Employment Law

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You may have heard that employees have new opportunities to sue their employers based on local laws that expand employment protections and prohibit forms of discrimination that state or federal laws don’t include. Sometimes, that’s true. Fortunately, though, these new laws and their regulations may trip up employees and give you an opportunity to push for the case to be dismissed, as this recent case shows.
Government employees in Texas are protected from retaliation for blowing the whistle on a co-worker, supervisor or the agency where they work.

A federal magistrate has ordered notifications sent to a large group of employees inviting them to join in a Fair Labor Standards Act lawsuit.

A federal court has refused to expand common law workplace protection for victims of domestic abuse.
The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Penn­­sylvania employers, has ruled that paying an hourly rate for temporary employees coming from an outside agency may mean those workers are your “employees” under anti-­discrimination laws.
Taqueria La Herradura in Pharr, Texas, has paid more than $33,000 in damages to its kitchen staff following a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation.
Under Minnesota unemployment compensation law, individuals aren’t independent contractors just because the company that uses their labor says they are.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed two pieces of legislation into law recently, regulating where and how Texans may carry firearms. As of Jan. 1, licensed gun owners may carry holstered handguns anywhere that concealed handguns are per­mitted—with some exceptions.
Many employers now track attendance using biometric scanners that require an employee to clock in and out by scanning a fingerprint or a palmprint. New York employers should note a statute that limits the collection of biometric data.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has clarified rules for noncompete agreements entered into after an employee has been hired. It has concluded for the first time that the employer must offer the employee (and the employee must accept) something of value beyond just a mutual promise to make the agreement binding. This has practical consequences for employers adopting or modifying employment agreements.

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