Employment Law

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Employer-sponsored wellness programs often collect medical data about employees and their families to identify risk factors and customize health and exercise programs. The Affordable Care Act health care reform law favors wellness programs as a way to manage chronic diseases and educate employees about their health.
If your organization hasn’t yet been hit with a pay-related lawsuit, consider yourself lucky. A new report shows the onslaught of wage-and-hour lawsuits continues to rise at a record pace.

It’s management’s prerogative to change workplace policies and rules. Courts don’t like to second-guess employers for managing their businesses as best they see fit. But how (and how consistently) you change those rules can make a big difference in your exposure to legal liability.

The end of the year saw a flurry of activity from workplace reg­­ulators in New York. Employers should note several recent legal developments.
Large employers operating in Sacramento can expect to pay their workers at least $10.50 per hour in 2017 after the city council voted to raise the city’s minimum wage from the current $9 per hour.
Federal contractors face two January compliance mandates affecting employee pay.

Are you concerned about using independent contractors now that the U.S. Department of Labor has made it clear that workers are employees if they depend on one company for their livelihoods? If so, there may be some good news on the horizon.

Q. An employee brought to the attention of his supervisor that a co-worker had posted a comment on social media saying that her supervisor is Scrooge, that the supervisor is probably planning to fire a bunch of people right before the holidays, and that everyone should complain about her unfair behavior so that the supervisor is the one who will get fired. The company has a social media policy that prohibits making disparaging comments about it or its employees. Can the company discipline the posting co-worker for these comments?

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act prevents employers from discharging returning service members for anything except “cause” for a year after their return. But what if the service member is working under an employment contract? What if that agreement has a termination clause built in? Does USERRA prevent the employer for exercising that contractual term?

The recently negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement will go before Congress for ratification next year. Organized labor has been one of the most vocal critics of the pact and certainly labor leaders will be scrutinizing the agreement’s Chapter 19.
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