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Seyfarth Shaw



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Staffing Agency Class Settlement Bars Subsequent Case Against Agency’s Client

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Seyfarth Synopsis: Based on the legal principle of res judicata, a prior class action settlement that released a staffing agency and its agents barred a subsequent class action against the staffing agency’s client. The Facts The Plaintiffs, Andrew and David Castillo, worked for GCA Services Group, Inc., a temporary staffing agency that places temporary employees with its clients. GCA placed the Castillos on a temporary assignment at Glenair, Inc. Although they worked under Glenair’s general oversight and direction, GCA hired, fired, and paid them, based on time records provided by Glenair (which Glenair reviewed for accuracy). The Castillos, in 2013, sued Glenair (but not GCA), claiming—for themselves and a class of workers—unpaid minimum wages, unpaid overtime wages, meal and rest break violations, untimely termination wages, and inadequate wage statements. We will call this case “Castillo.” Gomez Class Action Settlement Agreement The year before Castillo was filed, Judith Gomez and Ernesto Briseno had sued GCA (but not Glenair) in connection with the work they had done for Glenair on behalf of GCA. This lawsuit, which we will call Gomez, alleged the same claims—on behalf of the same class—that were later brought in Castillo. In 2014, while Castillo, which was solely against Glenair, was pending, the parties in Gomez entered into a settlement agreement. The Gomez agreement contained a broad release barring class members from asserting wage and hour claims, against GCA and its agents. The Castillos were members of the Gomez settlement class and did not opt out of the Gomez settlement. Glenair’s Motion for Summary Judgment Glenair, citing the Gomez class settlement agreement, moved for summary judgment in Castillo. Glenair argued that it qualified as an agent of GCA that was a released party under the Gomez settlement agreement. The Castillos opposed the motion on the basis that Glenair was not a named party in Gomez and did not contribute to the Gomez settlement. The trial court nonetheless granted summary judgment for Glenair. The Court of Appeal’s Decision On April 16, 2018, the Court of Appeal affirmed the summary judgment, holding that the Castillo case against Glenair was barred, both as a matter of res judicata and because Glenair was covered by the terms of the broad release contained in the Gomez settlement agreement. The Court of Appeal concluded that all three of the elements of res judicata were met: (1) the Gomez settlement was final and on the merits, (2) the causes of action in Castillo were the same as those at issue in Gomez, and (3) Glenair was in privity with GCA (a party in Gomez) with respect to the subject matter of Castillo.  Glenair also was released as a party in Gomez, since it was an agent of GCA.   The Court of Appeal reasoned that GCA and Glenair were in privity because the subject matter of Castillo and Gomez were the same: both cases involve the same wage and hour claims arising from the same work performed by the same GCA employees (the Castillos) at GCA’s client company Glenair. In addition, by virtue of the settlement in Gomez, the Castillos  were compensated for any errors made in the payment of their wages. Further, Glenair was an agent for GCA with respect to GCA’s payment of its employees, such as the Castillos, and thus was a released party under the Gomez settlement agreement. What Castillo Means For Employers The Castillo decision demonstrates that the settlement agreements entered into by temporary employment staffing agencies may have a downstream effect on their clients. Employers facing putative class actions brought by temporary employees would be wise to review any class settlement agreements entered by the plaintiff’s staffing agency to determine if any additional defenses exist. [...]



DOJ Announces First Of A Number Of Anticipated No-Poach Enforcement Actions – What Should Employers Do Now?

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Seyfarth Synopsis: True to his word, the Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice has announced the first of a number of anticipated no-poach enforcement actions. While this was a civil proceeding, the Department of Justice has said that in some cases it may treat the conduct as criminal. Many executives and HR professionals are unaware that the antitrust laws apply to the employment marketplace. Thus, if they have not done so already, employers should consider the implementation of compliance programs to make sure that appropriate employees are aware of these developments and risks.

Read the full blog post.




The Week in Weed: April 20, 2018

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Welcome to the 4/20 edition of Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

Read the full blog post.




MAY 2018 VISA BULLETIN

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Trivia: On May 10, 1877, U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes had which common piece of technology first installed into the White House?

Read the full blog post.




LIBOR Discontinuance Update - What You Should Know

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

As you likely know by now, in July 2017 the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority announced that LIBOR will be phased out by 2021.  However, as we previously advised in our September 2017 Alert, lenders need not rush into replacing LIBOR for a new substitute index, as there is an ongoing process to facilitate an orderly transition in the market to a new, replacement index rate in place of LIBOR.
 
On April 13, 2018, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (the “New York Fed”) began publishing three new reference rates based on overnight repurchase agreement transactions collateralized by Treasury securities.  These new reference rates are the Broad General Collateral Rate (BGCR), the Tri-Party General Collateral Rate (TGCR) and the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR).  The Alternative Reference Rates Committee formed by the Federal Reserve to address LIBOR replacement has identified SOFR as a potential candidate for the LIBOR replacement.  The New York Fed describes SOFR as a broad measure of the cost of borrowing cash overnight collateralized by Treasury securities. SOFR includes all trades in the BGCR plus bilateral Treasury repurchase agreement (repo) transactions cleared through the “delivery-versus-payment” service offered by the Fixed Income Clearing Corporation, which is filtered to remove a portion of transactions considered “specials” (repo transactions for specific-issue collateral which take place at cash-lending rates below those for general collateral repos because cash providers are willing to accept a lesser return on their cash in order to obtain a particular security).
 
The New York Fed will publish such rates each morning at approximately 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time and will include statistics summarizing the distribution of volumes each day, including the total dollar amount of transactions used to calculate each rate, rounded to the nearest billion, and the volume-weighted 1st, 25th, 75th, and 99th percentiles.
 
While SOFR will not be a direct substitute for LIBOR because it is a secured overnight rate and thus lower than LIBOR, the publishing of this SOFR as a reported index rate is an important milestone in the development of a market for a new reference rate.
 
The takeaway for lenders is to continue monitoring the loan market for adoption of a replacement index rate to LIBOR and continue observing how the discontinuance of LIBOR impacts both existing and new loan documentation.

 




Brent Clark and Ilana Morady's blog referenced in EHS Today

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Brent Clark and Ilana Morady's blog was referenced in EHS Today, "MSHA Issues Final Mine Inspection Rule," on how the new regulations impose additional requirements but are less burdensome than first proposed. The Seyfarth lawyers point out that while the new regulation imposes new requirements on mine operators, it is notably less burdensome that previous iterations of the workplace examination rule that have been in process for several years. You can read the full article here.




Larry Lorber quoted in Bloomberg Law

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Larry Lorber was quoted in an April 19 story from Bloomberg Law, "Federal Contractor Auditor’s Selection Process Revealed." Lorber said that he is concerned about the way the office is framing the parent company-independent subsidiary relationship and the categorization of “direct” and “associate” establishments.




Robert Whitman quoted in XpertHR

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Robert Whitman was quoted in an April 19 story from XpertHR, "New York Passes New Anti-Sexual Harassment Laws." Whitman said that employers need to take steps quickly to comply with the new provisions. You can read the full article here.




Lawrence Lorber quoted in Bloomberg Law

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Lawrence Lorber was quoted in an April 19 story from Bloomberg Law, "Labor Dept. to Relax Obama Pay Bias Policy, Hand Reins to Businesses," on how the Trump administration plans to ease the way it reviews federal contractors for pay discrimination by letting businesses help shape those investigations. Lorber said that it’s really a productive step because it will bring them back to dealing with compensation issues as the law requires, rather than just an arbitrary set of methodologies which don’t have any basis in the law.




Sam Schwartz-Fenwick quoted in Bloomberg BNA

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Sam Schwartz-Fenwick was quoted in an April 19 story from Bloomberg BNA, "Health Coverage of Medical Pot Remains Unlikely, Despite Demand." Schwartz-Fenwick said that, because it’s illegal at the federal level, it creates a lot of problems for an ERISA plan.




