Archives: Employment Decisions

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General Counsel’s New Standard on Intermittent Strikes, Another Untenable Position for Manufacturers

On October 3, 2016, the National Labor Relations Board’s (Board) Office of the General Counsel (General Counsel) issued a memorandum seeking to broaden a union’s right to engage in intermittent strikes, which it defines as multiple short-term strikes—“a plan to strike, return to work and strike again.” The memorandum addresses the issue because unions have … Continue Reading

Regulatory and Legislative Changes: No Summer Holiday Break

While you may have thought that the major party conventions and Olympic Games in Rio would have resulted in a break from significant legislative and regulatory changes, that simply does not seem to be the case.  Recent changes affecting manufacturers include the following: The U.S. Department of Labor to increase civil penalties for ERISA violations.  … Continue Reading

I-9:  Ways to Avoid Identity Theft

This week, we thank members of Robinson+Cole’s Immigration Practice Group (Megan Naughton, Josh Mirer, Lauren Sigg, and Jennifer Shanley) for this post: Employers are increasingly being contacted by individuals, their insurance and payroll providers, the IRS and/or police about employees who are possibly involved in identity theft.  If an employee steals a name and matching social security number … Continue Reading

How Passage of Trade Secrets Act Will Help Manufacturers: An Update

Last month, we posted about the United States Senate’s passage of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016.  Breaking news:  It passed.  Thanks to members of our Labor & Employment (Ian Clarke-Fisher) and Intellectual Property Litigation groups (Jim Nault) for this guest post. On May 11, 2016, President Barack Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets … Continue Reading

Employment Law Developments for Manufacturers:  Predictably Unpredictable!

Manufacturers should take note of two recent developments in the human resources world.  One expected.  The other not. Frequent readers of this blog may recall that in January I predicted the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) would make good on its goal of updating the “Persuader Rule.” By way of background, the Persuader Rule … Continue Reading

Recent NLRB Decision Gives Manufacturers Another Reason to Update Policies

As I have commented in this space multiple times, under the Obama Administration, government agencies (particularly the U.S. Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the National Labor Relations Board) have given manufacturers great incentives to review and update employment policies in light of an aggressive enforcement environment.  The National Labor Relations Board … Continue Reading

EEOC Retaliation Guidance Ups the Stakes for Manufacturers

I ended my January 21 “employment law predictions” post by writing, “One thing I can count on as these ‘Years of Change’ continue, [I]  expect something unexpected.”  The EEOC made that prediction come true the same day when it published for comment a wholesale revision of its policy guidance on retaliation claims under federal civil … Continue Reading

Never too Late for Some 2016 Employment Predictions!

  While we are still saying “Happy New Year” (I checked and was told that January 21 was still “not too late” to wish good tidings for 2016), and as we get ready for the Great East Coast Blizzard of 2016, I thought it would be a good time to add my own predictions for … Continue Reading

Manufacturing a Troubling Future Part Two:  Recent Decision

This is the second of two posts regarding the “troubling” state of multi-employer pension plans.  My October post provided an overview of the recently published Teamsters’ Central States Pension “Rescue Plan” and discussed some of its implications.  This post will review the recent  decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Resilient Floor Covering … Continue Reading

A Troubling Future Part One:  Teamsters’ Pension Rescue Plan

  Two significant developments in the multi-employer pension world emerged in September, developments which could give manufacturers concern.  While this is not the time to panic (we have plenty of time to panic), readers should take notice. Development number one was the filing on September 25 of the Teamsters’ Central States Pension “Rescue Plan” to … Continue Reading

The Background Check Conundrum: “Manufacturing” a Problem (Pun Intended)

I am a longtime advocate of pre-employment criminal background checks.  So I have watched with resigned acceptance as the EEOC, over 100 states and cities across the United States, and other public advocates have fought to limit the use of an applicant’s criminal history in all but limited circumstances.  New York City’s recently enacted “ban … Continue Reading

Heralding Wholesale Changes for Manufacturers, Labor Board Revamps “Joint Employer” Test

