On September 8, 2021, the House Education and Labor Committee issued proposed legislation in connection with the House’s new spending bill. Among other pro-union proposals issued in connection with the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, the proposed legislation seeks to amend the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by banning class and collective action waivers.
Continue Reading Proposed Federal Legislation Quietly Threatens Viability of Class and Collective Action Waivers Through New House Spending Bill

Use of employee biometric data – including fingerprints, eye scans, voiceprints, and facial scans – continues to be a popular, yet legally risky, proposition for employers. Several states and municipalities have laws that specifically govern the use of biometric data, the highest profile of which is the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).
Continue Reading Amidst Uncertainty Surrounding the Scope of BIPA Liability, Hyatt Settles Employee Biometric Data Class Claims for $1.5 Million

On June 10, 2021, fifteen months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) has issued its first ‘emergency temporary standard’ (“ETS”) governing the impact of COVID-19 on health care workers.

The ETS broadly requires healthcare employers to conduct an internal safety assessment and develop a safety plan, which must be in writing for all employers with more than 10 employees. The ETS further delineates requirements relating to patient screening and management, health precautions, masks and PPE,  aerosol-generating procedures, physical distancing, physical barriers, cleaning and disinfection, ventilation, health screening, vaccination, employee training, anti-retaliation, record-keeping, reporting occurrences of COVID-19 transmission, and paying employees for periods of quarantine. Consistent with recent CDC guidance, the ETS also contains carve outs on employee mask-wearing requirements where employees are all vaccinated or where employees are given reasonable accommodations exempting them from mask-wearing and/or vaccination requirements.
Continue Reading OSHA’s New Safety Rule: Health Care Workers and Beyond

In an April 28, 2021 decision, the Ninth Circuit determined that that the application of California’s ABC test (also known as AB-5) to motor carriers is not preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994. The ABC test is a judicially-created independent contractor test that was ultimately codified via AB-5
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Rules California’s ABC Test is Not Preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act

Last month, the State of New York passed legislation which permits New York employees up to four hours of paid leave to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. While this new legislation became effective immediately upon passing on March 12, 2021, employers were left with many questions regarding their obligations under the law. In an effort to resolve some of these questions, the New York Department of Labor issued guidance in the form of FAQs to provide clarification for employers.
Continue Reading NY DOL Releases Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccination Leave

While COVID-19 may have hit the business community like a hurricane, whether the pandemic, in fact, qualifies for a natural disaster exception under the federal law requiring businesses to warn employees of impending layoffs, remains an open question. This February, a federal judge paved the way for the Eleventh Circuit to weigh in on whether a class action can proceed against an employer who was forced to lay off employees due to COVID-19.
Continue Reading The Eleventh Circuit Could Tackle Whether COVID-19 is a Disaster for WARN Purposes with Companies Facing Continued Layoffs

For over 30 years, most district courts throughout the country have used a two-step conditional certification process to govern certification of collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  But in its recent and game-changing opinion, the Fifth Circuit rejected that two-step process and laid out a stricter framework for FLSA collective actions. 
Continue Reading Fifth Circuit Rejects Two-Step FLSA Certification Process

Earlier this month, the EEOC launched EEOC Explore, “an interactive data query and mapping tool” that gives users access to aggregate data on more than 73,000 employers and 56 million employees across the United States.  According to the agency, EEOC Explore “enables stakeholders to explore and compare data trends across a number of categories, including location, sex, race and ethnicity, and industry sector without the need for experience in computer programming or statistical analysis.”
Continue Reading “EEOC Explore” Tool Launched to Provide Greater Transparency and Access to Diversity Data – Employers Beware Overreaching and Generalizations

California is well known for its broad restrictions relating to non-competition clauses applicable to workers. After a recent decision by the Federal Circuit, such notoriety may extend to the patent realm. Employers should beware to not fall into this employment agreement trap.
Continue Reading Employment Law and Patent Law Collide: Federal Circuit Rules that California’s Non-Compete Restrictions Also Limit the Scope of Patent and Invention Assignment Clauses