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BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law
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18 Jan 2017 Writing Employee Policies to Address Different State and Local Laws: Three Strategies [VIDEO]

  We frequently report on the Currents blog about employment issues being addressed at the state and local levels, the two most recent examples being Ohio’s legislation on employees with concealed carry permits and efforts in Ohio to limit local minimum wage ordinances. This trend is likely to only grow with the expanding divisions in the country. This quick video discusses three different non-exclusive strategies for drafting policies to cover jurisdictions with different rules:   Have a single policy that complies with all laws (i.e. follow the strictest…

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13 Jan 2017 Are Employers Required to Predict Employee Behavior? Wrongful Death Suit Sparks Discussion

  On Jan. 10, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit heard oral arguments involving a wrongful death suit that had been dismissed by an Illinois federal judge. The plaintiff, mother of the deceased victim, sued Home Depot USA Inc. and one of its garden suppliers for failing to protect her daughter from a series of abusive behavior directed at her by her supervisor, Brian Cooper, who allegedly used his superior position to coerce the victim into accompanying him to his sister’s wedding…

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30 Dec 2016 75,000 Reasons Why Employers Should Timely Comply With Form I-9 Requirements

  Just in time for the holidays is a nicely wrapped reminder from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit about how important it is for employers to timely complete I-9 forms on all employees, and properly retain I-9 records in the event of a government inspection.   Before getting into the case, and for the benefit of those of you who still are suffering from a bit too much “holiday cheer,” here is a brief primer to bring you back up to…

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15 Dec 2016 Ohio Employers May Soon See Employees Packing Heat in Their Cars

  Ohio employees with concealed carry licenses may soon be legally allowed to bring firearms onto their employers’ property. Currently, Ohio law allows most private employers to ban firearms anywhere on their premises, including in their employees’ locked vehicles in the parking lot. However, Senate Bill 199 would prevent employers from prohibiting concealed handgun license holders from storing firearms in their locked vehicles, even if those vehicles are on company property. Senate Bill 199 has passed through the legislature and is on its way to…

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13 Dec 2016 Ohio Lawmakers Consider Banning Cities From Raising Minimum Wages

  Be it New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles or other municipalities, it is fairly common for large cities to have higher minimum wages than the states in which they are located. These cities have a more expensive standard of living than smaller municipalities in their states. They also likely are more politically liberal than less urban areas in their states and are more likely to favor pro-employee policies. But in Ohio, state legislators are considering a bill that would prevent Ohio cities from raising…

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12 Dec 2016 Add Cleveland to The Mix: Cities and States Increasing the Employment Law Battlegrounds – With Video

  Earlier this fall, I reported in this video how the Kentucky Supreme Court struck down Louisville’s minimum wage ordinance.  Cleveland has likewise enacted a minimum wage that exceeds state or federal requirements, the subject of a pending 2017 special election, and there is a bill pending in the Ohio General Assembly to strike down Cleveland’s law. A quick search of BT Currents shows the increasing level of municipal employment law activity. This trend seems likely to only continue, as we enter an era likely…

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08 Dec 2016 OSHA Contemplates Workplace Violence Standard for Healthcare, Social Assistance Workers

  On Dec. 7, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a Request for Information (RFI) as to whether a standard should be developed to address workplace violence in the healthcare and social assistance sectors. The RFI specifically seeks information on issues that might be considered in developing a standard, including its scope and the types of controls that might be required.   In issuing this RFI, OSHA explained that workplace violence in the healthcare and service assistance industries is substantially higher than in all…

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01 Dec 2016 California Approves Strongest Standard for Prevention of Violence Against Health Workers

  On Oct. 21, after close to two years of work, regulators within the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) approved a standard that should reduce workplace violence against healthcare workers by requiring hospitals and other employers of health professionals to develop violence prevention protocols in conjunction with the healthcare workers. Workers in healthcare and social assistance were involved in 52 percent of workplace violence incidents in 2014, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, and rates of workplace violence incidents increased…

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29 Nov 2016 The World According to Trump: Trump’s Potential Impact on OSHA

  As we have noted in a number of different blog posts since the election, there are a variety of ways that the new Trump administration could affect many different areas related to labor and employment law. In this post, we are going to look into our crystal ball to give you our best prediction regarding some of the ways we anticipate President-Elect Trump will change the course of current and pending Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) regulations as well as the administration of…

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21 Nov 2016 Using an Employee’s Social Media Posts to Prove Laziness? Think Again

  Is it permissible for an employer who is subject to an unpaid overtime claim to request an employee’s social media postings over a three-year period? The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida found such requests to be overly broad, unduly burdensome and unreasonable.   A sales representative sued her employer for uncompensated off-the-clock work. During discovery, the employer, Orange Lake Country Club, requested the following information from the employee:   All online profiles, postings, messages (including, without limitation, tweets, replies, retweets,…

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