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Employers May Need to Reconsider Zero Tolerance Marijuana Policies

An article in the National Law Review has noted that employers in many states may want to reconsider their zero tolerance policies when it comes to marijuana use. For many years, even medical marijuana users with state-issued cards were being fired for testing positive for marijuana use, with few repercussions. However, as both medical and recreational use become more common, these stringent policies have become not only outdated, but potential liabilities for employers. Continue reading “Employers May Need to Reconsider Zero Tolerance Marijuana Policies”

California Anti-Arbitration Law Held Up by Federal Injunction

A recent California law that would have made it illegal to put mandatory arbitration clauses in employment contracts has been held up by an injunction from a federal court. The new anti-arbitration law faced a great deal of controversy, as employers have made arbitration agreements an increasingly common part of their employment contracts. The injunction was issued as part of a lawsuit by employers attempting to prevent the law from coming into effect, as it would have this year. Continue reading “California Anti-Arbitration Law Held Up by Federal Injunction”

Sixth Circuit Rules Some No-Fault Attendance Policies May Violate FMLA

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that some “no-fault” attendance policies may violate the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), depending on how they treat time taken off under the FMLA. While no-fault policies are seen in many places as preferable to divided sick and vacation days, their implementation may actually discourage people to take off time they’re legally entitled to. When that happens, an employer may be held liable. Continue reading “Sixth Circuit Rules Some No-Fault Attendance Policies May Violate FMLA”

DOL Issues Final Rule on Joint Employment

The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued its final rule for joint employment under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The rule helps to clarify an area of employment law that has long been a source of contention between employers and employees, ending contention that goes back at least sixty years. In particular, it creates clear criteria for what a “joint employer” is and what responsibilities they have to their employees. Continue reading “DOL Issues Final Rule on Joint Employment”

NLRA Allows Collective Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ruled that arbitration agreements containing provisions barring class or collective action do not violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Additionally, the NLRB ruled that an employer may legally terminate the employment of an employee who refuses to sign an arbitration agreement with class or collective action waivers included in its language. The ruling affirms existing precedent regarding arbitration agreements, although it also departs from precedent in allowing such an agreement to be considered valid, even when it was distributed in response to a collective action it was attempting to halt. Continue reading “NLRA Allows Collective Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements”

Fair Chance Act Restricts Employers from Asking About Criminal History

A provision in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has made it illegal for employers throughout the United States to inquire about a person’s criminal record prior to a conditional offer of employment. Known as the “Fair Chance to Compete for Jobs Act of 2019,” or the “Fair Chance Act” for short, the provision abolishes the section on job applications that requires a person to disclose their criminal history. The measure is aimed at improving the opportunities for those previously convicted of a crime to return to regular society and obtain honest employment. Continue reading “Fair Chance Act Restricts Employers from Asking About Criminal History”

Former Tinder Executive Must Arbitrate Sexual Assault Claim

A federal district court in California has ruled that a former executive for Tinder, the popular dating app, must resolve her sexual assault claim against the company’s CEO in private arbitration. This is in accordance with an arbitration agreement she signed a full year after the alleged assault, which was determined to apply retroactively. The executive claimed the agreement was forced on her to silence her, but the judge determined it was still valid and enforceable. Continue reading “Former Tinder Executive Must Arbitrate Sexual Assault Claim”

NLRB Allows Employers to Restrict Employees’ Email

In a recent ruling, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) reversed a 2014 decision that gave employees the presumptive right to use their employer’s email system for non-work-related purposes during nonworking time. In the new decision, the NLRB instead ruled that employers retained the right to restrict employee use of an employer’s email system, so long as it did so on a nondiscriminatory basis. This could have a significant impact on employees’ ability to organize for labor purposes.

The new ruling, Caesars Entertainment dba Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, the NLRB considered a case where employees were using their employer’s email system when not working to organize for labor purposes. While employers undeniably have a right to control their own property, including their company’s email systems, employees also undeniably have a right under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to communicate for labor organizing. The question is whether the employer’s property right or the employees’ labor rights takes precedence.

Previously, in 2014’s Purple Communications, Inc., the NLRB ruled that an employee who is given access to an employer’s email system has a presumptive right to use that system for labor organizing purposes protected by Section 7 of the NLRA, provided they do not do it during work hours. In the new decision, this was reversed, allowing employers to deny employee access to the email system for labor purposes, provided they do not discriminate in doing so. The only exception to this rule is if there is no other available means for employees to reasonably conduct Section 7 protected activity, but this is a very narrow exception.

               If you are looking into unionizing, or you already have a union and are in a dispute with your employer, give the Law Offices of Steve Sack a call. Steven Mitchell Sack, the Employee’s Lawyer, is a New York employment lawyer who has considerable experience in handling the many aspects of labor and employment law. To schedule a consultation with New York City employment lawyer Steve Mitchell Sack, call (917) 371-8000.

U.K. Court Rules Woman Was Discriminated Against for Being Too Young

A British court has ruled that an employer discriminated against a young woman for being too young, under the U.K. Equality Act. The law, unlike equivalent legislation in the United States, prohibits all forms of age discrimination, whether against older employees or younger ones. Typically, age discrimination laws only protect older workers from being discriminated against, but some hope the U.S. might extend similar protections to younger workers as well. Continue reading “U.K. Court Rules Woman Was Discriminated Against for Being Too Young”

Company Violated ADA By Firing Man With Vision Problems

The United States District Court of Maryland has ruled that an employer violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when he was dismissed due to vision problems. The vision problems were caused by a benign brain tumor for which the employee was seeking medical treatment. The employer argued the condition didn’t legally constitute a disability. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) disagreed, and the District Court affirmed the EEOC’s decision. Continue reading “Company Violated ADA By Firing Man With Vision Problems”