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Many workplace policies and employee handbooks contain restrictions on employees speaking to the media.  Through these policies, employers often seek to limit what organizational information is disclosed to third parties, and to exercise at least some control over statements that may be attributed to the company.  Such restrictions, though, may be found to violate employees’ rights under the National Labor Relations Act (“the Act”) due to overbreadth when not drafted carefully.  And, while the National…
This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court punted a key Equal Pay Act (“EPA”) case back to the Ninth Circuit because the decision’s author, Judge Stephen Reinhardt, passed away shortly before the decision was formally issued. Yovino v. Rizo is a significant EPA case that has been winding its way through the courts for years.  In 2017, a Ninth Circuit panel held that a wage differential based on prior salary can qualify as a “factor other…
If your background check forms include too much information about rights under state law, or even grammatical errors, you might be in trouble according to the Ninth Circuit.  In Gilberg v. California Check Cashing Stores, the appeals court recently ruled against an employer for using background check disclosure forms that violate both the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and California’s Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (ICRAA).…
In a new class action filed recently against a hospital housekeeping company, employees allege their employer’s fingerprint scanning time-tracking system runs afoul of privacy laws.  The Pennsylvania-based company Xanitos Inc. now faces the lawsuit in federal court in Illinois, claiming the company violated the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).…
Employers who operate in New York State and City are likely aware of the new sexual harassment laws that are starting to take effect.  Many companies have already revised their sexual harassment policies to comply with the new laws, but now face the hurdle of complying with the sexual harassment training requirements under both the State and City laws. While there is overlap between the State and City requirements, there are differences that employers…
A magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon recently made findings and recommendations to dismiss a purported class action against Kroger subsidiary Fred Meyer.  The suit alleges that the retailer’s background check process for prospective employees violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act by both failing to properly disclose that a report will be run, and failing to comply with the statute’s procedural requirements before taking adverse action against an applicant.…
The U.S. Supreme Court voted to hear an appeal of the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Varela v. Lamps Plus, Inc.  The Court is expected to decide whether workers can pursue their claims through class-wide arbitration when the underlying arbitration agreement is silent on the issue.  The case could have wide-reaching consequences for employers who use arbitration agreements.…