Marshall Babson quoted in Politico Pro

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Marshall Babson was quoted in an April 18 story from Politico Pro, "OMB tells NLRB to spend less than allocated." Babson said that he is unaware of a single instance in the past wherein the White House or OMB subjected the NLRB to the budget rescission process.




Laura Maechtlen quoted in Law360

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Laura Maechtlen was quoted in an April 18 story from Law360, "Client Push Gets More Firms Into The Labor Lobbying Game." Maechtlen said that what she has seen in the last couple years, especially with the new federal administration, is questions from clients about how to navigate what’s happening in Washington. The Seyfarth Shaw Government Relations and Public Policy Group launched in January.







Fight Club Rules: Using Restraining Orders to Prevent Workplace Violence

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Seyfarth Synopsis: Workplace violence is a major concern that can take the form of intimidation, threats, and even homicide. But fret not: California employers can arm themselves with restraining orders, to prevent a modern version of the “Fight Club” at work.

Read the full blog post.




Following State’s Lead, New York City Council Passes “Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act”

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Seyfarth Synopsis:  The New York City Council has passed, and Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign, a package of eleven bills—together referred to as the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act—that will require most private employers to conduct annual sexual harassment training.  The legislation also extends the statute of limitations for filing claims of sexual harassment from one year to three, requires employers to display an anti-sexual harassment poster in common areas, requires the Commission on Human Rights to post certain information about sexual harassment, and expands the New York City Human Rights Law’s coverage to all employers, regardless of the number of employees.   The “Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act,” passed by the City Council on April 11, 2018, is a package of eleven bills designed to combat workplace sexual harassment. The Mayor is expected to sign the bill shortly.  Following on the heels of the recently enacted New York State anti-sexual harassment legislation, the Act makes a number of significant changes to the law of sexual harassment applicable to employers in the City.   The provisions in the bill affecting private employers are summarized briefly below.     Mandatory Anti-Sexual Harassment Training   The Act will amend section 8-107 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York to require employers with 15 or more employees to conduct annual anti-sexual harassment training for all employees employed in New York City, including supervisory and managerial employees.  Training will be required after 90 days of initial hire for employees who work more than 80 hours in a calendar year, whether or not they work on a full-time or part-time basis.  For purposes of this subdivision, the term “employee” includes interns.     The legislation requires that the training be “interactive.”  While it need not be live or with an in-person instructor, it must qualify as participatory teaching “whereby the trainee is engaged in a trainer-trainee interaction, use of audio-visuals, computer or online training program, or other participatory forms of training as determined by the commission.”   Training must, at a minimum, include the following: (1) an explanation of sexual harassment as a form of unlawful discrimination under city, state, and federal law; (2) a description of sexual harassment, including examples; (3) the employer’s internal complaint process as well as the complaint process available through the City Commission on Human Rights, the State Division of Human Rights, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; (4) a prohibition of retaliation and examples of what constitutes retaliation; (5) information concerning bystander intervention; and (6) the responsibilities of and actions that must be taken by supervisory and managerial employees in the prevention of sexual harassment and retaliation.   The legislation also requires that employers keep a record of all trainings and signed employee acknowledgements of attendance.  The records must be retained for three years and be available, upon request, for inspection by the Commission.   The Commission is required to develop an online interactive training module that may be used by employers to satisfy the training component, provided that employers also inform all employees of internal reporting procedures.  The module will be available for free to the public and must allow for electronic provision of certification.    The legislation also includes tw[...]



Franchise “No-Hire” Agreement Class Actions And The Single Enterprise Defense

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Seyfarth Synopsis: There are currently pending at least four class actions claiming that provisions contained in franchise agreements prohibiting the hiring of employees of other intrabrand franchisees without the consent of their employer violate the antitrust laws.  That being said, in 1993 the Ninth Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of a franchisor in a similar “no-hire” case.  It reasoned that due to the control the franchisor exercised over its franchisees, the franchisor and its franchisees were incapable of conspiring in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act. While the so-called “single enterprise” defense is potentially available, franchisors should be cognizant that in developing that defense, they may create evidence or admissions that would support a subsequent claim that the franchisors are joint employers of their franchisees’ employees.  In light of the availability of other defenses, franchisor employers should assess whether the joint employer risk is worth accepting in order to pursue the single enterprise defense.  Introduction “No-hire” (sometimes referred to as “no-switching”) agreements are contracts between or among employers not to hire each other’s employees.  A “no-poaching” agreement is different but similar.  It prevents the solicitation of another employers’ employees, but does not prevent their hire, so long as there was no solicitation.  The franchise no-hire agreements typically are limited in duration.  For example, in pending litigation against Pizza Hut,  it is alleged that the challenged agreement only prohibits hiring anyone who was in a managerial position at another Pizza Hut restaurant at any time during the previous six months.  Ion v. Pizza Hut, LLC, Case No. 4:17-cv-00788, Complaint at ¶ 4,available at https://www.classaction.org/media/ion-v-pizza-hut-llc.pdf (last visited on 4/10/2018). In 2017, at least three class action cases were brought against separate franchisors alleging that the organizations’ “no-hire” agreements suppress wages and violate antitrust laws.  And a fourth was filed in January 2018.  There may be more to come.  In a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions dated November 21, 2017, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker inquired as to whether DOJ was “currently investigating the use of no-poach agreements in the franchise industry.”  In that correspondence, Senators Warren and Booker cited to a study by Princeton economists that found that “fully 58% of the 156 largest franchisors operating around 340,000 franchise units used some form of anti-competitive ‘no-poach’ agreements.”  See https://www.warren.senate.gov./files/documents/2017_11_21_No_Poach.pdf (last visited on 4/10/2018). To prove a violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, the plaintiff must show an agreement between or among two or more persons or entities.  Monsanto Co. v. Spray-Rite Service Corp., 465 U.S. 752, 761 (1984).  In 1993, a Jack-in-the-Box franchisor successfully defended a challenge to its no-switching agreement on the grounds that the franchisor and its franchisees were a single enterprise and incapable of conspiring in violation of Section 1.  Williams v. I.B. Fischer Nevada, 999 F.2d 445, 447-48 (9th Cir. 1993) (per curiam). That defense is premised upon the control that a franchisor has over the operations of its franchisees.  And the question then is whether d[...]



Beyond Title III: Website Accessibility Lawsuits Filed Alleging Inaccessible Online Employment Applications

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Seyfarth Synopsis: Plaintiffs who pursued numerous web accessibility actions under Title III of the ADA are now using website accessibility to test the limits of a different area of law – employment law – California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act.

Read the full blog post.




Lawrence Mandelker quoted in SyFy Wire

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Lawrence Mandelker was quoted in an April 17 story from SyFy Wire, "What would Batman and Iron Man pay in taxes?" Both have inherited considerable wealth, which Mandelker says can affect what they've owed to the states and feds. You can read the full article here.




Marc Gurell quoted in Law360

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Marc Gurell was quoted in an April 17 story from Law360, "Steel Tariff Fears Wreaking Havoc On Construction Market." Gurell said that aluminum and steel tariffs would logically increase the costs of construction in markets that rely on such materials, thereby affecting profitability in the real estate industry.




Bart Lazar quoted in Slate

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Bart Lazar was quoted in an April 16 story from Slate, "Before Facebook, There Was GeoCities," on how the FTC’s 1998 case against an early web pioneer laid the groundwork for data privacy discussions today. Lazar, who defended GeoCities, credits this case with having a big influence on the development of the online privacy domain moving forward. You can read the full article here.




