Labor & Employment Quick Takes: Tips for Revising Separation Agreements in Light of Recent Agency Challenges

Government agencies like the SEC are challenging what have long been standard provisions in separation agreements. Hunton & Williams LLP partners Kevin White and Emily Burkhardt Vicente discuss those challenges and provide tips for companies on revising their standard agreements to mitigate against them. View the 5-minute video here

Acting EEOC Chair Provides Insight Into Agency’s Future

Hunton & Williams recently published an entry on its Retail Law Resource Blog regarding what employers can expect from Victoria Lipnic, the new acting chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and an EEOC Commissioner since 2010.  Since that publication, Lipnic has made public comments as to what she envisions from the EEOC under her leadership.  Several key topics from those comments are summarized below:

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Retail’s Blind Spot: Your Supply Chain and Distribution Facilities as Labor Union Organizing Targets

Join us for a complimentary webinar on Tuesday, March 7, 2017, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. EDT.

While proactive retail employers are responding to, and preparing for, union organizing efforts at their retail stores, many supply chain workforces remain vulnerable to targeted union campaigns. We will address the special circumstances and vulnerabilities of workforces at warehouses, distribution centers, transport and other supply chain operations. We will review some of the new dynamics in supply chain operations that attract union interest, and offer suggestions to reduce the risk of organizing. Finally, we will review developments in the law, and the potential for rule changes under the Trump NLRB that may have an impact in supply chain organizing considerations.

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Labor & Employment Quick Takes: What Non-Unionized Financial Services Companies Should Know about the NLRA

A common misconception among banks and financial services companies is that if they are non-unionized, the National Labor Relations Act does not apply to them. Hunton & Williams LLP partner Emily Burkhardt Vicente and senior attorney Amber Rogers discuss the key points non-unionized financial services companies should know about the NLRA. View the 5-minute video here.

Hunton Labor Partner Kurt Larkin to Testify Before U.S. House of Representatives

On February 14th 2017, Hunton labor partner Kurt Larkin will present testimony at the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions hearing on “Restoring Balance and Fairness to the National Labor Relations Board.”  Kurt will discuss a variety of NLRB issues, including joint employer standards, ambush elections and micro unions.  The hearing will take place at 10:00am EST and can be viewed live here.

Labor & Employment Quick Takes: Fighting Back Against Employee Raiding

Gone are the days when most workers stay at one job for their entire career. Losing key talent to a competitor is one of the biggest challenges many employers face. Hunton & Williams LLP partners Roland Juarez and Emily Burkhardt Vicente discuss strategies that companies across industries can employ to protect themselves from unlawful employee raiding. View the 5-minute video here. 

Florida Court Finds Uber Drivers are Independent Contractors, Not Employees

Across the country, worker misclassification issues continue to be a significant risk for employers.  One hot button issue is whether workers in newer, technology-based industries, such as ride-sharing, are properly classified as independent contractors rather than employees.  Last week, an appellate court in Florida considered whether Uber drivers are properly classified as independent contractors or employees for purposes of benefits under Florida’s unemployment insurance statute.

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Executive Order Banning Discrimination By Federal Contractors Remains In Force

The Trump Administration will leave in place an executive order signed by President Barack Obama, which bans sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination by federal contractors.  President Obama signed the order in 2014.  By doing so, he amended and expanded previous executive orders signed by Presidents Nixon and Clinton, which ban discrimination by federal contractors on the basis race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap, status as a parent, and age.

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New Year, New Developments in Pay Equity Laws

One month into 2017 and new pay equity laws already are springing up.  Philadelphia is now the first city to prohibit employers from using pay history information in making employment decisions.  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has issued executive orders mandating that: (1) agreements entered into by the state require contractors to report their employees’ pay information; and (2) state agencies can no longer use candidates’ current or prior pay in making employment decisions.  Likewise, the Mayor of New Orleans has now issued an executive order prohibiting city departments from asking job applicants about salary history and requesting a study of pay disparity among city employees.

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Supreme Court Nominee Is Likely a Good Pick for Employers

On January 31, 2017, President Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to fill the nearly year-long vacancy on the Supreme Court left by Justice Scalia.  Judge Gorsuch, currently on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeal, is likely a welcome choice for employers.  His employment decisions generally—though not always—have favorable outcomes for employers.  However, he does not appear to be a trailblazer on employment issues, but rather applies established precedent that generally favors employers.  His employment decisions do not tend to draw dissent, bolstering the view that his opinions are not significant departures from Tenth Circuit and Supreme Court precedent.  (Of course, not all agree.  Senator Elizabeth Warren describes him as having “twisted himself into a pretzel to make sure the rules favor giant companies over workers and individual Americans.  He has sided with employers who deny wages, improperly fire workers, or retaliate against whistleblowers for misconduct.  He has ruled against workers in all manner of discrimination cases.”)

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