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Jan

31

2019
  • Posted by: Kalani Morse
  • News

Individual Employee Grumbles May No Longer Be Protected by NLRA

Earlier this month, the NLRB reversed recent decisions and ruled that employee protests or complaints voiced in a group meeting would no longer be presumed to be attempts to initiate group action and protected as concerted activity under the NLRA.

The board ruled that a fact-based inquiry must first consider all evidence, rather than presuming NLRA protection.

 
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Jan

28

2019
  • Posted by: Kalani Morse
  • News

Independent Contractors are Independent Again:

In 2014, the NLRB found that freelance FedEx Home Delivery drivers were employees covered by the National Labor Relations Act. That decision focused on the workers' economic dependency on companies while downplaying considerations of their entrepreneurial opportunities.

In the Board's SuperShuttle DFW, Inc. decision last week, they rolled back the economic dependency analysis in FedEx and found that shuttle-van-driver franchisees were not employees per the NLRA.

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Jan

23

2019
  • Posted by: Kalani Morse
  • News

U.S. Supreme Court: Arbitrators Should Decide If You Get to Arbitrate.

A recent decision interpreting the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) broadly should favor employers in the enforcement of arbitration agreements. A dental equipment distributor's relationship with the manufacturer soured.

They sued the distributor for antitrust violations and tried to arbitrate. The distributor objected to arbitration, claiming the their agreement barred arbitration because the manufacturer sought injunctive relief.

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Dec

25

2018
  • Posted by: Kalani Morse
  • News

U.S. Supreme Court Revising its Own Harassment Policies:

In December 2017, Chief Justice Jon Roberts asked a working group of judges and judiciary officials to examine the effectiveness of the federal judiciary’s workplace conduct policies.

Although the group found that inappropriate conduct is not widespread, more than "a few isolated instances” of misconduct warranted recommendations for further action like:

  • revising the codes of conduct for judges and employees
  • streamlining processes for identifying and correcting misconduct, and
  • expanding training programs to prevent inappropriate behavior.
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Dec

05

2018
  • Posted by: Kalani Morse
  • News

Adding More to HR's Accommodation Request Burdens:

New York City's Human Rights Law now require most employers to have and document “cooperative dialogues” with employees asking for accommodations due to religious belief, disability, pregnancy, childbirth, domestic violence, sexual violence or stalking.

As of October 15, 2018, employers must “engage in good faith in written or oral dialogue” to discuss an employee’s accommodation requests. The employer must explain any difficulties the request will pose for the employer and suggest potential alternatives. These “good faith” verbal or written discussions must continue until either the request for an accommodation can be granted or denied.

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Dec

02

2018
  • Posted by: Kalani Morse
  • News

Another wave of court decisions that erode the enforcement of employment arbitration agreements:

In a unanimous September 27, 2018 decision, the Supreme Court upheld a Kentucky statute prohibiting employers from requiring employees to sign arbitration agreements if the want to work.

The decision appears to conflict with recent U.S. Supreme Court precedent upholding broad preemption of the Federal Arbitration Act. A similar ruling was issued in Hawai`i a few years ago and remains unclear.

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Nov

15

2018
  • Posted by: Kalani Morse
  • News

OSHA Green Lights Post-Accident Drug Testing Again:

In 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a rule prohibiting employers from "retaliating" against employees for reporting work injuries by requiring drug tests. Many employers stopped requiring post-accident testing where there were no other indicators of drug use aside from the accident itself.

OSHA just published a memorandum clarifying that employers may require post-accident testing if they can show that workplace safety and health is the goal. Consistently enforcing legitimate work rules (whether injuries are reported or not ) demonstrates commitment to creating a culture of safety.

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Nov

09

2018
  • Posted by: Kalani Morse
  • News

EEOC Now Offers Sex Harassment Training:

The EEOC has announced it is sponsoring sex harassment prevention trainings: a three hour workforce and a four hour supervisor modules.

The classes are offered and led by the EEOC's outreach and education arm. The EEOC's training modules are based on three components that need to be addressed to stop workplace harassment:

 
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Nov

02

2018
  • Posted by: Kalani Morse
  • News

Gender Norm Liability: Saleswoman sues Wyndham Vacation Ownership after Being Fired for Dressing Too Manly.

She initially got permission to wear a tie, blazer. and trousers to work, but HR kept asking her if she'd reviewed the company's dress code, complained that her suit was unprofessional, and told her to “observe the (other) ladies” in sales who “uniformly wore dresses or skirts with high heels.”

After she was fired a few months later for being late to work, she sued in Manhattan Federal Court, claiming gender discrimination and seeking $1.5 million in damages.

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Oct

30

2018
  • Posted by: Kalani Morse
  • News

Google Workers Walk Out to Push Innovation of Harassment Policies:

Yesterday thousands of workers with some of the most coveted pay and benefits in the world walked off the job, bringing new meaning and life to walk out protests as a means to drive change in the workplace.

Protest organizers released a list demands for changes to the tech giant's practices, foreshadowing what the harassment laws, policies, and practices of tomorrow will look like:

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