DOL Issues Updated Guidance on Intermittent Leave and Telework

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was signed into law on March 18, 2020, bringing with it a slew of changes to various labor laws. Among the most significant of these changes were those rules regarding intermittent leave and telework, two practices that are substantially more important now that the coronavirus pandemic is ongoing. Employers who intend to have their employees work from home, as well as employees intending to work from home, should familiarize themselves with these provisions to understand how they might affect their business. Continue reading “DOL Issues Updated Guidance on Intermittent Leave and Telework”

New York Passes Paid Quarantine Compensation Law

New York State has passed a law guaranteeing pay and job security for employees forced to quarantine themselves as a result of the coronavirus. The law comes as many New Yorkers are forced to work from home, and many others are left jobless due to quarantine procedures. The purpose of the new law is to protect people’s jobs and incomes at a time when it’s unclear how many businesses will be able to open again once the threat of the coronavirus passes. Continue reading “New York Passes Paid Quarantine Compensation Law”

Employers Ask Employees to Work from Home Due to Coronavirus

Many employers like having their employees work in an office, even when it isn’t strictly necessary. It allows them to keep their resources and personnel in one place, and it allows them to oversee and control their employees’ activities more efficiently. With concerns about the coronavirus growing, however, more employers are looking at the benefits of having their employees work from home. Continue reading “Employers Ask Employees to Work from Home Due to Coronavirus”

Kickstarter Employees Vote to Unionize

Employees at Kickstarter, the online crowdfunding website, have voted to form a labor union, becoming the first white-collar employees in the tech industry to do so. The union consists of a collection of accountants, content directors and software designers who sought better pay and working conditions from their employer. While the first of its kind, the Kickstarter union may be a sign of things to come in the tech industry. Continue reading “Kickstarter Employees Vote to Unionize”

NLRB Upholds Employee Cell Phone Ban

Many employers have attempted to initiate rules against employee cell phone use during work hours to curtail texting, using social media, or browsing the internet. Given the importance of the devices in most peoples’ day-to-day lives, courts have generally frowned upon broad bans on cell phone use. However, in at least one narrow case, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has been willing to approve an employee cell phone ban. Continue reading “NLRB Upholds Employee Cell Phone Ban”

Employer Permitted to Force Employee Weekend Overtime

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has recently issued an advice memo stating that an employer could force its employees to work overtime on the weekend. This was notwithstanding an extant union contract that had vague language with respect to whether the employer could force its employees to work overtime. The NLRB memo is a good reminder that employment contracts, including union contracts, need to be carefully worded to avoid exploitation by an employer or employee. Continue reading “Employer Permitted to Force Employee Weekend Overtime”

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”

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”