Tag Archives: Robert T. Quackenboss

ALJ Says Company’s Neutral Reference and Press Inquiry Policies Violate NLRA

[From Hunton’s Retail Blog] If you are a retailer, you may have policies and procedures in place regarding who can speak on behalf of your company. Such policies may generally instruct employees not to speak to the press as a representative of the company, and to direct all media inquiries to a particular person or department. Similarly, if you are a retailer, you may have a policy in place that instructs employees to forward any reference requests to your human resources department. These commonplace policies allow retailers to control their public image and protect employee privacy, among other benefits. … Continue Reading

Trump Acts to Block the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Rules

On March 27, 2017, President Trump signed H.J. Res. 37, blocking the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Rule, the controversial rule enacted by the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council in August 2016, that legislators have criticized as a method to blackball federal contractors. The bill’s signing follows the U.S. Senate’s March 6, 2017 vote of 49-48 (along party lines) to formally disapprove of the rule.… Continue Reading

Retail’s Blind Spot: Your Supply Chain and Distribution Facilities as Labor Union Organizing Targets

While proactive retail employers are responding to, and preparing for, union organizing efforts at their retail stores, many supply chain workforces remain vulnerable to targeted union campaigns. Join us for a complimentary webinar on Tuesday, March 7, 2017, as we address the special circumstances and vulnerabilities of workforces at warehouses, distribution centers, transport and other supply chain operations. … Continue Reading

Labor & Employment Quick Takes: Equal Pay Challenges Are Not Likely to Go Away

While the Trump Administration has not declared equal pay to be a key initiative, equal pay challenges for employers are not likely to go away. The Trump Administration has given no indication it will roll-back new EEO-1 reporting requirements, and the void in federal legislation will likely be filled by an increasing hodge-podge of state legislation. Hunton & Williams LLP labor and employment partners Bob Quackenboss and Emily Burkhardt Vicente discuss the challenges that companies will face, and what they can do to prepare.… Continue Reading

LA’s Law Banning the Box for Private Employers Effective This Month

On January 22, 2017, the City of Los Angeles ‘banned the box’ when the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring (Ban the Box) (the “Initiative”) went into effect, prohibiting private employers in Los Angeles “from inquiring into or seeking a job applicant’s criminal history unless and until a conditional offer of employment” is made to the individual.… Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Rejects EEOC’s Claim that Employer’s Race-Neutral Policy of Prohibiting Dreadlocks Violates Title VII

Enforcing a race-neutral grooming policy that prohibits employees from wearing dreadlocks is not intentional racial discrimination under Title VII. That is what the Eleventh Circuit recently held in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Catastrophe Management Solutions, --- F.3d ---, No. 14-13482, 2016 WL 4916851 (11th Cir. Sept. 15, 2016). … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Sinks Claws Into Employers With Broad Interpretation Of Cat’s Paw Theory

On August 29, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued Vasquez v. Empress Ambulance Service, Inc., --- F.3d ---, No. 15-3239-CV, 2016 WL 4501673 (2d Cir. Aug. 29, 2016), holding that an employer may be held liable for a low-level employee’s animus under the cat’s paw theory of liability if the employer’s own negligence allows that animus to result in adverse employment action against another employee. … Continue Reading

Federal Government Seeks to Raise Awareness Regarding Religious Discrimination in the Workplace

Recently, the federal government has highlighted the issue of religious discrimination and accommodation in the workplace. Given the diversity of most workplaces, especially retailers, employers should be particularly sensitive to the potential risks of religious discrimination and harassment claims, as well as its obligations to accommodate reasonable religious-based requests for workplace changes.… Continue Reading

Jimmy John’s Will Stop Using Non-Compete Agreements in New York

In December 2014, the New York Attorney General’s Office initiated an investigation into Jimmy John’s corporate office and its New York franchises. Jimmy John’s is a sandwich shop with franchises throughout New York and the United States. The investigation in New York concerned whether the use of a non-compete clause that barred departing employees from taking a job with any employer within two miles of a Jimmy John’s store that made more than 10 percent of its revenue from sandwiches was legal.… Continue Reading

Washington, DC Increases Minimum Wage for Non-Tipped Workers

Recently, Washington DC council members unanimously voted to increase the city’s minimum wage to $15.00 an hour by the year 2020 for non-tipped hourly workers, many of whom work in the retail industry. The news comes just before Washington DC is scheduled to increase its minimum wage rate from $10.50 an hour to $11.50 an hour on July 1, 2016. The move makes DC the third jurisdiction behind California and New York to increase minimum wages to $15.00 an hour.… Continue Reading

Law Enforcement Can Seize Stolen Trade Secrets – A New Tool

The recently enacted Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA) provides a new form of expedited relief in federal court for owners of misappropriated trade secrets through an ex parte seizure of property. In “extraordinary circumstances,” DTSA permits a court to issue an order to authorize law enforcement officials to seize property – without advanced notice to the accused – in order to prevent the propagation or dissemination of the trade secret. … Continue Reading

The Defend Trade Secrets Act’s Immunity Notice Requirement – Do Your Employment Agreements Comply?

As we previously reported, the newly-enacted Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) represents a significant new weapon for companies to prosecute trade secret violations. Among other features, the DTSA’s nationwide reach and its provision for judicial seizure, double damages, and attorneys’ fees provide a much more robust enforcement and remedy scheme than is currently available under many state laws. In order for employers to take full advantage of all that the DTSA has to offer, employers who have trade secret or confidentiality restrictions in their agreements with employees and independent contractors must comply with the “immunity notice” requirement of the DTSA.… Continue Reading

The War Against Trade Secret Theft – A New Weapon

Congress gave companies a new weapon to fight trade secret theft this week. President Obama signed a law that addresses several issues that often mire trade secret litigation – cross border battles when multiple states are involved, venue and choice of law disputes, and lack of ability to seize trade secrets before they escape a state or the United States.… Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Refuses to Rubber Stamp NLRB Finding

In Dover Energy, Inc., Blackmer Division v. National Labor Relations Board, the Board held that Blackmer violated section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) when it threatened Tom Kaanta, a Blackmer employee and United Auto Workers Union shop steward, with disciplinary action if he continued to make “frivolous” information requests to the company’s lead negotiator during collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”) negotiations. On March 23, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D. C. Circuit reversed and held that the NLRB’s factual findings were not supported by substantial evidence.… Continue Reading

EEOC Brings First Sexual Orientation Discrimination Lawsuits

On March 1, 2016, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) sued employers for the first time for sexual orientation discrimination. The EEOC filed lawsuits in federal courts in Pittsburgh and Baltimore against manufacturing and health care employers for unlawful sex discrimination on behalf of employees alleging they were harassed and discriminated against based on their sexual orientation.… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Denies Review of Second Circuit Decision Compelling Court or DOL Approval of FLSA Settlements

The United States Supreme Court has denied a restaurant manager’s petition seeking review of whether parties may stipulate to the dismissal with prejudice of a lawsuit alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), or whether judicial or Department of Labor (“DOL”) approval is a prerequisite to such a dismissal, as the Second Circuit held in his case, Cheeks v. Freeport Pancake House, Inc. Having declined the petition for writ of certiorari, FLSA lawsuits will remain more difficult to resolve for employers in New York, Connecticut, and Vermont. … Continue Reading
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