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BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law
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14 Aug 2018 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 2018 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 2018 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 2018 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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16 Apr 2018 Know Before You Go: Does the DOL’s New PAID Program Pay Off For Employers?

  Complying with the spider web of statutes, regulations, and DOL opinion letters regarding the FLSA can be a nightmare for employers. Certainly, many of you may recall the furor that resulted just a little over a year ago when the DOL rolled out an update to the salary basis test. Employers across the country scrambled to make sure they could hit the DOL’s new deadlines and requirements, only to have the rug pulled out at the last moment by court order when the regulations…

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26 Feb 2018 Beginning of a New Trend? Illustration of EEOC Stats Confirms Plummeting Number of Charges

  A few weeks ago, our team wrote about the latest charge filing statistics published by the EEOC.  The agency posts records of charges going back to 1997 – 20 years of data.  Since a picture speaks a thousand words, here is the latest information relative to the total number of charges filed with the agency since 1997:     Stepping back and putting the new numbers into their relative place, a few things are made clear.  The overall rise and fall of charges over…

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23 Feb 2018 Wisconsin Supreme Court Splashes Cold-Water on the Enforceability of Non-Solicitation of Employee Covenants

  Wisconsin is one of the states which has a statute regarding the enforceability of restrictive covenants.  Under Wisconsin law, such a covenant is enforceable within a specific territory and for a specified time, but only if the restrictions imposed are reasonably necessary for the protection of the employer or principal (Wisconsin Statute § 103.465).   Wisconsin courts historically have applied the statute to all forms of employee limitations, including non-disclosure covenants.  See Tatge v. Chambers & Owen, Inc., 579 N.W.2d 217 (Wis. 1998).  In…

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10 Jan 2018 The DOL Just Flipped Its Position on Paying Interns

  Late last week, the DOL effectively revamped the standards for unpaid interns, reversing a rule that had been in place since 2010 and giving private, for-profit employers whiplash.   The FLSA does not define “intern.” However, “[a] person whose work serves only his own interest” is not considered to be “an employee of another person who gives him aid and instruction.”  Walling v. Portland Terminal Co., 330 U.S. 148, 152 (1947).   2010 DOL Standard   The DOL upended that long-standing rule in 2010…

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04 Dec 2017 Holiday Road – Avoiding Potholes in Holiday Parties

  Well, it’s already December (where did the year go?) and we’re all thinking about the most wonderful time of year – cutting out early and going to office parties! Parties are a great way to reward staff, celebrate accomplishments, foster teamwork, and create the foundation for another great year. What could possibly go wrong?   The annual holiday party is rife with traps for the unwary:   What’s in a Name?   For starters, what do you call the event? How about a “Christmas…

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24 Oct 2017 Dawn of a New ICE Age: Are You Ready for Immigration & Customs Enforcement?

  Last week, in a speech at the conservative think tank, The Heritage Foundation, the Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that his agency is aggressively stepping up worksite enforcement on two major fronts. His announcement raises the question: is your company ready?   ICE Acting Director Tom Homan told attendees that the Homeland Security Investigations agency will increase – by four to five times – the worksite enforcement actions in the coming year. Quintupling the number of worksite enforcement actions certainly sounds…

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