1. Welcome to Employment Law This Week! Subscribe to our channel for new episodes every Monday!

    This week's stories include . . .

    (1) Casino May Have to Pay Trainees
    Our top story: Casino trainees could be entitled to minimum wage. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently revived a class action suit from a group of trainees at a casino in Maryland. Applicants who wanted to work the casino's new table games were expected to attend a 12-week “dealer school,” during which they went mostly unpaid. Several of the trainees sued, alleging that the practice violated the Fair Labor Standards Act. Though the district court dismissed the case, the Fourth Circuit ruled that the company could be found to be the primary beneficiary of the training and remanded the case for further fact-finding. Nathaniel Glasser, from Epstein Becker Green, goes into further detail.

    For more on this story, click here: http://bit.ly/1O2XSDC

    (2) DOL Updates FMLA Guide and Poster
    The Department of Labor (DOL) has released an updated employer's guide to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The 76-page, seven-chapter guide is dedicated to increasing awareness of the details of the law in order to strengthen compliance. The DOL has also issued an updated FMLA notice poster that is easier for employees to read.

    For more on this story, click here: http://bit.ly/24BKcnp

    (3) OSHA Fines Store After Fatal Shooting
    OSHA has fined a convenience store for the lack of safety precautions. Last year, an employee was fatally shot inside a convenience store in New Jersey. Although OSHA’s coverage of workplace violence is sometimes overlooked, the agency investigated this shooting and found that 20 violent incidents had occurred at the store in the last five years. The agency filed a $14,000 citation against the company for failing to put a comprehensive violence prevention program in place. While the business did have cameras, OSHA was looking for safety features, like bulletproof glass and panic buttons, which might have helped to save the employee's life.

    (4) EEOC Files Lawsuit Over Mandatory Flu Vaccines
    Mandatory flu vaccines could constitute religious discrimination. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is suing a hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, for a policy that requires employees to receive annual flu vaccinations. Employees can request a religious exemption but must do so before a deadline of September 1. When several employees were late in submitting their request, they were denied the exemption and subsequently fired. The EEOC found the deadline arbitrary and is arguing that a religious accommodation should have been made for the affected employees.

    (5) In-House Tip of the Week
    Coleen Cohen, HR Generalist for the Financial Times, shares some advice on developing a strong telecommuting policy.

    Visit EmploymentLawThisWeek.com.

    These materials have been provided for informational purposes only and are not intended and should not be construed to constitute legal advice. The content of these materials is copyrighted to Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.

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  2. Welcome to Employment Law This Week! Subscribe to our channel for new episodes every Monday!

    This week's stories include . . .

    (1) Former Workers Violated Ex-Employer’s Trade Secret Rights
    Our top story: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upholds a ruling against ex-employees for a trade secret violation. The Sixth Circuit has upheld a ruling that a group of workers at a fastener company used confidential drawings from the company to design, manufacture, and sell competing parts for their new business venture. On appeal, the former workers argued that they were “filling a gap” for customers, not competing with the original company. But the Sixth Circuit found that this argument ignored undisputed evidence in the case. Peter Steinmeyer, from Epstein Becker Green, has more on what employers can do to protect their trade secrets.

    On a related note, last week, the House of Representatives passed a bill to federalize trade secrets law. The legislation now heads to President Obama, who has promised to sign it.

    (2) Financial Regulators Propose Banker Bonus Restrictions
    U.S. financial regulators seek comments on a proposed rule restricting incentive compensation. Several financial regulatory agencies, including the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission, are looking to ensure that incentive compensation balances risk and reward. The proposed rule would require that up to 60 percent of certain compensation be deferred for as long as four years, and firms would have the power to claw back incentive pay for at least seven years. This new proposed rule reflects the 10,000 comments received in response to the original 2011 proposal.