Simon Yang quoted in the Northern California Record

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Simon Yang was quoted in an April 16 story from the Northern California Record, "California legislators seek to reform 'controversial' Private Attorney General Act." Yang said that, while reform is most certainly needed, the current system protects the Act in a way that reform will be difficult to enact. You can read the full article here.




Andrew Boutros and Jay Schleppenbach quoted in LaCorte News

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Andrew Boutros and Jay Schleppenbach were quoted in an April 16 story from LaCorte News, "Foreign agent registrations see sharp increase amid special counsel’s Russia probe." The findings are consistent with a new analysis from Boutros and Schleppenbach, who recently published a piece titled, “Department of Justice & Congress Signal Possibility of Increased Foreign Agents Registration Act Enforcement in 2018 and Beyond” for Bloomberg Law. Boutros said that Sen. Grassley’s push to expand and beef up the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) suggests that maybe this is the beginning of a new renaissance in the government bringing FARA charges. You can read the full article here.




Danielle Kays interviewed by WGLT

Fri, 13 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Danielle Kays was interviewed April 13th by WGLT, "Sexual Harassment, Other Workplace Issues Are Focus Of Employment Law Summit." Kays discussed the McLean County Bar Association, Chamber of Commerce and Bloomington-Normal Human Resource Council's upcoming summit on employment law. You can listen to the full interview here.




If Pain, Yes Gain—Part XLVI: New Jersey Becomes Tenth State to Pass Paid Sick Leave Law

Fri, 13 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Seyfarth Synopsis: Yesterday, the New Jersey Senate joined the state Assembly in passing a bill that would impose statewide paid sick leave obligations on private employers and, notably, preempt all current and future municipal paid sick leave ordinances. The final step before New Jersey becomes the tenth state with a statewide sick leave mandate is for Governor Phil Murphy to sign the bill.  He is expected to do so in the coming days. Once signed, Garden State employers will have 180 days until the paid sick leave requirements begin. After years of frequent paid sick leave symptoms, including passing 13 municipal paid sick leave ordinances and often exploring the possibility of a statewide paid sick leave standard, New Jersey is on the verge of finally catching the nation’s paid sick leave bug and becoming the latest state to enact a statewide paid sick leave law.  The updated prognosis follows yesterday’s successful New Jersey Senate vote on Bill A1827 (the “Bill” or the “PSL Law”)—a statewide sick leave mandate that would require employers to provide employees in New Jersey with paid sick leave.  The Senate vote followed the example set by the New Jersey Assembly, which voted on and passed the Bill last month. The Bill now awaits Governor Phil Murphy’s signature.  Unlike his predecessor, New Jersey employers should not expect that Governor Murphy will cure their looming sick leave woes as he is expected to sign the Bill in the near future.  Once the Bill is signed, the Garden State will officially be home to the country’s tenth paid sick leave law.[1] The Bill will take effect on the 180th day following its enactment. Assuming it is signed by Governor Murphy before the end of the month, New Jersey employers’ paid sick leave obligations will begin sometime in mid to late-October 2018.  Notably, and after some potential uncertainty due to a related, but not identical Senate sick leave bill, the new state PSL Law will preempt all existing and future municipal sick leave ordinances. In other words,  when the PSL Law goes into effect later this year, it will preempt the state’s 13 existing municipal paid sick leave ordinances.[2]  Thus, while the introduction of a new statewide PSL Law will impose sick leave burdens on numerous businesses previously immune to such standards, a silver lining for employers with operations in any of the 13 New Jersey sick leave municipalities is that they have avoided a potential sick leave patchwork. Here are some highlights of the New Jersey PSL Law: Employee Eligibility: “Employee” is defined broadly and means “any individual engaged in service to an employer in the business of the employer for compensation.”  The PSL Law excludes certain employees in the construction industry who are under a collective bargaining agreement, certain per diem health care employees, and certain public employees. Covered Employer: “Employer” is also broadly defined and includes persons or entities that employ employees in New Jersey. Accrual, Usage and Carryover: Start of Accrual: The PSL Law states that sick leave accrual will start on the later of the law’s effective date or the date the employee’s employment begins.  Usage Waiting Period: Employees are entitled to begin using paid sick[...]



Franchise “No-Hire” Agreement Class Actions And The Single Enterprise Defense

Fri, 13 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

This post originally appeared on the Workplace Class Action blog.

Read the full blog post.




Nicole Bogard, Diane Dygert, Peter Varney and Joy Sellstrom authored an article in Employee Benefit Adviser

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Nicole Bogard, Diane Dygert, Peter Varney and Joy Sellstrom authored an April 12 article in Employee Benefit Adviser, "IRS retroactively reduces HSA contribution limit." You can read the full article here.




DOJ Announces First Of A Number Of Anticipated No-Poach Enforcement Actions – What Should Employers Do Now?

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Seyfarth Synopsis: True to his word, the Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice has announced the first of a number of anticipated no-poach enforcement actions.  While this was a civil proceeding, the Department of Justice has said that in some cases it may treat the conduct as criminal.  Many executives and HR professionals are unaware that the antitrust laws apply to the employment marketplace.  Thus, if they have not done so already, employers should consider the implementation of compliance programs to make sure that appropriate employees are aware of these developments and risks. In January 2018, Makan Delrahim, the Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division, said that the Department Of Justice (“DOJ”) had been very active in reviewing potential antitrust violations resulting from agreements among employers not to compete for workers.  (We previously reported on this announcement here and here.)  He said that he was “shocked” at how many there were and that in the coming months there would be announcements of enforcement actions.  He also mentioned that if the conduct occurred or continued after issuance of the October 2016 joint DOJ and Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) Antitrust Guidance for Human Resource Professionals (the “Joint Guidance”), the DOJ may treat those agreements as criminal. On April 3, 2018, the first of these announcements was made.  See “Justice Department Requires Knorr and Wabtec to Terminate Unlawful Agreements Not to Compete for Employees,” available here ("News Release”).  The DOJ advised that it filed a complaint in which it alleged that Knorr-Bremse AG (“Knorr”), Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation (“Wabtec”) and Faiveley Transport S.A., before it was acquired by Wabtec, entered into agreements not to compete for each other’s employees (“no-poach” agreements).  The DOJ contends that these were naked agreements – i.e., not reasonably necessary for a separate, legitimate business transaction or collaboration – and amounted to per se violations of Section 1 of the Sherman Act.  With the Complaint DOJ also filed a Competitive Impact Statement; Explanation of Consent Decree; and Stipulation and Proposed Final Judgment.  (See News Release.) As noted, Mr. Delrahim stated that there were a number of these investigations ongoing, and in the News Release said that this Complaint was “part of a broader investigation by the Antitrust Division into naked agreements not to compete for employees.”  So more of these announcements can be expected, and some may be announcements of criminal prosecutions. Many Employees Are Unaware That the Antitrust Laws Apply to the Employment Market Often some business executives and human resource professionals are unaware that the antitrust laws apply to the workplace.  Executives who would never consider discussing prices with their competitors are unaware that discussing wages or salaries could have antitrust risks.  Similarly, employee covenants not to compete are commonplace and many executives have them in their own employment contracts.  So unless they have received specific tra[...]



States Moving To Fill Perceived Void in CFPB Enforcement

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

In response to “the void left by the Trump Administration’s pullback of the [CFPB],” the New Jersey Attorney General recently announced that Paul R. Rodriguez will be serve at the Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, the state’s lead consumer protection agency. Mr. Rodriguez will serve as the Acting Director of the Division beginning on June 1, 2018, until he is confirmed by the New Jersey Senate. This appointment fulfills one of Governor Phil Murphy’s promises to create a “state-level CFPB” in New Jersey.
 
Several other state attorneys general, including those in California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, have announced that they intend to fill any void resulting from leadership changes at the CFPB by continuing to vigorously enforce federal consumer protection laws, as well as the consumer protection laws of their respective states. This sentiment was memorialized in a December 14, 2017, letter from the attorneys general to President Trump expressing their support for the CFPB’s mission and their disapproval of Mick Mulvaney's appointment as CFPB Acting Director. 
 
