Top Stories

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 >

Minneapolis Paid Sick Leave Faces Legal Fight on Extraterritorial Application

On May 9, 2018, the Hennepin County District Court issued an order largely upholding Minneapolis’s Sick and Safe Time Ordinance, which provides for sick and safe leave. However, Minneapolis cannot enforce the ordinance against non-resident employers (i.e. employers that do not have a physical presence within Minneapolis city limits). The order makes permanent a preliminary […] More >

Did the California Supreme Court Instantly Poison the Gig Economy?

On April 30, 2018, the California Supreme Court issued a ruling in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v Superior Court that will make classification of workers more complex and threaten the gig economy business model. The Court ruled that employers must now rely on the standard commonly referred to as the “ABC” test in order to determine whether workers are employees or independent contractors. More >

Court Rules Unintentional Age Discrimination Can Occur During Application Process

On April 26, 2018, the 7th Circuit ruled that job applicants—not just employees—can assert age discrimination claims arising from facially neutral hiring policies. In Kleber v. CareFusion Corporation, the court departed from recent rulings by other courts—most recently the 11th Circuit in Villareal v. R.J. Tobacco Co.—which have held that only employees can claim that a company’s activities or policies had a “disparate impact” due to age. More >

DOJ Signals There Are Lawful “No-Poaching” Agreements

In January 2018, the Department of Justice (DOJ) communicated that it would ramp-up criminal enforcement actions against companies that have no-poaching agreements, which in past years have been seen by the DOJ as a hall-pass allowing employers to avoid competing for workers, stifle demand in a market, and keep wages lower. A recent settlement with three employers, however, has reinforced the notion that not all no-poaching agreements are the same and helped define which kinds of no-poaching agreements may or may not lead to civil or criminal liability. More >