The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has begun the process of reviewing a potential change to federal regulations about the use of restrictive covenants in employment contracts. The goal of these changes is, ostensibly, to allow employees a greater degree of freedom to change employment without fear of legal retribution. Employers, however, are wary of these potential changes, which they say may make it easier for employees to personally benefit from trade secrets or other confidential information. Continue reading “FTC Begins Review of Rule on Restrictive Covenants”
New York Governor Kathy Hochul has announced that, as of December 13, all public places in the state must require masks to allow people to enter. This mandate comes at the recommendation of the New York State Department of Health, which has noted a sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations throughout the state. The mask mandate affects everyone over the age of two, although businesses may require proof of vaccination in lieu of a mask.
Under a new law set to take effect next May, employers in New York State would be required to inform employees in advance if they intend to engage in electronic monitoring of their workforce. This law, S2628, will have a substantial effect on employers that use various technologies to monitor their employees’ electronic communications, who currently do not need to tell their employees if they do so. Employers who violate this law may find themselves subject to investigation and fines by the New York Attorney General’s (AG’s) office.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has just issued guidance, clarifying that employees can seek a legal remedy in the event they suffer retaliation for reporting COVID-19 related violations. This means that anyone who suffers employment discrimination for reporting employers that violate COVID-19 labor protections can file a complaint with the EEOC or pursue litigation in court, as appropriate. This guidance has upset some employers, who fear a wave of lawsuits for alleged COVID-19 retaliation.
Employees at Activision Blizzard, a major game publisher, have staged a walkout in protest of sexual misconduct and other labor abuses alleged against the company. This walkout comes on the heels of a Washington Post article that reveals Activision Blizzard’s CEO not only knew about these abuses for years, but actively aided in covering them up and, in some cases, was himself a perpetrator. Now, employees are demanding radical changes at the company, including the resignation of the CEO himself.
In a recently filed lawsuit, the College Basketball Players Association (CBPA) has accused the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) of violating Sec. 8(a)(1) of the NLRA “by classifying college athletes as student-athletes.” In so doing, the CBPA alleges the NCAA has illegally benefitted from the work of college athletes without giving them the income or benefits they would otherwise be entitled to. They have filed a charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to have them investigate the issue, with the intent of changing the existing law.
A critical part of the process of unionizing is holding what is known as a union election. Without it, you cannot legally form a union in the United States, and you cannot move forward with negotiating with your employer collectively. But what exactly is a union election, and how do you go about holding one in your workplace?
The New York State Department of Human Rights (NYSDHR) has announced that it has stopped the policy of discontinuing complaints about labor and employment violations after the parties have reached a private settlement. Supporters of the change say that it will help to prevent future labor and employment abuses. However, critics of the new policy say that it will harm people’s ability to obtain private settlements, dragging out cases for months or years and encouraging more employers to go to trial.
Sexual harassment is a sadly common phenomenon seen in workplaces throughout New York and the rest of the country. Despite how common it is, though, not everyone recognizes sexual harassment when they see it. Here are some of the most common forms of sexual harassment seen in workplace settings:
Broadly speaking, there are two primary types of workers: employees and independent contractors. While this may not seem especially relevant to some people, the legal distinction between the two is incredibly important. Depending on whether you are an employee or independent contractor, you could have far different protections and responsibilities to your employer. Here are five things you should know about independent contractors: