Follow Us
twittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube
Subscribe to the BT Currents Blog

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Recent Posts
The Legal Stuff
BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law
0 0

03 Jul 2014 Supreme Court Sides with Hobby Lobby in Contraception Case

  On June 30, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties could claim a religious exemption to the requirement that they provide health insurance for contraceptives. At issue in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Burwell, was a provision of the Affordable Care Act which required companies with more than 50 employees to cover the costs associated with various types of contraceptives. The owners of these entities challenged this mandate saying it forced…

READ MORE
0 0

01 Jul 2014 New California Employment Laws Take Effect on July 1, 2014—Increased Minimum Wage, Expanded Paid Family Leave and Further Limits on Background Checks

  California employers should be prepared to comply with several new laws that take effect on July 1, 2014. These new laws will increase California’s minimum wage from $8.00 to $9.00 per hour, expand the list of family members for whose care employees are eligible to receive Paid Family Leave wage-replacement benefits and further limit the background checks that state and local agencies can perform.  A more complete description of the new laws taking effect on July 1, 2014, can be found here.    

READ MORE
0 0

27 Jun 2014 U.S. District Court Strikes Down Indiana’s Ban On Same-Sex Marriage

  On June 25, 2014, U.S. District Judge Richard Young ruled that Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  Judge Young’s decision in Baskin et al v. Hogan et al can be found here. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has requested a stay of Judge Young’s decision pending an appeal. In the meantime, local Indiana courts have starting issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.   Unless Judge Young’s decision is stayed or overturned on…

READ MORE
0 0

24 Jun 2014 California Supreme Court Provides Sweeping Class Waiver Guidance: Accepts Concepcion, Overturns Gentry; Rejects D. R. Horton Theory; Leaves PAGA Loophole

  On June 23, 2014, the California Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated arbitration decision in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC (Iskanian).  In a far-reaching opinion, the Court accepted the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion (Concepcion) holding class action waivers in arbitration agreements are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). This part of the opinion was a victory for California employers in that it overturned a prior California Supreme Court decision, Gentry v. Superior Court that…

READ MORE
0 0

23 Jun 2014 Opinions About Noncompetes: Actual Supporting Data Not Required

  I have expressed skepticism here before about theories about the impact of noncompetes on the economy and human behavior. Maybe the expressed theories are right and maybe they’re not, but it just seems that the actual support behind the theories is quite limited.   So of course I had to read “Noncompete Clauses Increasingly Pop Up in an Array of Jobs” in none other than the New York Times.  And as expected it is a series of anecdotes, though there are “plenty of other examples,” and…

READ MORE
0 0

20 Jun 2014 FMLA Protections Should Include Same-Sex Spouses Everywhere, says DOL

  Same-sex spouses everywhere in the United States–even if they live in states that don’t recognize their marriages—should be entitled to the benefits and protections under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), according to a proposal announced earlier today  by Labor Secretary Thomas Perez.   This announcement is consistent with the Obama Administration’s aggressive use of the powers of the Executive Branch and with the Supreme Court’s decision last summer in United States v. Windsor, which struck down key provisions of the “Defense of…

READ MORE
0 0

19 Jun 2014 Revisiting Judicial Approval of Fair Labor Standards Act Settlements

  Over the past few weeks, there have been a slew of reported decisions in which federal judges have struck down proposed settlements of Fair Labor Standards Act claims. As many employers familiar with the FLSA know, court approval has long been recognized as a prerequisite for settling FLSA claims. Typically, court approval is not a difficult process: by the time the parties seek out the court’s blessing, they already have hammered out most of the terms following arm’s length negotiations. In other words, all…

READ MORE
0 0

16 Jun 2014 ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: COURT OKS “INFLEXIBLE” SIX MONTHS OF LEAVE

  Must an employer allow more than six months sick leave to an ill employee? In Hwang v. Kansas State University, a federal appeals court answered with a clear, “No.”   An assistant professor at Kansas State University was diagnosed with cancer and needed extended time off for treatment. The university granted the professor a six-month paid leave of absence, but it declined to extend her leave after a subsequent request for more time. The university cited its “inflexible” policy, which allowed no more than…

READ MORE
0 0

10 Jun 2014 Illinois moves to ban criminal background questions from job applications

Private employers in Illinois with 15 or more employees will have to revamp their job applications to remove questions about criminal background history and postpone such inquiries to the job interview or conditional job offer stage of the hiring process under legislation that is expected to be signed into law by the governor.   The so-called “ban the box” measure, titled the Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act will take effect January 1, 2015, if, as expected, Governor Pat Quinn approves it. The governor already…

READ MORE