The presence of alcohol in offices has ebbed and flowed over time and largely depended on the type of business, from drink carts in advertising agencies à la Mad Men to keg refrigerators at startups. The once popular office perk may or may not be waning, but the number of companies addressing the issue and the attention those decisions are generating is certainly increasing.
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The opioid epidemic is causing employers to consider the best ways to ensure a safe workplace, but companies should be careful when addressing employees’ prescription drug use.  Recent court filings and settlements by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission illustrate the potential pitfalls employers face when attempting to implement a drug-free workplace.
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Many in the labor community are familiar with the Machinists Union’s long running effort to unionize Boeing’s South Carolina-based 787 Dreamliner manufacturing facility.  After failing in two previous attempts to organize the entire facility, the Union recently won a bid to organize a “micro-unit” limited to a group of flight line technicians and inspectors. 
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New Jersey’s Paid Sick Leave Act will go into effect on October 29, 2018, making it the tenth state plus Washington DC and dozens of localities to mandate paid sick leave. New Jersey’s Act requires employers of all sizes to provide employees with up to 40 hours of paid leave per 12-month period. 
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Recently the National Labor Relations Board invited interested parties and amici to submit briefs in Velox Express, Inc. to address under what circumstances, if any, the Board should deem an employer’s misclassifying statutory employees as independent contractors constitutes a violation of Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act.  Briefs from parties and interested amici must be submitted on or before April 16, 2018.
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We previously informed you of the NLRB’s decision in Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors, Ltd. and Brandt Construction Co. in which the Board  overruled the controversial joint employer test which it had announced in Browning-Ferris Industries. On February 26, 2018, the Board entered an order vacating the Hy-Brand decision.  It did so in light of a determination by the Board’s Designated Agency Ethics Official, that Board Member William Emanuel “is, and should have been, disqualified from participating in the [Hy-Brand] proceeding.” 
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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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