Category Archives: Hiring, Discipline, Termination

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Now in Effect: California Employers Must Provide New Hires with Written Notice of Victim Rights

As reported in our new laws for 2017 post, employers must give written notice to new employees (and to current employees upon request) explaining the rights of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. All California employers with at least 25 employees must be in compliance, effective July 1, 2017.… Continue Reading

You May Want To Reconsider Your Position – EEOC Announces New Procedure to Handle Administrative Charges Against Employers

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) recently announced new nationwide changes to the procedures relating to its investigation of administrative charges filed against employers. When an individual files a charge against an employer, the EEOC may ask the employer to submit a position statement responding to the allegations, typically within 30 days.  Under the old … Continue Reading

New Year, New Rules For Employers Doing Business in California

This year the California Legislature added over a dozen new employment laws, many of which take effect on January 1, 2016.  Some of these laws impose new prohibitions on employers, while others provide positive benefits such as safe harbors, cure provisions, and employer incentives for reclassification of certain independent contractors.  This update highlights key provisions … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Holds That Facebook “Like” May Be Concerted Activity Under Section 7 of the NLRA

The Second Circuit recently released a summary order in Three D, LLC v. NLRB affirming the National Labor Relations Board’s (the Board) ruling that a Facebook “like” can be construed as concerted activity under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (the Act).… Continue Reading

Proposed Federal “Ban the Box” Legislation Receives Bipartisan Support

On September 10, 2015, the Fair Chance Act (the “Act”) was introduced by a bipartisan group of legislators from both houses of Congress. The Act would prohibit federal contractors and agencies from inquiring into an applicant’s criminal history prior to a conditional offer of employment.  The proposed legislation would allow an employer to conduct a … Continue Reading

NYC Council Votes to Sharply Restrict Employer Use of Criminal Background Checks

On Wednesday, June 10, 2015, the New York City Council approved a bill that will strictly regulate how employers in New York City (with at least four employees) may conduct criminal background checks.  Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign the bill, which will go into effect 120 days after enactment.  The bill comes … Continue Reading

NYC Council Votes to Ban Employers from Conducting Credit Checks

On April 16, 2015, the New York City Council (the “Council”) passed a bill (Int. 0261-2014) prohibiting employers from requesting or using the consumer credit history of an employee or job applicant when making employment decisions (the “Bill”).  More specifically, the Bill would make it a discriminatory practice to request or use the consumer credit … Continue Reading

New York Court Finds That Plaintiff Who Never Worked a Day For Company Is Not Entitled To A $350,000 Performance Bonus

On January 20, 2015, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a decision plainly reminding employers of the importance of precisely drafting employment documents.  In the case of In re Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., 2015 WL 247403 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 20, 2015), the Court held that a prospective employee, who … Continue Reading

Employer Permitted to Use “After-Acquired” Evidence at Discrimination Trial

In Weber v. Fujifilm Medical Systems USA Inc., et al., case numbers 13-4891 and 14-0206, decided on October 9, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that a former executive’s employer could use “after-acquired” evidence – evidence of an employee’s misconduct during the period of employment which the employer discovers after … Continue Reading

Undocumented Workers May Pursue Claims Under California’s FEHA, So Says The California Supreme Court

On June 26, 2014, in Salas v. Sierra Chemical Co., the California Supreme Court held that undocumented immigrants who fraudulently obtained employment still may pursue retaliation and discrimination claims under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).  In its decision, the Court also found that the affirmative defenses of unclean hands and after‑acquired evidence, … Continue Reading

New EEOC Guidelines Regarding Employers’ Obligations With Respect to Background Checks and Accommodation of Religious Dress and Grooming Practices

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) recently announced new guidelines that may impact the way employers conduct background checks and accommodate religious dress and grooming practices.… Continue Reading

Expected Executive Order Protecting LGBT Employees has Implications for Employers

The White House announced last week that President Barack Obama is preparing to issue an executive order prohibiting government contractors from discriminating against employees or job applicants on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  Federal contractors are already barred from discriminating on the basis of race, religion, gender or national origin.  The expected … Continue Reading

Employment Non-Discrimination Act Passes its First Test in the Senate

The U.S. Senate recently passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (“ENDA”) (S. 815), a bill which would prohibit employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating against individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.  The ENDA passed by a vote of 64-32, but faces a tenuous future as it heads to the … Continue Reading

Is Your Criminal Screening Process Compliant?

