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  • 7.31.20

    Supreme Court decisions are often the most challenging pieces of legal guidance to understand. They are rarely straightforward and usually contain so much analysis that it becomes hard to get to the bottom of what was actually decided. Moreover, reports from general media outlets often neglect to provide any practical advice about what employers can take from the rulings. That’s why the Fisher Phillips review of this year’s Supreme Court term will simplify the workplace law decisions and boil them down into easy-to-understand summaries.

  • 7.31.20

    In recent years, gamification has risen up the leaderboards as a corporate learning technique. Companies across the country are embracing gamification in their employee training, recruitment, and engagement. But as an employer, before you try to unlock an achievement by gamifying your workplaces, you should think critically about whether your designs, implementation, and data collection plans are in compliance with labor and employment laws.

  • 7.31.20

    Employers in the healthcare industry are no strangers to change. After all, you are constantly adapting to cutting-edge medical technologies to improve and expand patient care, reform health inequities, advance care coordination and continuity, facilitate data analysis for diagnosis and treatment, and harmonize advanced levels of care across the country. Nonetheless, in hasty response to the pandemic, the industry is experiencing a profusion of advanced technologies now more than ever. These primarily include the unparalleled resurgence of telehealth as well as complex advancements to the nuanced roles of artificial intelligence, analytics, and biometrics to improve integrity of electronic health records (EHR), including migration to a cloud-based platform. In today’s unpredictable and volatile COVID-19 environment, it is critical that you not only confront but embrace this advent of technology through continued employee education and training.

  • 7.31.20

    With all of the uncertainty facing the healthcare community in light of the current pandemic, the ability of hospitals and other healthcare facilities to be flexible when managing employees is of the utmost importance. To that end, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has recently opened the door for hospitals and other healthcare providers to revisit previously approved religious accommodations based on their rapidly and ever-changing needs.

  • 7.31.20

    As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the healthcare industry is understandably fraught with unease and uncertainty. This, coupled with the ubiquity of social media, creates challenges for healthcare providers facing public criticism. What follows are guidelines for healthcare employers tasked with responding to negative social media posts made by patients, employees, and vendors/contractors.

  • 7.31.20

    You have probably seen a lot of coronavirus news alerts lately, but as a car dealer, you already know that germs are not the only things that can cause headaches. Virus or no virus, the law is still going to change and mandate new responsibilities for you and your business. Here are five recent legal developments that could affect your dealership that you might have missed:

  • 7.31.20

    Last month, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) gave car dealers welcome news. In an opinion letter interpreting the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the DOL found that incentive payments paid directly by the manufacturer to dealership sales consultants – commonly referred to as “spiffs” – could be used to satisfy a dealership’s minimum wage obligations. 

  • 7.31.20

    It’s hard to keep up with all the recent changes to labor and employment law. While the law always seems to evolve at a rapid pace, there have been an unprecedented number of changes for the past few years—and this past month was no exception.

  • 7.2.20

    An increasing number of employees identify their gender as nonbinary. “Nonbinary” includes people who do not identify their gender within the binary of male or female. Nonbinary identification and expression may include individuals who blend elements of being a man or a woman, be different than either male or female, not identify with any gender, or whose gender may change over time.

  • 7.2.20

    It’s hard to keep up with all the recent changes to labor and employment law. While the law always seems to evolve at a rapid pace, there have been an unprecedented number of changes for the past few years—and this past month was no exception.

  • 7.2.20

    In Leaders Eat Last, Simon Sinek says “The ability of a group of people to do remarkable things hinges on how well those people pull together as a team.” And anyone who has managed employees can appreciate that varying management techniques is a necessity when working with individuals from diverse backgrounds who have varying personalities, strengths, and weaknesses.

  • 7.2.20

    As hotels, resorts, casinos and restaurants re-open, there are challenges around every corner. The industry has weathered many storms, from terrorist threats to major weather events. A worldwide pandemic is a new challenge. Re-opening plans must comply with local, state, and federal orders and guidelines, provide for a safe environment for employees and guests, and maintain enough flexibility to operate. Every location must reimagine processes and develop (and enforce) protocols, procedures and policies. Here’s a four-step process for safely bringing your employees back to work.