Seyfarth Shaw will continue to monitor and report on this potential state-level CFPB formation trend and related enforcement activity. 



Why “Future Proofing” Is a Myth

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

In this environment, there is a soothsaying comfort in taking measures that might “future proof” your organisation from the potentially terrifying effects of change and disruption.

Read the full blog post.




States Moving To Fill Perceived Void in CFPB Enforcement

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

In response to “the void left by the Trump Administration’s pullback of the [CFPB],” the New Jersey Attorney General recently announced that Paul R. Rodriguez will be serve at the Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, the state’s lead consumer protection agency. Mr. Rodriguez will serve as the Acting Director of the Division beginning on June 1, 2018, until he is confirmed by the New Jersey Senate. This appointment fulfills one of Governor Phil Murphy’s promises to create a “state-level CFPB” in New Jersey.

Read the full blog post.




How Will Organized Labor Reorganize?

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Seyfarth Synopsis: Unions represent only 6.5% of all private sector employees. However, rather than focusing on the past and why its fortunes have declined, a more interesting question may be what organized labor is actively doing to reverse this trend.

Read the full blog post.




USCIS Completes the H-1B Cap Random Selection Process for FY 2019

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Seyfarth Synopsis: USCIS completes the lottery process and received 190,098 H-1B cap petitions.

On April 12, 2018, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it received 190,098 H-1B petitions to meet both the Master’s and regular H-1B quotas (or “caps”) for Fiscal Year 2019, which begins on October 1, 2018.  This means that USCIS received more than double the number of available H-1B petitions in the first week of filing, and that more than 20,000 of these petitions were filed under the Master’s cap.  The number of petitions decreased slightly again this year, down from more than 199,000 petitions filed for Fiscal Year 2018.

In addition, USCIS announced that they completed a computer-generated random selection process -- the lottery -- for all cap-subject filings received from Monday, April 2 through Friday, April 6, 2018 to determine which filings to adjudicate.  USCIS first conducted the lottery process for H-1B petitions subject to the Master’s cap, which sets aside 20,000 H-1B visas for holders of U.S. Master’s degrees or higher degrees.  Any Master’s cap petitions not selected in the Master’s lottery were eligible for selection in the regular H-1B lottery, effectively providing two opportunities for an H-1B visa.  USCIS will now begin the process of sending Receipt Notices for petitions selected in the lottery while rejecting and returning petitions, together with the associated filing fees, that were not selected in the lottery.

 




USCIS Completes the H-1B Cap Random Selection Process for FY 2019

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Seyfarth Synopsis: USCIS completes the lottery process and received 190,098 H-1B cap petitions.

Read the full blog post.




Camille Olson, Matthew Gagnon and Annette Tyman quoted in the National Law Journal

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Camille Olson, Matthew Gagnon and Annette Tyman were quoted in an April 12 story from the National Law Journal, "Ruling on Salary History Fuels Renewed Focus on Gender Pay Inequities." The Seyfarth attorneys, speaking on an Equal Pay Day webinar, said understanding pay discrepancies isn’t always clear-cut.




Kristina Launey quoted in the Northern California Record

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Kristina Launey was quoted in an April 12 story from the Northern California Record, "Small business often hurt by serial plaintiffs in ADA violation suits, expert says," on how companies throughout California have been suffering due to the occurrence of serial plaintiffs, individuals hired to find violations of requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Launey explained the challenges surrounding these types of cases in California. You can read the full article here.




Time Again to Flex Those Pecs! 2018 Edition of Cal-Pecs Book Is Here!

Wed, 11 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

We’re pleased to announce that the 2018 version of our Cal-Peculiarities: How California Employment Law is Different, your indispensable California employment law guide, is arriving next week, to coincide with our annual update Webinar on the same subject. This edition, like its predecessors, aims to help private employers understand what’s peculiar about California employment law. In the 2018 Edition, we continue to highlight recent court decisions and legislative developments, and how they may impact you and your business.

Read the full blog post.




Maine Employers Receive Little Guidance From Department of Labor on New Recreational Marijuana Law

Wed, 11 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

As previously reported here, on November 8, 2016, Maine voters approved “Question 1 – An Act to Legalize Marijuana” (“the Act”), which allows for, among other things, the recreational use of marijuana. The Act became the first law of its kind in the nation to protect employees and applicants from adverse employment action based on their use of off-duty and off-site marijuana.

Read the full blog post.




Equal Pay Day 2018: Introducing Seyfarth’s Trends and Developments in Pay Equity Litigation Report and the 2nd Annual 50-State Pay Equity Desktop Reference

Wed, 11 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Seyfarth Synopsis: Seyfarth’s Pay Equity Group is pleased to release two reference guides: the 2018 Trends and Developments in Pay Equity Litigation Report and the 2nd Annual 50-State Pay Equity Desktop Reference. Yesterday, April 10, 2018, was Equal Pay Day.  While there are limitations of the statistic that underlies the event, there seems to be no limit to the focus on pay equity.  To help understand the legal landscape as it stands today, the Seyfarth Pay Equity Group is pleased to share two guides to help enhance your compliance efforts: the 2018 Trends and Developments in Pay Equity Litigation Report and the 2nd Annual 50-State Pay Equity Desktop Reference. As we reflect on Equal Pay Day this year, and think ahead to the future, certain trends emerge:  Amped-Up Pay Laws: While California, New York, and Massachusetts led the way in adopting stricter state pay equity laws, other states, including Maryland and Oregon, soon followed suit.  The trend continues into 2018 with New Jersey and Washington passing similarly onerous laws in recent weeks.  Laws banning employers from asking candidates for employment about prior salary is another trend.  Laws have been enacted in nine jurisdictions and several other states are considering similar salary history bans.  The 2nd Annual 50-State Pay Equity Desktop Reference outlines these changes.  Litigation Uptick: Not surprisingly, concurrent with these new laws and developments, the Seyfarth Pay Equity Group has seen an increased interest by the plaintiff’s bar in litigation under the federal Equal Pay Act and analogous state laws. The primary targets for this new wave of litigation have been firms in the legal and tech industries. Those cases are already generating new and intriguing law that has the potential to reshape the landscape of pay equity litigation, including whether and how those claims can be maintained as collective or class actions. The Trends and Developments in Pay Equity Litigation Report  outlines these cases and trends. Federal Circuit Split on Pay Factors:  Recent cases demonstrate that Federal circuit courts are split on whether prior salary can be used as a factor that justifies differences in pay under the federal Equal Pay Act.  Just yesterday, the Ninth Circuit changed course in an en banc decision, and held that an employee’s prior salary does not constitute a “factor other than sex” upon which a wage differential may be based under the statutory “catchall” exception in the federal Equal Pay Act.  The Trends and Developments in Pay Equity Litigation Report has up-to-date information on this circuit split and the new Rizo decision.  Stay tuned to see this in the Supreme Court. A Push Towards Greater Transparency and More Structure: The benefit to having more defined pay structures and being more transparent about pay is that it often helps demystify what has long been thought to be a taboo topic.  Structure also provides an opp[...]



DOJ Announces First Of A Number Of Anticipated No-Poach Enforcement Actions – What Should Employers Do Now?

Tue, 10 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Seyfarth Synopsis: True to his word, the Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice has announced the first of a number of anticipated no-poach enforcement actions. While this was a civil proceeding, the Department of Justice has said that in some cases it may treat the conduct as criminal. Many executives and HR professionals are unaware that the antitrust laws apply to the employment marketplace. Thus, if they have not done so already, employers should consider the implementation of compliance programs to make sure that appropriate employees are aware of these developments and risks.

