Employment Law Worldview

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On December 7, 2018, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit unanimously held in Hustvet v. Allina Health System that an employer did not unlawfully terminate an employee who refused to receive a rubella vaccination.  The plaintiff, a healthcare specialist working with potentially vulnerable patients, requested an accommodation exempting her from receiving the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine due to her “many allergies and chemical sensitivities.”  She also refused…
Earlier this week, the National Labor Relations Board’s top prosecutor clarified how he views several key issues that arise when unions request information from employers. Board General Counsel Peter Robb confirmed that his office will not require employers to automatically inform unions about the amounts the employers have saved due to the recent federal tax cut. The General Counsel also indicated, once again, that he views the duty to furnish information in a more evenhanded…
It is a common feature in many sectors for potential new recruits to undertake a work trial prior to being offered a permanent role. This type of trial, normally undertaken without pay, has obvious potential for the exploitation of the would-be employee. It certainly leads to a grey area when it comes to National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) compliance through the question of “when is a work trial actually work?”…
In a proposed rule published in today’s Federal Register, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is resurrecting and modifying a previous proposal from 2011 to implement an electronic pre-registration system for H-1B cap petitions. H-1B visas are for high-skilled “specialty workers” in positions that require at least a Bachelor’s degree in a specific related field. The proposed rule would also reverse the order by which USCIS selects H-1B petitions under the H-1B cap in…
In 2017, the State of Kentucky enacted a right-to-work law, which, as you will recall from our prior posts (see here), bars employees from being required as a condition of employment to belong or financially contribute to a labor union.  (Kentucky was the 27th US state to pass a right-to-work law; in 2017, Missouri also passed a right-to-work law, but it was rejected by Missouri voters in August 2018.)  Upon the Kentucky law’s passage,…
Last week I was proud to speak at Business Forums International’s ‘Vetting and Screening’ Conference regarding the challenges faced by employers when completing right to work checks. I was delighted to share the platform with speakers from Reed Screening, The Forward Trust, Nick Mann Associates, Credence Background Screening, The Security Watchdog and NSL, who covered other vetting issues including the use of social media, managing risk, employment law, ex-offenders, GDPR and outsourcing. Delegates’ main concerns…
On November 15, 2018, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit unanimously held in Netter v. Barnes that an employee did not engage in “opposition or participation” activity protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when she reviewed and duplicated confidential personnel files without authorization.  The plaintiff, an African-American Muslim woman, worked for the Guilford County  (North Carolina) Sheriff’s Office for over sixteen years with…
The mid-term elections are still on people’s minds, as recounts and run-offs for federal congressional and state gubernatorial candidates are finally wrapping up.  Meanwhile, and largely taking a media-coverage backseat to these high-profile races, many new state initiatives became law as a result of the mid-terms, three which involved legalizing marijuana for recreational or medical use.  These new laws add to the growing body of law rife with conflict between state and federal law regarding…
We got a letter from the Home Office last month reminding us, no doubt in common with many others, of our obligations under the Modern Slavery Act 2015.  Perhaps you did too.  Apparently, it is going to publish a name-and-shame list of non-compliant organisations after an audit at the end of March 2019. The letter was a bit of a step up from the Government Guidance on the MSA, since it was almost entirely properly…