Archives: Labor Relations

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When Manufacturers Say, “Welcome Back”

While a recent headline-grabbing Forbes article may have caused some concern (“Researchers Say Social Distancing To Prevent Coronavirus May Need To Continue Until 2022”), many manufacturers are now planning to return to “Business as (the New) Normal.”  During the last two months, I have been fielding calls from essential manufacturers on how to conduct business … Continue Reading

Employment Issues Related to Teleworking

I recently presented a program on “Employment Issues Related to Teleworking” as part of the free Coronavirus Special Topic Conference Call Series hosted by the U.S. Department of Commerce in partnership with the Connecticut District Export Council. Below are some key takeaways from the program that affect many manufacturers. . While not normal, the social … Continue Reading

Unfolding Coronavirus Conditions Present Unprecedented Challenges For Manufacturers

The patchwork of federal, state and local laws addressing leaves of absence, protections of people with disabilities and a manufacturer’s general obligation to provide a safe workplace come head-to-head with public reports of an evolving situation.  Right now, the CDC admits that “[m]uch is unknown about how the virus that causes COVID-19 spreads.”  Manufacturers should … Continue Reading

A Look Back and Ahead: 2020 Employment Law Predictions

Our tradition includes using our first January post to make predictions about “what’s to come” in the year ahead. But first, let’s see how I did over the last year. “Time for 2019 Manufacturing Law Predictions: Drum Roll Please!” (Jan. 9, 2019). I boldly predicted that on the federal level the government would continue to … Continue Reading

PBGC Report Reminds Manufacturers of the Coming Threat

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation released its Fiscal Year 2019 Annual Report and, you guessed it, it was “un-good” (a legal term I think).  The Multiemployer Insurance Program recorded a record-breaking deficit of $65.2 billion.  The PBGC warned that the Multiemployer fund will likely be insolvent by 2025, within 6 years from today.  Without the … Continue Reading

Legal Pot = Manufacturing Storm Clouds (the Refrain)

A few months back, I posted some thoughts about recent efforts to legalize medical and recreational marijuana, with an emphasis on the potential issues such laws would have on manufacturers – particularly manufacturers in a space requiring a heightened concern for employee safety.  See “Legal Pot = Manufacturing Storm Clouds” (May 29, 2019).  To my … Continue Reading

Protecting a Manufacturer’s Competitive Advantage: Recent Developments in Post-Employment Restrictions

I have posted a few times here about using post-employment restrictions to preserve a manufacturer’s competitive advantage.  See  “Non-Compete Cautionary Tale” (Nov, 2, 2018); “I’m New – And It’s No [Trade] Secret” (Oct. 27, 2014) and “Even More Reason for Manufacturers to Update Their Employment Agreements” (June 15, 2015).  Many of my clients use these … Continue Reading

For Manufacturers, “It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again!”

[With apologies to the great Yogi Berra!] Over the last three years, I have spent a good bit of space on this blog keeping manufacturers informed of the Department of Labor’s efforts to raise the wages of lower and middle level managerial employees and supervisors by raising the “salary threshold”.  See Blog posts of March … Continue Reading

Manufacturing a Summer (Employment) Potpourri

This blog post is dedicated to those of you who took a heathy summer break and want to catch up on the summer’s major developments.  Let the speed reading begin! As predicted here, the Trump Administration launched a series of not-so-surprising raids to arrest undocumented workers.  As of this writing, there has not been a … Continue Reading

Manufacturers Revisit Mandatory Arbitration Agreements

I have just returned from my summer sojourn in the wilds of New England catching up on rest, relaxation and reported court decisions. (Yes, I embrace my inner nerd!) Two recent court decisions dealing with mandatory arbitration agreements caught my eye and highlight why some manufacturers may gain by requiring pre-dispute employment arbitration agreements. In … Continue Reading

Manufacturers Face New Discrimination Rules

Concluding their 2019 legislative sessions, New York and Connecticut adopted sweeping new discrimination and harassment requirements — mandating additional training, expanding available remedies and making it easier for victims to obtain judicial relief. New York In June, the New York General Assembly adopted several significant changes to New York State’s anti-discrimination statute (known as the … Continue Reading

