Latest from Ogletree Deakins Insights - Page 2

On November 1, 2020, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Palmer et al. v. Amazon.com Inc. et al., No. 20-cv-2468, 2020 WL 6388599, dismissed a lawsuit against Amazon alleging failures to comply with New York law and “New York Forward” minimum requirements for businesses. The court held that it is the role of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), rather than the courts, to determine whether…
Biden Agency Review Teams Announced. President-elect Joe Biden has announced his “agency review teams” to begin evaluating agency operations in anticipation of the shift in executive power in January 2021. The labor review team (overseeing the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the National Labor Relations Board, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), among other agencies) looks like a yearbook photo from the final year of President Barack Obama’s administration. Individuals such…
Despite its well-deserved reputation as an employee-friendly jurisdiction, the District of Columbia is absent from the list of “blue states” that have adopted legislation limiting the use of noncompete agreements. Over the last few years, states such as Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington have enacted such laws. Legislation titled the “Ban on Non-Compete Agreements Amendment Act of 2019,” Bill 23-494 (B23-0494), was introduced in the District…
On November 12, 2020, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) announced proposed temporary COVID-19 regulations for review and a vote by the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board on Thursday, November 19, 2020. The proposed regulation was expected to contain new training, hazard identification, and hazard mitigation rules. The proposal also contains many specific requirements for COVID-19 testing, recordkeeping, and leave from work. The proposed temporary COVID-19 regulation requires a written “COVID-19…
On November 3, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit temporarily stayed an order that the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois issued in Cook County, Illinois, et al. v. Wolf et al., No. 19-cv-6334 (November 2, 2020). The district court’s order had vacated the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds final rule (often referred to as the “public charge rule”) on a nationwide…
Employers understand they have an obligation to investigate complaints of workplace misconduct. However, communications made during internal investigations are not totally without risk. Reports of misconduct, such as theft, assault, or abuse of others, can raise the scepter of defamation claims if the employer does not properly manage the communications. Further, while a qualified privilege exists for potentially defamatory statements made during misconduct investigations, such privilege is not absolute and can be lost. In Reynolds
On November 3, 2020, five states had initiatives on the ballot to legalize the recreational and/or medical use of marijuana, and all five initiatives easily passed. Arizona, Montana, and New Jersey voted in favor of legalizing the possession and recreational use of marijuana for adults aged 21 years and older. In addition, South Dakota became the first state to legalize both medical and recreational marijuana at the same time. Mississippi voted to legalize medical marijuana.…
The 2021 executive compensation season will be more challenging than usual for most companies due to the financial and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. To meet these challenges, companies should be aware of several key issues relating to executive compensation as they design their 2021 executive compensation programs. 1. Revisiting Clawbacks and “Cause” Definitions Expanding clawbacks and “cause” definitions to cover misconduct beyond financial matters may help ensure that a company will be able…
A Federal Court of Appeal decision, Bank of Montreal v. Li, is a cautionary tale for federally regulated employers about the limits of settlement agreements in resolving unjust dismissal complaints. Background Yanping Li was discharged after working for the Bank of Montreal (BMO) for almost six years. When her employment was terminated, Li signed a settlement agreement, which provided that she would accept a lump-sum payment in exchange for releasing BMO from any and…
On October 6, 2020, in Bennett v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville, No. 19-5818, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed a district court’s decision in favor of a public employee who claimed that the city had terminated her employment in retaliation for exercising her rights under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The city terminated the plaintiff’s  employment after she allegedly made racially derogatory social media posts on the night…