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Despite having only three active members on its five-member Commission and having no General Counsel, the EEOC has remained quite busy in its strategic enforcement of federal workplace discrimination laws. You may remember that since the 2016 election, the EEOC has been operating with an acting Republican Chair and two Democratic Commissioners, with the remaining two Republican Commission seats vacant while President Trump’s nominees are tied up in the confirmation process.  One might think that…
On an almost daily basis, the news is filled with reported allegations of harassment by news anchors, Hollywood titans, Senate candidates, sitting congressmen, celebrity chefs, network executives and even the president. The coverage includes large settlements, mishandled investigations and more.  Employer concerns have been elevated from the HR department to the boardroom as compliance programs receive greater scrutiny.…
Handling workers’ compensation claims can present a number of challenges, such as determining whether an injury is work-related and evaluating back-to-work accommodation requests. Another challenge arises when you consider terminating an employee who has filed a workers’ compensation claim.  For example, most states’ workers’ compensation laws impose penalties, either fines, jail time, or both, for wrongful termination.  While terminating an employee who has filed a workers’ compensation claim is not outright prohibited, employers must take…
On January 25, 2017, a federal appeals court that covers Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and North and South Carolina was the latest to craft a joint employer test, holding that a Maryland general contractor was the joint employer of its drywall subcontractor’s employees. As a result, the contractor was responsible for unpaid wages, including overtime, for the sub’s employees.…
As we have previously discussed, in its 2015 “Browning Ferris” decision, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) set a new standard for determining whether two entities are joint employers under federal labor law.  Since then, employers have faced a rocky road in trying to understand the implications of this standard.  Long-awaited guidance may finally be on the way. The NLRB, Browning-Ferris, and other interested parties have just finished filing briefs relating to NLRB decisions…
Representatives of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), as well as the Department of Labor and the Department of Justice (DOJ), participated in an American Bar Association Equal Opportunity Law conference in Austin, Texas, this month. During that conference, EEOC representatives, including three of the commissioners and general counsel David Lopez, addressed a number of key topics and initiatives on EEOC’s plate relating to current EEOC Strategic Enforcement Plan priorities: Eliminating barriers in recruiting and…
There is little debate that best practices for employers include periodically refreshing the company’s key employment documents like personnel policies, confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements. Quite often, there are similar provisions in several documents. Team members in different parts of the organization, such as human resources, the general counsel and members of a specific business unit, may make changes to key language. They may also make those changes at different times. Each of these factors can…
Has your company decided yet whether it will conduct criminal background or credit checks? If you are already using that tool as part of your job screening process, are you keeping up with legal developments in every city, county or state where you do business to verify whether “ban the box” laws are being considered? Is your company a government contractor? If so, are you aware that 100 members of the U.S. Congress support legislation…
When discussing trade secrets and strategies to protect valuable proprietary information, most automotive companies focus on their outbound risk. In other words, OEMs and suppliers pay close attention to protecting their own valuable trade secrets and proprietary information by implementing strong protections and policies such as to limit access to this information and to require employees to sign confidentiality agreements. Automotive companies take these steps to address the risks presented when departing employees may be…