Multi-employer worksites are a frequent occurrence in the construction industry as employees from various companies often occupy the same site while a project is being completed. While the need for employees from different companies may be necessary to perform the various tasks required by a project, the presence of multiple employers, and their employees, on the same worksite can result in an increased risk of safety hazards.
The opioid crisis is having a significant impact on the workforce. For employers, the result can be lost productivity, increased absenteeism and positive drug tests, workplace theft, a greater risk of workplace injuries and higher healthcare costs.
Excavations and trenches have become so commonplace on work sites that some employers and employees have developed a sense of complacency with some of the most basic requirements of excavation safety.
In her bylined piece for The Recorder titled “Unlimited Paid Time Off Uncertainty: Is It Actually a Perk?,” Alyssa Graf discusses unlimited paid time off (PTO) policies, a new trend that is giving some employers uncertainty.
The U.S. economy is thriving. Unemployment is at a 49-year low, which is generally a good thing, but this can also be problematic, as eventually employers run out of people to do the work.
The gig economy’s emergence has led some states, including Tennessee, to enact laws that recognize independent contractor relationships when they comply with certain “marketplace platform” or “marketplace contractor” conditions.
In their bylined article for the Daily Journal titled “Supreme Court ruling is a cautionary tale to employers,” Los Angeles Regional Managing Partner Todd B. Scherwin and Associate Andrew J. Hoag examine the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Fort Bend County v. Davis. In its decision, the Court held that employers defending harassment claims under Title VII may waive a “potentially dispositive defense” if asserted too late.
New Jersey became the state with the most progressive pay equity statute in the nation when it passed the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act in July 2018. In the year since, several lawsuits have been filed under the Act and companies are still scrambling to comply with the new law.
Irvine Partner Usama Kahf and San Diego Partner David B. Monks, in their bylined article for Healthcare Business Today titled Recruiting the Recruiters: How California Employers Can Circumvent Employee Non-Solicitation Contracts,” look at the issue of employee recruiting and enforceability of employee non-solicitation contractual provisions.
- Fisher Phillips Attorneys Outline Key Components of an Anti-Discrimination Policy for Silicon Valley6.6.19
In their bylined article for the Silicon Valley Business Journal titled “Silicon Valley isn't just for young workers,” San Francisco Regional Managing Partner Jason A. Geller and Associate Vincent J. Adams break down California’s age discrimination laws and examine the issue in Silicon Valley.
Schools and universities remain in a state of flux with respect to their compliance obligations under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, especially concerning peer-to-peer sexual misconduct. Almost immediately after President Trump’s inauguration, Secretary DeVos rescinded Obama-era guidance on resolving complaints of peer-to-peer sexual assault. Those rules underwent a 60-day public comment period during which more than 100,000 comments were submitted.
The 2018 Colorado state elections paved the way for the 2019 legislature to pass six new employment bills; some of these pieces of legislation had been proposed in various forms in previous sessions but failed to pass – until now. Sue Schaecher outlines each of these new Colorado laws in her contributed article for ColoradoBiz.
Even when a company learns information submitted in an injury report to OSHA is incorrect, it is unlikely the company can stop a subsequent OSHA inspection. In an article for Rock Road Recycle, partners Travis Vance and Pam Williams explain precautionary steps companies should take to prevent erroneous reports from occurring in the first place.
With an increase in Immigration and Customs Enforcement workplace raids, confusing visa rules and a declining available workforce, employers face new barriers when hiring immigrants. In his bylined article appearing in IndustryToday, Memphis Regional Managing Partner David Jones states, “While it is clear that the status quo cannot stand, the situation is actually getting worse for employers.”
In her bylined piece for Hotel Executive titled “New Human Trafficking Training Requirement for California Hotels and Motels That Anyone Can Implement,” San Diego Associate Megan Walker examines the new California human trafficking training requirements for the state’s hotel and lodging industry. The new law requires hotel and motel employers in California to provide 20 minutes of human trafficking awareness training to all employees who may interact with or encounter victims. Employers must give the training by Jan. 1, 2020, to each new employee within six months of their employment, and then every two years thereafter.
Given the menagerie of terms, it is easy to see why some business owners are quite confused about what to do when they are asked to permit an animal in their place of business. Part of the confusion comes from the multitude of federal, state and local government laws on the topic.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines for preventing workplace violence in the healthcare and social services industries, issued in 2015, signaled the agency’s heightened focus on this area.
On March 7, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor announced its proposed regulations on overtime that would render more than 1 million new workers eligible for overtime pay. Coupled with a historically tight labor market, this new rule has the potential to place even greater strain on employers already struggling to attract and retain new talent for their respective workforces.