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Smoke Signals Out of Washington Suggest Increased Enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act

Tue, 10 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Following the October 27, 2017, indictment of Paul Manafort, legal experts and savvy political actors alike expressed surprise to see charges brought under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), a seldom-used statue enacted in 1938 to combat the rise of Nazi propaganda activity in the United States. In the nearly 50 years between 1966 and 2015, only seven criminal prosecutions had ever been brought under FARA, and only one of those resulted in a conviction at trial. The charges against Manafort appear to have led to a substantial uptick of new FARA filings; since Special Counsel Robert Mueller started his probe in May 2017 through the present, approximately 100 new registrants have filed under FARA, which represents a 75 percent increase in new registrants as compared to the same period a year earlier.   In addition, late last year Iowa’s U.S. Senator and Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley, introduced a bill that seeks to strengthen FARA by giving the Justice Department’s FARA unit the power to issue civil investigative demands and directing the Attorney General to “develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to improve the enforcement and administration of” FARA. Significantly, the bill would also remove one of FARA’s current and often-used exemptions, which allows agents for foreign entities to avoid the requirement to complete detailed FARA filings by instead filing an abbreviated form under the Lobbying Disclosure Act. Senator Grassley’s bill follows a similar March 2017 bill introduced by New Hampshire’s U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, suggesting that there is some level of bipartisan support for FARA’s increased enforcement.    In light of these signs of increased FARA enforcement, companies and those who do business internationally would do well to consult with experienced counsel about the statute, which contains broad language that brings a wide range of entities and individuals within its scope. For example:   With certain exemptions, FARA requires all agents of foreign principals to file registration statements with the Attorney General within ten days of becoming an agent, with periodic updates to follow.   “Foreign principals” are broadly defined to include all foreign governments, political parties, people, and organizations.   “Agents” encompass all those who (1) engage in political activities in the United States, (2) act as public relations representatives, (3) solicit or dispense contributions or other things of value, or (4) interact with a U.S. government agency on behalf of a foreign principal.     Thus, companies and individuals—particularly those in media—must pay particularly close attention to whether they may have FARA-filing responsibilities of which they have previously been unaware or lackadaisical. In the alternative, to the [...]



Annette Tyman quoted in Cosmopolitan

Tue, 10 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Annette Tyman was quoted in an April 10 story from Cosmopolitan, "Everything That Needs to Change for Women to Finally Get Equal Pay." Tyman said that being upfront and willing to have a discussion about pay often helps demystify what has long been a taboo topic and provides an opportunity to fix anything that may have been overlooked. You can read the full article here.




Seyfarth's Workplace Class Action Report referenced in PlanSponsor

Tue, 10 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Seyfarth's Workplace Class Action Report was referenced in an April 10 story from PlanSponsor, "Fiduciary Governance Group Launched by Stradley Ronon." As laid out in a Seyfarth's Workplace Class Action Report, plaintiffs found some significant success in 2017 when it came to winning ERISA class certification. You can read the full article here.




Marshall Babson quoted in PoliticoPro

Tue, 10 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Marshall Babson was quoted in an April 10 story from PoliticoPro, "War at the NLRB Back," on a NLRB general counsel's proposal of additional restrictions on the decision-making power of regional officials, such as requiring all cases go through headquarters for initial review. Babson said that if you're talking about injecting another level of review, that could slow things down.




James Goodfellow quoted in the Penn Record

Mon, 09 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

James Goodfellow was quoted in an April 9 story from the Penn Record, "Third Circuit gives ERISA plan administrators a win," on how the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed a district court’s decision to deny a claim for long-term disability benefits. Goodfellow said that it wasn't a surprise, but it was a victory for benefits plan administrators. You can read the full article here: https://pennrecord.com/stories/511381113-third-circuit-gives-erisa-plan-administrators-a-win




Joshua Henderson quoted in Bloomberg BNA

Mon, 09 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Joshua Henderson was quoted in an April 9 story from Bloomberg BNA, "California High Court Ruling Could Set Off Worker Safety Lawsuits," on how employees can sue employers for workplace safety violations under state's consumer laws. Henderson said that this case raises the possibility that employees who have allegedly suffered a workplace injury, or brought a Cal/OSHA issue can go to court for it.




Bart Lazar quoted in Law360

Mon, 09 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Bart Lazar was quoted in an April 9 story from Law360, "4 Things To Watch As Facebook CEO Heads To Congress," on the FTC, which in recent years has policed privacy issues by accusing firms of unfair or deceptive business practices. Lazar said that the agency could release a list of baseline principles about what sorts of data collection practices are presumed not to be permitted without clear consent.




New Jersey Court Expands Coverage: New Jersey Law Against Discrimination May Apply to Telecommuter Located in Massachusetts

Mon, 09 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Seyfarth Synopsis: On April 2, 2018, the New Jersey Appellate Division reversed an order granting summary judgment to Defendant Legal Cost Control, Inc., finding that New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (LAD) may apply to an employee who lived outside New Jersey, worked outside New Jersey, and had not traveled to New Jersey in the last seven years. Case Analysis In Trevejo v. Legal Cost Control, No. A-1377-16T4, 2018 WL 1569640 (App. Div. Apr. 2, 2018), the employee/plaintiff lived in Massachusetts and worked from her home for a Haddonfield, New Jersey based company. Although the plaintiff had visited New Jersey a few times on business, she had not been to New Jersey in the past seven years with the company. On this basis, the trial court granted the company’s motion for summary judgment, commenting that “[S]he’s not an inhabitant…Not even close…,” and thus declining to find that the LAD applied to the plaintiff. The Appellate Division disagreed, finding that the LAD’s text (as opposed to legislative history) indicates that it applies to “persons,” not “inhabitants” of New Jersey, and that the LAD’s “predominant goal … ‘is nothing less than the eradication of the cancer of discrimination in the workplace.” The court thus refocused the inquiry on the company’s alleged conduct, noting that in addition to protecting “aggrieved employees,” the LAD furthers the “public’s strong interest in a discrimination-free workplace.” The court also noted that the plaintiff’s telecommuting arrangement warranted further discovery on questions such as: where plaintiff’s co-employees worked, whether other employees worked from home, the nature of the software used by the plaintiff and other employees to conduct business, the location of the company’s servers, the location of the company’s internet service provider, who made the decision to terminate plaintiff and the basis for the decision, as well as other questions targeted at finding whether plaintiff had a “virtual” presence in New Jersey (since she did not have an actual presence) that might support coverage by the LAD. With that, summary judgment was reversed and the case was sent back to the trial court for further discovery. Potential Implications As the workforce and work arrangements within our economy change, courts must necessarily analyze how preexisting laws apply in new factual contexts. New Jersey courts’ willingness to assert extraterritorial jurisdiction over out-of-state defendants and activities is not new. For instance, back in 2012, the Appellate Division held that a foreign company, with no official operations i[...]



Operators Beware! MSHA Issues Final Rule on Examinations of Working Places in Metal and Nonmetal Mines

Mon, 09 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Seyfarth Synopsis: MSHA just announced its Final Rule on Examinations of Working Places in Metal and Nonmetal Mines. 83 Fed. Reg. 15055 (April 9, 2018).

