The United States Department of Labor has announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to implement Executive Order 13706, which requires federal government contractors to provide employees with up to 7 days of paid sick leave annually. As a result, the DOL estimates that employers will be compelled to provide additional paid leave to 828,000 employees, including 437,000 employees who do not currently receive any paid sick leave.
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On November 24, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit refused to enforce an arbitration clause in an employee handbook on the grounds that the employee never agreed to be contractually bound by the handbook, and that a court can only compel arbitration where it is satisfied that the parties have agreed to arbitrate. This case, Lorenzo v. Prime Communications, L.P., should serve as a warning to employers to review their employee handbooks to be sure that provisions, like an arbitration clause, will be enforceable.
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