Employment Law

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If your company is classified as a motor carrier, don’t expect the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (FAAAA) to protect you from misclassification claims. That’s the lesson learned by one motor carrier after a recent Cali­­for­­nia Supreme Court decision.
With great fanfare, Minnesota’s new Women’s Economic Secu­­rity Act was signed into law on Mother’s Day in May 2014. WESA is aimed at closing the gender gap by breaking down barriers to economic progress for women. It creates a number of new legal requirements and amends various existing laws.

Not long ago, the U.S. Supreme Court made it harder for em­­ployees to prove retaliation under Title VII anti-discrimination provisions. Under the New York City Human Rights Law, employees need only prove retaliation was an important motive in an adverse employment decision, not the only one.

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that will decide whether a job applicant must specifically request an accommodation before an employer can be held liable for having a dress code that prohibits religious attire or grooming practices.
Q. One of my workers brought a backpack into work today that I have reason to believe contains illegal substances. The worker stored the bag in his company-provided locker. Can I search his belongings?
Employers occasionally become dejected over the prospects of defending against tort and other civil claims in state courts. However, a recent case out of Houston reaffirms that employers can and do win these kinds of cases—if they have implemented the appropriate policies.
A survey asked: “In which of the following areas has your organization seen the most employee lawsuits or class action over the past year?”

Under Minnesota’s workers’ compensation laws, employees who file workers’ comp claims are protected from retaliation. The law says employers can’t punish employees for seeking benefits. But some employers have been trying to preempt so-called protected activity when an em­­ployee is injured at work.

Here’s something to consider when you decide to add an arbitration clause to applications and require employees sign them as a condition of employment: You may end up forcing the em­­ployee into arbitration, but still become embroiled in other related litigation.
Yuba City, Ca.-based Dispatch Trans­por­­tation has settled an unfair labor practice charge with the Teamsters Local 137 and the NLRB.
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