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BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law

24 Sep Don’t Get Stuck in the Political Bubble

There is a famous quote attributed to New York film critic Pauline Kael about the 1972 presidential election: “I can’t believe Nixon won. I don’t know anyone who voted for him.”   That year, Nixon carried 49 states – at the time, it was the largest electoral landslide in U.S. history. Clearly, a lot of people the critic did not know had voted for Nixon. The quote still resonates and often is cited as an example of provincialism and how living in a bubble can…

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14 Aug Does Your Non-Compete Agreement Survive Under Massachusetts’ New Non-Compete Law?

The Bay State’s long-anticipated non-compete law has finally hit the books. After years of debate, speculation, and worry, the final result does not appear to be as bad for employers as we feared.   The Basics   First, let’s review what the new Massachusetts law does not do.   The law – which impacts agreements entered into on or after October 1, 2018 – only applies to non-competes, or similar provisions under which an employee promises not to compete with the employer after the employment…

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28 Jun Seventh Circuit Revisits Contractor Misclassification

Courts in the U.S. have been grappling with the misclassification of independent contractors for more than 20 years. As our readers well know, there is no standardized test to determine whether a worker is a contractor. Various courts and government agencies all have adopted their own criteria. Fortunately, most of them overlap, but there can be critical differences in the factors and how they are applied.   In 2015, the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) firmly supported the “economic…

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18 May The $8 Million Burrito; Or How Not To Conduct Video Surveillance

Many employers install video surveillance to stop theft and provide helpful evidence to support their employment decisions.  From a legal standpoint, video surveillance generally is allowed if reasonable – monitoring the cash register is fine; installing a camera in a bathroom stall obviously is not.  In truth, the vast majority of what is surveilled is frankly, boring: the camera largely becomes a forgotten silent witness to the daily grind.  Hardly anyone ever watches what the camera records and no one would ever want to look…

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19 Apr Zero-Tolerance for Upside-Down Burritos

  A recent decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit provides some useful reminders for employers on the benefits of establishing and enforcing zero-tolerance drug policies and effectively documenting performance actions. The case is Caporicci v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., Eleventh Circuit Case No. 16-13494.   Like many employers, Chipotle has a drug policy, which prohibits any employee from reporting to work under the influence of alcohol, drugs or controlled substances, and also requires that employees who use medically prescribed or…

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