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The State of Buy America: Changes to New York’s Domestic Preference Regime for Public Works and Infrastructure Projects

Mon, 09 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

The state of New York has adopted legislation tightening the regulatory regime governing the use of steel in construction and infrastructure projects, including structural steel, structural iron, reinforcing steel, and the like. Effective April 1, 2018, the New York Buy American Act (“NYBAA”) imposes domestic preference requirements on any state construction project valued over $100,000 and any state road or bridge project over $1 million. This alert generally outlines the applicability, substantive requirements, and limited grounds for exemption to the NYBAA.      Applicability of the NYBAA The first step in navigating the NYBAA is to determine whether domestic preference requirements even apply. In summation, the NYBAA governs: (1) public projects; (2) that reach specified monetary threshold; and (3) which are for the construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, or maintenance of public works and infrastructure located in New York.1    Monetary Threshold The NYBAA only applies to contracts awarded by an agency of the state of New York, and which trigger the monetary thresholds set forth in the statute. For vertical construction, the NYBAA applies to any contract for the “construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, maintenance, or improvement of any public works” and which is over $100,000.2 With the exception of infrastructure projects, this $100,000 threshold applies to every state contract, regardless of the letting agency. With respect to the construction, reconstruction, repair, or alteration of surface roads and bridges, the NYBAA only applies to public contracts valued over $1 million. The $1 million threshold applies only to contracts awarded by the New York Department of Transportation (DoT), the Office of General Services, or the State University of New York Construction Fund.3     Timing of the Solicitation, Bid, and Award The NYBAA only covers public works contracts that are “executed and entered into” on or after April 1, 2018. However, the state legislature explicitly chose to exclude contracts that were solicited or awarded prior to April 1, 2018. Thus, the NYBAA does not apply to projects for which a contractor has, before April 1, 2018: (1) already received a request for proposals; (2) already submitted a bid, or; (3) already received a notice of award.4 The NYBAA also expressly excludes “projects that have commenced project design and environmental studies” prior to April 1, 2018. Finally, the NYBAA includes a sunset provision that automatically repeals its provisions as applied to contracts let, bid, or awarded on or after April 15, 2020.   Substantive Requiremen[...]



Drive Much? NIOSH Focus on Workplace Safety for Employees Who Drive for Their Job

Fri, 06 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Seyfarth Synopsis: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently released its results from a study conducted in 2016 and 2017 that looked at safety programs developed to prevent motor vehicle crashes.

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Texas Supreme Court Declines to Take Up Case Requesting that a Plaintiff Describe the Elements of Any Trade Secret Process That It Claims Was Misappropriated

Fri, 06 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Late last week, the Texas Supreme Court denied a petition for mandamus in which the petitioner sought an order compelling a plaintiff to identify the specific trade secrets it contends were misappropriated, bucking what petitioner claimed is a “growing consensus” among the states.

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Gerald Maatman quoted in Bloomberg BNA

Fri, 06 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Gerald Maatman was quoted in an April 6 story from Bloomberg BNA, "California Is Fertile Ground for Employment Lawyers." Maatman said that other sources of business for employment lawyers are California’s new salary history ban, which prohibits employers from asking job applicants about their prior salaries, and employers’ fear of sexual harassment claims.




Philippe Weiss interviewed on WGN Radio

Fri, 06 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Philippe Weiss was interviewed April 6th on WGN Radio, "Wintrust Business Lunch 4/6/18: Learning From The Blackhawks." Weiss supported the recent Blackhawks move to reach deep into their lineup for an emergency goalie. You can listen to the full interview at minute 23:40 here.




Seyfarth's Middle-Market M&A SurveyBook featured in Global Banking & Finance Review

Thu, 05 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Seyfarth's Middle-Market M&A SurveyBook was featured in an April 5 story from Global Banking & Finance Review, "Seller-Favorable Deal Environment Persists According to Seyfarth’s Middle-Market M&A Survey." The Survey analyzes over 120 middle-market (<$1 billion) publicly available private target acquisition agreements signed in 2017. You can read the full article here.




Brett Bartlett quoted in Bloomberg Law

Thu, 05 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Brett Bartlett was quoted in an April 5 story from Bloomberg Law, "Supreme Court’s Wage, Hour Shift: More Than Minor Tuneup," on how the U.S. Supreme Court abandoned a long-standing canon for how to apply exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage and overtime requirements. Bartlett said that for employers, long-standing advice to take appropriate steps in classifying employees as exempt or nonexempt still stands. You can read the full article here.




Michael Rechtin quoted in Law360

Thu, 05 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Michael Rechtin was quoted in an April 5 story from Law360, "Facebook Stole Data Center Ideas, BladeRoom CEO Testifies." Rechtin said that as tech giants grapple with the growth of their data holdings, the market for energy-efficient data centers that can be up and running quickly increases.




Budding Development: States Requiring Employers to Tolerate Medical Cannabis Use

Thu, 05 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Can employers deny employment to people who use cannabis under a medical prescription authorized by state law? In more and more states, the answer is now “No.”

Read the full blog post.




In a Nod to the #MeToo Movement, New York Legislature Passes Comprehensive Anti-Sexual Harassment Legislation

Thu, 05 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Seyfarth Synopsis:  The New York Legislature has passed, and Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is expected to sign, a bill that will, among other things, prohibit all employers from requiring employees to arbitrate claims of sexual harassment.  The bill will also prohibit employers from including non-disclosure agreements in settlements of sexual harassment claims, unless requested by the complainant.  Additionally, the bill will require state contractors to implement sexual harassment training and  policies, extend protections to non-employees, such as contractors or vendors, and require the Department of Labor to draft a model anti-sexual harassment policy and training program.  As part of a bill establishing the 2018-19 budget, the New York State Legislature has included provisions making sweeping changes to the law governing workplace sexual harassment.  The new legislation, among other things, prohibits mandatory arbitration of sexual harassment complaints, requires court approval of settlements of lawsuits involving allegations of sexual harassment, and prohibits non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in settlements of lawsuits involving sexual harassment allegations unless the victim requests confidentiality.  The legislation will also expand protections to independent contractors and create a uniform sexual harassment policy and training for businesses.  The provisions in the bill affecting private employers are summarized briefly below.  In contrast to an earlier version of the bill, the final enactment does not provide a definition of “sexual harassment.”  While the Governor is expected to sign the bill shortly, the timetable remains uncertain, and it is possible, although unlikely, that changes in the fluid political environment in Albany could prompt some revisions.  Prevention of Sexual Harassment By Bidders for State Contracts Subpart A amends the State Finance Law to require that, for every bid made to the State or any public department or agency of the State, where competitive bidding is required, the bidder must submit a certification, under penalty of perjury, that it has implemented a written sexual harassment policy and provides annual sexual harassment prevention training to all employees.  The written policy must meet the requirements of Section 201-g of the New York Labor Law (see the discussion of Subpart E below). Where competitive bidding is not required, the certi[...]



IRS Retroactively Reduces HSA Contribution Limit; Transition Relief May Follow

Thu, 05 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Last year, the IRS published the calendar year 2018 health savings account (HSA) contribution limits for individual and family coverage.  Rev. Proc. 2017-37, I.R.B. 2017-21 (5/4/2017). Ten months later and well into the start of the 2018 year, in response to changes under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,  the IRS reduced by $50 the 2018 limit on HSA contributions for family coverage. Rev. Proc. 2018-18, I.R.B. 2018-10 (3/5/2018). Although the HSA contribution limit for individual coverage remains at $3,450, the maximum contribution for family coverage dropped from $6,900 to $6,850. The reduction took effect immediately.    The amount of the reduction is small, but employees with family coverage in an HSA may feel the effects in their tax bills for 2018. To the extent contributions to an HSA exceed the annual limit, the amount of those excess contributions is included in the employee’s taxable income and subject to an additional 6% excise tax. Absent transition relief from the IRS, to avoid the negative tax ramifications of the lowered contribution limit, the employee will need to receive a distribution from the HSA during 2018 in the amount contributions exceed $6,850, plus any earnings on that amount. The excise tax is cumulative, so for every future year the excess contribution remains in the HSA, the employee will be subject again to the excise tax.   Transition relief could be on the horizon. In mid-March, two members of the House Ways and Means Committee, Representatives Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Erik Paulsen (R-MN), wrote to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, identifying burdens the mid-year limit change inflicts on employees and employers and requesting a delay until 2019 of enforcement of the new contribution limit. Joining Reps. Kelly and Paulsen, the American Benefits Council, a prominent organization representing hundreds of plan sponsors and service providers (and of which Seyfarth Shaw is a member), likewise sought an enforcement delay or similar transition relief from Treasury and the IRS. Treasury and the IRS have acknowledged the concerns voiced by the Representatives and the American Benefits Council and expedited their consideration of potential transition relief.    In light of the high-profile feedback regulators are receiving and the regulators’ concomitant discussions of transition relief, we do not believe employers and service providers need to take immediate ac[...]