  • 7.2.20

    Hospitality employers face some of the strictest workplace safety requirements intended to address the COVID-19 pandemic under state, county, and or even city requirements. These include mandates for employee pre-shift symptom checks or even temperature checks. Even where not mandated, many guest service providers chose to adopt these procedures. Such requirements trigger a panoply of workplace legal issues.  

  • 7.2.20
  • 7.2.20

    The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division deftly tackled decades of confusion regarding which establishments might have employees meeting the FLSA’s 7(i) overtime exemption for certain commission-paid employees. Even if your establishment traditionally has been considered retail (and still likely would be), your practices probably could use a checkup.

  • 7.2.20

    The U.S. Department of Labor’s final regulations addressing the FLSA’s fluctuating workweek (FWW) method reminded us that (1) legal principles control and (2) illustrative examples merely demonstrate application. The agency still managed to promulgate a rule that includes some arguably unnecessary requirements beyond the regular rate principles though, which means employers not wanting to fight an uphill battle should treat these requirements as more than just best practices.

  • 5.29.20

    While you have been primarily focused on COVID-19-related matters for the past few months, that doesn’t mean the world of labor and employment law has taken a timeout. While the pace of new developments has slowed somewhat, there are still workplace law updates you need to know about. Are you thirsting to read about some news that’s not related to face masks, reopening your business, or contact tracing? Here is a summary of the top stories you might have missed over the past month.

  • 5.29.20

    As the COVID-19 pandemic swept over the world, an unlikely phenomenon swept the United States. While new terms like “social distancing” and “essential employees” suddenly became part of the common lexicon, a surprising phrase also emerged: “Tiger King.”  

  • 5.29.20

    It’s Monday morning. Your employee receives a phone call from the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) asking them to immediately wire funds to an off-shore bank account. That phone call is followed by an email and a text message from the CRO’s cell phone asking for the status of the request. The employee complies with this somewhat unusual but urgent instruction.

  • 5.29.20

    Summer is almost here, and it is time for employers to focus on heat-related hazards. As Alan Jackson once sang, “that sun is hot and that old clock is moving slow, and so am I.” Employers may be wise to heed Alan’s advice and instruct their employees to move a little slower, take a few more breaks, and hydrate more often given the potential additional risk posed by face coverings used in the workplace to combat COVID-19.

  • 5.29.20

    The recent documentary “The Last Dance,” chronicling Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls’ dynasty of the 1990’s, brought much-needed nostalgia to a sports-deprived world. It featured the remarkable accomplishments of arguably the greatest sports icon of our time, as well as the challenges he and his team faced and often overcame. It also, however, put on full display the impact that one person can have on an organization’s culture and morale. 

  • 5.29.20

    The Department of Labor (DOL), in coordination with the IRS and the Treasury Department, recently issued new rules extending key deadlines for health, retirement, and welfare plans subject to ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code. Per a HHS memorandum released May 14, non-federal governmental plans are encouraged, but not required, to adopt the notice extensions. The deadline extensions contained in Notice 2020-01 and Final Rule 85 FR 26351 are intended to provide relief to plan sponsors and participants impacted by COVID-19. However, the significant flexibility provided to participants under these extensions give rise to administrative complexities that employers will likely consider burdensome, time consuming, and costly.

  • 5.29.20

    Given the uncertainty surrounding the spread of COVID-19, efforts to contain it, and ever-changing health and safety guidelines, schools need to act quickly to address not only the current situation but also the new challenges which are to come once schools are permitted to re-open their classrooms. When responding to these new challenges, schools need to be careful with both their unionized or non-union workforces to not run afoul of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and other laws prohibiting retaliation for an employee’s “protected activity.” Below we provide some practical guidance for schools on how to avoid labor law violations when confronting employees who refuse to return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • 5.29.20

    The Washington Post recently published an article with the headline: “As workplaces reopen, coronavirus could unleash an ‘avalanche’ of lawsuits over family leave and discrimination.” Inside counsel who fail to heed this prediction may soon find themselves mired in expensive and time-consuming litigation.

  • 5.14.20

    Employers everywhere should be well-versed in the main federal civil rights laws, offering protection to your employees and applicants from workplace discrimination based on age, disability, sex, gender, religion, race, and national origin. However, these statutes are not all-inclusive. There are a few traits and attributes of the human race that are not expressly included, including the weight of an employee or applicant. However, things may be changing when it comes to the way that the law protects individuals based on their size. You should pay particular attention to this evolving state of the law, as it may soon (or may already) require you to change your policies and practices.

