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The Legal Stuff
BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law

05 Oct Can Charter School Teachers Unionize? Here’s How to Know

In many states, charter schools are a creature of statute often operating within the blurred line between public oversight and private ownership, which places them in a legal grey area when it comes to federal labor statutes.   The National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) applies to most private employers, but its jurisdiction does not extend to the federal government or any state or political subdivision thereof. Although the NLRA does not define “political subdivision,” it has long been defined to include two situations: when an…

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27 Sep Politics Aside, Lessons on Sex, Power & the Workplace

When you look beyond the politics, the personalities, and the brouhaha surrounding the nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, there are valuable lessons for employers in their ongoing efforts to quell sexual harassment.   Even today, against the backdrop of #MeToo, harassment often goes unreported. Why?   Even though businesses reinforce anti-harassment policies, conduct training, and regularly investigate misconduct, employees hesitate to report bad behavior. Why?   The events of the last couple weeks offer some explanation. The first woman to make an accusation received death…

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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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20 Sep New FCRA Form for Pre-Employment Background Checks Starts Sept. 21

Employers who routinely use third party credit reporting agencies for pre-employment background screening have a new requirement due to recent changes to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Starting September 21, 2018, employers that use background checks must notify job applicants and employees of their rights under the FCRA using a new “Summary of Consumer Rights” form. Failure to provide the correct notification can expose employers to legal risk, including class action litigation. The primary change to the form relates to disclosures regarding the consumer’s…

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11 Sep New Illinois law aims to prevent violence against nurses Act includes training requirements and whistleblower protection, effective January 1.

To address the risks of violence against nurses and other health care workers, Illinois hospitals and other employers of health care workers will be required to comply with workplace violence training and related safety requirements, effective January 1, 2019.   The Illinois Health Care Violence Prevention Act, recently signed into law by the Illinois governor, includes a multi-prong approach to addressing workplace violence against nurses. In particular, health care providers will be required to create a workplace violence prevention program that not only complies with…

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