Just in time for Labor Day, the National Labor Relations Board handed organized labor a great gift and potentially disrupted the business and labor relationships of thousands of American manufacturers. On August 27, 2015, a divided Labor Board ruled 3-2 that Browning-Ferris Industries was the “joint employer” of workers supplied by a third-party.  Browning-Ferris Industries, … Continue Reading

Raising Manufacturing Employees’ Wages? Consider the Unintended Consequences

The political discourse focusing on the wage disparity between the rich and the poor has led to efforts to raise the minimum wage for American workers.  Today, more than half the states have minimum wages above the Federal minimum wage, and effective July 1, 2015, the District of Columbia crossed the $10 per hour threshold … Continue Reading

Even More Reason for Manufacturers to Update Their Employment Agreements

In an increasingly competitive landscape, a manufacturer’s significant employees may hold the “keys to the kingdom.” Loss of such a worker to a competitor could have a substantial impact on future business growth. Many manufacturers invest significant resources to keep key employees and, by doing so, preserve their market advantage.  Strategic use of employment agreements, … Continue Reading

“Light Duty” Work Assignments in Doubt: Supreme Court Adopts New Pregnancy Discrimination Standard Affecting Manufacturers

The United States Supreme Court issued its much anticipated decision in Young v. United Parcel Service, (U.S. Sup. Ct., March 24, 2015), in which the Court set forth a new standard for litigating pregnancy discrimination claims and arguably injected considerable uncertainty into “restricted duty” or “light duty” work programs. Factual Background Peggy Young worked for … Continue Reading

Five 2015 Corporate Compliance / Litigation Issues Manufacturers Need To Keep An Eye On

It is our annual tradition at the beginning of each year to report on significant issues that face manufacturers/distributors in the year ahead.  Two weeks ago, Matt reported on significant issues in the labor/employment arena.  Last week, Pam reported on Environmental, Health and Safefy (EH&S) issues.  To round out the series, I’ll be writing about … Continue Reading

Five 2015 Labor and Employment Predictions for Manufacturers

The second half of 2014 was a whirlwind of activity on the labor and employment front, and I expect that trend to continue in 2015 with manufacturers having to navigate the rapids created by these developments. The United States Supreme Court will be called on to address the Constitutionality of state medical and recreational marijuana … Continue Reading

The Gift-Giving Season? Three “Game-Changing” Employment Developments Impacting Manufacturers

The approaching holidays may have put Congress, the National Labor Relations Board and the United States Supreme Court in the “gift-giving” mood.  In the last week, three significant developments occurred which may radically affect manufacturers in 2015. On December 11, in Purple Communications, a divided National Labor Relations Board ruled that employees had a statutory … Continue Reading

Employee Separation Agreements: Is Your Company’s Agreement A Target For The EEOC?

When manufacturers determine that it is necessary to let go of an employee there is often an assessment of risk and a decision about whether a severance package should be offered in exchange for a separation agreement that contains a general release and waiver of claims against the company.  Given the recent trend in litigation … Continue Reading

The Liability Risks of Temporary Employees

Last week, Pam addressed the issue of temporary workers from an EHS perspective.  Now, in this installment of one of our “360” posts, I’ll comment on the liability risks of having temporary employees. First, an introductory note.  I understand from my conversations with manufacturing executives that many companies need to use staffing agencies in order to locate skilled workers.  In most cases, companies … Continue Reading

In Case You Missed It, You Need To Protect Your Temps, Too

We occasionally write what we refer to among ourselves as a “360” post, as in 360 degrees, or looking at an issue from all sides. I’ll write about EHS, Nicole about labor or employment issues, and Jeff will focus on other potential liability, all associated with a single factual scenario.  The way the law and … Continue Reading

Family Medical Leave Act Webinar: From Vegas Trips to Fake Doctors’ Slips

As virtually every HR professional will tell you, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is one of the most confusing and complicated employment laws to administer. While providing job-protected leave for employees with serious health conditions or other qualifying events, it also presents the opportunity for misuse—or blatant abuse—by employees who want to mask … Continue Reading
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