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The Legal Stuff
BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law
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13 Aug 2014 Notice of San Francisco’s Fair Chance Ordinance Required as of August 13, 2014

  Companies located or doing business in San Francisco that have a total of 20 or more employees worldwide should prepare to provide notice of San Francisco’s Fair Chance Ordinance starting today, August 13, 2014. The Fair Chance Ordinance restricts inquiries regarding a job applicant’s criminal history and imposes other related requirements, including that notice be provided to employees and applicants. The required notice, available here, must be posted in a conspicuous place in every San Francisco worksite that is frequently visited by employees or applicants….

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12 Aug 2014 Add New Jersey to the List of “Ban-the-Box” States

  Yesterday, New Jersey joined 12 other states in its enactment of the “ban-the-box” legislation whereby employers will be prohibited from asking job applicants at the outset about their criminal records. Following New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s execution of the Opportunity to Compete Act (Act), New Jersey became the fifth state – in addition of Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Rhode Island – to impose the “ban-the- box” prohibitions on private-sector employers.   Under the Act, an employer is barred from conducting any pre-application inquiry regarding…

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08 Aug 2014 Ninth Circuit FAAAA Meal and Rest Period Preemption Decision Appealed

  As we discussed here, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit ruled last month in Dilts v. Penske Logistics (Dilts) that California meal and rest period laws are not preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (FAAAA).  The FAAAA  provides that  “States may not enact or enforce a law . . . related to a price, route, or service of any motor carrier . . . with respect to the transportation of property.”  49 U.S.C. § 14501.  In Dilts, while the lower court…

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07 Aug 2014 Illinois Governor Signs Payroll Card Law

  Governor Quinn has signed HB 5622, which amends the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act by recognizing payment of wages via payroll card.   As we previously reported, the law does not go into effect until January 1, 2015. At that time, payment of wages via payroll card will be recognized by Illinois law, subject to a number of requirements.  The requirements include the following: Employers must offer employees the option of receiving wages via cash, check or direct deposit and obtain employees’ voluntary…

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31 Jul 2014 An Employer’s Liability Under The FLSA Can Be High

  Timekeeping software that automatically deducts meal break time from employee paychecks can be problematic for employers. This is because employees sometimes work through their meal breaks, and that exposes employers to liability under the Fair Labor Standards Act (the FLSA). The FLSA requires employers to pay employees for all of the time that the spend working – including the time that they spend working through their meal breaks.   We’ve mentioned all of this before. What we haven’t mentioned previously is how quickly the…

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30 Jul 2014 FMLA – Have you made a proper request for medical certification?

Having a comprehensive and compliant FMLA policy is important, but if you neglect to provide the required notice(s) to an employee who requests FMLA leave you could find yourself before a jury of your peers. Indeed, a recent decision by the federal court in Detroit, Barker v. Genesys Pho LLC (E.D. Mich. July 24, 2014), reminds us that implementing a good FMLA policy will do you no good if you don’t follow the FMLA notice requirements.   In Barker, the Court held that a jury…

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25 Jul 2014 Illinois Governor Signs Law Banning Criminal Background Questions from Job Applications

  Illinois employers should review their job applications and hiring policies to ensure they comply with a new Illinois law, effective January 1, 2015, that will prohibit questions about criminal history at the initial application stage.   Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has signed the Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act into law. The Act prohibits covered private employers with fifteen or more employees and employment agencies from inquiring about or into, considering, or requiring disclosure of an applicant’s criminal history, until an applicant: (1) has…

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22 Jul 2014 To Accommodate or Not Accommodate? – A Complex Question Facing Employers Under the ADAAA

  Employers constantly find themselves in the following situation: employee tells you that he or she cannot perform certain job tasks because of a medical condition, or presents a note from his/her doctor identifying certain work restrictions. The employee insists he or she can work; you just need to modify the employee’s job in some way in order to allow them to continue working. Situations like this are commonplace in today’s work environment and determining your legal obligations can be quite daunting. Well, lucky for…

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21 Jul 2014 NLRB Declines to Appeal Class Action Waivers to Supreme Court: What Does it Mean for Employers?

  On July 15, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) let its deadline to seek Supreme Court review of the Fifth’s Circuit decision (D.R. Horton v. NLRB) upholding class action waivers in mandatory arbitration agreements lapse without taking any action. The key question: What does this mean for employers? The answer: Unfortunately, not much.   While some so-called “experts” and prognosticators have speculated that perhaps this turn of events signals that the NLRB is starting to come around on class action waivers, count…

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10 Jul 2014 Proposed Legislation Introduced to Override Hobby Lobby Ruling

  Yesterday, Senator Democrats introduced proposed legislation known at the Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act (Act) in an effort override the U.S. Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, which was previously discussed in our June 30th Alert.   The Act would reinstate the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage obligations imposed on employers, requiring employers to provide such health insurance. The Act specifically is targeted at the Supreme Court’s 5-4 Hobby Lobby decision, which held closely-held companies (those that are family-owned or have a limited…

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