro-union labor board, employers are happy to know that balance is being restored to labor and employment law.
The article, “‘M,’ ‘F,’ or ‘X’? Nonbinary Gender Designations in the Workplace,” authored by Cheryl Behymer, Janet Henrick and Richard Meneghello was featured in Law Week Colorado. Cheryl, Janet and Rich discuss the next step in the 21st-century gender revolution which is “nonbinary” status in the workplace — that is, neither male nor female and employees’ preference to be treated as such.
Katherine Sandberg's article, "AB 1008: Restriction on Criminal History Inquiries," was featured in the Daily Journal. The article discusses Assembly Bill 1008 that prohibits employers with five or more employees from inquiring into an applicant's criminal history until they make a conditional offer of employment.
The article “Opinion: New Tax Law May Hold Surprise For Employers” authored by Bert Brannen was featured MYAJC.COM. He discusses one of the far-reaching provisions of The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R.1) which is the paid leave credit that will directly impact employers and workplace law.