|March 22, 2019 | www.fisherphillips.com|
Reverse psychology isn’t the only explanation for the title of this article (although, if you’ve made it this far, it seems to have worked). No, another explanation is that 2016 was a very rough year for employers when it comes to the state of workplace law, and you can be forgiven if you’d rather stick your head in the sand than relive it.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently announced they are increasing their efforts to criminally prosecute employers and individuals who engage in certain behaviors with competitors on the grounds that they are violating antitrust laws. For the first time, the DOJ announced that wage-fixing contracts (which limit or fix the terms of employment for employees or potential hires) and no-poaching agreements are squarely in its sights, and those found in violation will face criminal liability. Similarly, the federal government warned employers about certain information exchanges that could also be found to be illegal.
On November 28, a Texas federal court judge issued a ruling that cleared the way for the whistleblower provisions of the new Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Recordkeeping Rule to take effect as scheduled. While the ruling permits OSHA’s whistleblower requirements to take effect on December 1, 2016, the court’s decision does not determine whether OSHA’s controversial interpretations of this rule will ultimately be upheld in the long run, or whether the Trump administration will follow these interpretations.