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As we all learned in school, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits Congress from making laws that “abridge the freedom of speech.”  Employer-created rules and decisions are not acts of Congress, of course, and are not subject to the First Amendment.  So, employers can terminate their at-will employees (all employees without an employment contract) for a good or even a bad reason, including having a bad attitude, right?  Wrong, according to the National…
Today the Supreme Court issued its highly anticipated decision in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins. The decision takes on a hot topic in consumer class action law today—what must a plaintiff plead and prove to have standing to sue for a violation of a federal statute? The Court held that an allegation of a statutory violation, without some showing of concrete harm, is not enough. Instead, in this Fair Credit Reporting Act case, the issue is…
While speaking at a conference this year, I asked members of the Human Resources community to raise their hands if they routinely instructed employees not to discuss internal investigations.  No surprise, most of the hands (maybe all of them) went up.   For many good reasons, most employers instruct employees to keep the fact of and contents of investigations confidential.  For example, when investigations become public, employees often become less willing to come forward and…
The National Labor Relations Board issued a landmark decision yesterday, reversing its precedent and establishing a new standard for determining when entities can be considered “joint employers” under the National Labor Relations Act. The 3-2 decision in Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc. held that Browning-Ferris, the owner and operator of a recycling facility, was a joint employer with its contractor, who provided workers (sorters, screen cleaners and housekeepers) to Browning-Ferris through a temporary labor services agreement. In its…
If you are a federal contractor subject to Section 503, then you are aware of the new regulations that were released in September 2013. While those regulations were released nearly two years ago, the most burdensome of these requirements (implementation of the Subpart C requirements) have not yet been implemented by most contractors because of the transition year period that allowed contractors to delay compliance with Subpart C. As contractors have been permitted to delay…
On May 20, 2015, the attorneys general of 31 states settled with three major credit reporting agencies (CRAs) for six million dollars and commitments to make a number of business practice changes. With the exception of $6 million payment–which can be seen as relatively small, all things considered–the settlement largely mirrors the CRAs’ March 2015 agreement with the New York Attorney General. Collectively, these agreements require CRAs to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act…
The New York Attorney General announced a settlement with credit bureaus Equifax, Experian and TransUnion regarding credit reporting policies and practices, including methods of addressing inaccuracies identified by consumers. In addition to changes to the credit bureaus’ error resolution practices, the settlement also requires the credit bureaus to analyze and monitor the performance of furnishers, i.e., the third parties, including lenders, that provide consumer data to the credit bureaus in the first instance. The settlement…
In 2014, the biggest headlines out of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) were the slew of regulatory and directive changes announced and finalized.  These included: significant changes to the VEVRAA (veterans) and Section 503 (disabled) regulations; an amendment to Executive Order 11246 (as well as new related regulations) to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the non-discrimination and affirmative action requirements; a new Executive Order requiring contractors to provide  information regarding…
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (“OSHA”) recently released an advisory addressing employer and employee obligations “in the event of possible worker exposure to the Ebola virus.” Employers who believe that there is possible worker exposure to Ebola virus must implement various OSHA standards as part of a comprehensive worker protection program. The question many employers now face is: when does our workforce meet the threshold of “possible worker exposure” that would trigger implementation of…
As we have discussed in our prior blog posts in this series on the new OFCCP Regulations (which became effective on March 24, 2014), most of the new Regulations do not go into effect until the beginning of the contractor’s first plan year following March 24, 2014.  Many contractors have delayed implementing these new requirements because their new plan year has not yet begun.  The time for delaying is quickly coming to an end!…