California AB 1844: Limiting Employers' Access to Employees' Social Media

Whether you "like" it or not, social media is changing the legal landscape of employee privacy rights at a rapid pace. On September 27, 2012, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law AB 1844 , which prohibits employers from requiring (or requesting) employees or applicants to divulge their...

Does the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act Preempt a Common Law Breach of Loyalty Claim?

by William J. Brutocao Excerpt: When an employee decides to quit his job and go into competition with his employer, either by setting up a new enterprise or by working for a competitor, what part of his employer's information can he take with him? Turning that question around, what information...

D.C. Circuit: Labor Board Lacked Quorum In February 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Jan. 25 declined to enforce a National Labor Relations Board ruling that an employer violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by refusing to reduce an oral agreement to writing and signing off on a collective...

U.S. Supreme Court: No Stay In Union Dispute Despite Questions Over NLRB Quorum

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 6 denied an application for a stay filed by a Connecticut nursing home company in a suit over a union strike in light of questions over the legitimacy of 2012 appointments to the National Labor Relations Board ( HealthBridge Management...

Williams Mullen: Retirement Plan Plaintiffs Were Not Required To Exhaust Administrative Remedies Before Filing Their Class Action

By Mark S. Thomas and Robert W. Shaw The Second Circuit has held that a putative class of ERISA plaintiffs was not required to exhaust a plan's administrative remedies prior to filing claims for a redetermination of future retirement benefits and alleged irregularities in plan amendments. Kirkendall...

Williams Mullen: Retirement Plan Plaintiffs Were Not Required To Exhaust Administrative Remedies Before Filing Their Class Action

The Second Circuit has held that a putative class of ERISA plaintiffs was not required to exhaust a plan's administrative remedies prior to filing claims for a redetermination of future retirement benefits and alleged irregularities in plan amendments. ...

Supreme Court: Medical Battery Suit Against United States May Proceed

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) A citizen may proceed with his lawsuit against the United States alleging medical battery by a Navy doctor acting within his scope of employment, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruled this morning ( Steven Alan Levin v. United States, et al. , No. 11-1351, U.S. Sup.)...

High Court Agrees to Hear Appeal Of Ruling On Government Workers' Age Discrimination Claims

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The U.S. Supreme Court on March 18 agreed to hear the appeal of a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that state and local government employees may bring age discrimination claims directly under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution...

U.S. High Court: Prison Officers Not Immune From Assault Claims

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) waives sovereign immunity for law enforcement officers' acts where a claim arises out of one of six intentional torts where an officer is "acting within the scope of his office or employment," a unanimous U.S. Supreme...

U.S. High Court Hears Arguments On Proof Of Title VII Retaliation Claims

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) A Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 retaliation claim must prove but-for causation, the attorney representing the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW) argued before the U.S. Supreme Court April 24 ( University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center...

High Court Agrees To Hear Appeal Of NLRB Quorum Dispute

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The U.S. Supreme Court on June 24 agreed to decide whether President Obama's "recess" appointments of three members to the National Labor Relations Board in 2012 should be upheld ( National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning, a Division of the Noel Corp...

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees To Hear Suit Over Organizing Assistance

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The U.S. Supreme Court on June 24 granted a petition for writ of certiorari in a case regarding whether an employer and union may enter into an agreement under which the employer promises to remain neutral to union organizing and grants unions reps limited access to...

Split Supreme Court Narrows Definition Of 'Supervisor'

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) An employer is vicariously liable for an employee's harassment only if that employee is given the power by the employer "to take tangible employment actions against the victim," a split U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 24, rejecting the Equal Employment Opportunity...

Split U.S. High Court Finds Higher Standard For Title VII Retaliation Claims

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) Retaliation claims filed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 must prove but-for causation, a split U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 24, rejecting the lessened causation test outlined in 42 U.S. Code Section 2000e-2(m) [ an annotated version of this statute is...

Williams Mullen: Preparing for the Unexpected: The Affordable Care Act’s Whistleblower Provision

By Mary Pivec and Igor M. Babichenko On February 27, 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration published its interim final rule setting forth the procedures for handling complaints brought under the whistleblower provision of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). This whistleblower...

Are Mediations Really Confidential?

MEDIATION / CONFIDENTIALITY Benes v. A.B. Data, Ltd., 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 15270 (7th Cir. Wis. July 26, 2013) Are mediations really confidential? The facts as set forth in the opinion are that Benes was an employee who sued his employer after only for four months on the job, alleging sex discrimination...

Are Mediations Really Confidential?

MEDIATION / CONFIDENTIALITY Benes v. A.B. Data, Ltd., 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 15270 (7th Cir. Wis. July 26, 2013) Are mediations really confidential? The facts as set forth in the opinion are that Benes was an employee who sued his employer after only for four months on the job, alleging sex discrimination...

Williams Mullen: ‘Ban the Box’ Ascendant: States Increasingly Restricting Applicant Criminal Record Inquiries

By D. Earl Baggett and J. Nelson Wilkinson On January 1, 2014, it became illegal for Rhode Island employers to ask about criminal convictions on job applications. Employers in that state now face civil rights charges, monetary damages, and even liability for attorney’s fees if they attempt to...

Social Media Blunders in Employment Law – How a Facebook Post Can Turn a Case Upside Down

Social media has forever changed how the world communicates. While many have cited the positive consequences of social media, employment law attorneys are discovering that a simple Facebook post can turn into a costly mistake. The latest social media blunder occurred in an age discrimination case...

Williams Mullen: ‘You Can’t Bend It That Way, Beckham’: Federal Court Dismisses Plaintiff’s Attempted Claims For Equitable Relief

By Mark S. Thomas and Robert W. Shaw Following the U. S. Supreme Court’s decision in CIGNA Corp. v. Amara , 131 S. Ct. 1866 (2011) [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers ] [lexis.com subscribers may access Supreme Court briefs for this case ] , the federal courts have wrestled with...

Employment Law BELIEVE IT OR NOT!

Oddities, weirdness, and the strange and unusual from the world of employment law. I thought only elephants had two-year pregnancies. As I’ve discussed here before , “pregnancy” for purposes of the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act includes a lot of things besides the actual nine...

Foley & Lardner LLP: Cherry-Picking: 7th Cir. Criticizes Lawyers' Summary-Judgment Practice

By Thomas L. Shriner Jr. Two weeks ago, in an order given wide publicity nationally, federal District Judge Mark Bennett of the Northern District of Iowa issued sanctions in Security National Bank v. Abbott Laboratories , addressing what Judge Bennett perceived as abusive discovery conduct in a case...

HHS Issues Alteration To ACA Contraceptive Mandate Accommodation Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) Eligible employers opposed to Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions mandating insurance coverage for contraceptives may notify the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which will in turn notify the employer’s insurer...

Employment-Related Bills Pending Signature By California Governor

The California Legislature has passed the following notable labor and employment bills, which are now awaiting approval or veto by Governor Brown: AB 1897 – This bill would expand liability for a contractor’s wage and hour violations to make the hirer of the contractor jointly liable for...

Employment Law and Human Resources Cumulative Case Briefs

This regularly-updated summary of recent Employment Law decisions and Human Resources insights provides updates on anti-discrimination laws, leave laws, National Labor Relations Board decisions, and some state authority (the author lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico – 10 th Federal Circuit). The...