San Francisco Amends “Fair Chance Ordinance” to Align with Portions of California’s New Statewide Ban-the-Box Law

Thu, 05 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Seyfarth Synopsis: On April 3, 2018, San Francisco amended its Fair Chance Ordinance to align, in some respects, with California’s new ban-the-box law. San Francisco employers with more than five employees still must be mindful of the Ordinance’s provisions that go beyond the broader state law. As previously reported here, California’s statewide ban-the-box law (AB 1008) went into effect on January 1, 2018. That law requires employers with five or more employees (subject to few exceptions) to: wait until after a conditional offer of employment is made to inquire about an applicant’s criminal history, which means asking the applicant directly whether the applicant have been convicted of a crime, ordering a criminal history background check, or making any other inquiry about an applicant’s criminal history; conduct an individualized assessment of an applicant’s conviction to determine whether it has a “direct and adverse relationship with the specific duties of the job that justify denying the applicant the position”; notify the applicant of any potential adverse action based on the conviction history, which must, among other things, identify the conviction at issue, include a copy of any conviction history report (regardless of the source), and state the deadline for the applicant to provide additional information, such as evidence of inaccuracy, rehabilitation or other mitigating circumstances; and after waiting the requisite time period, notify the applicant of any final adverse action, which must, among other things, describe any existing procedure the employer has to challenge the decision or request reconsideration and notify the applicant of the right to file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Los Angeles and San Francisco have their own ban-the-box laws. In some respects, both provide stronger protections to job applicants, especially Los Angeles. However, in some ways, California’s new law protects job applicants more favorably than does San Francisco. Because of this, on April 3, 2018, the City and County of San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved amendments to its Fair Chance Ordinance (Article 49) to align with the California law (in some respects). The amendments are effective October 1, 2018. The Board amended the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance in the following ways: [...]



California Federal District Court Does Not ‘like’ Facebook’s Standing Argument in Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act Case

Thu, 05 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Seyfarth Synopsis: In light of the uncertainties surrounding lawsuits alleging violations of the Illinois Information Biometric Privacy Act (BIPA), the Northern District of California has taken a firm position on a plaintiff’s Article III standing. U.S. District Judge James Donato delivered opinions in In re Facebook Biometric Info. Privacy Litig., Case No. 15-CV-03747; 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30727 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 26, 2018) and Gullen v. Facebook Inc., Case No. 16-CV-00937; 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34792 (N.D. Cal. March 2, 2018), denying Facebook’s motions to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction in both cases. The court held that plaintiffs’ Article III standing was satisfied through mere collection of biometric information.

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Now Available! Seyfarth Shaw’s BioLoquitur Bulletin: Drugs Available in 2018 for Generic Competition

Thu, 05 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Seyfarth Shaw is pleased to announce The BioLoquitur Bulletin: Drugs Available in 2018 for Generic Competition, published by the Life Sciences team. The BioLoquitur Bulletin provides a brief overview of selected New Chemical Entities (NCE) that were approved by the FDA in the year 2014. While not every NCE will be a target for NCE-1 litigation, the Dissection Guide offers information about the drug products, indications, and Orange Book patents.

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Seyfarth Trade Secrets Attorneys to Participate in ITechLaw 2018 World Technology Law Conference in Seattle

Wed, 04 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Seyfarth Shaw LLP is pleased to be a Global Sponsor at ITechLaw’s 2018 World Technology Conference in Seattle, May 16-18.

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Budding Development: States Requiring Employers to Tolerate Medical Cannabis Use

Wed, 04 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Seyfarth Synopsis: Can employers deny employment to people who use cannabis under a medical prescription authorized by state law? In more and more states, the answer is now “No.”

Read the full blog post.




Robert Milligan quoted in SHRM

Wed, 04 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Robert Milligan was quoted in a April 4 story from SHRM, "Employers Should Carefully Craft Noncompetes ," on how businesses should also consider using less restrictive covenants. Milligan said that employers should make sure that their agreement is thoughtful and reflects the legitimate business interests of their company. You can read the full article here.




Annette Tyman quoted in Bloomberg Law

Wed, 04 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Annette Tyman was quoted in a April 4 story from Bloomberg Law, "Compensation Managers Have Direct Connection With Pay Equity Movement," on how advocates of pay equity will call attention to the gender gap in compensation by marking Equal Pay Day on April 10. Tyman said that state laws on pay equity are growing and worker advocates are calling for more pay transparency in the workplace.




Marshall Babson quoted in Bloomberg BNA

Wed, 04 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Marshall Babson was quoted in an April 4 story from Bloomberg BNA, "Can Labor Contracts Help Sinclair TV Anchors Dodge Edicts?" Babson said that Sinclair anchors would have a tough time proving their resistance to reading company-mandated stories or promotions is protected activity under the NLRA.




Seyfarth's Real Estate Market Sentiment Survey referenced in the Commercial Observer

Wed, 04 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Seyfarth's Real Estate Market Sentiment Survey was referenced in an April 4 story from the Commercial Observer, "The 50 Most Important Figures of Commercial Real Estate Finance," on new Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. The Seyfarth survey of 150 real estate executives found that 82 percent expect the Fed Funds rate will climb at least twice this year with 39 percent expecting at least three increases. And after the Fed raised rates right on schedule at its March 21 meeting, that forecast seems right on target. You can read the full article here.




Bart Lazar quoted in Compliance Week

Tue, 03 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Bart Lazar was quoted in a April 3 story from Compliance Week, "Facebook’s data problems open door to domestic regulation of tech firms." Lazar said that the Facebook situation brings to bear some very basic privacy issues, such as the clarity of privacy notices and the importance of serious due diligence with respect to any third party or service provider to whom personal information is disclosed. Lazar stresses that companies need to seriously consider the “blocking and tackling of privacy.” You can read the full article here.




Seller-Favorable Deal Environment Persists According to Seyfarth’s Middle-Market M&A Survey

Tue, 03 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Leading law firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP has published the 5th edition of its Middle-Market M&A SurveyBook of Key M&A Deal Terms (the “Survey”). The Survey analyzes over 120 middle-market (<$1 billion) publicly available private target acquisition agreements signed in 2017. The Survey focuses on key deal terms comprising the “indemnity package” included in almost all private target acquisition agreements to address a seller’s potential post-closing liability to a buyer, and set the parameters of a buyer’s ability to claw back purchase price from a seller. The data analyzed in this Survey suggests that, similar to the trend of recent years, the environment for private target middle-market M&A continues to be seller friendly. The purchase of representation and warranty (“R&W”) insurance continues to be a powerful tool used by buyers to make their acquisition proposal more attractive, and this year’s data indicated a significant increase in deals using R&W insurance. Of course, the terms of the typical indemnity package are greatly impacted when R&W insurance is utilized. For example, the indemnity escrow amount and indemnity cap size are typically drastically lower in transactions using R&W insurance as compared to transactions that do not use such insurance. Accordingly, Seyfarth’s Survey highlights the impact of R&W insurance on certain deal terms and separately addresses the results for deals not utilizing R&W insurance. In deals not using R&W insurance, this year’s Survey showed consistency with prior years for a number of deal terms with the general representation and warranty survival periods holding steady in the 12 -18 month range, continued high usage of true deductible indemnity baskets, and a median indemnity cap size of 10% of purchase price. To view Seyfarth’s 2018 Middle-Market M&A SurveyBook, please visit here. About Seyfarth Shaw LLP Seyfarth Shaw has more than 850 attorneys in 15 offices providing a broad range of legal services in the areas of labor and employment, employee benefits, litigation, corporate a[...]



