Employment Law

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For years, many California courts refused to enforce class-action waivers, exposing California businesses to class-action liability regardless of any agreement with employees or customers to forgo class litigation. The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion was supposed to change all that. It didn’t.

Lately, the news has been full of stories about successful lawsuits by unpaid interns whose main job was to get coffee and be messengers. But before you cancel plans to hire an unpaid intern, know it is possible to design a program that complies with current laws and benefits those on both sides of the desk.

 

Barring a sudden and unexpected outbreak of congressional cooperation, the federal government will run out of money on Oct. 1 and shut down—at least temporarily. What does that mean for DOL enforcement activities? Here’s the likely scenario.
In an important decision on whether employers can limit an employee’s access to an administrative hearing on wage claims, the California Supreme Court has ordered the parties to file supplemental briefs in light of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision. In American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed its long-standing rule that arbitration clauses under the Federal Arbitration Act will be enforced.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has refused an NLRB bid to retry a May case in which the court said employers couldn’t be required to display a pro-union poster.
Lure, a “gentlemen’s club” in Min­ne­­apolis, has agreed to pay $300,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit with its exotic dancers, who claimed they were employees, not independent contractors as Lure had contended.
The NLRB celebrated Labor Day by unveiling a new mobile phone app that tells employees and unions about their rights under the National Labor Relations Act.
Some disabled employees take the approach that it’s their way or no way when it comes to accommodations that would allow them to perform the essential functions of their jobs. Fortunately, employers have leeway in exactly which accommodation should be used.
Gov. Mark Dayton has signed into law an expansion of the state’s 1987 whistle-blower act. The new Minne­­­­sota Whistleblower’s Act protects from retaliation both public- and private-sector employees who report misconduct.
Q. We are a construction contractor. We work union, but increasingly find ourselves losing bids because we can’t compete with nonunion companies in certain industry segments. Can we just set up a separate operation to bid the nonunion work? I’ve heard that such “double-breasting” is common practice.
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