Category Archives: Employee Rights

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Ahead of Schedule? What Oregon’s Fair Work Week Bill Means to the Retail, Hospitality, and Food Service Industries

In case you didn’t know, Oregon enacted the “Fair Work Week” law, making it the first state to legally restrict the scheduling practices of employers in the service sector. The highlights include: an obligatory rest period for employees between shifts, written work schedules in advance of shifts, and additional pay for employees if employers want … Continue Reading

The NLRB/EEOC Landmine – When Does Offensive Speech Amount to Protected Activity?

Employers need to be on the lookout for instances of offensive employee speech, which may put them between a rock and a hard place as they navigate potential claims under either anti-discrimination laws or federal labor laws. You have probably heard that Google terminated an employee earlier this month for saying (among other things) that … Continue Reading

Spouse Swapping Not Cool for Police Officers, Says the Fifth Circuit

Just how much can you regulate a public employee’s off-duty conduct? In an interesting and rather frank opinion, the Fifth Circuit found a sheriff’s department could regulate deputies’ private conduct pretty broadly. In Brandon Coker and Michael Golden v. Julian Whittington and Charles Owens, two Louisiana sheriff’s deputies (Coker and Golden) were terminated for moving … Continue Reading

“Do You Kiss Your Mother With That Post?” Second Circuit Rules on Foul Facebook Post about Employer

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals stepped in to support the NLRB’s finding that an employee’s profanity-ridden social media posting about his employer (and his employer’s mother) was not so offensive that it went beyond the protections of the NLRA for union-related activity. This decision again shows the wide latitude given to employees to engage … Continue Reading

And NYC Makes Three: Massachusetts, Philadelphia, and New York City Ban Salary Inquiries

New York City will soon become the third jurisdiction to enact laws barring employers from asking a job applicant about former salaries. The goal? To eliminate one of the alleged sources of wage disparities between men and women in the workforce. NYC’s actions come on the heels of legislation in Massachusetts and Philadelphia. The new … Continue Reading

Why Not Ask About Prior Pay? It’s Against the Law in Some Places and Dangerous Everywhere

Setting a new employee’s pay based on what he or she made at a prior job is a fairly common practice—but now an illegal one in Philadelphia, PA. You heard right, Philadelphia has banned questions about salary history. This local law follows a Massachusetts law (similar but not identical) aimed at closing the pay gap … Continue Reading

Class Warfare: Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Cases on Arbitration Class Action Waivers

The NLRB wants to stop class action waivers in employment arbitration agreements, arguing they violate the National Labor Relations Act. This issue has been raging for several years and divided federal courts. As reported in our November 2, 2015, blog post, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a class action waiver in the important Murphy Oil … Continue Reading

C’est La Vie: No ‘Right to Disconnect’ in U.S., But Non-Exempt Workers Must Be Paid for ‘Connected’ Time

Could a “right to disconnect” become law in the U.S.? France is trying it. Effective January 1, a new French law went into effect giving workers a “right to disconnect” when not at work. French employers with 50 or more employees have to adopt written policies restricting the hours that workers can send or receive … Continue Reading
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