In their bylined article for Workforce titled “We’re Addicted to … Everything? How to Handle Digital Addictions in the Workplace,” Miranda Watkins and Sara Zimmerman explore how employers can manage digital addictions in the workplace. A digital addiction is a complete disruption to and dysregulation of the daily life of an individual through the use of electronic devices.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare and social service workers are nearly five times more likely to experience a serious workplace violence injury than employees in other industries.
In their bylined piece for SHRM titled “Sexual-Harassment Settlements: How to Comply with California’s New Rules,” Partner Annie Lau and Associate Bailey K. Bifoss examine the new California law on confidentiality in settlement agreements. The new law prohibits employers of any size from settling lawsuits using agreements that prevent the disclosure of facts regarding sexual assault, sexual harassment and workplace harassment or discrimination based on sex. The law took effect Jan. 1 of this year.
With the nationwide unemployment rate at 3.6 percent and a sizzling economy, the labor market is likely to get even tighter.
In a bylined article for MINING.com, Denver partner Christopher Peterson reviews the latest cases that are using – or challenging – the two-part interference test in Section 105(c)(1) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act.
In his byline article for Cascade Business News titled “Proposed Paid Family Leave Law Could Rattle Employers Statewide,” Portland Associate Stephen M. Scott reviews Oregon House Bill (HB) 3031, which as proposed would be one of the most aggressive paid family leave statutes in the country.
In just the past couple of decades, we’ve gone from desktop computers and mobile phones to laptops and smartphones. While technology has certainly changed the way we live, it has also changed the way we work.
In their bylined article for The Recorder titled “How Does the US Supreme Court’s LGBT Bombshell Resonate in California?,” Portland Partner Richard R. Meneghello, Boston Partner Jeffrey A. Fritz and Sacramento Of Counsel Benjamin M. Ebbink examine the Supreme Court’s decision to consider a trio of cases determining whether Title VII prohibits employment discrimination against LGBT workers.
Last year, the National Labor Relations Board’s new general counsel issued a memorandum to the agency’s regional offices providing guidance on a balancing test, which should be applied to work rules and policies, weighing an employer’s interest in maintaining the work rules against their effects on workers’ rights to engage in concerted activity.
Potential exposure for employers under the Kentucky Wages and Hours Act is tenfold higher than under the federal wage and hour law, the Fair Labor Standards Act.
For the past several years, there has been a steep increase in litigation in the hospitality industry brought under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and now a new twist is on the rise.
While it is impossible to accurately predict all possible instances of workplace violence, by being proactive, employers can take measures to minimize the risk of such occurrences. In a contributed article for Professional Safety, Houston partner Pamela Williams and Charlotte partner Travis Vance discuss steps employers can take to eliminate or reduce exposure to these potential hazards.
The H-1B visa is the most common visa classification for foreign students graduating from U.S. universities. However, only 65,000 can be granted in a fiscal year, and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service completed the lottery April 10
The eagerly anticipated ISO 45001 standard, developed with input from experts in more than 70 countries, provides a framework that helps businesses significantly enhance their safety and health performance, reduce workplace injuries and illnesses and dramatically improve employee productivity and quality.
In a bylined article for Risk Management magazine, Fisher Phillips partner, Ed Foulke, who is also president of Fisher Phillips Safety Solutions and former head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, explains the new ISO 45001 health and risk management safety standard.
In her bylined piece for The Recorder titled “Managing the Intersection of Union Contracts and Overtime Law: Court Provides Guidance,” Rebecca S. King examines the Ninth Circuit’s Curtis v. Irwin Industries decision, where the panel offered guidance to employers in complying with collective bargaining agreements while simultaneously applying potentially inconsistent definitions of California’s overtime law. However, Rebecca notes that this does not necessarily provide employers with an automatic reprieve from state law.
Federal child labor laws were passed to ensure that when young people work, the work they perform is safe and does not threaten their health, wellbeing, or educational opportunities.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s electronic recordkeeping regulation has had a tortured existence since its introduction in 2016. The relatively short regulation was accompanied by a preamble that attempted to explain what OSHA meant by the regulation, but appeared to add requirements not specifically mentioned in the actual regulation. In a bylined article for Construction Executive, Louisville partner Todd Logsdon outlines OSHA’s next steps, the current state of the law, and how construction executives should be prepare.
The Chevron deference doctrine, originated in the 1980s, gives federal agency regulators decision-making responsibility for “complex” matters within their specialized areas of expertise, rather than having those decisions made by judges who may not have sufficient knowledge to do so.
In recent years, Chicago employers have been faced with increasing minimum wages and employee benefits, such as required paid sick leave. Employers – especially those in the retail and restaurant industry – are now faced with a new hurdle: predictive scheduling.
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.