Tag Archives: gtlaw

Ninth Circuit Widens Circuit Split on Whether Dodd-Frank Protects Internal Whistleblowing

Introduction On March 8, 2017, in Somers v. Digital Realty Trust Inc., No.15-cv-17352 (9th Cir., March 8, 2017), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s denial of the defendant’s motion to dismiss a whistleblower claim brought under the Dodd-Frank Act’s (“DFA”)’s anti-retaliation provision. In a 2-1 decision, the majority endorsed the approach … Continue Reading

The Senate Narrows Employers’ Obligation to Accurately Record Work-Related Injury and Illness Records

On March 22, 2017, the Senate passed H.J. Resolution 83, a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution (Resolution) that cuts the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) ability to cite an employer for failing to accurately record work-related injuries and illnesses from five years to six months.1 The resolution blocks and eliminates OSHA’s “Volks” final rule, also … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Joins Six Other Circuits in Ruling Exhaustion of Plan’s Administrative Procedures Not Required When Asserting Statutory Violations

On Tuesday, March 14, 2017, in Hitchcock v. Cumberland University, No. 3:15-cv-01215, 2017 WL 971790 (6th Cir. Mar. 14, 2017), the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals joined six other federal circuits in ruling that Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) plan beneficiaries are not required to exhaust administrative remedies prior to filing suit when asserting … Continue Reading

11th Circuit Upholds Longstanding Precedent: Sexual Orientation Claims Are Not Cognizable Under Title VII

On March 10, 2017, in Evans v. Ga. Reg’l Hosp., No. 15-15234, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4301 (11th Cir. Mar. 10, 2017), the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in a majority split affirmed a district court’s dismissal of a former employee’s suit against her employer, which alleged discrimination in violation of Title VII on the … Continue Reading

Employer’s Honest Belief Sufficient to Defeat FMLA Retaliation Claim

In a welcome decision to employers, the Third Circuit decided last week, for the first time, that an employer’s mere “honest belief” that an employee misused FMLA leave is sufficient to defeat a retaliation claim. As an employee claiming retaliation for using protected FMLA leave must prove that the very exercise of that right was a … Continue Reading

Philadelphia Becomes the First City to Prohibit Employers from Asking Applicants About Salary History

Employers who just last year revised their application forms to eliminate initial questions about past arrests and convictions, now have to revise them again to remove questions regarding current and past salary. On Jan. 23, 2017, Philadelphia’s mayor signed a wage equity ordinance (the Ordinance) which prohibits, among other things, employers from asking job applicants … Continue Reading

NY Governor Directs Contractors Doing Business with or Bidding on State Contracts to Disclose Employee Salary Information to Identify Wage Disparities

On Jan. 9, 2017, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed Executive Order 162, which requires state contracts and procurements entered into or issued as of June 1, 2017, to include new reporting obligations for contractors, subcontractors, and bidders. Employers seeking to contract with the State will be required to disclose, on at least a … Continue Reading

The Equality Act (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017

Background The final draft of the Equality Act (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 (the Regulations) and accompanying Explanatory Memorandum was published 6 December 2016. Subject to parliamentary approval, the Regulations will come into force 6 April 2017. The Regulations introduce a mandatory gender pay gap reporting requirement for non-public sector employers with at least … Continue Reading

Workplace Implications of the Massachusetts Recreational Marijuana Law

On Nov. 8, 2016, Massachusetts voters passed Question 4, which legalizes the recreational use of marijuana (Recreational Use Law). The Recreational Use Law follows passage of a 2012 Massachusetts ballot question which legalized the medicinal use of marijuana. Please see our previous May 15, 2013 GT Alert, What Does the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Act Mean … Continue Reading

OSHA Gets a Green Light: Court Refuses to Stop OSHA from Enforcing its New Anti-Retaliation Standards

On Nov. 28, 2016, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas declined to grant a nationwide preliminary injunction enjoining the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) from enforcing subparagraphs 1904.35(b)(1)(i), (iii), and (iv) of the final rule issued by OSHA titled “Improve Tracking Workplace Injuries … Continue Reading

Court Stays DOL Overtime Rule, Holds Increased Salary Test Impermissibly ‘Supplants’ Duties Tests