  • 5.14.20

    Various factors have created a workplace phenomenon that is both underreported and underestimated: an aging workforce and increasing incidence of age discrimination. As people in this country are living longer, the cost of living continues to rise, and the pension model nears extinction, many older Americans continue to work well into their 70’s. 

  • 5.14.20

    Have you ever received a report that one of your employees is feeling bullied at work? If so, you are not alone. According to a recent Monster survey, some 90% of workers believe they have been bullied at work. That is an alarming figure, and it highlights the fact that bullying is an issue your H.R. department must be equipped to address.

  • 5.14.20

    When the Families First Coronavirus Response Act took effect on April 1 to address the COVID-19 pandemic, your dealership may very well have had to change the way it does business. This new federal law includes many provisions which may apply to your dealership, such as paid sick leave for employees impacted by COVID-19 and those serving as caregivers for individuals with COVID-19. Two of the most significant provisions remain in effect as you begin the process of planning your reopening strategy.

  • 5.14.20

    Over the past several weeks – or months, depending on where you are located – dealerships have had to quickly respond to challenges stemming from the COVID-19 outbreak. From closing sales departments, to working with employees who have contracted the virus or believe they have contracted the virus, we know things have been hectic.

  • 5.14.20

    As members of the healthcare industry, some of you may be aware of a situation where an aging physician whose physical or cognitive impairments (that went unnoticed or simply ignored) led to an unfavorable, or possibly catastrophic, patient outcome, such as a misdiagnosis, unnecessary surgery, or the even the death of a patient. This is not a new concern. The question of when a physician should retire, especially surgeons, has been a subject of debate for decades. As more and more practitioners work past the traditional retirement age, healthcare providers are faced with conflicting interests: keeping valuable late career practitioners content while maintaining patient safety.

  • 5.14.20

    Social and traditional media has been buzzing with reports that healthcare providers – from nurses to physicians – are being discharged because they have publicly shared negative frontline experiences treating COVID-19 patients. After her sixth consecutive shift, one nurse spoke to the media about the inadequacy of the personal protective equipment (PPE) her employer issued her. An employed physician’s off-the-clock Facebook post blasting her employer’s unsafe working environment went viral. Both were purportedly discharged as a result of their speech.

  • 4.23.20

    The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic that closed hundreds of thousands of business around the country is unprecedented. Fortunately, many retailers were able to maintain a fairly high level of continuity as essential businesses who had to remain open. But even within the essential business community, operating on reduced hours has become common and employees have been affected either by reduced hours or furloughs or layoffs.

  • 4.23.20

    The California appellate courts, and the California Supreme Court, continue to weigh in on significant and compelling wage and hour issues that affect employers each day.

  • 4.23.20

    Employers often use tests and other selection procedures to screen applicants for hire and employees for promotion. There are many different types, but the tests that seem to be asked about more and more are personality or integrity tests. Personality tests and integrity tests assess the degree to which a person has certain traits or dispositions (e.g., dependability, cooperativeness, risk aversion) or aim to predict the likelihood that a person will engage in certain conduct (e.g., theft, absenteeism).

  • 4.23.20

    Curly, straight, natural, relaxed, braids, dreads, Afro, or weave. Hair in the workplace is a controversial issue that has been flooding the media in the past year. In response, state and federal legislators have constructed the model CROWN Act (an acronym for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair), which prohibits discrimination based on natural hair style and texture.  

  • 4.23.20

    A few months ago, the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) had linked 2,807 hospitalizations and 68 deaths to e-cigarette vaping associated lung injuries (EVALI). Using e-cigarettes, or vaping, comes in many forms, including e-cigarettes, e-hookahs, e-pipes, and numerous other devices collectively called electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and electronic non-nicotine delivery systems (ENNDS). Using electricity to vaporize liquid, these tools deliver chemicals to people’s lungs.

  • 4.23.20

    While you have been primarily focused on COVID-19-related matters since mid-March, that doesn’t the world of labor and employment law has taken a timeout. While the pace of new developments has slowed somewhat, there are still workplace law updates you need to know about. Are you thirsting to read about some news that’s not related to social distancing or flattening the curve? Here is a summary of the top stories you might have missed over the past month or so.

  • 3.2.20

    It’s hard to keep up with all the recent changes to labor and employment law. While the law always seems to evolve at a rapid pace, there have been an unprecedented number of changes for the past few years—and this past month was no exception.