    (3) D.C. Circuit: Musicians Are Employees
    Musicians who perform in seasonal concerts for a Pennsylvania orchestra are employees, not independent contractors. That's according to the D.C. Circuit, which ruled that the orchestra members are indeed employees and have the right to engage in collective bargaining through a union. After noting that there are a variety of “unharmonious” tests for independent contractor status, the D.C. Circuit deferred to the decision of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on the matter, citing court precedent that held that NLRB rulings in cases with conflicting views should stand.

    (4) NLRB Alleges Misclassification Violates NLRA
    In California, we’re seeing a new strategy from the NLRB on employee classification. The NLRB’s Los Angeles office is arguing that Intermodal Bridge Transport's alleged misclassification of its drivers as independent contractors is an unfair labor practice because it deprives the drivers of rights granted to employees under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). With the continued growth of the “gig” economy, even companies that have taken proper care in the classification of their independent contractors may face NLRB action on this front.

    For more on this complaint, click here: http://bit.ly/26B66ZW

    (5) In-House Tip of the Week
    Michael Brizel, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of FreshDirect, shares some advice on dual representation for litigation claims.

    Visit EmploymentLawThisWeek.com.

    These materials have been provided for informational purposes only and are not intended and should not be construed to constitute legal advice. The content of these materials is copyrighted to Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.

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  3. Welcome to Employment Law This Week! Subscribe to our channel for new episodes every Monday!

    This week's stories include . . .

    (1) FEHA Expanded to Include Associated Disabilities
    Our top story: A California appeals court rules that employers must accommodate workers who are associated with a disabled person. A delivery driver for Dependable Highway Express requested a route that allowed him to administer dialysis for his son at night. After this request was denied, the driver refused his assigned route and was fired. The former employee sued, alleging disability discrimination under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). While the trial court ruled in favor of the company, the Second District Court of Appeal reversed the decision. The appeals court stated that, unlike federal law, the California statute requires employers to provide accommodations based on an employee’s relationship with a disabled person. Matt Goodin, from Epstein Becker Green, has more.

    For information on California’s amended FEHA regulations, click here: http://bit.ly/1QsmDn3

    (2) ALJ Finds That Class Waiver Violates NLRA
    A wireless company’s class waiver provision violates the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). That’s according to an administrative law judge (ALJ) who cited National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decisions in Murphy Oil and DR Horton—rulings that rejected arbitration agreements that bar class or collective actions by employees. The ALJ ruled that, even though federal appeals courts have challenged the legality of the NLRB’s position, he is bound by the NLRB’s interpretation “unless and until the Supreme Court rejects it.” This ruling could set the stage for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit or D.C. Circuit to weigh in on the NLRB’s interpretation, which has already been rejected by the Fifth, Second, and Eighth Circuits. So far, with very limited exception, the NLRB has refused to yield, now routinely invalidating arbitration agreements with class waivers.

    For more on the NLRB precedent, click here: http://bit.ly/1XMLyrk

    (3) NLRB Splits on Employer Conduct Rules
    A hospital in Michigan must change rules that regulate interaction between employees, the NLRB says. Among other things, the hospital’s rules barred “negative or disparaging comments” of employees or physicians. The NLRB found that, while the rules do not expressly prohibit an NLRA-protected activity, they restrict relationships and interactions between employees, which could restrict federal labor law rights. One board member dissented from the finding, arguing that the current test could result in neutral work rules being declared unlawful. He called for a new test that considers not only employee rights but a balance of legitimate employer interests as well.

    (4) California Expands Paid Family Leave
    Continuing the legislative trend that we reported on last week, California's governor has signed a new policy to expand the state's paid family leave law. The legislation increases benefits to 60 percent of wages, capped at around $1,100 a week for six weeks. The new policy will take effect in 2018.

    (5) In-House Tip of the Week
    Jessica Hodkinson (Chief Counsel – Litigation and Labor & Employment for Panasonic Corporation of North America) gives her advice on best practices for avoiding risk during the employee life cycle.

    Visit EmploymentLawThisWeek.com.

    These materials have been provided for informational purposes only and are not intended and should not be construed to constitute legal advice. The content of these materials is copyrighted to Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.

