legal issues

Can You Enforce the Confidentiality of Employee Settlements?

A reader emailed me yesterday. “Hey Eric, Clients are wondering about value of settlement NDAs after ex-Fox News HWE victims go public despite contracts. Your reaction?” Wait! You mean employees actually violate confidentiality provisions? I know, right? By way of brief background, in late July, New York ran a story by Gabriel Sherman, suggesting a…

What Does the ADA Require For a Mental Health Episode At Work?

My skin crawls thinking about the Google search terms that will land some HR professionals on this post, which involves a failed suicide attempt. Hopefully, this is not a practice tip upon which you’ll need to draw in the course of your HR career. But, just in case… In a recent opinion, the Seventh…

What Brexit May Mean For U.S. Companies With Overseas Workers

Editor’s note: Non-nationals working in the U.K. are beginning to worry about their job prospects there in light of the Brexit vote. A report from one of Europe’s leading search firms suggests a talent exodus may be starting. Read about it on TLNT today: Brexit Fallout: Is the U.K. Facing a Brain Drain?…

Your Agency Temps Can Now Form A Bargaining Unit With Your Own Employees

Over the last seven+ years, the National Labor Relations Board has consistently expanded collective bargaining rights in a variety of employment settings. Continuing that trend, the NLRB has now reversed over a decade of precedent and ruled that temporary employees supplied by one company (“supplier employer”) to another company (“user employer”) to perform…

The 3 Biggest Compliance Worries You Should Be Worrying About

I came across Littler Mendelson’s Executive Employer Survey Report, which “examines the legal, economic and social issues having the greatest impact on the workplace, based on survey responses from 844 in-house counsel, human resources professionals and C-suite executives from a range of industries.” What has respondents losing sleep at night? From the executive…

With So Many Paid Leave Laws, How Do You Know What Applies?

Let’s face it: The national conversation on paid leave has changed. Looking back even one year ago, news outlets were mainly focused on decrying the state of the unpaid sick and parental leave protections offered in the U.S., as compared to other developed countries. That reality is rapidly changing. A number of states…

EEOC Settles First Sexual Orientation Lawsuit

In early March, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed its first lawsuits, in which it alleged that employer had violated Title VII by discriminating based on sexual orientation. Late last week, one of those lawsuits settled. (A second, against Scott Medical Health Center, is pending.) Dani Kass from Law360 reports here that the EEOC…

Few Give Their Policy Management System Passing Grades

The days of organizations conducting policy management through spreadsheets, email and generic document-sharing platforms aren’t over yet. But they probably should be. Because policy management is often a shared responsibility among many departments and affects all employees, the performance and compliance downsides of outdated policy management systems can infect entire organizations. And policy…

Why You Might Want Exempt Employees to Keep Timecards

Management need not keep hours-worked records for employees who qualify for one of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act’s Section 13(a)(1) executive, administrative, professional, outside-sales, and derivative exemptions. Of course, employers may nevertheless maintain those records for such employees if they wish, and some do. However, one aspect of the U.S. Labor Department’s…

Training Has Little Effect On Workplace Sex Harassment

Despite 30 years of training and sensitivity sessions since the U.S. Supreme Court first said sexual harassment is discrimination,  workplace harassment has come to dominate the charges brought to the EEOC by private sector and state and government employees. A report released today by the chairs of a task force of the Equal…

How a Good Job Description Helped An Employer Win

Since all of you have mastered reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, this post seems rather unnecessary. Oh, that’s weird. Why is there smoke billowing from my blog servers? Qualified individuals and essential job functions Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, an employer must make a reasonable accommodation to the known disability of a qualified individual if it would…

HR’s Role In Protecting Company Trade Secrets

On May 11th, President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (“DTSA”) into law. It is an amendment to the Economic Espionage Act and provides a new, federal court civil claim for acts of trade secret misappropriation that occur on or after May 11, 2016. Most states have statutes providing a…

Small Employers Could Be On the Hook For Health Care, Family Leave

Every business that has contractors or temps supplied by another company needs to be alert for the likelihood the U.S. Department of Labor will find a joint employer relationship exists. This is as true for small employers as it is for the largest. A lengthy Administrator’s Interpretation issued last month by the Labor…

New OFCCP Pay Transparency Rules In Effect

The nascent trend toward pay transparency has a friend in the U.S. government, which now prohibits its contractors from discriminating against or punishing employees or job applicants for discussing or disclosing their pay. The OFCCP last week began enforcing Executive Order 13665, which was issued by President Obama in 2014. The intent is to…

Don’t Give Up If Your Candidate Fails a Drug Test

Having a problem collecting? Wondering about your non-compete agreements? Should you check references and do background checks? Jeffrey Allen can help. Email him your toughest questions and get the kind of help you need now! Click here to reach Jeff. Dear Jeff: Lately it seems I am getting every strange circumstance in healthcare…

Without An Agreement You Don’t Get Paid

Editor’s note: Jeff Allen has heard every employer excuse you can imagine for not paying up — and dozens more that defy imagination. A few years ago he began documenting them in a weekly collections column. Because of the importance of collections, Fordyce will periodically reprise the most common situations he addressed. What…

Got a Fee Dispute? Here’s How A Judge Will Decide

There are two purposes of every contract: To protect the “reasonable expectations” of the parties. To compensate one or more parties for “damages” caused by “reasonable reliance” on those expectations. Your printed fee schedule (or letter) is a contract with the employer, whether it’s signed or not. If you want to learn more…

Employee Payback Agreements: Legal, But Unwise

Having a problem collecting? Wondering about your non-compete agreements? Should you check references and do background checks? Jeffrey Allen can help Email him your toughest questions and get the kind of help you need now! Click here to reach Jeff. Jeff, I want to thank you for the insight you always share in…