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The fact-pattern is familiar to employers who have been on the receiving end of attorney litigation threats. A plaintiff’s lawyer calls, or writes a letter, outlining a potential claim by a client, makes a demand for damages, then perhaps throws in mention of the harm the company will suffer if the allegations become “public.” Just another run-of-the-mill litigation threat from a plaintiff’s attorney. Nothing to make a “federal case” out of it, right? Nothing criminal,…
The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (“EEOC”) has always required employers with 50 or more employees to submit annual reports, known as “EEO-1” submissions, to the Commission. These report are required to include data concerning the number of employees the company employs based on gender, race, and ethnicity. At two pages long, they were relatively straightforward and the data fairly easy to submit. The requirement has yo-yoed back and forth from being much more onerous over…
When one company acquires another company with a unionized workforce, some key questions almost inevitably emerge: will the acquiring company be bound by the acquired company’s collective bargaining obligations and union contracts? Is there an obligation to hire the unionized employees? Can they be fired? Do you have to bargain with their union? All of these issues are front and center in corporate transactions involving the unionized workforce of a target entity. In New York…
On Labor Day, President Obama signed an Executive Order (“Order”) forcing companies who contract with the federal government to provide paid sick leave to their employees. The Order tracks the language in many states’ paid sick and crime victim leave laws. For employers who currently contract with, or plan on contracting with, the federal government, the Order requires a close reading to ensure compliance. Larger companies may already comply with its terms, but smaller companies…
The NLRB has recently been active in analyzing whether employee handbooks violate Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (the “Act”).  In light of this, it is advisable for employers to try to imagine their handbook provisions being construed restrictively, especially with regard to communications that employees engage in for unionizing efforts and discussing workplace disputes with other employees. Taking such a stance can help ensure employers revise their handbook properly to prevent an…
In a blow to New York employers who wish to enforce restrictive covenants under other state law, the New York Court of Appeals recently held that the Florida choice of law provision in an employment agreement was unenforceable.  Brown & Brown, Inc. v. Johnson, No. CA 13-00340, 2015 WL 3616181 (N.Y. Ct. App., June 11, 2015). The differences between the requirements for restrictive covenants under New York and Florida law proved to be too great,…
It would make sense that the systems housing patient records at a physician’s office should be protected by a robust duty on the part of the physician’s employees to keep such records confidential. The purpose, of course, is to ensure the physician’s responsibilities under the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) are properly carried out. Further, in a time where hacking, and the resulting identify theft that often follows, is ubiquitous, any custodian of…
As reported in various media outlets, the New York Attorney General’s office recently sent a request to several retail employers who do business in New York for information concerning their practices of scheduling employees for “on-call” shifts. Some retailers utilize on-call shift scheduling in order to ensure flexibility and control labor costs.  Indeed, it is an important tool in industries where the demand for labor is unpredictable.  For instance, some retailers do not know when…
In what some may consider a stunning decision, the NLRB recently held in Care One at Madison Avenue, LLC, 361 NLRB No. 159, that an employer’s enforcement of its workplace violence policy violated its employees’ rights under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. After completing a recent union election, Care One issued a memorandum in response to reports of threats in the workplace that reminded employees that threats, intimidation and harassment were prohibited,…
The Sixth Circuit has recently taught us the old lesson that employer policies must be in line with the law on a given point, or else employers risk granting employees rights that they wouldn’t otherwise want to grant, or be required to grant. In Tilley v. Kalamazoo Cnty. Road Comm’n, No. 14-CV-1679, (6th Cir. Jan. 26, 2015)  Tilley brought a claim for interference with his rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).  The…