Top Stories

Massachusetts Reforms Employment Laws to Include Generous Paid Family Leave Program

On June 28, 2018, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill reforming several employment laws and creates one of the most employee-generous paid family and medical leave programs in the country. The program, which will be funded by a combination of payroll deductions and employer contributions, guarantees up to 26 weeks of paid leave for current and some former employees, and allows self-employed contractors to opt into the program. More >

Nilan Johnson Lewis Named a Best Law Firm for Female Attorneys

Nilan Johnson Lewis (NJL) is proud to announce that it has again been named to Law 360’s “Best Law Firms for Female Attorneys” list, a ranking published as part of the news organization’s annual Glass Ceiling report. The firm placed No. 18 among all U.S. legal services firms employing at least 20 but fewer than 150 lawyers. More >

Duluth Adopts Paid Sick and Safe Leave Beginning in 2020

On May 30, 2018, the Duluth City Council passed an ordinance requiring private employers to provide paid sick and safe leave to employees, following other Minnesota cities like Minneapolis and St. Paul. The ordinance takes effect on January 1, 2020. Because this is a contentious issue, we expect to see additional amendments before the ordinance takes effect. More >

Supreme Court Gifts Employers with Big Arbitration Win

On May 21, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a huge win to employers in its much-anticipated decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis. Writing for a five-person majority, Justice Gorsuch upheld the validity of agreements that require employees to arbitrate claims against their employer or an individual—as opposed to a class or collective—basis. The court had been called to determine whether such class/collective waivers violate an employee’s right to engage in “concerted activities” as provided in the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Federal courts had been at odds on this issue, and the Supreme Court consolidated three cases to resolve the disagreement. More >

Banning the Box… with a Blanket

July 15, 2018, marks the 20th birthday for “ban the box” legislation, e.g., the practice of removing the checkbox found on job applications for divulging past criminal records so that candidates’ qualifications can be considered without the stigma of past convictions or arrest records. Since that time, 10 states and scores of municipalities have adopted […] More >

Employers Are Walking the Tightrope Between Maintaining a Civil Work Environment and NLRA Compliance

Lately, employers have often found themselves performing a difficult balancing act between compliance with the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and maintaining a non-hostile work environment. This stems from two recent cases brought before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), where the NLRB found that employees who used vulgar and derogatory speech while participating in […] More >