An employer’s reluctance in hiring an applicant with a criminal history is understandable and sensible. Employers have an obligation to ensure a safe workplace, can be fined for failing to enact safeguards against workplace violence, and face liability for negligent hiring and retention of employees who commit violence in the workplace. Furthermore, a job applicant’s … Continue Reading

Proposed New York City Bill Would Ban Credit Checks from Hiring Process

On April 11, 2013, the New York City Council’s Committee on Civil Rights debated a proposed bill that would ban employers from using credit checks to evaluate prospective employees. The proposed bill, called the Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act (the “SCDEA” and available here), would create a blanket ban on using credit information for … Continue Reading

The Unemployed Are Now Protected Under The New York City Human Rights Law

On March 13, 2013, one year after we first introduced you to the idea that an individual’s unemployed status may be considered a protected characteristic, the New York City Council, voted into law legislation preventing companies from discriminating, in job advertisements or in the hiring process, against a job applicant who is unemployed. While New … Continue Reading

The EEOC Begins To Target Company Policies And Practices Pertaining To Recruitment And Hiring

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (“EEOC”) draft Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2012 to 2016 includes an important consideration for employers: one of the EEOC’s nationwide priorities is to eliminate systemic barriers in recruitment and hiring. The EEOC intends to target class-based intentional hiring discrimination and facially neutral hiring practices that adversely impact particular … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Provides Clarification of Labor Code Section 206.5’s Restrictions on Releases of Wage Claims

In the recent California Court of Appeal decision of Pulli v. Pony International, LLC, the court clarified that Labor Code section 206.5 prohibits an employer from requiring an employee to execute a release of a claim for wages only and does not prohibit the employer from requesting that the employee waive his right to a … Continue Reading

The EEOC Issues Updated Guidance on Employer Use of Arrest and Conviction Records

On April 25, 2012, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued updated enforcement guidance on employers’ use of arrest and conviction records when making employment decisions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”). The EEOC’s guidance (the “Guidance”) is intended to codify and build on its prior policies … Continue Reading

The EEOC Finds Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity (Against a Transgender Individual) a Viable Claim Under Title VII

In what is reported to be a landmark decision, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), in Macy v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, found for the first time that discrimination against transgender individuals constitutes sex discrimination in violation of Title VII. While not the first case to explore the notion that … Continue Reading

Password Protected – Proposed Social Media Privacy Legislation

The job market appears to be on an upswing, and with this upswing, and the advent of new technology, comes new challenges for employers and applicants alike. Potential employees may have online identities that many employers deem useful when investigating a job applicant. However, privacy settings on many social media sites allow an applicant to … Continue Reading

New California Commission Contract Rules – It is Not Too Early To Get Ready!

Employers with sales teams in California need to get ready. California has a new commission contract law, AB 1396, which takes effect January 1, 2013. Under AB 1396, which amends California Labor Code section 2751, employers who pay commissions to their employees are required to enter into written commission contracts with employees. The contract must … Continue Reading

Unemployed Status — The New Protected Class

All employers are familiar with race, gender, age, disability and many other protected classifications under the myriad of Federal and state fair employment practices acts. It now appears that there is a growing trend to add “unemployed” to that list. While unemployment rates appear to be on the decline, 8.3 percent of the population remains … Continue Reading

Legal Issues Surrounding Social Media Background Checks

By Michelle Sherman Agatha Christie had a novel take on invention being the mother of necessity. She disagreed and said, “[I]nvention, in my opinion, arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness. To save oneself trouble.” She may have been onto something when you think about businesses that are turning to outside vendors to research … Continue Reading
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