California wage laws have taken another alarming departure from federal standards. The highest state court recently held in Frlekin v. Apple that non-exempt employees must be paid for the time their bags and personal belongings are inspected before leaving the office. According to the California Supreme Court, that time is compensable even though the employees brought the items voluntarily and for their own benefit. The determinative question for the court was whether they remained under the employer’s control during inspection time.
The California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) went into effect January 1, 2020, though the enforcement of the CCPA is delayed until July 1, 2020. The obligations set forth below will apply to all parties; however, the application to B2B or employer/employee situations are delayed for implementation until 2021. In the implementing regulations, the California Attorney General had hoped to provide clarity to CCPA, but there remain ambiguities.
Recent IoT Class Actions Highlight Need for Manufacturers & Vendors of Connected Products to Be Aware of Liability Risks
The Internet of Things (IoT) products have become a way of life. There are huge benefits of “smart” products, which interact through the internet to gather and exchange data to provide additional functions, security, and easy use for consumers. These “smart” products are present in our everyday lives, including such standard products as refrigerators, watches, fire alarms, door locks, security systems, and fitness trackers. These are only a few examples of the many IoT products on the market today. However, in spite of the significant benefits provided by connected products, the new technology raises thorny legal issues and is leading to litigation.
Posted January 7, 2020 in Top Stories
Adding More Deep Expertise, Nilan Johnson Lewis Welcomes Largest Group of Laterals in History, Promotes Experienced Associates to Shareholders
Minnesota law firm Nilan Johnson Lewis (NJL) announces it has added four new attorneys and promoted three attorneys to shareholder, effective immediately. The additions represent the firm's largest acquisition of talent in its history and brings its employee count to 56 attorneys and 36 other professionals.
It is a December miracle: late on Friday, December 20, 2019, President Trump signed a $1.4 trillion spending package that included the repeal of the nonprofit parking tax!
On Monday, December 16, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi granted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by trade organization United States Vaping Association and Big Time Vapes, Inc., a vape store in Mississippi, challenging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authority to regulate e-cigarettes.
The American Bar Association just issued an opinion about what lawyers and law firms can and should do when lawyers move from one firm to another. A key point of the opinion is that, according to the ABA, “ethics rules do not allow non-competition clauses in partnership, member, shareholder, or employment agreements” among attorneys. Remember, though, that these rules may not be the ultimate authority in the in-house counsel context.
The Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights has now issued an Example Prehire Notice and an updated Notice Poster informing employees of their rights under the Ordinance.
Posted November 6, 2019 in Top Stories
Two Nilan Johnson Lewis associates - Allyson Petersen and Pharaoh Lewis - were recently featured in the Minnesota State Bar Association's (MSBA) Profiles in Practice, a showcase of Hennepin County attorneys with diverse and distinguished careers.
Posted November 4, 2019 in Top Stories
Minneapolis law firm Nilan Johnson Lewis announces it has added Mai Lee Yang as an associate, effective immediately. Yang brings more than five years of legal services experience to the firm. Her practice has focused on assisting health care companies, providers, insurers and plans, as well as medical device manufacturers, clinical laboratories and other clients with compliance and transaction needs involving federal and state laws, regulations and sub-regulatory guidance.
Posted November 1, 2019 in Top Stories
Free Speech or Belligerence? NLRB Reassessing the Threshold for When Otherwise Protected Activity Crosses the Line
For employees boisterously raising employment-related concerns on behalf of a larger group, when might their words or actions be so hostile or offensive that they lose the protections of federal labor law? The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) hopes to shed new light on this issue soon, as its open-comment period on the subject closes in November.
A recent Minnesota Court of Appeals decision affirmed that funds like endowment funds, held by charitable organizations, will generally be considered gifts and not contracts.
New pay equity requirements have already taken effect in 2019 in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Oregon, and the State of Washington. And this trend isn’t slowing down, as even more requirements are slated to take effect in fall 2019 and beyond, including in Colorado, Oregon, New York, and New Jersey. Employers should take care to review their recruiting, interviewing, and other hiring practices—many of these new laws join the growing, nationwide trend banning pre-employment inquiries about salary history.
In recent years, some investors have grown increasingly vocal about pay equity issues, with a few investor funds calling on companies to publish compensation data by gender. While the intentions are commendable, its approach is problematic because the median pay gap is easily misinterpreted as a measure of “all things being equal.”
The Minneapolis Wage Theft Prevention Ordinance will go into effect on January 1, 2020, requiring employers to provide wage notices and comply with various recordkeeping requirements for employees who work at least 80 hours per year in the City of Minneapolis. We've highlighted the FAQs and Rules that differ from the guidance provided on the state wage theft statute
Manufacturers of personal transportation and other micromobility devices—as well as providers of sharing networks for such devices—can save hundreds of thousands of dollars in litigation fees by taking proactive steps to avoid potential legal claims and successfully defend against claims that do occur. One area where manufacturers and retailers can mitigate risk is in their customer and vendor contracts.
The U.S. Department of Labor announced a proposed rule that would allow employers who do not take a tip credit to establish a tip pool to be shared between (1) workers who receive tips and are paid the full minimum wage and (2) employees who do not traditionally receive tips, such as dishwashers and cooks. While this is an important change to federal wage-and-hour laws, the critical point for Minnesota restaurateurs is that this proposed rule, if enacted, does not affect Minnesota’s unique tip-pooling laws and regulations.
Approximately two years ago, a number of employers received charges of discrimination alleging that they discriminated against applicants by restricting the recipients of employment advertisements on Facebook. The EEOC just found reasonable cause on the first seven such charges; and more probable cause determinations seem likely in the near future. Employers who have not yet been targeted should take steps now to prepare.
Has the Dust Settled? Interpreting Minnesota’s New Wage Theft Law in the Face of Constantly-Changing DOLI Guidance
The Wage Theft Statute requires Minnesota employers to provide employees with a written notice outlining specific terms of employment, including things like the employee’s rate of pay, paid time off and vacation policies, and whether the employee is exempt from Minnesota’s minimum wage, overtime, and other provisions. The statute also adds requirements to recordkeeping, the frequency of pay, and earnings statements. Here are the basics of the new law.