On January 29, 2014, Newark Mayor Luis Quintana signed into law an ordinance requiring mandatory paid sick leave for employees. This new ordinance goes into effect on May 29, 2014.
A CEO receives an anonymous call claiming that someone is stealing company trade secrets or that an employee is taking kickbacks from a vendor. A GC gets a call from the HR director who has an employee accusing the company of submitting false bills to a government agency. You are served by a government agency with a subpoena seeking records indicating a criminal investigation is underway for violations of environmental laws, insider trading, tax laws or fraud. Your company receives a credible threat of litigation. These are all real scenarios that occur daily in companies of all sizes all over the world. They trigger critical internal investigations that require substantial time and resources. Regardless of the nature of the investigation, it is vital that it be conducted efficiently, with clear direction and attention to preservation of the attorney-client privilege. This article sets out best practices for doing so.
On February 10, 2014, the U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service announced another one-year delay for a portion of businesses covered by the Employer Mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act (also known as the “ACA” or “ObamaCare”). Specifically, otherwise-covered entities with 50 to 99 full-time employees will not have to comply with the Mandate until January 1, 2016. Meanwhile, employers with 100 or more full-time employees now only will need to offer coverage to 70 percent of their full-time employees in 2015. However, all covered employers will be required to offer coverage to the previously mandated 95 percent of full-time employees beginning in 2016.
New Jersey’s law prohibiting discrimination against the unemployed in job advertisements – the first of a new crop of similar state and municipal laws – is constitutional, according to a recent New Jersey appeals court decision.
For over two years, the National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) fought to require employers to post in their workplaces a notice of employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). Those efforts met with stiff opposition from employers, and now appear to have come to an end.
On December 31, 2013, in Vasquez v. Franklin Management Real Estate Fund, Inc., the California Court of Appeal held that a maintenance technician, who alleged that he was constructively discharged in violation of public policy when his employer refused to reimburse gas mileage, pleaded facts sufficient to support a cause of action. Accordingly, the appellate court held that the trial court abused its discretion by sustaining the employer’s demurrer without leave to amend. While at first glance, employers may shudder at the expansion of constructive discharge claims, the case actually has a narrow, fact-specific holding.
Effective January 1, 2014, former employees in New York are, in most cases, ineligible for unemployment insurance benefits while receiving severance pay, pursuant to a recent amendment to New York’s Unemployment Insurance Law. The amendment was enacted as part of a package of reforms aimed at returning New York State’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund to solvency in the wake of the economic recession.
Happy New Year! As you move past the holidays and focus on 2014, we would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the new laws taking effect at the beginning of this year and your annual beginning of the year compliance obligations.
On Monday, December 16th, the New Jersey Assembly Labor Committee advanced the Opportunity to Compete Act, a new bill that would prohibit New Jersey employers from inquiring about criminal history on a job application or conducting a criminal background check before a conditional offer of employment is made.
Earlier this week, on December 3, 2013, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that arbitration agreements lawfully can contain class-action waivers. In its ruling in D.R. Horton, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, the Fifth Circuit overturned a National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) administrative decision, finding that D.R. Horton, Inc. did not violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by requiring its employees to sign an arbitration agreement in which they waived their right to pursue employment claims in collective or class actions. Specifically, the Court concluded that the Board failed to “give proper weight to the Federal Arbitration Act [FAA],” which requires that arbitration agreements be enforced as written, subject to two exceptions, both inapplicable here. However, the Court upheld the Board’s determination that the arbitration agreement could be reasonably construed to prohibit employees from filing an unfair labor practice charge, in violation of Section 8(a)(1) of the NLRA.