Labor & Employment Law Blog

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Over the past two years, employee mobility seems to be at an all-time high.  In fact, the labor market is so fluid that pundits and experts often refer to it as the “Great Resignation.”  Although employee mobility can be a great opportunity for both employees and prospective employers, employers hiring new employees should always beware of potential problems such as restrictive covenants, which may follow an employee to a new job.
Continue Reading Void vs. Voidable: The Distinction That Can Make or Break a Tortious Interference Claim in Light of the Great Resignation

On May 2, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS”) granted an employer’s petition for review to determine whether highly compensated employees are entitled to overtime compensation under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) if they are paid on a daily rate and not on a salary basis.
Continue Reading SCOTUS to Determine Whether Highly Compensated Employees Are Entitled to Overtime Pay

In a recent opinion in Hill v. Walmart Inc., the Ninth Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of Walmart on Hill’s claim for waiting time penalties under Labor Code section 203, finding there was a good-faith dispute about whether Hill was properly classified as an independent contractor of Walmart.
Continue Reading Good Faith Dispute Over Employment Relationship Allows Walmart to Escape Waiting Time Penalties

UPDATE: Mayor Adams signed Int. 134 into law on May 12, 2022.  It is currently effective.

On April 28, 2022, the New York City Council (the “Council”) passed Int. 134, an amendment to New York City’s Salary Transparency Law (the “Salary Transparency Law” or “STL”) that finalized a number of significant changes to its requirements.  As we previously reported, the Council has been considering Int. 134 in various forms since March 24, 2022.  The original version of Int. 134, which provided more significant protections for employers, failed to gain traction.  Following discussions with pay equity advocates and the
Continue Reading UPDATED: New York City Council Approves Amendments to Salary Transparency Law; New Date for Compliance Now November 1, Among Other Changes

On April 21, 2022, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“Cal/OSHA”) Standards Board adopted the fourth iteration of its COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”). Sheppard Mullin previously wrote about the proposed revisions to the current ETS here, which were adopted without substantive changes. The revised ETS will become effective once approved by the Office of Administrative Law, which should occur by May 5, 2022, and the revised ETS will remain in effect until December 31, 2022.
Continue Reading Cal/OSHA Adopts Fourth Iteration of COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards

In contravention of decades-old precedent, employers may be required to recognize unions without a secret ballot election, thereby denying employers the opportunity to protect the private choice of their employees. The National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB” or “Board”) General Counsel, Jennifer Abruzzo, argued that the Board should reinstate the recognition process and expand the ability of the Board to order an employer to bargain with a union even without its winning an election.
Continue Reading NLRB General Counsel Seeks to Reinstate Radical Standard for Union Recognition and Restrict Employer Free Speech During Corporate Organizing Campaigns

On March 22, 2022, the New York City Commission on Human Rights (the “Commission”) issued its first round of guidance regarding the salary transparency law (the “Salary Transparency Law” or “STL”) currently scheduled to take effect on May 15, 2022.  As we previously reported, the Law will amend the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) to require all New York City employers to state the minimum and maximum salary associated with an advertised internal or external “job, promotion, or transfer opportunity.”
Continue Reading New York City Issues First Round of Guidance Regarding Salary Transparency Law

At its upcoming April 21, 2022 meeting, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“Cal/OSHA”) Standards Board will decide whether to readopt the fourth iteration of its COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”), which first went into effect on November 30, 2020.  The ETS apply to all employees not covered by Cal/OSHA’s Aerosol Transmissible Disease Standard or employees working alone or at home, and require employers to establish, implement, and maintain a COVID-19 Prevention Program (“CPP”), among other things.  Sheppard Mullin previously wrote about the implementation of the original ETS here, and previous revisions to its requirements here and
Continue Reading Further Updates to Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards Likely Coming Soon

Under well-settled, decades-old precedent, employers have historically been free to hold mandatory “captive audience” meetings to educate employees, share views on unionization, and discuss what employees’ rights are with respect to the same. However, on April 7, 2022, the NLRB General Counsel (“GC”) issued a memorandum stating her intent to ask the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) to reconsider this rule, and overturn 75 years of precedent allowing an employer to hold “captive audience” meetings. Notwithstanding the plain wording of Section 8(c) of the NLRA, the GC takes the position that such mandatory meetings are inconsistent with employees’ rights under
Continue Reading NLRB General Counsel Will Ask the Board to Find That Captive Audience Meetings Violate the NLRA

On March 23, 2022, the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth District in Estrada v. Royalty Carpet Mills, Inc., ruled that courts do not have authority to strike a claim under the Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) due to a lack of manageability at trial. Estrada creates a split of authority with a pro-employer decision, Wesson v. Staples the Office Superstore, LLC, 68 Cal. App. 5th 746 (2021). The Court in Wesson found that trial courts have inherent authority to dismiss PAGA claims as unmanageable. Wesson was discussed in detail in a prior blog article.
Continue Reading Split of Authority Emerges Regarding Whether Employers Can Dismiss PAGA Lawsuits on Manageability Grounds

On March 11, 2022, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) proposed reverting the definition of “prevailing wage” under the Davis-Bacon Act to a definition used over 40 years ago. According to the DOL, the proposal is meant to modernize the law and “reflect better the needs of workers in the construction industry and planned federal construction investments.”[1]
Continue Reading Turning Back the Clock: DOL Proposes Previous Davis-Bacon Prevailing Wage Definition

The National Labor Relations Board (Board or NLRB) could reverse a 2019 decision holding that honest, albeit mistaken, classification decisions and announcements to employees do not violate the National Labor Relations Act (the NLRA). On March 17, 2022, General Counsel of the NLRB issued a Complaint against Deco Logistics, Inc. d/b/a Container Connection and its affiliates (collectively Deco Logistics), alleging that Deco Logistics violated the NLRA by misclassifying drivers as independent contractors as well as other conduct that allegedly violated the workers’ Section 7 rights to organize, such as interrogating a driver about union activities and retaliating against drivers for
Continue Reading NLRB to Decide Whether Misclassification Is Standalone Violation of the NLRA

On March 18, 2022, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued “Web Accessibility Guidance” for state and local governments and public accommodations under Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) (the “Guidance”). The Guidance, however, does not offer any new insights from the DOJ on the issue of website accessibility for state and local governments and public accommodations, and does not provide any specific technical standards for compliance. Instead, as the DOJ explained in the accompanying press release, the Guidance is merely intended to “offer[] plain language and user-friendly explanations to ensure that it can
Continue Reading The Department of Justice Issues “Web Accessibility Guidance”

On March 24, 2022, New York City Council members Nantasha M. Williams and Justin L. Brannan introduced Int. 134, a bill that would alter New York City’s impending pay transparency law.  As we previously reported, beginning on May 15, 2022, all New York City employers must state the minimum and maximum salary associated with an advertised “job, promotion, or transfer opportunity,” both internally and externally (the “NYC Pay Transparency Law” or the “Law”).  Int. 134 proposes certain alterations and clarifications to the NYC Pay Transparency Law that may affect employers’ compliance measures.
Continue Reading New York City Council Proposes Amendment to Pay Transparency Law

On February 7, 2022 a California Court of Appeal issued its decision in Hutcheson v. The Superior Court of Alameda County (UBS Financial Services, Inc.).  The case addresses the relation back doctrine in the context of a Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (the “PAGA”) lawsuit, and will have important consequences for PAGA cases moving forward.
Continue Reading Employers May Face an Expanded Liability Period in PAGA Suits Under the Relation Back Doctrine