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Paul Cowie is a partner in the Labor and Employment Practice Group in the firm’s Silicon Valley office.

With the rise of the #MeToo movement, companies have been forced to re-examine how they litigate and settle allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace.  Specifically, companies are facing increasing criticism if they compel claims of sexual harassment to private arbitration or force employees who allege sexual harassment to sign settlement agreements with confidentiality clauses, effectively shielding both the company and the alleged sexual harasser from public scrutiny.
Continue Reading #MeToo Changes the Face of Sexual Harassment Litigation for Employers

In the recent election, San Jose voters passed a voter initiative creating the “Opportunity to Work” ordinance.  The purpose of the ordinance, which will become effective on March 13, 2017, is to promote full-time jobs and to prevent San Jose employers from choosing to employ workers on a part-time basis only as a means of reducing costs of providing health insurance or other benefits.  The ordinance requires San Jose employers to offer hours of work to existing qualified part-time employees before hiring new staff, to keep records of its compliance with the ordinance, and to refrain from retaliation against any employee who exercises rights under the ordinance.
Continue Reading Part Time Workers Must Be Offered Additional Hours: San Jose’s Opportunity to Work Ordinance (Effective March 2017)