Employment Law

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A federal court considering whether a broad arbitration clause included in an employment contract bars discrimination and retaliation claims has concluded it does. That’s good news if you use employment contracts and want to push any subsequent employment-related claims into arbitration.

Continuing its attack on the misclassification of employees, the U.S. Labor Department released new guidance on July 15 that aims to clarify how businesses should distinguish between employees and independent contractors. The guidance stresses that the FLSA's definition of “employment” is very broad, and that employers are probably violating the law if they’re treating workers who are integral to the business as independent contractors.

On April 14, the National Labor Relations Board dramatically shortened the election periods for union campaigns. You may have been able to predict the result ...
A new NLRB rule that will make it easier for unions to organize a work site has been upheld as a valid exercise of the NLRB’s regulatory authority.
Employers use arbitration agreements to keep employment-related litigation out of the courts. But what if you don’t have an arbitration agreement in place when former employees file a wage-and-hour class action lawsuit against your company? Can you suddenly spring an arbitration agreement on current employees and expect it to work? Surprisingly, yes, according to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Q. If an employee leaves company premises during his designated paid or unpaid breaks (without clocking out) to get food or go shopping, is the company liable if the employee is involved in an incident?
In March, the Texas Senate passed legislation allowing holders of concealed handgun licenses to carry holstered handguns in plain view. In April, the Texas House of Representatives passed H.B. 910, its version of the “open carry” law.
Omaha, Nebraska-based Skinner Bakery will rehire six workers and pay more than $112,000 in back pay at its Paris, Texas, facility following a National Labor Relations Board ruling.

Over the past year, several big companies have forked over big bucks to settle class-action lawsuits filed by interns alleging that they should have been paid for the time they spent getting a firsthand look at how the business world works. Employers felt compelled to settle following a string of high-profile lawsuits that went interns’ way, as well as the very clear Department of Labor rules on intern pay. But now the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a decision that may show the employers were a bit hasty in capitulating.

In recent years, the National Labor Relations Board has steadily, aggressively increased its scrutiny of employment policies found in almost every employee handbook. Seemingly well-intentioned and generally accepted policies have been found to violate the National Labor Relations Act because they are seen as chilling employee rights to engage in protected, concerted activity.