Legal

No Appetite for Fluctuating Workweek OT Calculation

An authorized method of calculating wages under federal law may not be available under certain states’ laws regarding the same subject. 

In 2014, a group of managers at General Nutrition Centers Inc. retail stores in Connecticut who received sales commissions in addition to a base salary filed a lawsuit alleging that GNC’s use of the fluctuating workweek method of calculating their overtime pay shorted them on overtime pay and was a violation of state wage laws and regulations. Under the fluctuating…

Workplace Immigration Enforcement Should Not Trump Employers’ Rights

Employers should understand that they have legal rights when ICE agents call.

Since running for president, Donald Trump has made a vow to crack down on illegal immigration. Now that he is in office, he has made good on that promise. What has made some businesses nervous are Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s increasing efforts to aggressively investigate those companies that may have employed undocumented immigrants, knowingly or unwittingly. When agents enter a…

Apple Employee Gaffe Illustrates Risk Posed by YouTube Videos in Protection of Trade Secrets

However unfortunate, this story is an excellent illustration of the steps that companies are compelled to take to keep their trade secrets, well, secret.

An Apple employee lost his job this week after his daughter, Brooke Amelia Peterson, posted a YouTube video of her dad’s brand new, unreleased iPhone X. ReCode has the details: Peterson posted a five-minute video of a September day in Silicon Valley, which mostly included shopping for makeup and clothing. Harmless, and not unlike other YouTube videos posted by teenagers. But then, in…

The Next Nominee for Worst Employer of 2017 is … the Chili’s Cake Boss

If you enable a workplace culture that permits this level of harassment (especially of teenage employees), you might be the worst employer of 2017.

As we wind down the year toward voting to name our first “Worst Employer of the Year,” I thought I had all bases covered. Then I read this story on Buzzfeed: This Teen Says Her Chili’s Manager Sexually Harassed Her, and Her Coworkers Threw a Party to Shame Her As the story goes, Emily Houser (age 18) claimed that John Davidson…

Jeff Sessions Reverses Civil Rights Law’s Transgender Protection

Attorney General Jeff Sessions declared that the federal civil rights law does not protect transgender people from workplace discrimination.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated on Oct. 5 that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 will not protect transgender people from being discriminated against in the workplace. This move reverses an Obama administration policy issued three years ago. Sessions’ memo said that the anti-discrimination law does not apply to people who are transgender or are discriminated against based upon their…

Jemele Hill Story Underscores Employees’ Lack of Understanding About Personal Social Media and Work

Many employees have not yet realized that every negative or offensive statement could lead to discipline or termination.

Social media has irreparably torn down the wall that has historically separated one’s work life from one’s personal life. Earlier this week, ESPN personality Jemele Hill learned this lesson the hard way. The network suspended Ms. Hill for violating its social media policy. Her tweets called on fans to boycott the Dallas Cowboys if its owner, Jerry Jones, disciplines players…

‘Sharp’ Attacks on Jimmy John’s Leads to the Ax

While protected speech appears to have significant protection in this era of social media, this case indicates it is not without limits. 

Six employees of MikLin Enterprises Inc., a franchisor of 10 Jimmy John’s sub sandwich locations in Minneapolis-St. Paul, were terminated for their involvement in the creation and dissemination of posters in or near store locations during a unionizing campaign. The posters contained side-by-side images of Jimmy John’s sandwiches stating “Your Sandwich Made By A Healthy Jimmy John’s Worker” and “Your…

Employer Can’t Compel Employee to Arbitrate Claim

Courts place significant restrictions on the enforceability of arbitration agreements so they do not effectively prohibit the employee from enforcing their rights.

Ritarose Capili was a sales associate at a Finish Line store in California. When she was hired in August 2013, she was required to sign an agreement that required her to arbitrate employment-related disputes with Finish Line. In mid-2014, after she was diagnosed with diabetes and anxiety that was exacerbated by sleeping issues that occurred during her pregnancy, Capili requested…

Trump Flip-Flops on LGBTQ Workplace Discrimination

Are you tired of hearing me rant about this issue? I’m going to keep doing it until this country wakes up and comes to its senses.

“As your president, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens. … ” Those were the words of then nominee Donald J. Trump at least year’s Republican Convention. What’s missing from those words? “ … Unless you’re at work. Then you’re screwed.” Yesterday, Trump’s White House announced that it will urge the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals to…

The Next Nominee for Worst Employer of 2017 Is … the Whata(alleged)racist

You’d think by now that all employers would know that you cannot hire an employee expressly based on their race.

It has been 53 years since Congress banned racial discrimination in employment. You’d think by now that all employers would know that you cannot hire an employee expressly based on their race. Yet how does one explain this lawsuit, recently filed against Whataburger? Via USAToday: A former manager of a Florida Whataburger restaurant alleged she was retaliated against and forced…