  • 3.2.20

    Congress recently passed significant legislation affecting employer-sponsored employee benefit plans. The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019 (H.R. 1994) was passed by the Senate on December 19, 2019, as part of the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020 (H.R. 1865). The changes to ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code are expansive, and include provisions that impact employer-sponsored retirement, health and welfare plan design and administration, as well as individual retirement accounts and individual taxation.

  • 3.2.20

    When the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion several weeks ago upholding a public school district’s policy allowing transgender students to use facilities that match their gender identity, it was just the latest salvo in an increasingly complex legal landscape surrounding Title IX’s applicability to transgender students. The February 12 ruling in Parents for Privacy v. Barr concluded that such a policy did not violate Title IX because it was applied equally to all students and did not discriminate based on sex. 

  • 3.2.20

    Thanks to a landmark move by their school board, students in Fairfax County public schools in Northern Virginia will now be allowed one day off per school year to engage in “civic engagement activities.” This move, which essentially permits an excused absence for protest activities, has been both praised and criticized. But should your school consider following suit?

  • 3.2.20

    As I was checking my wife and myself into a nearby beach town resort during a recent spontaneous trip, I wondered when the smiling gentleman behind the counter would present me with the hotel’s CCPA notice. I am referring, of course, to the privacy notice that the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) requires many businesses to provide to California residents as of January 1, 2020.

  • 2.28.20

    There has been a veritable explosion of antitrust litigation in the workplace law field, putting employers and their executives at risk. Federal and state antitrust agencies and private plaintiffs have accelerated their attacks on employers who agree to coordinate wage levels (wage-fixing) or not solicit each other’s employees (no-poach). 

  • 2.28.20

    While organizations make significant investments in protecting their data from outside infiltration, they can often overlook the serious threats that exist within their own workforce. According to a 2020 study released by the Ponemon Institute, the biggest threat in terms of disclosure of sensitive information comes from so-called “insider threats,” in the form of employees who disclose protected information or provide a means of access to that information to third parties, either unwittingly or otherwise. That threat has only grown in recent years, increasing by 47% in the last two years alone.

  • 2.28.20

    The Department of Labor started off 2020 by focusing its enforcement efforts on child labor law compliance. In January, several large quick-service franchisee restaurants were slapped with hefty penalties for violating child labor laws. The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, as well as state labor agencies, are auditing and investigating businesses employing minors – and they are paying special attention to the restaurant industry.

  • 2.28.20

    The last few years have seen numerous controversies surrounding childhood vaccinations. Many parents are choosing to not vaccinate their children because they feel the process is unnecessary and dangerous, or goes against their religious or personal beliefs. Other parents contend that allowing children to go without immunizations puts many people at risk because it reduces “herd immunity.”  This poses tough questions for schools.

  • 2.28.20

    Accommodating a breastfeeding mother returning to work after leave can be a challenge – but the restaurant industry faces some particular challenges because of tight schedules and often an inherent lack of space. Finding flexible and unique ways to accommodate lactating employees is key to staying in compliance with federal and local laws and keeping good on your investment in talent.

  • 2.28.20

    You may have heard of “Bring Your Child to Work Day,” but have you ever heard of “Bring Your Baby to Work Every Day”? Many of you likely just scoffed at the idea. Simply put, a baby cannot be an employee so therefore they have no place at work, right? General workplace norms have held fast to that belief, causing working parents to make difficult decisions with limited choices about returning to their jobs and caregiving once their child is born. Consequently, employers and businesses often experience vital changes to their workforce in the form of staffing, productivity, costs, efficiency, and reliability.

  • 2.28.20

    In 2016, Millennials surpassed Generation X as the largest generation in the American workforce. Given their reputation as the driving force behind workplace change – from the birth of the #MeToo movement to the expansion of technology – it isn’t surprising to learn that there is gathering momentum for another significant change spurred by this generation of workers: the implementation of a four-day workweek.

  • 2.28.20

    In the not-so-distant past, federal laws dominated the employment landscape. They created more restrictions on employers and more protections for employees than the state laws in the majority of states.

  • 2.3.20

    It’s hard to keep up with all the recent changes to labor and employment law. While the law always seems to evolve at a rapid pace, there have been an unprecedented number of changes for the past few years—and this past month was no exception.

