Congress Considering Bills for a More “Transparent” EEOC

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
09/23/2014
Any lawyer who has defended an employer sued by the EEOC knows that sometimes – not always – it can be a real challenge, facing an unrelenting assault by a government agency that seems bent on destruction. Sure, you might run into a private practice plaintiff’s lawyer who is uncivil, who is unwilling to discuss reasonable settlement terms, and whose mission in life is to ratchet up attorneys’ fees and/or drive the employer into bankruptcy....
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Wellness Plans - No Good Deed Goes Unpunished?

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
09/05/2014
Wellness plans have been around for quite some time, and in varying forms.  Employers are, more often and with regularity, implementing some category of wellness plan for multiple reasons: healthier workforce, better attendance and productivity, higher morale, lower health insurance costs, and the like. Indeed, the Affordable Care Act permits employers to offer financial incentives to employees to encourage participation in these programs. The...
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DOL Issues Guidance Concerning Gender Identity and Transgender Status

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
08/25/2014
On August 19, 2014, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued guidance concerning enforcement actions for gender or transgender discrimination. This guidance follows up on President Obama’s Executive Order 13672, which added gender identity and sexual orientation as protected categories in federal employment and contracting. The DOL guidance makes clear that the OFCCP – the agency charged with...
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Mercedes Denied the Luxury of Overly Broad No Solicitation Rule

Eric Paltell
Eric Paltell
07/28/2014
On July 24, 2014, a National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB")  Administrative Law Judge  ruled that Mercedes-Benz violated the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA") by prohibiting distribution of literature in "team centers" inside its Vance, Alabama plant.  Mercedes-Benz U.S. Int'l, Inc., No. 10-CA-112406.  The ALJ held that because the "team centers" were used for both work purposes and as employee break and meal rooms, the car maker could not...
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NLRB General Counsel Offers Input on Practical Effects of Noel Canning

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
07/11/2014
As Randi Klein Hyatt discussed recently, the Supreme Court’s decision in NLRB v. Noel Canning is expected to have significant ramifications for the NLRB (the “Board”) and the parties who previously appeared before the Board in 2012 and the first half of 2013, when the unconstitutional recess appointments of Members Block, Flynn and Griffin continued to leave the NLRB without a quorum.  Richard Griffin, one of the three recess appointees who...
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Supreme Court Issues Unanimous Decision, "Canning" Obama's Recess NLRB Appointments

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
06/27/2014
As part of its end of term productivity, on Thursday, June 26, 2014, the Supreme Court issued its much anticipated decision in NLRB v. Noel Canning,  regarding President Obama’s authority to grant recess appointments to fill vacant Board positions and avoid the Senate confirmation process of those Board members. The Noel Canning decision specifically involved President Obama’s recess appointments of Sharon Block, Terence Flynn, and Richard...
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DOL Takes Action So That FMLA Applies To Same-Sex Spouses Everywhere

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
06/24/2014
The Department of Labor announced on June 20, 2014, that it would be issuing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) confirming that employees are eligible for leave to care for a same-sex spouse under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) regardless of their state of residence.  Secretary Tom Perez announced that the proposed revisions would ensure that the FMLA applied to all families equally, permitting same sex marriage partners to fully...
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Hooters “Don’t Disrespect Patrons” Rule Violates NLRA

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
05/23/2014
A NLRB ALJ has ruled that a Hooters Handbook’s Code of Conduct that listed a variety of “don’ts” – including “don’t disrespect patrons” – violates employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act. Hoot Winc, LLC, NLRB ALJ No. 31-CA-104872 (May 19, 2014). Yes, you read that right. There’s no question that the current NLRB is more employee friendly than it has been in a long time. There are a number of recent decisions from...
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NLRB Strikes Down Hospital Rule Against Workplace "Negativity"

Eric Paltell
Eric Paltell
04/03/2014
I remember my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Wilbourne, telling us a very important rule: "if you don't have anything nice to say about someone, don't say anything at all."  Well, its a good thing the current NLRB was not around back then, because it looks like they would have had a problem with that rule. In Hill and Dales General Hospital, 360 NLRB No. 70 (April 1, 2014), a hospital decided to change its culture, which was plagued by "back-biting and...
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NLRB Signals What's On Its Agenda

Eric Paltell
Eric Paltell
04/01/2014
Each year the General Counsel to the National Labor Relations Board meets with labor attorneys at the American Bar Association's Midwinter meeting of the Labor and Employment Section. In this meeting, the General Counsel answers questions about the  Board's case handling processes and priorities. On March 26, 2014, the NLRB released a memorandum summarizing the information provided by the General Counsel in this year's meeting.  For those of you...
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