Legal

Is Technology the Answer to Your Employees’ Mental Health Problems?

Employers need to adopt a systemic and holistic approach that recognizes mental health problems as they arise.

The world was rocked last week, first by the suicide of Kate Spade and then by that of Anthony Bourdain. American suicide rates have skyrocketed, up 30 percent since 1999, emblematic of the larger mental-health epidemic we are facing. Many point to the isolationism and perfection seeking created by our personal technology devices (and the social media they feed to…

In Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis the Supreme Court Deals a Blow to Employee Class Actions

Solid HR practices and regulatory compliance can help inoculate a company from becoming a litigation target.

In a case that sharply divided the Supreme Court on ideological lines but which will delight many employers, the court ruled that employees who sign arbitration agreements can be precluded from participating in class actions and thus must litigate their cases on an individual basis. This is to be contrasted with the current trend where plaintiff’s counsel identify an employer…

The Legality of Pre-certification Communications With Potential Class-action Members

If you are sued in a class-action lawsuit, consider implementing reasoned pre-certification communications with your employees as part of your defense strategy.

Your nightmare as an employer has just become your reality. A disgruntled former employee has launched a wage and hour class action lawsuit against you. You’d like to get out ahead of the game by having your lawyers start marshaling your evidence. For example, they’d like to interview employees and gather affidavits in opposition to the eventual motion for class…

SCOTUS Rules in Favor of Bakery in Gay Wedding Cake Dispute, but …

If anyone tells you that gay rights lost at the Supreme Court, you can tell them how wrong they are.

A lot of digital ink was spilled in the last day decrying the Supreme Court’s ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission as a win for the religious right and a step backward for LGBT rights. I was guilty of a little Twitter hyperbole myself after a quick first scan of the opinion: ? Also, this does not give me a ton…

The Greatest Book Ever Written About Labor Relations Is …

A recent list omitted the No. 1 book ever written about labor relations — Click Clack Moo, Cows That Type.

Last week I came across an article titled, “Business Wisdom From 10 Classic Children’s Books.” Its premise is that books with the simplest language often contain the most complex ideas, and that children’s books offer us a whole lot of real-world business wisdom. I was surprised, then, when I discovered that this list omitted the No. 1 book ever written about labor relations —…

Nosy Employers And Personal Email Accounts

Employers should revisit their information technology protocol regarding the handling of employee computer systems and devices.

Lois Owen was an employee for Professional Consultants Inc. Owen occasionally would access her personal email account on her work computer. After leaving PCI, Owen filed a discrimination complaint with a state agency, accusing PCI of sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment. During the discovery stage, Owen learned that PCI employees had accessed her AT&T account without her…

Are Pay History Inquiries … History?

Many jurisdictions are adopting laws that prohibit employers from asking employees about prior salary.

Prior salary and experience may not be a bias-free basis for wage disparities. In Bowen v. Manheim Remarketing Inc., Qunesha Bowen sued her employer, Manheim Remarketing Inc. for pay discrimination in violation of the Equal Pay Act and Title VII. Bowen worked for Manheim for three years before being promoted to arbitration manager. Her male predecessor in the same position…

The 9th Nominee for the Worst Employer of 2018 Is … the Retaliator

Today, I take you to lovely Riverside County, California, home of Palm Springs, Joshua Tree National Park, the Coachella Music Festival … and the ninth nominee for the Worst Employer of 2018. Until his termination on May 7, 2018, Andrew Yeghnazar had, since 2010, worked as the president of Blacoh Fluid Control, Inc. What did Blacoh Fluid Control (allegedly) do…

Biometric Privacy Lawsuits Rising

Asking employees to authenticate their time using similar technologies could have far-reaching legal implications for employers.

You can hardly pick up a smartphone these days without reading about — and experiencing — how biometric authentication technology is changing our lives and businesses. Finger and facial recognition have become so commonplace that you might not think twice before asking your employees to authenticate their time using similar technologies, especially because traditional punchcard systems can be inefficient and…

SCOTUS Ruling on Class Action Waivers Is Not the Win for Employers It Seems to Be

Don’t think for a second that this decision will end wage-and-hour litigation. Instead, plaintiffs’ lawyers will instead merely file a plethora of individual arbitration claims.

In a narrow, 5-4 partisan decision, the Supreme Court on May 21 issued its most anticipated employment decision of its current term, Epic Sys. Corp. v. Lewis . The court reconciled six years of debate between split federal circuits into a unified standard that permits the waiver of class actions via the compelled individual arbitration of employment disputes. The issue in the case was…