President Joe Biden recently issued an executive order devised to establish minimum risk practices for use of generative artificial intelligence (“AI”) with focus on rights and safety of people, with many consequences for employers. Businesses should be aware of these directives to agencies, especially as they may result in new regulations, agency guidance and enforcements that apply to their workers. Continue Reading What Employers Need to Know about the White House’s Executive Order on AI

On October 26, 2023, the National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) released a final rule which vastly broadens the standard for determining joint-employer status under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) and makes it easier for the Board to find a joint employer relationship. This updated standard rescinds and replaces the prior standard under the 2020 final rule, discussed in our blogs here and here. The new final rule makes three key changes:Continue Reading Who’s a Joint Employer Now? New NLRB Rule Drastically Expands Joint Employer Definition

Beginning on January 1, 2024, pursuant to House Bill 2068, Illinois employers located across thirty-eight (38) counties and townships will be required to provide employees with a “pre-tax commuter benefit.” This is one of a number of new Illinois laws impacting employers going into effect at the start of the new year.Continue Reading Time to Prepare for the New Year: Illinois’ Pre-Tax Commuter Benefits Law Goes into Effect in 2024

On September 6, 2023, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a law that prohibits employers from requiring employees to attend employer-sponsored meetings the “primary purpose” of which is to communicate the employer’s opinions on religious or political matters, including relating to joining a labor organization. The law became effective immediately, and is another step in the small, but growing number of states, that are campaigning against so-called “captive audience” meetings. Continue Reading New York State Bans Employers from Holding Mandatory “Captive Audience” Meetings

California has passed two new items of legislation, Senate Bill 699 and Assembly Bill 1076, which will further regulate and restrict the enforcement of employment non-compete agreements in California, and expand the scope of remedies for those affected by them. These new laws will become effective on January 1, 2024, and now is the time for employers to assess and revise their employment-related agreements and restrictive covenants accordingly. As detailed below, they also require employers to notify employees and certain former employees by February 15, 2024 that certain non-compete provisions are void. The two new laws are detailed below.Continue Reading California Strengthens Non-Competition Law

On October 7, 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 700 into law, amending the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). SB 700, effective January 1, 2024, expressly prohibits employers from requesting information from job applicants relating to their prior cannabis use.Continue Reading High Protections on Information Relating to Employees’ Cannabis Use

In a recent 2-1 decision in Quickway Transportation, Inc., 372 NLRB No. 127 (2023), the National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) reversed the Administrative Law Judge and ordered a trucking company to re-open its terminal and restore the status quo ante when it held that the company’s decision to terminate all of its recently unionized truck drivers and close the terminal violated sections 8(a)(3) and 8(a)(5) of the National Labor Relations Act (the “Act”). While this decision does not overturn existing Board precedent, as might be expected given the spate of recent decisions that we previously reported and discussed here, here, here, and here, but it is significant because it demonstrates the current Board’s willingness to rigorously sift through and interpret every aspect of the employer’s conduct to infer union animus and to rely on that inference even in the absence of direct evidence. Continue Reading Think Twice Before Closing the Shop Doors

On October 10, 2023, California Governor Newsom signed into law S.B. 365, a bill that amends California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1294. The new law provides that when a party appeals an order denying a motion to compel arbitration (an order which is immediately appealable), the trial court is not obligated to stay the action during the pendency of the appeal. The law marks a major shift in California civil procedure law.Continue Reading New California Law Prohibits Automatic Stay of Trial Court Action When Appealing Denial of a Motion to Compel Arbitration

As we previously reported and discussed here, the Cemex Construction Materials Pacific, LLC ruling has dramatically changed the threshold that will prompt the National Labor Relation Board (“NLRB”) to issue mandatory bargaining orders and is going to have a significant impact on the manner in which employers may respond to union organizing efforts. As the NLRB held in Cemex, if a union demands voluntary recognition based on a showing of majority support, the employer has two choices, which it must exercise within two weeks: (i) recognize and bargain with the union, or (ii) file a RM-Petition to initiate the NLRB conducting a secret ballot election. If the employer chooses the latter, and commits an unfair labor practice during the election period, the NLRB likely will require the employer to recognize and bargain with the union.Continue Reading Judge Issues First Post-Cemex Bargaining Order Despite Employer Winning Union Election

Major changes are coming to the Minor League. In April, Major League Baseball (MLB) players and owners voted to ratify a historic collective bargaining agreement that, for the first time in history, covers Minor League players. MLB owners voted unanimously to ratify the agreement on April 3, following a March 31 vote in which more than 99 percent of Minor League players voted to ratify the agreement. The five-year agreement, which was negotiated by MLB and the MLB Players Association (MLBPA), more than doubles the salaries at all Minor League levels and provides that Minor League players will be paid almost year-round.Continue Reading A Major Deal for the Minor League: California Bill Paves the Way for Historic Collective Bargaining Agreement for Minor League Baseball