  • 1.31.20

    When a California Court of Appeal revived a workplace lawsuit alleging state law disability discrimination and retaliation claims that had originally been dismissed by a trial court, it did more than decide that the mistaken application of a legitimate company policy could leave the employer on the hook for resulting claims. The court’s decision illustrated the critical importance of training supervisors and human resources (HR) representatives who deal with disability accommodation or termination decisions and how costly it can be when HR fails to address such mistakes promptly. Healthcare HR leaders everywhere should take note of this stark example, and learn a simple four-point plan to minimize risks, because the issues in this case can arise anywhere.

  • 1.31.20

    The new year has brought many things, including an increased threshold for many employees classified as exempt. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides for limited exemptions from its timekeeping, minimum wage, and overtime requirements, including the popular salaried, white-collar employee exemptions. For employees that already met (or received increases to meet) the new salary-exempt requirements of $684/week, it might otherwise be the status quo for 2020. 

  • 1.31.20

    According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), health care employees experience nearly as many serious injuries due to workplace violence as do employees in all other industries combined. As a result, dating back to at least 2015, the agency has continued to strongly encourage health care employers to maintain robust programs to safeguard against workplace violence. In 2016, in fact, OSHA explored the possibility of implementing an occupational and safety standard specifically designed to protect employees in the health care and social services industries from workplace violence. 

  • An Interactive Approach To Employee Counseling
    1.31.20

    To many employees, being written up is perceived as another way of being told that someone is the boss of them – “do this or I will fire you.” They have no voice in this “my way or the highway” dynamic. And reminding an employee that you are the boss is unlikely to fix performance problems – it may even make matters worse.

  • 1.31.20

    Departing employees can end up owing a dealership money for a variety of reasons. Overpayments by the dealership, outstanding loans or pay advances, unresolved invoices on dealership services provided to the employee, advances on vacations or other paid leaves, cash shortages, damaged property or equipment, failure to return property or clothing, and training expenses are just a few of the many reasons why you might find your dealership owed money by a worker.

  • 1.31.20

    Employee safety has always been important, but the recent public shaming of allegedly hazardous workplaces reveals that the public’s disdain for companies that provide unsafe environments for their employees is increasing. No longer can you ignore the public cries to eliminate or minimize occupational hazards, as you risk becoming the latest public face of what has essentially become the “Empowerment Era” – a time when people from all walks of life not only feel emboldened to expose “bad players” but now have the digital means by which to amplify and give power to their voices.

  • 1.31.20

    The assault on arbitration is old news. Recently, however, courts and commentators alike have seemed to stake out a new area for contest in the ongoing back and forth debate about this valuable litigation alternative: confidentiality clauses. For decades, confidentiality clauses have been a staple of most arbitration agreements, as well as most contracts. So as proponents of excluding confidentiality clauses argue that these clauses tend to “silence employees” or “hide wrongdoings” begin to emerge at both the national and state level, we should take care to critically examine these arguments and remember that confidentiality clauses have been the status quo for good reason.

  • 1.31.20

    Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, which means love in the air – and employers should beware. Statistically speaking, the workplace can be the epicenter of romance. According to a 2019 survey from Vault.com, 58% of employees have engaged in a romantic relationship with a colleague. With the rise of the #MeToo movement, such statistics may make you uneasy – and for good reason.

  • 1.2.20

    The year 2019 brought a number of adjustments in the legal landscape for California employers – and meal periods were no exception. California appellate courts buckled down on the interpretation of statutory language in two areas: (1) on-duty meal period agreements; and (2) the method for calculating premium pay for failing to provide a compliant meal period. The courts recently applied strict interpretations to statutory language governing both the requirements for on-duty meal period agreements, as well as calculating the hour of pay at the “regular rate of compensation” for premiums paid when eligible employees are not provided with a compliant off-duty meal or rest period.

  • 1.2.20

    Perhaps no industry in history has been targeted for its basic employment requirements like the retail industry has been targeted over scheduling practices. The philosophy behind the rise of these ordinances is that having a predictable schedule is critical to employees. In the decision of Ward v. Tilly’s, in fact, the California Court of Appeal essentially assumed the role of the employee’s champion and explained that schedule predictability was an absolute necessity that allowed employees to plan around second jobs, make childcare arrangements, coordinate school schedules, and commit to social plans, among other things.

