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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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11 Aug 2014 OFCCP PROPOSES RULE TO COLLECT COMPENSATION DATA FROM FEDERAL CONTRACTORS

  On August 6, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking requiring certain federal contractors to submit an annual Equal Pay Report on employee compensation. Under the proposed rule, Companies that file EEO1 reports, have more than one hundred employees and hold federal contracts or subcontracts worth more than fifty thousand dollars would need to submit an Equal Pay Report each year to the OFCCP. The Equal Pay Report would “provide summary data…

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08 Aug 2014 FMLA AND FITNESS FOR DUTY LETTER OF THE LAW: CURRENT EMPLOYMENT LAW ISSUES A-Z

  An employer may require an employee to provide a “fitness for duty” certification when he or she returns from taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), assuring that employees are able to safely perform all job duties when they return to work. Employers should be careful to comply with Department of Labor guidance on such certifications and, where this guidance feels unduly restrictive (which happens), consult with counsel on how best to proceed.  The requirement for certifications should be uniformly applied…

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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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04 Aug 2014 Federal Appellate Court Rules That Arbitration of Class Action Claims Is An Issue For Courts And Not Arbitrators To Decide

  One of the difficulties associated with alternative dispute resolution procedures, and particularly binding arbitration, is that the process occasionally can become bogged down by questions of procedure: instead of battling over the merits of the dispute itself, the parties spend considerable time and resources on where the dispute should be resolved (in court or in front of an arbitrator). This can be even more taxing when the question is over who gets to decide the issue of whether the claim should be arbitrated (the…

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01 Aug 2014 Employee Evaluation Practices Under Scrutiny LETTER OF THE LAW: CURRENT EMPLOYMENT LAW ISSUES A-Z

Recent weeks have seen employee evaluation practices in the news several times. For example, following an investigation into its employee review system, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced in May of this year that it would completely eliminate performance ratings previously assigned to some employees. In addition, the Bureau decided to assign high performance ratings to employees who received certain lower ratings in the past two years and to provide pay raises to those employees.   The Bureau had come under fire due to…

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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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