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On January 8, 2019, the United States Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion in Henry Schein, Inc. v. Archer & White Sales, Inc. strengthening the enforceability of arbitration “delegation clauses.” These clauses have been previously upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court and allow parties to agree that an arbitrator, rather than a court, will decide the threshold issue of whether a dispute must be arbitrated, as well as the merits of the dispute. The Supreme…
On July 26, 2018, the California Supreme Court issued its long awaited decision in Troester v. Starbucks Corporation (S234969) on whether California wage and hour law recognizes the de minimis doctrine established by the United States Supreme Court in Anderson v. Mt. Clemens Pottery Co. 328 U.S. 680 (1946) for wage claims arising under federal law.  Under the federal de minimis rule, small amounts of otherwise compensable work time are not actionable when tracking and…
On October 13, 2017, the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that short breaks during the work day of 20 minutes or fewer are compensable as a “bright-line rule” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  The case, DOL v. American Future Systems, et al., arose out of the employer’s policy of withholding compensation for any breaks in excess of 90 seconds. Under the employer’s “flexible” break policy, employees were permitted to…
On August 31, 2017, Judge Amos Mazzant in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued an order granting a group of twenty-one states’ and fifty-five business associations’ motion for summary judgment in consolidated cases seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against a May 23, 2016 Department of Labor rule drastically increasing the minimum salary an employee must earn to qualify for the most common exemptions from the federal overtime laws. The…
On Tuesday August 15, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a claim for disability discrimination, where the plaintiff was deemed psychologically unfit for duty and subsequently had his employment terminated. The Third Circuit’s decision provides guidance for employers regarding the extent of their obligations to accommodate employees under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). In McNelis v. Pennsylvania Power & Light Co., No. 16-3883 (3d Cir., Aug. 15,…
On January 23, 2017, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signed the Philadelphia Wage Equity Ordinance into law. The bill amends the Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance to prohibit employers from asking about an applicant’s wage history at any point during the hiring process. Philadelphia City Council unanimously voted in favor of the legislation in December 2016. Introduced by Councilman-at-large William Greenlee, the Wage Equity Law is intended to reduce wage inequality, particularly among minorities and women. Companies…
As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump voiced many opinions about his priorities and goals for the country. Yet as President-elect Trump prepares to take office in January, employers remain uncertain as to what the American workplace will look like under a Trump administration. As a lead-up to the presidential inauguration, we will provide a series of posts looking at five areas critical to employers and prognosticating as to how the new administration will impact these…
In the past several weeks, Pokémon Go has taken the world, and many workplaces, by storm. If you’re concerned about reducing the negative impact that this game may be having on your employees’ productivity – and, more importantly, their safety – here are five steps you can take: 1. Make sure that your corporate policies for use of email, internet, and electronic devices are up to date. The policies should state the parameters and limitations…
Effective January 1, 2018, Massachusetts’ equal pay law will impose new and broad sweeping requirements on employers. At its core, the law prohibits gender-based pay disparities. It also takes steps to encourage transparency regarding compensation among employees, and to reduce the emphasis on compensation inquiries during the hiring process. The recently enacted amendments are designed to further ensure that salaries for men and women are equal for equal work. The law previously prohibited the payment…