Category Archives: Hiring, Discipline, Termination

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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

Ninth Circuit Rules That An Employee Who Quits Because The Business Is Closing Has Not “Voluntarily Departed” Under the WARN Act

On January 21, 2011, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Collins v. Gee West Seattle LLC held that when an employee voluntarily leaves because the company is closing, the employee has not "voluntarily departed," but has instead suffered an "employment loss" under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification ("WARN") Act, 29 U.S.C. § 2101 … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Lawsuit By Employee Who Claimed He Was Fired In Retaliation For His Fiancée’s Discrimination Complaint

On January 24, 2011, the United States Supreme Court held in Thompson v. North American Stainless, LP that an employee who claimed he was fired in retaliation for his fiancée’s discrimination complaint could pursue a claim against their mutual employer under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.… Continue Reading

Social Media Research + Employment Decisions: May Be a Recipe for Litigation

We are the Google generation. We meet someone interesting, then search the Internet to learn more about them. There is nothing wrong with doing this in the context of networking, making new friends, or pitching for business. However, searching the Internet for information about someone who is trying to get a job with your company … Continue Reading

Dress and Grooming Policies in the Workplace

In an effort to satisfy customers and maintain a desired company image, many employers have dress and grooming policies. As a general rule, employers are legally allowed to establish reasonable dress and grooming requirements that serve legitimate business interests. However, two recent cases remind employers that there are limits on what grooming standards employers can … Continue Reading

New Stimulus Bill Affects H1-B Hiring

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA or the "Stimulus Bill") was enacted on February 17, 2009, and Section 1611 – the Employ American Workers Act (EAWA) – severely limits certain employers, namely banks and other financial institutions, who receive funding under the 2008 Trouble Assets Relief Program (TARP) from hiring H-1B foreign … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Court Of Appeals Rules That An Employer Must Notify Its Insurer Of A Potential Claim Upon Receiving A Demand Letter From Counsel

The Second Circuit’s ruling in Westrec Marina Management v. Arrowood Indemnity Co. is a warning to employers to report potential claims to their insurance carrier as soon as possible or face denial of coverage.  In Westrec, an employee filed a charge of discrimination against Westrec with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) … Continue Reading

Appellate Court Holds Broad “No-Hire” Provision Is Unenforceable

In VL Systems, Inc. v. Unisen, Inc., a California Court of Appeal recently held that a broad "no-hire" provision in a consulting contract was unenforceable as an impermissible restraint on trade.  "No-hire" clauses are common in the consulting industry (and other similar industries such as the temporary services industry) in which the consulting companies provide … Continue Reading

Employers’ Termination of Medicinal Marijuana User Called Into Question

In September 2005, we reported on the California Court of Appeal’s decision in Ross v. Ragingwire Telecommunications Inc., 132 Cal. App. 4th 590, finding that an employer may refuse to employ a person who is using marijuana in accordance with the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. (See, “Court Holds That A Company May Terminate A … Continue Reading

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