Employment Law

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The NLRB has been stung several times in recent months, but continues to sting back. First, a federal appeals court ruled that several board members had been illegally appointed. Then an NLRB decision favoring striking health care workers was overturned. Regaining its footing, the NLRB decided to punish a nonunion em­­ployer for discouraging unionization in its handbook.

A California Court of Appeal re­­cently held that an arbitration agreement was unenforceable because it was unconscionably one-sided.
Employers that do business in several states often have a single employee handbook covering all workers at all locations. If that de­­scribes your organization, be careful about how you handle details like arbitration agreements.
Q. Is it true that all California employers are required to post a human trafficking notice?
A bill before the Minnesota House of Representatives would severely curb employers’ ability to force employees to sign noncompete agreements. The legislation, patterned after laws on the books in California and Mon­­tana, would ban a contract that prohibits a party from exercising a lawful, profession, trade, or business except under certain circumstances.
In a case decided the same day as UTSWMC v. Gentilello, MD, the Supreme Court of Texas concluded that complaining to senior leadership about alleged illegal activity doesn’t constitute protected whistle-blowing under the Texas Whistleblower Act.
What striking workers say on the picket line is largely protected speech, even if it’s offensive. What’s said on the picket line is protected speech under federal law, not willful misconduct under Pennsylvania law.
Federal appeals courts are becoming more sympathetic to employees who report workplace dangers. The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals has backed a plaintiff who says he suffered retaliation for claiming he was traumatized by a workplace accident.
Full implementation of the Affordable Care Act health care reform law is mere months away, which means that the IRS and the Department of Health and Human Services have a lot of work to do in a short period of time. The latest regulations cover the 90-day waiting period for new employees and temporary reinsurance fees.
May 16 was a bad day for the NLRB. First, yet another federal circuit court ruled that two current NLRB members had been illegally appointed. Then, Republican senators fired opening salvos in a bid to dump the two current board members and slow down the confirmation of two new NLRB nominees. 
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