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30Oct2015

Fifth Circuit upholds collective action waivers in arbitration agreements (again)

  • By Amy McNally
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By Kelline R. Linton, Associate.   On Monday, the Fifth Circuit upheld the validity of arbitration agreements that bar employees from pursuing collective actions, affirming the Court’s precedent established in D.R. Horton, Inc.   In Murphy Oil USA v. NLRB, No. 14-60800 (5th Cir. Oct. 26, 2015), the company’s employees signed an arbitration agreement that
08Oct2015

Fifth Circuit holds meal breaks may be compensable

  • By Amy McNally
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By Kelline R. Linton, Associate.   In Naylor v. Securiguard, Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that a meal break may actually be compensable when an employer-mandated transition or travel time to the designated break area significantly reduces the 30-minute meal period.   The U.S. Department of Labor’s regulations provide
24Sep2015

Some Routine Policies Aren’t So Routine Any More!

  • By Amy McNally
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By Linda H. Evans, Senior Associate.   On-the-Job Fighting   Most companies today have policies prohibiting fighting and violence at the workplace. However, a recent Utah Supreme Court ruling may cause employers to double-check those policies. In this case, Wal-Mart employees were fired for wrestling with shoplifters who had weapons. The company claimed the employees
16Sep2015

DOL Issues New Guidance for Corporate Investigations

  • By Amy McNally
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By Kelline R. Linton, Associate.   Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOL”) issued a memorandum explaining several important policy changes for corporate investigations. In the memorandum, the DOL reinforced its intention to pursue individuals for corporate wrongdoing and provided corporations with the following key guidance during civil and criminal government investigations:   1.
09Sep2015

Obama orders paid sick leave for federal contractor workers

  • By Amy McNally
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By Kelline R. Linton, Associate.   On Monday, President Obama signed an Executive Order requiring all federal contractors to offer paid sick leave by 2017. Federal contractors must allow employees to earn up to seven days of paid sick leave each year (one hour of paid sick leave for every thirty hours worked). This leave
03Sep2015

NLRB: Joint Employer Status May Exist for Indirect or Potential Control

  • By Amy McNally
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By Kelline R. Linton, Associate.   Last Thursday, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) overturned decades of precedent by establishing a new standard to determine whether two companies are a single “joint employer” for a group of workers. (Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc. d/b/a BFI Newby Island Recyclery, 362 NRLB No. 186 (August 27, 2015))
17Aug2015

Discrimination & Tip Pools: When Companies and the DOL Get It Wrong

  • By Amy McNally
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By Linda H. Evans, Senior Associate.   The Customer May Not Always Be Right!   A Lowe’s store in Virginia recently received a request from a customer: No black drivers were to deliver to her house. Initially, managers at the store honored the request. However, now that the company officials know about it, the managers
07Aug2015

Keeping an Eye on the NLRB and Executive Orders

  • By Amy McNally
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By Linda H. Evans, Senior Associate.   Keeping an eye on the NLRB   As August winds down, some NLRB watchers are expecting to see a flurry of activity from the Board. Possible announcements could include one dealing with an expanded view of what constitutes joint employers and another one allowing the unionization of Northwestern
29Jul2015

Investigating Complaints & Conducting Interviews: Cautionary Tales for Companies

  • By Amy McNally
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By Linda H. Evans, Senior Associate.   EEOC FILES SUIT   Hillshire Brands Company in Paris, Texas, was sued this week by the EEOC. The EEOC claims the company subjected a class of African-American employees to a racially hostile work environment, including racially offensive graffiti and comments at the workplace.   According to the suit,
15Jul2015

DOL says most independent contractors actually employees

  • By Amy McNally
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By Kelline R. Linton, Associate.   The Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued guidance today that clarified the independent contractor versus employee issue. The 15-page memorandum advised that most workers qualify as employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (“FLSA”) expansive definition of employment, which defines employment as “to suffer or permit to work.”   Courts
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