Legal Pot = Storm Clouds for Manufacturers

New York City’s recent ban on pre-employment marijuana testing, coupled with recent decisions in New Jersey and Connecticut, could give manufacturers cause for concern.  Effective May 20, 2020, New York City employers will no longer be allowed to require pre-employment marijuana testing for most jobs, testing which historically has been a routine part of the … Continue Reading

Deadlines Approaching: Large Manufacturers Must Submit 2017 and 2018 Pay Data

Key Dates:  May 31, 2019 and September 30, 2019 You may have been following the complex twists and turns involving the collection of employee pay and demographic data by the EEOC.  While the landscape seems to be constantly changing, pending a stay of the court order in National Women’s Law Center, et al., v. Office … Continue Reading

U.S. Government Agencies’ Fast Track Changes to Legal Standards (Part 1)

With the Trump Administration now in its 27th month (half-way through the first term), Federal agencies seem to be picking up the pace of fundamentally altering the legal landscape in which manufacturers operate.  Keeping up with these changes can be a full time job. In this blog post, I will highlight some of the more … Continue Reading

N.L.R.B. Continues to Re-Examine “Joint Employer” Test – Impacting Manufacturers and the Supply Chain

  Manufacturers and those in the supply chain may have been watching as the federal courts and the National Labor Relations Board struggle to make sense out of widely different views of the “joint employer” standard.  Whatever result is ultimately reached will carry significant implications for manufacturers.  At stake?  When can a manufacturer be required … Continue Reading

Thought The Government was Closed? The Manufacturers’ Smorgasbord!

This week’s post is somewhat breathless because so much happened or is about to happen.  You may have thought the government has been closed for the past 35 days. But just like great magicians who get you to watch their right hand while their left hand is going about the business of the trick, the … Continue Reading

Time for 2019 Manufacturing Law Predictions: Drum Roll Please!

When it comes to 2019 employment and labor developments for manufacturers, I predict …. much more of the same. The election of President Trump and a Republican controlled House and Senate in November 2016 brought a roll-back back from the aggressive enforcement policies of the Obama administration.  Simply speaking, the Federal Government has limited or … Continue Reading

TRAINING DEADLINE EXTENDED: Time to Catch the “Train” – The New York Gender-Based Harassment Train

Last month, I posted about New York State’s recently enacted law mandating all New York State employers adopt Sexual Harassment Policies and train all employees annually.  See “Time to Catch the “Train” – The New York Gender-Based Harassment Train.”  The Department of Labor published for public comment its August 23, 2018 draft sexual harassment training … Continue Reading

Time to Catch the “Train” – The New York Gender-Based Harassment Train

Continuing its aggressive measures to combat workplace sexual harassment, on August 23, the New York State Department of Labor issued for public comment a draft sexual harassment training program, a checklist of minimum standards for compliant sexual-harassment policies, and a list of FAQs. The materials can be found here. In addition, the New York City … Continue Reading

A Tale of Two Trends

  James Madison groupies rejoice!  All others can share my confusion. Called the “Father of the Constitution,” scholars credit Mr. Madison for his significant role in the fundamental design of the United States Constitution, where power was distributed between the states and the federal government, and power within the federal government was distributed among three … Continue Reading

State Officials Investigate Use of Non-Competes – Manufacturers Take Notice

Regular readers know that a good part of my practice deals with the use of “post-employment restrictions” to prevent former employees from using, selling or distributing a company’s most valuable assets – its intellectual property.  In one of my first blog posts on this site, I commented that the “explosion” of litigation in this area … Continue Reading

NLRB General Counsel Rolls Back Aggressive Anti-Manufacturer Handbook Rules

National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Peter Robb issued a June 6 memorandum outlining his views on the legality or illegality of handbook rules in light of recent Trump NLRB decisions.  That guidance, which can be found here, gives an overview of Robb’s interpretation of the law. Robb’s guidance represents a radical shift away from … Continue Reading

Expanding Limits on Applicant Salary History Questions

Manufacturers in Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii and Vermont face new limits on the use of an employee’s salary history. The state legislatures in Connecticut and Vermont have both adopted laws banning manufacturers from asking about an applicant’s prior salary.  Those laws are expected to be signed by the Governors of those states and will … Continue Reading
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