1. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) cracks down on anti-whistleblower provisions. The SEC has charged BlueLinx Holdings with violating anti-whistleblower protections in its severance agreements. The company required all exiting employees to sign an agreement waiving their rights to whistleblower payments. Without admitting or denying any wrongdoing, BlueLinx agreed to amend its severance agreements and pay $265,000 to settle with the SEC. Less than a week later, the agency settled with a health care company on similar charges, for $340,000. Since the spring of 2015, the SEC has charged four companies for discouraging whistleblower activity. Tamara Bock, from Epstein Becker Green, has more.

    Click here to find out more information: http://bit.ly/2b4RhpG

    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. EMPLOYMENT LAW THIS WEEK® is a registered trademark of Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.

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  2. Will Hansen, Senior Vice President of Retirement Policy for The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC), is here with some advice on preparing a benefits program in advance of the U.S. Department of Labor’s overtime rule.

    “The Department of Labor’s final rule increasing the overtime exemption threshold to $47,476 will not only have an impact on the wages an employee receives, but also the benefits that they receive. In advance of these changes taking effect on December 1, it’s important for companies to review their benefit programs. First, they should determine whether there will be any increase or decrease in the overtime wages provided, as well as an increase or decrease in salaried over hourly employees. Next, they should examine the financial impact any change in their workforce will have on the company. . . . Lastly, the company should look at other benefits, such as paid sick leave or commuter transit benefits to see if there will be a change in participation which would have an impact on costs.”

    Click here, for more on ERIC: http://bit.ly/2ccCXMH


    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. EMPLOYMENT LAW THIS WEEK® is a registered trademark of 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) ACA Marketplace Notices Sent to Employers - http://bit.ly/2cD5aOO

    Our top story: A health care tax credit for employees can lead to penalties for employers. The federal Health Insurance Marketplace is notifying employers when their employees obtain Marketplace coverage and qualify for subsidies to help lower their premiums or deductibles. This situation can happen if the employer offers health insurance coverage that is inadequate under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or if the business doesn’t offer coverage at all. Employers must either pay a penalty or file an appeal on the matter. Chris McMican, from Epstein Becker Green, has more.

    “When they receive a notice like this, the employer should determine if the notice is accurate and whether or not it should be appealed. So, for example, if the employer believes that the individual was not its employee or if maybe the employee was provided with the required health insurance coverage offering at the right price, then this might provide grounds for an appeal for the employer. . . . In that appeal, there’s a specific form to follow, and the employer should be aware that this is an appeal to the Marketplace, not necessarily the IRS, which is a later step if the tax is going to be formally assessed.”

    (2) New Regulations on Payroll Cards in New York - http://bit.ly/2cFBTBy

    New York State is cracking down on payroll cards. The Empire State recently rolled out new regulations on payroll cards, which are used by an estimated 200,000 workers in the state and often carry hidden fees and penalties. The new regulations limit the fees associated with the cards and require employers to provide workers with a written notice explaining their rights. Employers must also list the locations of fee-free ATMs near where employees work or live. Employers cannot pass along the cost of the cards to workers or receive kickbacks from the use of the cards.

    (3) Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Law Goes Into Effect - http://bit.ly/2cFCbZe

    This month, Ohio became the 26th state (plus the District of Columbia) to legalize marijuana in some capacity. The law addresses many employment issues head-on, stating that employers are not required to permit the possession of medical marijuana in the workplace or accommodate the use of marijuana. The law also makes clear that an employer can terminate or choose not to hire someone based on medical marijuana use. Employers in the state will want to be aware of the law, but the law shouldn’t require any major policy adjustments.

    (4) Ninth Circuit Reinstates Uber’s Arbitration Agreements - http://bit.ly/2cDpmBN

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit finds that Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) waivers can be severed from agreements. Arbitration agreements between Uber and its employees are enforceable once again, after the Ninth Circuit largely overturned a district court’s ruling. The lower court held that the agreements were void based on public policy because they contained a PAGA waiver. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit found that the PAGA waivers could be severed from the agreements and that the rest of the agreements were still enforceable.

    (5) Tip of the Week - http://bit.ly/2cvdTGG

    Will Hansen, Senior Vice President of Retirement Policy for The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC), is here with some advice on preparing a benefits program in advance of the U.S. Department of Labor’s overtime rule.

