Groff v. DeJoy: Employers Have A Clarified Standard For Their Duty To Provide Reasonable Accommodations

On June 29, 2023 the United States Supreme Court issued its unanimous decision in Groff v. DeJoy, 600 U.S. ___ (2023).  This highly anticipated decision changes the individual assessment employers must use when evaluating a request for accommodation for religious reasons and whether the accommodation is reasonable or creates an undue hardship.  While this is one of several highly anticipated rulings from the high court this summer, it is not...
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New Jersey Company Must Provide Back Pay To Laid-off Employees After Failure To Engage In Effects Bargaining

Mathew Moldawer
Mathew Moldawer
06/28/2023
In general, when an employer subject to a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) closes a facility or shuts down a business, the employer should inform the union of its plans – failure to do so could cost the company.   The concept is referred to as “affects bargaining,” and is the subject of a recent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision, Tec-Cast, Inc. (NLRB June 21, 2023).  Tec-Cast is a New Jersey corporation that produces wax...
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Keep Your Religion Off My Tacos: Taqueria Found To Have Retaliated When Workers Were Offered A Priest To Confess Their Workplace Sins

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
06/26/2023
A Sacramento California restaurant is on the hook for $140,000 in back wages and penalties owed to 35 employees after entering into a consent judgment in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California.  The consent judgment resolves a case brought by the Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, against Taqueria Garibaldi and its several owners and operators.   As a primer, the Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division (“DOL”)...
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New York Passes Bill To Become Fifth State to Ban Non-Compete Agreements

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
06/23/2023
This week, the New York legislature passed NY State Senate Bill 3100A to modify New York’s Labor Law to effectively bar non-compete agreements.  The Bill’s effective date is 30 days after Governor Hochul’s signature, and will only apply prospectively to agreements signed, or effective, after the date the bill becomes law. The bill bars non-compete agreements in total, except in two circumstances: Non-disclosure agreements that protect trade...
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NLRB Clarifies (Again) NLRA Independent Contractor Test

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
06/16/2023
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has revisited the standard under the National Labor Relations Act for determining whether a worker is an independent contractor.  The Atlanta Opera, Case 10-RC-276292 (NLRB June 13, 2023). First, a little background.  In its 2019 SuperShuttle DFW decision, the Board made it easier for companies to establish that their workers are independent contractors (rather than employees) by clarifying and emphasizing...
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Harassment Claim Based On Offensive Music Given New Life

Can an employer be liable for workplace harassment resulting from music with sexually graphic lyrics when both women and men find the music offensive?  Last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals answered that question with a resounding “yes.”  Sharp v. S&S Activewear, L.L.C., No. 21-17138 (9th Cir. June 7, 2023).  The court had little trouble reversing the trial court’s decision that because employees of both sexes found the music...
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DOL Releases Revised Mandatory FMLA and FLSA Posters

The DOL has revised its Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) posters.  Employers will need to update these postings to remain in compliance with their obligations under these laws. FMLA Poster. Employers who are covered by the FMLA (i.e., private employers with 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius, as well as public agencies regardless of employee count) are required to display the DOL poster that...
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More DOL Guidance On The PUMP Act

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
06/06/2023
In this third blog post on the PUMP Act (my earlier posts can be read here), I share the key takeaways from the Department of Labor's (DOL) recently released Field Assistance Bulletin that provides additional clarification on how this new law is to be applied. As a reminder, the PUMP Act (the Act) expands lactation protections for nursing mothers under the Fair Labor Standards Act, in that employers are required to provide nursing mothers with a...
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Union Misconduct During A Strike May Result In State Court Liability

Peter Saucier
Peter Saucier
06/01/2023
Decades ago, the Supreme Court interpreted the National Labor Relations Act to afford unions and strikers special immunity from state court liability for damages resulting from a strike. Named after a 1959 Supreme Court decision, that so-called Garmon exemption doctrine, in the words of the Supreme Court, “tells us not just what law applies (federal law, not state law) but who applies it (the National Labor Relations Board, not the state courts or...
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The New Jersey Law Legalizing Recreational Marijuana Use Does Not Permit Workers To Sue Their Employers For Job Discrimination

Clifford Geiger
Clifford Geiger
06/01/2023
In January 2022, Eric Zanetich applied for a job in Walmart’s Asset Protection Department.  He was offered the job subject to submitting to and passing a drug test.  Zanetich alleged that Walmart’s Drug & Alcohol Policy stated, “any applicant or associate who tests positive for illegal drug use may be ineligible for employment.”  Zanetich took a drug test.  He tested positive for marijuana, and the job offer was rescinded. Zanetich...
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