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St. Paul City Council Adopts Paid Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance

On September 7, 2016, the St. Paul City Council adopted a new paid sick and safe leave ordinance. The ordinance was proposed by a special task force appointed by St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and the Council and vetted through the St. Paul Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity Commission and several City Council meetings. The ordinance will be effective on July 1, 2017, for employers with 24 or more employees, and on July 1, 2018, for employers with 23 or fewer employees. More >

Dispute Over Arbitration Agreement Deepens Wedge Between Circuit Courts. Supreme Court Next?

On Aug. 22, 2016, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Morris v. Ernst & Young LLP, joining the 7th Circuit in holding that arbitration agreements precluding all forms of collective or representative actions are unenforceable because they are illegal under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Morris deepens a circuit split that already existed between, on one hand, the 7th Circuit and, on the other, the 2nd, 5th and 8th Circuits, all of which concluded that compulsory individualized arbitration is permissible. More >

Circuit Split May Invite U.S. Supreme Court Review of Age Discrimination in Hiring

Though employees may bring a claim for age-based discrimination against their employer under the Age Discrimination Employment Act (ADEA) without an expressly discriminatory policy in place, the question remains whether job applicants are allowed to do so under the same disparate impact theory of liability. This issue will be examined in late June 2016 by the 11th Circuit Court when they convene for a rehearing of Villarreal v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. The answer was clear and decidedly in favor of employers until November 30, 2015, when a divided panel of the 11th Circuit ruled otherwise. More >

FAA Releases Finalized Operational Rules for Small Commercial Drones

the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) finalized the much-anticipated rules for commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones). The rules were initially proposed in February 2015 and will now take effect in late August 2016. At that time, companies – ranging from real estate companies wanting to take aerial photography of properties to organizations wishing to inspect inventory or utilities – will no longer need to apply for an FAA Section 333 exemption for routine commercial drone use as long as their operations comply with the new rules. More >