Jennifer Lawrence may be Hollywood’s highest-paid actress, according to Forbes magazine. But in a recent essay published in Lena Dunham’s e-newsletter “Lenny Letter,” the Oscar-winner describes how she learned, through the 2014 Sony email hack, that she was paid less than her male co-stars in the 2013 film, “American Hustle.” The Los Angeles Times reported that Lawrence was paid only 7% of the film’s profits, while Bradley Cooper and two other male co-stars each earned 9%. (more…)

If persistence is what you want from the NLRB, then you are probably happy with the Board’s recent ruling on Murphy Oil USA’s class and collective action waivers.  In case you missed it, the NLRB held that employment arbitration provisions that contain class and collective waivers are unlawful.  The NLRB’s decision came in direct conflict with a recent decision from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Indeed, just two years ago the Fifth Circuit reversed a virtually identical NLRB decision, which seemed to decide the issue for good.  The NLRB, however, took another bite at the apple and reignited the controversy in Murphy Oil USA v. NLRB. (more…)

Eddie Employee is an hourly employee of Company, Inc. Eddie notifies Sally Supervisor that he will undergo surgery, and will need continuous medical leave to recover. While out on leave, Eddie’s co-workers, who are “friends” with him on social media, report to Sally that Eddie is posting photographs of him jet-skiing, dancing, and partying on a cruise to the Caribbean. To verify these reports, Sally logs onto her social media account, and sees these photographs. As a result, Sally terminates Eddie’s employment. Does the Company face liability under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”)? (more…)

Fall is upon us and the holiday season will soon follow. Along with the joy of this special season often comes requests from civic groups to partner with for-profit companies for fundraising or other charitable purposes. For example, the local Rotary Club might request that its members serve as your restaurant’s wait staff for a night with all tips and donations going to a charity of its choosing; or a charitable organization may offer to assemble your company’s mass mailings in exchange for a donation.  For-profit organizations must, however, carefully consider the Fair Labor Standards Act prior to using volunteers. Because, if a court or the Department of Labor (“DOL”) deems that a volunteer actually performed the services of an employee, that person must be paid at least the minimum wage and overtime if applicable under the FLSA. (more…)

It is a common practice for employers to check criminal backgrounds or credit ratings of potential, and sometimes current, employees.  Background checks that provide this type of information are helpful to employers when evaluating candidates for employment, as such information can help safeguard a business and limit exposure to liability for negligent hiring.  When an employer runs a background check, however, it must be sure to comply with the many requirements of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). (more…)

March for Life, et al. v. Sylvia M. Burwell, et al., No. 14-CV-1149 (D.D.C. August 31, 2015) available at

Hobby Lobby took on the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that it must provide female employees certain contraceptives on religious grounds and won. March for Life, a pro-life organization, is trying to reach the same result but on different grounds: It objects to providing certain contraceptives based solely on moral grounds. And it has successfully completed the first leg of its journey. (more…)

President Obama may soon issue an executive order mandating that employers who contract with the Federal government, and their subcontractors, provide paid sick leave to employees.  A report in The New York Times released a draft of the executive order, which was marked “confidential” as well as “pre-decisional and determinative;” therefore, the specifics of the executive order are subject to change.  (more…)

On May 4, 2015, OSHA issued a final rule setting new standards for workers in confined spaces on construction sites.  The new rule requires coordination for multiple employers at the worksite, a competent person to evaluate the worksite and identify confined spaces, continuous atmospheric monitoring and monitoring of engulfment hazards, allowing suspension of a permit in the event of changed conditions, and require employers to (i) prevent exposure to hazards through elimination if a permit system is not in place, (ii) coordinate with emergency personnel in advance of any emergencies and (iii) provide training in a language and vocabulary the worker understands.  Notably, the new rule also imposes responsibilities on controlling contractors and host employers with regards to contractors and subcontractors who work on site.  These standards become effective August 3, 2015. (more…)

The Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) six-factor test has long been the incontrovertible standard for determining whether employers are required to pay an intern under the Fair Labor Standards Act. That may no longer be the case after the Second Court of Appeals’ decision earlier this month in Glatt v. Fox Searchligh Pictures, Inc., Nos. 13-4478-cv, 13-4481-cv (2d Cir. July 2, 2015). In Glatt, three graduate students alleged the film company violated the FLSA by not paying them minimum wage or overtime when it allowed them to work as unpaid interns. (more…)

When your business depends on a carefully-crafted public image, you do not want the public to know how hard you work to maintain that image. These days, that includes preventing your employees from revealing too much via Twitter and Instagram. At Walt Disney World, for example, Mickey and Minnie Mouse clock in and out of work each day and Cinderella does not end her shift by retiring to her castle. Because Disney prefers its guests not think about that, Disney recently issued a written policy prohibiting its 1,200 character actors from revealing which character they portray in any media, including social media. (more…)