Employment Law

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In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar that, to win a retaliation lawsuit, an employee must show the employer’s intent to retaliate against the employee for exercising Title VII anti-discrimination rights was the “but for” cause of the challenged action, not just a motivating factor. As important a victory as the Nassar ruling was for employers, it’s important to recognize that the retaliation war is ongoing.
Public employees who work in jobs related to public health and safety and who test positive for drugs can’t refuse to sign medical releases related to treatment for drug and alcohol problems.
Most employers that use arbitration agreements require employees to sign them. If that’s your practice, don’t worry about getting the company’s “signature” on the dotted line. As long as the company can show it intends to be bound by the agreement, it is valid with just the em­­ployee’s signature.
Nine 7-Eleven owners and managers from Long Island and Virginia are under arrest after federal authorities accused them of masterminding an illegal immigration scheme and then exploiting workers smuggled into the country to work in the convenience stores.
The former public safety director at Harrisburg Area Community College has filed a complaint alleging he suffered retaliation after he engaged in protected whistle-blowing activity. The director is still employed at the college, but has been stripped of his duties, computer and vehicle, and now sits in an empty office with nothing to do.
North Carolina-based national book distributor Baker & Taylor faces challenges to language in the release it includes in all its severance packages. The EEOC claims the release violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act by forcing employees to sign “broad, misleading and unenforceable” agreements to receive severance pay.
An IRS ruling may change a long-standing practice in the restaurant industry when it takes effect Jan. 1, 2014. Gratuities that restaurants impose on large groups will no longer be considered tips after that date. Instead, restaurants must count them as wages.
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.
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