Recognizing that every business with employees faces challenges that can impact their growth and profitability, Sandberg Phoenix attorneys are committed to sharing their knowledge of, experience with and passion for employment law. Addressing current issues, recent case studies and matters of statutory and regulatory compliance, the Employer Law Blog provides expert advice and analysis of important aspects of employment law.
On August 27, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board issued a long-anticipated decision in the case of Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc. By a three-to-two vote the Board reconsidered its test for when employers are considered joint employers, thus triggering bargaining obligations for an employer which may not be the direct employer of a bargaining unit.
The National Labor Relations Board has continued its well-established pattern of finding routine and generally accepted personnel practices as an unlawful infringement on employee’s free speech rights. Conventional wisdom is to maintain confidentiality of informant and witness statements in internal investigations. In doing so, employers routinely request or recommend employees to maintain the confidential nature of the facts discussed during the investigation in order to maintain the neutrality and objectiveness of witnesses. To further promote objective and fair investigations, The Boeing Company promulgated a general workplace notice to employees that recommended employees refrain from discussing a case during a pending investigation. Makes perfect sense right? Wrong?!?
A frequent question to lawyers who practice traditional labor law focuses on the recognition and bargaining obligations of employers who become successors to a business. When an employer merges with or acquires another business whose employees in a particular collective bargaining unit are represented by a union, certain obligations arise. If an employer qualifies as a successor in a situation in which it takes over the unionized business of another employer, the acquiring employer succeeds to the collective bargaining obligations of the former employer.
It’s hard to keep up with all of the recent changes in employment law and even harder to make sure your employee handbook is up to date. Plus, it’s a real pain to have to make revisions to your handbook and much easier to just let it be. But, employers who choose the latter do so at their peril. Here are three examples of changes in Illinois law that may require you to update your handbook.
You should. And yes, just saying the “Fair Credit Reporting Act” (“FCRA”) is a mouthful. With numerous opportunities for employers to trip up on technical violations, and promise of potential attorneys’ fees for plaintiffs’ attorneys, lawsuits, including class actions, are on the rise.
Tune into KMOX’s Total Information AM on September 2nd for a discussion with Sandberg Phoenix’s Timm Schowalter on transgender bathroom use.
Employee arbitration provisions and agreements have been under increased scrutiny. However, in a 2015 case, Hewitt v. Honorable Kristine Kerr, the Missouri Supreme Court enforced an agreement to arbitrate against a former employee of St. Louis Rams. The case is a helpful refresher on Missouri law on arbitration agreements for employers who wish to arbitrate employment claims.
Plaintiffs were unpaid interns on the Fox Searchlight distributed film Black Swan. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York found the Black Swan interns were employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law. The court applied a version of the U.S. Labor Department’s six factor test, which was derived from the 68 year-old Supreme Court decision Walling v. Portland Terminal Co., 330 U.S. 148 (1947), to determine whether the interns fell within an exception for unpaid trainees.
Your employee requests Family Medical Leave and presents you with a medical certification that is deficient. What do you do?
The NLRB recently told an Illinois hotel – NO!
A banquet server at the hotel gathered with other employees in the hallway for a break during a work day that had already lasted 14 hours. The server posted a photograph of the workers on her Facebook page, adding the comment “That’s how we work at TPCC.” The photo made it appear several employees were not working, but the server later testified that she was making a joke about employees who had already worked very hard that day. Several co-workers posted comments on the post.