  • 1.2.20

    The retail setting is a particularly difficult one in which to make accommodations. This is because retail employees engage in a host of different duties that require all manner of physical activities. Those who are restricted from climbing may not be able to stock high shelves. And those restricted from bending and stooping may not be able to stock low shelves. Meanwhile, workers who can only lift with one arm may have difficulty checking out items at the cash register.

  • 1.2.20

    When the calendar turned to January 1, we not only saw the dawn of a new year but the beginning of a new decade. It’s natural, at such a turning point, to spend some time looking back on what has transpired in the past 10 years before turning our attention to the years to come. And we’ve done just that in the area we know best: labor and employment law.

  • 1.2.20

    It’s hard to keep up with all the recent changes to labor and employment law. While the law always seems to evolve at a rapid pace, there have been an unprecedented number of changes for the past few years—and this past month was no exception.

  • 12.2.19

    There’s a lot of confusion and questions about CBD products and what it means for CBD-related industries, especially those in the food and beverage industry. The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, also known as the “Farm Bill,” removed industrial hemp and products derived from it, including CBD, from the Schedule I list of drugs under the Controlled Substances Act. Which means industrial hemp is no longer illegal at the federal level. So things should be easy, right? 

  • 12.2.19

    The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced settlements with two hotel properties to resolve complaints under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) involving service animals. In both cases, the individuals involved were veterans with PTSD and both properties refused to honor their reservations because the veterans were accompanied by service animals. The cases highlight the most common mistakes hotel operators make in handling guests with service animals. 

  • 12.2.19

    Religious schools should be aware of the ministerial exception, its potential application to certain employment decisions, and the fact that courts across the country may interpret and apply it very differently.

  • 12.2.19

    In its most recent legislative session, Texas lawmakers took a number of steps designed to protect students from potential harm due to sexual misconduct. The new rules extend to certain obligations and protections to private schools that were previously applicable only to public schools. These new requirements not only establish new mandatory obligations in hiring and reporting, but they also create new “best practices” that schools should consider implementing beyond the four corners of the new laws. Other states are sure to follow Texas’ lead and create similar protections for students.

  • 12.2.19

    It’s hard to keep up with all the recent changes to labor and employment law. While the law always seems to evolve at a rapid pace, there have been an unprecedented number of changes for the past few years—and this past month was no exception.

  • 12.2.19

    The Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued proposed regulations updating the safe harbor for the electronic delivery of employee benefit plan notifications for plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). A copy of the proposed rules can be found here.

  • 12.2.19

    Can a sincerely held religious belief – or a wife’s personal jealousy – justify a male employee refusing to work with women coworkers or other professional contacts? A federal district court in North Carolina is poised to answer this question.

  • 12.2.19

    It’s hard to keep up with the news these days. It sometimes feels like you can’t step away from your phone, computer, or TV for more than an hour or so without a barrage of new information hitting the headlines—and you’re expected to consume and immediately understand all of it. It’s especially difficult to filter through and absorb information that’s relevant for your job as an employer, knowing that you then have to decide whether and how to apply this new material to your day-to-day practices.

  • 12.2.19

    With the new year quickly approaching, it is important to re-examine the policies and plans that govern employee compensation, benefits, and responsibilities. These documents can be the difference between a successful year and one you would prefer to forget. Here are a few small changes that can have huge advantages for your business.

  • 11.1.19

    Let’s face it – your dealership’s employee handbook is likely out of date, even if you just updated it in the past few years. Labor and employment laws continue to undergo significant changes at an astonishing rate. As a result, it is important to periodically review and revise your handbook in order to ensure that policies, practices, and procedures comply with applicable laws and other current obligations and requirements. What better time than end of year, so that you can roll out your revised employee handbook in January 2020?

  • 11.1.19

    As you no doubt have heard, the United States Department of Labor recently announced changes to federal wage and hour regulations that have been labeled the “new overtime rule.” These changes are scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2020. This “new” overtime rule replaces the previous “new” overtime rule that was scheduled to take effect on December 1, 2016 but never did. A court blocked the implementation of the 2016 version.

  • 11.1.19

    When railroad crossing lights flash and whistles blare, everyone knows to stop, look, and listen. Those signals represent a warning, not a permanent roadblock to proceeding. The same is often true of workplace controversies. To an experienced eye, the lights and whistles can be just as obvious. 

