Think twice the next time you decide to forego the Oxford comma. For the non-grammar nerds in the room, the Oxford comma, otherwise known as the serial comma, is the comma used just before the coordinating conjunction (“and” or “or”) when three or more terms are listed. It is viewed by many as optional. Enter the First Circuit’s recent ruling regarding Maine’s overtime law. (more…)
A National General Strike has been announced for February 17, 2017 as a “peaceful display of resistance and solidarity” to protest the Trump Administration’s policies. This “strike” poses thorny legal issues for nonunion employers that are unaccustomed to dealing with “striking employees.” Purely political protests, including walking off the job and calling out, can be protected if the purpose of the protest is to impact their interests as employees through the political process. However, it is not at all clear that the National General Strike has anything to do with employment policies, and it appears to be directed to protests of the Trump administration generally.
D.C. joins 11 other jurisdictions (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington) in banning employers’ use of employees’ or applicants’ credit histories.
This is a brief update to the court machinations in the DOL’s appeal of the Texas Court’s decision to issue a preliminary injunction barring the implementation of the Final Overtime Rule. That appeal is now before the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, generally known as an employer-friendly circuit.
EDITOR’S NOTE: THIS IS SATIRE
To: Management Team
From: Legal Department
Date: December 15, 2016
Re: Company Holiday Event Post-Mortem
Three years ago, the Company Christmas Party resulted in various criminal charges, allegations of sexual harassment, compensation of the entire Accounting Department for an all-night game of Truth-Or-Dare, a workers compensation claim for dance fighting, and the consummation of a little boy named Wendell, Jr. The Legal Department took inventory of these events in a memorandum that provided advice for future parties. (more…)
On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (the “DTSA” or the “Act”) into law. Prior to enactment of the DTSA, the law governing trade secrets was left to the states, most of which have adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act. The DTSA creates a federal cause of action for misappropriation of trade secrets, which is available in conjunction with claims under state law. Among other forms of relief, the DTSA provides for attorneys’ fees and exemplary damages, a form of punitive damages, under certain circumstances. An additional means of protecting trade secrets is great for employers, but the DTSA sets forth specific steps that employers must take to enjoy all of its protections.
It’s the most common employment law claim . . . retaliation. In 2015, 44.5% of the total EEOC charges were based on retaliation, which exceeded even race-based charges of discrimination. So it is not surprising that the EEOC decided to weigh in. On August 29, 2016, the EEOC issued its final 76-page Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues, the first retaliation guidance provided by the EEOC since 1998.
In a recent decision that could have implications in many states, a federal appeals ruled that an employee could state a claim for wrongful termination under state law after being discharged for storing a gun in his car on company property.
This year, there are several notable revisions to TN law regarding workers’ compensation. First, reasonable attorney fees and costs can be awarded to the employee and his/her counsel when the employer fails to initiate appropriate medical treatment pursuant to a settlement, expedited order, or judgment and when the employer wrongfully denies a claim and fails to promptly initiate temporary benefits. Therefore, this may greatly limit our ability to deny claims that we had previously denied. As you are aware, very few attorneys wanted to take on cases for employees and this is meant to encourage more attorneys to take claims for employees. (more…)
Good faith. It is a term that is mercilessly bandied about in the law. And, its ambiguity can cause confusion . . . and a plea to the state’s highest court for clarification. (more…)