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Paul Zimmerman
pzimmerman@mrllp.com
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Showing 152 posts in Employment.

Employment
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Your Company Needs a Social Media Policy

The use of social media in the corporate setting carries serious potential risk. The most extreme example of this, of late, is Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who was sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission after tweeting that he was considering taking Tesla private and that he had “funding secured” in order to do so. Market chaos and the SEC litigation ensued, and since then Musk has been forced to step down as chairman of the electric car company and pay a $20 million fine to settle with the SEC.

While not grabbing as many headlines as Musk, employees of all rank and profile are prone to commit social media blunders, and they too can pay the consequences. Take, for example, the Dunkin’ Donuts employees who posted a video they created showing one of them humiliating a homeless man at a Syracuse, New York location; the workers at a Little Caesars franchise in Riverdale, Georgia who uploaded onto Instagram a picture of a customer along with a tasteless message about her; or the Texas Children’s Hospital nurse in Houston who went on an anti-vaccine rant online relating to a young patient’s bout with measles. In all these cases, the employees were fired, but that certainly did not shield their employers from a slew of negative press. (Read More)

Employment
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Aleksey Boldin © 123RF.com

Misclassification Class Actions Take a Back Seat

The corporate folks at Uber Technologies Inc. have cause to be uber-happy given the outcome of a recent appeal before the Ninth Circuit – a decision that sends a clear message to employers throughout the West.

The peer-to-peer ridesharing company had been facing a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of drivers claiming to be Uber employees, as opposed to independent contractors as classified when hired and as reflected in agreements they signed with the company. The stakes in the case were high and potentially quite costly for Uber: among other things, reclassification would potentially require reimbursement for gasoline and vehicle maintenance and trigger minimum wage and overtime laws. (Read More)

Employment
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Alexander Raths © 123RF.com

Employee Accommodations: Now a Mandatory Topic of Conversation in NYC

The hurdles for employers in New York City continue to line up. The latest legal mandate: compliance with local accommodations law.

Beginning October 15, 2018, NYC employers with four or more employees will be required to engage in and document a good faith written or oral dialogue concerning (1) their employees’ accommodations needs, (2) potential accommodations that may address those needs (including proposed alternatives), and (3) any difficulties potential accommodations may pose for the employer. The types of accommodations contemplated under the so-called “cooperative dialogue law” are those relating to an employee’s religion; disability; pregnancy, childbirth or other related medical conditions; or the needs of a victim of domestic violence, sex offenses and stalking. (Read More)

Employment
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California’s Salary History Ban Just Got a Bit Easier to Understand

That employers in California are not allowed to ask job applicants about their prior compensation is, by now, old news. The prohibition was signed into law in October 2017, when California joined several other jurisdictions nationwide in a move to close the gender pay gap by banning salary history inquiries.

Indeed, California Labor Code §432 makes it unlawful for employers to rely on an applicant’s salary history information in determining whether to extend an offer of employment or the salary to be paid. There is more. The law also requires an employer, upon an applicant’s “reasonable request,” to provide the “pay scale” applicable to the position applied for. (Read More)

Employment
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Viktor Bondar © 123RF.com

The Joint Employer Saga Continues: Proposal by NLRB Narrows Scope of Liability

For years, the words “joint employer” have figured prominently in the parlance of labor attorneys across the country. This theory of liability has been subject to something of a tug of war, which can be traced to the halls of power in Washington where, in 2015, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) doubled down on an employer’s legal exposure to employees—quite literally. (Read More)

Employment
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AB 3080: Arbitration and Nondisclosure Agreements in the Crosshairs

Assembly Bill 3080 is pending legislation that should be of great interest to all California employers. The proposed law seeks to prohibit employers in California from requiring an applicant or employee to agree to arbitrate discrimination, harassment or retaliation claims as a condition of employment, continued employment, or receipt of any employment-related benefit. As pointed out in one of our previous blog posts, not only does AB 3080 look to make many employment arbitration agreements unlawful in the Golden State, but it also forbids an employer from prohibiting an employee or independent contractor from disclosing sexual harassment he or she suffers, witnesses or discovers. The upshot: if the bill is signed into law, these banned acts will be characterized as unlawful employment practices under the Fair Employment and Housing Act, which would entitle employees to remedies for every violation. (Read More)

Employment
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Andriy Popov © 123RF.com

Temporary Schedule Changes in NYC

Work schedules in New York City may be a bit in flux all thanks to the Fair Workweek Law. Pursuant to the new law, employers must grant eligible employees two schedule changes per year (one business day per request or two business days total by way of one request) to attend to qualifying “personal events.” (Read More)

Employment
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everythingpossible © 123RF.com

More PAGA Claims on the Horizon After Epic

The United States Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis– enabling class action arbitration waivers in the employment context – might have an unintended consequence in the form of more Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) cases filed in California. This is especially true after the recent California Court of Appeals decision in Huff v. Securitas Securities Services USA, Inc. (Read More)

Employment
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Words Matter

Words, matter; and spelling and grammer does to.

For those paying attention, you are correct: the comma as placed in that first sentence does not belong; the semi-colon should be a comma; “grammer” is misspelled; the verb “does” should be “do,” and “to” needs a second “o.” Good job connecting with your inner-spell check. (Read More)

Employment
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Jonathan Weiss © 123RF.com

In-N-Out of the Fifth Circuit: Ban on “Fight for $15” Buttons Struck Down

In-N-Out recently got served by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals – “animal style.” In early July, the Court struck down a ban instituted by the California-based restaurant chain prohibiting employees at one of its locations in Austin, Texas from wearing “Fight for 15” buttons. The employees in question wore them in solidarity with other fast food workers as a collective nod to an increase in the minimum wage – a move that In-N-Out’s management found as tasteless as unsalted fries. For its part, In-N-Out had in place a uniform policy forbidding “pins or stickers.” Apparently these adornments were deemed to be inconsistent with the “no frills,” clean, white and red uniforms worn by its employee. The National Labor Relations Board and the Fifth Circuit thought otherwise. (Read More)