The proposed overtime rules will not go into effect on Dec. 1. In a closely-watched case brought by 21 states (and joined by numerous business organizations) challenging the Department of Labor’s (DOL) rule amendment which would have roughly doubled the minimum salary threshold for many employees to be considered exempt from federal overtime requirements (set … Continue Reading

Federal Rule 6(d) Amendment Removing 3 Days To Respond To Electronically Served Papers Goes Into Effect Dec. 1, 2016

On April 28, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United Sates approved amending Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 6(d) to remove electronic service from the modes of service under Rule 5(b)(2) that allow an extra three (3) days to respond. Rule 6(a) specifies how a party must compute time as provided in the Federal Rules … Continue Reading

Greenberg Traurig Webinar: Labor & Employment Law and the New Administration – Looking Ahead

Greenberg Traurig will provide an informative webinar to discuss what employers should expect in 2017 regarding labor and employment legislation and litigation under the new administration.  Our panel will focus on anticipated revisions and potential hot button issues in the employment arena, and what employers of all sizes can do to prepare.  To learn more … Continue Reading

“Nothing so Exhilarating as Being Shot at Without Result”—California Pay Day Statements and Accrued Vacation

What does Winston Churchill have to do with California wage and hour requirements? Well, the “shot” at employers in Soto v. Motel 6 Operating L.P. at the California Court of Appeal was whether, because California vacation pay cannot be forfeited and must be paid out at termination, it therefore follows that the value of the … Continue Reading

Not Everything the California Legislature Enacts is Bad for All Employers All the Time

The title should not be read to suggest some tectonic shift in the moods and values of the California Legislature or the Governor; far from it.  However, every once in a while something a bit useful does emerge. This time it is some certainty in executive level employment contracts.  AB 1241 adds yet another section … Continue Reading

Not-for-profit Hospitals and Health Care Providers Facing Retirement Plan Class Actions

There has been much media coverage of the recent class action lawsuits filed against some of the most prestigious universities in the United States by university employees. These class action lawsuits allege that the universities breached their fiduciary obligations in running their defined contribution 403(b) retirement plans by allowing the plans to pay excessive investment, … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Widens Circuit Split as to Class Action Waivers in Employee Arbitration Agreements

In a decision likely to have significant ramifications for employers, a divided panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that employers cannot require employees to individually arbitrate their claims by way of “separate proceedings.” In Morris v. Ernst & Young, LLP, No. 13-16599, D.C. No. 5:12-cv-04964 (9th Cir. August 22, 2016), … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Enacts Comprehensive Pay Equity Law

On Aug. 1, 2016, Massachusetts Governor Baker signed into law the “Act to Establish Pay Equity.” The new law is intended to address the gender wage gap by strengthening the pay disparity prohibitions under existing law. The Pay Equity Act also provides employers the opportunity to assert an affirmative defense to wage claims based on … Continue Reading

SEC Scrutinizes Severance Agreements for Compliance With Dodd-Frank

Recent SEC Fines On Aug. 16, 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it had issued its second fine in as many weeks concerning a company’s use of severance agreements that contain confidentiality and/or covenant-not-to-sue or release provisions that allegedly violate SEC whistleblower Rules. These recent SEC charges arise from SEC Rules, … Continue Reading

Split California Supreme Court Holds that without Express Agreement, Classwide Arbitrability is not a ‘Gateway Issue’ that must be Decided by the Court

In a 4-3 decision, the California Supreme Court recently determined that the question of “who decides whether [an arbitration] agreement permits or prohibits classwide arbitration” is not subject to a “universal rule [that] allocates this decision in all cases to either arbitrators or the courts.” See Sandquist v. Lebo Automotive, Inc., Case No. S220812, 2016 … Continue Reading

National Labor Relations Board Extends Reach of Browning-Ferris Joint Employment

On July 11, 2016, the National Labor Relations Board extended the reach of its ground-breaking 2015 Browning-Ferris decision, which announced an expansive view of “joint employment,” and ruled that “employer consent is not necessary” to require multiple employers to jointly bargain with “units that combine jointly employed and solely employed employees of a single user … Continue Reading

EEOC Publishes Revised Proposal to Collect Data on Employees’ Compensation and Hours Worked

On July 14, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published a revised proposal to collect data on employees’ compensation and hours worked through the EEO-1 reports that larger employers are required to submit annually. Notwithstanding numerous public comments stressing the burdens that this reporting requirement would impose on employers and the limited statistical utility that … Continue Reading
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