On September 10, 2020, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts issued a Memorandum and Order granting summary judgment in favor of a franchisor in response to claims by a purported class of franchisees that they were not truly independent contractors, but employees of the franchisor. The main issue addressed in the case was whether specific federal legal requirements that are imposed upon franchisors trump the general Massachusetts independent contractor classification statute.
Continue Reading Massachusetts District Court Rejects Employee Classification for Franchisees

Earlier this month, the NLRB General Counsel released a guidance memo urging the Board to apply the “more than ministerial aid” standard when evaluating whether an employer’s assistance in union organizing violates the National Labor Relations Act.
Continue Reading NLRB GC Memo Clarifies the Standard to Evaluate Employer Assistance in Union Organizing

Over the past 40 years, the National Labor Relations Board has grappled with the appropriate balance between an employer’s right to discipline an employee for abusive behavior and an employee’s right to engage in Section 7 activity. Much to the dismay of employers, this balancing act has historically tipped heavily in favor of protecting an employee’s right to engage in Section 7 activity at the expense of an employer’s right to discipline its employees for conduct such as using racial slurs while picketing, engaging in sexist behavior, or yelling obscenities at a supervisor while discussing wages.
Continue Reading NLRB Loosens Restrictions on Employee Discipline for Abusive Conduct and Speech

Many employers will need all hands on deck once shelter-in place orders are lifted. In a perfect world, employees would return to the workplace and seamlessly divide their vacation requests throughout the remainder of the year. In reality, employees may immediately seek to take time off, causing an influx of overlapping vacation requests.
Continue Reading Viewpoint: Minimize Vacation Scheduling Conflicts in the Pandemic

In mid-May the NLRB established a clear rule regarding stray marks on ballots in union representation elections, eradicating years of convoluted and inconsistent precedent. The decision, which applied retroactively, resulted in a union’s failure to amass a majority of the votes and, consequently, a reversal of the Regional Director’s Decision and Certification of Representation.
Continue Reading NLRB Provides Clarity and Consistency to Stray Marks on Ballots

Texas Governor Greg Abbott recently committed to begin the gradual process of reopening businesses in Texas. On April 17, 2020, Governor Abbott issued two Executive Orders that relate to the strategic reopening of select services as the first step to open Texas in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Continue Reading Texas Governor Issues Executive Orders to Reopen Business for Retail and Healthcare Employers

The CARES Act established a $349 billion U.S. Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program to provide immediate access to capital for small businesses who have been impacted by COVID-19. On April 13, 2020, Texas Governor Greg Abbott provided additional guidance to Texas employers when he announced that investment banking, securities and investment management firm, Goldman Sachs, will partner with San Antonio-based nonprofit organization, LiftFund, to provide $50 million in loans to small businesses.
Continue Reading Texas Governor Announces $50 Million Loan Program for Texas Small Businesses through Goldman Sachs/LiftFund Partnership

On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law. One aspect of the CARES Act, the Paycheck Protection Program, permits certain employers to obtain forgivable loans in order to keep employees on the job and to pay overhead costs. 
Continue Reading 10 Fast Facts Small Business Owners Should Know About the Paycheck Protection Program

On August 1, 2019, Dallas joined a host of states, cities and counties across the country when it implemented the City of Dallas’s Paid Sick Leave Ordinance No. 31181. Under the Ordinance, employers were required to provide paid sick leave to all full-time and part-time employees. While legal challenges effectively stopped the enactment of other cities’ ordinances, the Dallas Sick Leave Ordinance remained unchallenged – until recently, that is. 
Continue Reading Texas Federal Court Rules Dallas’s Paid Sick Leave Ordinance Unconstitutional