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  4. The General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board has issued an internal memo that offers employers insight into his office’s initiatives and emphasis this year. The memo describes the types of cases that must be submitted to the Division of Advice for review, rather than decided by the Regional Office where the charge was filed. Among other priorities, the General Counsel wants to expand employees’ rights to organize and communicate using company resources, cut back on employer rights in bargaining, and grant significant new rights to non-union employees. Steve Swirsky, from Epstein Becker Green, goes into much further detail.

    Visit EmploymentLawThisWeek.com.

    These materials have been provided for informational purposes only and are not intended and should not be construed to constitute legal advice. The content of these materials is copyrighted to Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.

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  5. Welcome to Employment Law This Week! Subscribe to our channel for new episodes every Monday!

    This week's stories include . . .

    (1) San Francisco and New York State Approve Landmark Legislation on Paid Parental Leave
    Our top story: San Francisco and New York State break new ground on paid parental leave. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a city ordinance requiring businesses with more than 50 employees in San Francisco to give new parents six weeks off, fully paid, starting in 2017. Once Mayor Ed Lee signs the ordinance, San Francisco will become the first city in the United States to require full pay for new mothers and fathers during their time off. Meanwhile, New York State has passed the most comprehensive paid parental leave policy in the country. New York State’s legislation mandates 12 weeks of partially paid leave for all new parents by 2021.

    For more on New York’s law, click here - http://bit.ly/1WhUVRo

    (2) NLRB General Counsel Reveals Top Issues in Recent Memo
    A National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) memo outlines top enforcement priorities for 2016. The General Counsel for the NLRB has issued an internal memo that offers employers insight into his office’s initiatives and emphasis this year. The memo describes the types of cases that must be submitted to the Division of Advice for review rather than decided by the Regional Office, where the charge was filed. Among other priorities, the General Counsel wants to expand employees’ rights to organize and communicate using company resources, cut back on employer rights in bargaining, and grant significant new rights to nonunion employees. Steve Swirsky, from Epstein Becker Green, has more.

    (3) EEOC Fights Medical Information Requirement in Job Applications
    The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) targets health history forms in job applications. The EEOC has brought suit against Grisham Farm Products for requiring job applicants to complete a three-page health history. When a recent applicant refused to answer the questions on the form because he would have been forced to reveal a disability, he was told that he would not be considered for the job. The EEOC has filed suit against the company for violating Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act with its health form requirement. The agency also alleges that this is a violation of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), which bars employers from requesting or requiring genetic information from applicants.

    (4) DOL Releases Softer Final Fiduciary Rule
    The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) softens its final fiduciary rule for retirement advisors. The DOL has released its long-awaited final fiduciary rule, with some notable changes after the comment period. The new regulation still requires brokers for individual retirement accounts to act in their clients' best interests and expands the definition of who qualifies as an investment advice fiduciary. But in the final rule, the DOL has made some concessions to opponents of the regulation. These adjustments include a simplification of the "best interest contract exemption" and a grandfather provision that prevents the new standard from applying to recommendations made before the rule goes into effect.

    For more information on the final fiduciary rule, click here - http://bit.ly/1SGHg0h

    (5) In-House Tip of the Week
    Brian Rauch, General Counsel for Harvard Maintenance, shares some advice on dealing with unions around the country.

    Visit EmploymentLawThisWeek.com.

    These materials have been provided for informational purposes only and are not intended and should not be construed to constitute legal advice. The content of these materials is copyrighted to Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.

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Employment Law This Week®

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Welcome to Employment Law This Week®, presented by Epstein Becker Green. This online video program – among the first of its kind in the legal industry – tracks the latest developments that could impact you and your workforce. The series features three…


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Welcome to Employment Law This Week®, presented by Epstein Becker Green. This online video program – among the first of its kind in the legal industry – tracks the latest developments that could impact you and your workforce. The series features three components: Trending News, Deep Dives, and Monthly Rundowns. Learn more at ebglaw.com/employment-law-this-week/

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