In recent years, federal and state law enforcement authorities have subjected “no-poach” agreements to increased scrutiny. Recent enforcement actions demonstrate the risk of criminal penalties and civil damages for using such agreements. In this video, Hunton Andrews Kurth partners Emily Burkhardt Vicente and Torsten Kracht discuss recent developments concerning the use of “no-poach” agreements, and how these developments may affect your company’s business.

Watch

 

The United States District Court for the Western District of New York recently granted an early dismissal of a class action lawsuit prior to class certification.  Mandala v. NTT Data, Inc., 18-CV-6591 CJS, 2019 WL 3237361, at *1 (W.D.N.Y. July 18, 2019). The plaintiffs in Mandala were two African-American men who applied for and were offered jobs with the defendant employer.  After the employer conducted a criminal background check on the plaintiffs and found they each had a felony criminal conviction, the employer withdrew their job offers.  The plaintiffs filed a class action lawsuit against the employer alleging claims for disparate impact race discrimination under Title VII, and violations of New York state laws prohibiting criminal history discrimination and regulating the background check process.

Continue Reading Federal Court Finds That General Statistical Data Is Not Enough to Show That No-Conviction Hiring Policy Was Discriminatory

On July 11, 2019, the House Financial Services Committee, led by Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), considered The Restricting Use of Credit Checks For Employment Decisions Act (the “Act”) as one of four bills designed to reform the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the credit reporting system.

Continue Reading Why Employment Credit Checks May Soon be a Thing of the Past

Yesterday, Governor Cuomo signed the last of several bills that massively overhauls New York State’s discrimination and harassment laws.  The changes, some of which are effective immediately, are explained in more detail here.

The main takeaways are as follows: Continue Reading New York Overhauls Discrimination and Harassment Laws in Second #MeToo Wave

After a nearly six-year legal battle, the Fifth Circuit has struck down the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s 2012 Enforcement Guidance on the consideration of criminal history in employment decisions.  On August 6, a three-judge panel held that the Guidance was a substantive rule the EEOC had no authority to issue and that the EEOC can no longer enforce the Guidance or treat it as binding in any respect.

Continue Reading EEOC Criminal History Guidance Struck Down by Fifth Circuit

As California braces for wildfire season, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“CalOSHA”) approved an emergency regulation on July 30, 2019, that requires California employers to monitor air quality for particle pollution, and reduce workers exposure to the potential harmful pollutants from wildfire smoke.

What Is Particle Pollution or Particle Matter?

The Air Quality Index (“AQI”) is calculated for four major air pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act: ground level ozone, particle pollution, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide. The new regulation is aimed at protecting workers from certain particle pollution, also called particulate matter or PM. There are two types of PM – fine particles (2.5 micrometers or less in diameter, referred to as PM2.5) and course particles (particles between 2.5 and 10 micrometers in diameter, referred to as PM10). The new regulation is directed only at the fine particles, or PM2.5, which are produced from all types of combustion, including wildfires.  Continue Reading California Employers Must Take Steps To Protect Workers From Wildfire Smoke

On June 5, 2019, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak signed into law Assembly Bill No. 132 (“A.B. 132” or the “new law”), which is the first state law to curb pre-employment marijuana drug tests.  The new law has two primary effects: 1) it makes it unlawful for Nevada employers to fail or refuse to hire a prospective employee because the applicant submitted to a screening test and the results of the test indicate the presence of marijuana; and 2) it provides employees who test positive for marijuana with the right to, at their own expense, rebut the original test results by submitting an additional screening test within the first 30 days of employment.  Continue Reading Nevada Will Restrict Pre-Employment Marijuana Drug Testing Starting January 1, 2020

The Fifth Circuit recently joined a majority of its sister circuits in holding that the question of whether arbitration agreements authorize class arbitration should be decided by courts.

In 20/20 Communications v. Lennox Crawford, the Fifth Circuit held that the availability of class-wide arbitration in a Fair Labor Standards Act case is a “gateway issue” of arbitrability.  The court reasoned that the fundamental differences between individual and class-wide arbitration required judicial determination as to which approach was available, absent “clear and unmistakable” language in the agreement delegating the decision to the arbitrator.

Continue Reading 5th Circuit Agrees: Availability of Class Arbitration is “Gateway Issue” for the Courts

The California Labor Code requires employers to reimburse employees for certain expenses, but it’s not always clear which expenses should be reimbursed by the employer, and which expenses should be borne by employees.  Here’s a list of Five Things to Remember About Employee Reimbursements to help California employers navigate this area of the law. Continue Reading Five Things to Remember About Employee Reimbursements in California

In a unanimous decision in Rodriguez v. Nike Retail Srvs., the Ninth Circuit overturned a California district court’s ruling in a wage and hour class action under the California Labor Code that granted Nike’s motion for summary judgement after applying the federal de minimis doctrine.

Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Reinstates California Off-The-Clock Work Claims Related to Post-Shift Security Checks