  • 11.1.19

    The headlines paint a bleak picture: “AI is here to take your job.” Automation will, undoubtedly, create a seismic shift to the workplace, this much we know. The breadth and scope of the impact, however, will vary across industries. For some, artificial intelligence (AI) will create a collaborative partnership rather than displacement. The healthcare industry is primed for such a partnership. 

  • 11.1.19

    For the first time in our country’s history, today’s workforce consists of five generations working together. Millennials have overtaken the Baby Boomers and Generation X to become the dominant demographic of American labor. Meanwhile, members of the Silent Generation continue to play an important role in many workforces, while the youngest workers – Generation Z – are now entering the American workplace. Your senior or assisted living workforce is no exception.

  • 11.1.19

    Tastes may differ, but there can be no dispute that the music video for “November Rain,” the ultimate power ballad by the ultimate Hair Nation band of the 1980s, Guns N’ Roses, is the best video ever created. It’s like a mini-movie. Is there a more iconic image than Slash playing his guitar solo in the yard of a church in the middle of nowhere? And the song – with its piano, violin, and guitar solos – is like nothing else. Axl Rose reportedly worked on the lyrics for the song for nearly a decade.

  • 11.1.19

    Co-working spaces are quickly becoming the Uber equivalent to office space rentals for remote-work professionals. On Monday morning, log onto an app and reserve a cubicle space down the street at a price much cheaper than a short-term office lease. On Tuesday, welcome a new client into a reserved conference room at a different co-working space with modern décor in the lobby and a Keurig coffee maker in the kitchen. 

  • 11.1.19

    Your organization spends significant capital crafting your corporate brand and reputation to appeal to consumers and potential employees alike. Now, imagine the first internet search result for your company coming back in bold capital letters:

    “THE OFFICE IS FULL OF COCKROACHES AND RACIST PEOPLE”

  • 11.1.19

    It’s hard to keep up with all the recent changes to labor and employment law. While the law always seems to evolve at a rapid pace, there have been an unprecedented number of changes for the past few years—and this past month was no exception.

  • 10.1.19

    Over a decade has passed since an appellate court in California ruled that employers could not average pay for productive activity to include unpaid non-productive activity in meeting their minimum wage obligations. That decision engendered additional state and federal decisions over the years holding that, under California law, piece-rate compensation similarly could not be averaged into time spent on non-piece work such as waiting time between jobs or time spent on rest periods. 

  • 10.1.19

    In most workplaces across the country, a perfect attendance record will be met with applause. Employees who “tough it out” and sneeze their way through the workday are congratulated, while those who stay at home to nurse an illness might be viewed as “slackers” and a burden to the company. This institutionalized mentality, however, can actually do more harm than good.  

  • 10.1.19

    Taking a three-year look back at the Supreme Court’s workplace law decisions gives you the sense that the exciting cases only come down every other year. In the ho-hum term that ended in 2017, the Court handled relatively low-impact cases involving EEOC subpoena power, the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, and the impact of bankruptcy in WARN situations, while sidestepping a significant gender identity case involving Title VII.

  • 10.1.19

    You may have noticed a new trend in your workplaces of late without even realizing it. As recent graduates descend into the workforce in entry-level positions across America, you may be under the impression that you are engaging with yet another crop of millennials, that over-analyzed and frequently maligned generation. However, these newest workers – aged 23 and younger – are actually the dawn of Generation Z’s coming of age. What can employers expect from the generation who has never known a world without search engines?

  • 10.1.19

    It’s hard to keep up with all the recent changes to labor and employment law. While the law always seems to evolve at a rapid pace, there have been an unprecedented number of changes for the past few years—and this past month was no exception.

  • 9.30.19

    During this time of year, many employers are either starting to review or are wrapping up the performance review process, getting in a position to make decisions about year-end bonuses and raises for next year. With heightened scrutiny applied to today’s compensation decisions, and the advent of new pay equity legislation in several states and local jurisdictions, now is an ideal time to evaluate your pay practices and correct any disparities to minimize potential risk for litigation.

  • 9.2.19

    The New Jersey Panic Device Law defines hotel to include not just hotels, but also inns, boarding houses, motels, and other similar establishments that offer and accept payment in exchange for rooms, sleeping accommodations, or board and lodging and that retain rights of access and control over their premises. Regardless of the type of “hotel,” the establishment must also have at least 100 guest rooms in order to be subject to the Panic Device Law. If your business has fewer than 100 guest rooms, compliance with the Panic Device Law is unnecessary.