    “The Department of Labor’s final rule increasing the overtime exemption threshold to $47,476 will not only have an impact on the wages an employee receives, but also the benefits that they receive. In advance of these changes taking effect on December 1, it’s important for companies to review their benefit programs. First, they should determine whether there will be any increase or decrease in the overtime wages provided, as well as an increase or decrease in salaried over hourly employees. Next, they should examine the financial impact any change in their workforce will have on the company. . . . Lastly, the company should look at other benefits, such as paid sick leave or commuter transit benefits to see if there will be a change in participation which would have an impact on costs.”

    Click here, for more on ERIC: http://bit.ly/2ccCXMH


    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. EMPLOYMENT LAW THIS WEEK® is a registered trademark of Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.

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  4. Hayes MacArthur, Principal at EisnerAmper LLP, is here with some advice on alternative work arrangements.


    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. EMPLOYMENT LAW THIS WEEK® is a registered trademark of 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) EEOC Releases Retaliation Guidance

    Our top story: On August 29, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued new guidance on workplace retaliation. The EEOC’s final guidance on retaliation includes concrete examples of retaliation issues that the courts have largely agreed upon, as well as expanded definitions of “adverse action” and “causal connection.” The guidance also describes “promising practices” for reducing the possibility of retaliation, including anti-retaliation training and proactive follow-up with potential targets. Retaliation has become the most frequent form of employment claim across business sectors. The percentage of EEOC charges in this area has almost doubled since the last guidance was issued. David Marden, from Epstein Becker Green, has more.

    “There are three well-established elements of a retaliation claim: one, protected activity; two, materially adverse action; and three, causal connection. And while the EEOC's new retaliation guidance doesn’t change any of these elements of a retaliation claim, a key takeaway is that the EEOC has adopted a very broad view of each of these elements. . . . The Commission also noted that there are cases where the lower courts have not consistently applied the law, or the EEOC’s interpretation of the law differs in some respect. And in those situations, the guidance sets forth the EEOC’s policy in more detail and explains its analysis.”

    For more information, click here: http://bit.ly/2cb6UOY

    (2) Circuits Split on Class Action Waivers

    The split among the circuits widens on class action waivers in arbitration agreements. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently found a mandatory arbitration agreement invalid because its waiver of class actions interfered with employees’ rights to engage in concerted activity with coworkers. The Ninth Circuit held that the waiver constitutes an unfair labor practice that violates employees’ rights under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Just days later, the Second Circuit ruled in another case that class action arbitration waivers do not violate the NLRA and can be enforced. This is an issue that will likely head to the Supreme Court of the United States in the near future.

    (3) DOL Appeals “Persuader Rule” Injunction

    In the Fifth Circuit, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is appealing an injunction of its amended “Persuader Rule.” Issued in March, the rule expands reporting requirements for management and consultants—including lawyers—regarding union organizing and related advice. Three lawsuits challenging the amended rule were brought in federal courts before a Texas federal district court enjoined enforcement nationwide. Despite the DOL appeal, the injunction stays in effect until further notice. Therefore, reporting requirements for “persuader activity” remain as they were before the new rule was issued.

    For more on this case, click here: http://bit.ly/2cb6U1J

    (4) Second Circuit Extends “Cat’s Paw” Doctrine

    An emergency medical technician complained to her employer after a male coworker sent her a sexually explicit text message. The coworker then manipulated his phone to make it appear that he had a consensual relationship with the female employee and said that he was the one being harassed. The employer took his word for it, refusing to inspect the technician’s phone before firing the female employee. She then sued the company, relying on the “cat’s paw” doctrine. That doctrine holds employers liable for actions they are tricked or manipulated into taking by employees who have discriminatory or retaliatory intentions. Even though the male coworker was not a supervisor, the Second Circuit held that the employer’s negligence in refusing to look at the plaintiff’s phone made the company liable for the retaliatory actions of her coworker.

    For more information, click here: http://bit.ly/2coREBH

    (5) Tip of the Week

    Hayes MacArthur, Principal at EisnerAmper LLP, is here with some advice on alternative work arrangements.


    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. EMPLOYMENT LAW THIS WEEK® is a registered trademark of Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.

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Employment Law This Week®

Epstein Becker Green PRO

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 – will deliver the most significant stories and developments in employment, labor, and workforce management…


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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 – will deliver the most significant stories and developments in employment, labor, and workforce management issues in about five minutes, each week.

Tune in each week for developments that may affect your business. Learn more at ebglaw.com/employment-law-this-week/

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