  • 9.2.19

    The surge in popularity of the gig economy in recent years has largely been a positive trend. The gig economy has made it possible for us to Uber from place to place, hire housecleaners or handymen as needed, find a dog walker or babysitter at the last minute, and have just about any meal you want delivered to your door quickly. All with the touch of an app.

  • 9.2.19

    Over the past few years, we have seen a steadily increasing number of states enact legislation legalizing marijuana for recreational or medical use. There are currently a total of 34 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands that permit the use of medical marijuana, while 12 states permit the prescription of low-THC cannabidiol (CBD) products for certain medical conditions.

  • 9.2.19

    Until just last year, it was common for public sector collective bargaining agreements to require employees who elected not to belong to a union, but were still covered by the CBA, to pay “fair share” fees to the union as a condition of employment. The practice had been blessed by the U.S. Supreme Court in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education (1977), which reasoned that all employees within a bargaining unit benefit from union representation in negotiations. Therefore, it had been permissible for public employers to require payment of fees equivalent to union dues through an agreement in the CBA in exchange for that representation.

  • 9.2.19

    Crowdfunding, in the most basic sense, is the practice of raising money from a large number of people through any number of internet-based platforms. It has become an increasingly popular way for individuals, businesses, charities, and organizations to raise money for specific goals and objectives.

  • 9.2.19

    Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) are account-based health plans funded with employer contributions to reimburse eligible participants and dependents for medical expenses. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, HRAs were not uncommon. 

  • 9.2.19

    We live in a technological world—this is not news. We now communicate more through our electronic devices than we do in person—this is also not news. Yet, one interpersonal mechanism necessary for securing a job has remained largely sacrosanct—interviews. While you may be reading this thinking, “Well, what about Skype or video interviews? I’ve had at least one of those,” you have acutely identified the growing trend of “interview by anywhere.”

  • 9.2.19

    When faced with a problem or question, do you reach for a resource book or simply Google it to find a solution? Chances are, you Google it (or ask Alexa). Typing in a quick search for an answer is not only easier but usually significantly quicker. Similarly, chatbots powered by artificial intelligence (AI) may provide an easier and quicker way for employees to obtain fast answers to their questions, rather than having to dig up their old employee handbook from onboarding and painstakingly read through the 100-page PDF in search of the applicable policy.

  • 9.2.19

    These days, technology occupies nearly every part of our lives. There is an app for everything, and we can order virtually anything we want on demand and have it arrive on our doorstep nearly immediately. We want things, we want them now, and we want them without having to put much thought into the automated process that led us there.

  • 9.2.19

    When the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a memorandum last year announcing that agency inspectors are now authorized to use camera-carrying Unmanned Aircraft Systems—or drones—to collect evidence during inspections in certain workplace settings, employers across the country should have collectively raised their eyes to the sky. This development means that OSHA inspectors are not only authorized to conduct in-person inspections of your workplace, they can fly remote-controlled aircraft above your worksite to track down safety violations. While most would agree that workplace safety is of the utmost importance, the use of drones to inspect a worksite raises new concerns for employers.

  • 9.2.19

    It’s hard to keep up with all the recent changes to labor and employment law. While the law always seems to evolve at a rapid pace, there have been an unprecedented number of changes for the past few years—and this past month was no exception.

  • 9.2.19

    A Health Savings Account (HSA) is a popular vehicle for paying health care costs. Employees find HSAs attractive because they can control the amount of money contributed, determine when to withdraw money, and enjoy the benefits of what is essentially a tax-favored savings account – money can be contributed, earned, and distributed for qualified expenses on a tax-free basis. Not to mention the fact that HSAs are portable. 

  • 9.2.19

    In today’s business climate, work always seems to be on the mind. But should it be? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the productivity of the average American worker has skyrocketed by an astounding 400% since 1950. And yet, in the furious midst of our all-out race to the top, some of us have found ourselves running head first into the old familiar phrase: “work-life balance.”

Media Inquiries


Jenna Gatski Einstein
Director of Media Relations
Washington, DC
Tel: (703) 682-7097
jgatskieinstein@fisherphillips.com

Meghan Warin
Director of Media Relations
Atlanta
Tel: (404) 240-4282
mwarin@fisherphillips.com

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