Ben Conley quoted in Law360

Tue, 03 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Ben Conley was quoted in a April 3 story from Law360, "5 Regulations Benefits Attorneys Need To Watch," on Affordable Care Act revisions. Conley said that, responding to directives from the Trump administration, federal regulators are expected to give nonaffiliated companies more freedom to enter into associated health plans — allowing smaller businesses to pull themselves out of the more tightly regulated small group market — and loosen restrictions on short-term, limited-duration health care policies.




Matthew Gagnon and Gerald Maatman quoted in Law360

Tue, 03 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Matthew Gagnon and Gerald Maatman were quoted in a April 3 story from Law360, "Google Pay Equity Case May Be Blueprint For Class Actions." Gagnon said that it could become a sort of blueprint for what other plaintiffs counsel may consider doing. Maatman said that the ruling is a big deal in California but warned that it's dangerous to assume the same theory will work in other jurisdictions.




The Valuation of Trade Secrets

Tue, 03 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

As a special feature of our blog—guest postings by experts, clients, and other professionals—please enjoy this blog entry from Donal O’Connell, Managing Director of Chawton Innovation Services Ltd., and Oliver Treidler, Managing Director of TP&C GmbH.

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Massachusetts Recreational Pot Regulations Offer Little Guidance To Employers

Tue, 03 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

On March 9, 2018, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (“CCC”) filed its much anticipated recreational marijuana Regulations with the Massachusetts Secretary of State. According to the CCC, the Regulations are on track to be published in the Massachusetts Register on March 23, 2018. The Regulations will become effective upon publication. While the Regulations are comprehensive in many ways, for most employers the Regulations are most notable for what they lack, namely guidance regarding employer-employee rights and responsibilities.

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Seller-Favorable Deal Environment Persists According to Seyfarth’s Middle-Market M&A Survey

Tue, 03 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Leading law firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP has published the 5th edition of its Middle-Market M&A SurveyBook of Key M&A Deal Terms (the “Survey”). The Survey analyzes over 120 middle-market (<$1 billion) publicly available private target acquisition agreements signed in 2017.   The Survey focuses on key deal terms comprising the “indemnity package” included in almost all private target acquisition agreements to address a seller’s potential post-closing liability to a buyer, and set the parameters of a buyer’s ability to claw back purchase price from a seller.   The data analyzed in this Survey suggests that, similar to the trend of recent years, the environment for private target middle-market M&A continues to be seller friendly. The purchase of representation and warranty (“R&W”) insurance continues to be a powerful tool used by buyers to make their acquisition proposal more attractive, and this year’s data indicated a significant increase in deals using R&W insurance. Of course, the terms of the typical indemnity package are greatly impacted when R&W insurance is utilized. For example, the indemnity escrow amount and indemnity cap size are typically drastically lower in transactions using R&W insurance as compared to transactions that do not use such insurance. Accordingly, Seyfarth’s Survey highlights the impact of R&W insurance on certain deal terms and separately addresses the results for deals not utilizing R&W insurance.   In deals not using R&W insurance, this year’s Survey showed consistency with prior years for a number of deal terms with the general representation and warranty survival periods holding steady in the 12 -18 month range, continued high usage of true deductible indemnity baskets, and a median indemnity cap size of 10% of purchase price. To view Seyfarth’s 2018 Middle-Market M&A SurveyBook, please visit here. [...]



New Governor, New Result: New Jersey Legislature Passes Pay Equity Bill

Mon, 02 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Seyfarth Synopsis: On March 26, 2018, the New Jersey Legislature passed Senate Bill 104, entitled the “Diana B. Allen Equal Pay Act,” an act modifying the Law Against Discrimination to promote equal pay for all protected classes under the LAD rather than being limited to gender.  Governor Phil Murphy is widely expected to sign the measure into law, which is set to become effective July 1, 2018. New Jersey passed an all-encompassing new pay equity law.  The bill, S 104, was first introduced in Committee on January 9, 2018.  Because Governor Murphy recently issued an Executive Order requiring equal pay in state agencies, he is expected to continue the momentum began in the Legislature and sign the bill into law. Protected Characteristics Expanded Beyond Gender and Race/Ethnicity The law prohibits pay disparities based upon any protected characteristic protected by the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”), and is not limited to gender.  Additional protected characteristics under the LAD include race, creed, color, national origin, nationality, ancestry, age, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, affectional or sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy or breastfeeding, sex, gender identity or expression, and disability.   However, the LAD broadly defines protected characteristics and they are not limited to the list above.  This change separates the New Jersey law from federal law and laws in other jurisdictions, like New York or California, which limit coverage to sex or sex and race. The Oregon law prohibits pay discrimination based on gender, race, national origin or color and also on religion, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, disability or age. The law prohibits employers from paying employees who are members of a protected class at a lower rate of compensation, including benefits, than employees who are not members of the protected class “for subs[...]



Good ANDA Submission Practices: Summary of Draft Guidance

Mon, 02 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as part of its Drug Competition Action Plan, published a draft guidance detailing good practices for the submission of ANDAs on January 3, 2018. The guidance highlights common, recurring deficiencies that may lead to a delay in the approval of an ANDA and makes recommendations to applicants on how to avoid such deficiencies. A typical ANDA requires an average of four review cycles before approval. The delay happens when ANDAs are submitted without all the information that the FDA needs to determine whether the ANDA meets FDA standards for approval, which leads to additional review cycles.

Read the full blog post.




Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro: SCOTUS Puts The Brakes On Faulty FLSA Construction Language

Mon, 02 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Seyfarth Synopsis: Employers seeking to show that they correctly have classified an employee as exempt from the FLSA’s overtime requirements often have faced hostility from courts under the misimpression that FLSA exemptions must be “construed narrowly.” Today the United Supreme Court put to rest the “narrow construction” doctrine, signaling to district and appellate courts that FLSA exemptions should be construed plainly as written and without a thumb tilting the scales toward a non-exempt finding.

Read the full blog post.




Leon Rodriguez quoted in CIO Dive

Mon, 02 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Leon Rodriguez was quoted in a April 2 story from CIO Dive, "Industry outlook on H-1B changes: Bad for the economy." Rodriguez said that there will be a mounting pressure to grow the number of immigrants harvested from the H-1B program from within Congress. You can read the full article here.




Leon Rodriguez quoted in Fast Company

Mon, 02 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Leon Rodriguez was quoted in a April 2 story from Fast Company, "This Social Entrepreneur Is Helping Fellow Immigrants Lawyer Up," on how the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced that it will temporarily suspend premium processing, or fast processing, of H-1B visa petitions. Rodriguez said that the impact of those suspensions, taken together with a number of other burdensome policy changes, will have a severe impact on businesses that are seeking to hire needed professionals through this process. You can read the full article here.




Gerald Maatman and Andrew Scroggins' blog post referenced in the National Law Journal

Mon, 02 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Gerald Maatman and Andrew Scroggins' blog post was referenced in a April 2 story from the National Law Journal, "Sharon Gustafson, EEOC General Counsel Pick, Discloses Law Firm Income, Clients." The Seyfarth lawyers said in a blog post that the business and employer community—likely expecting a management-side defense lawyer for EEOC general counsel—was sure to have “prompt discussion” about the nomination of Gustafson. Maatman said that Gustafson’s financial disclosure and client list confirmed his view that Gustafson was a non-traditional choice for a Republican administration, given that she has principally represented workers in small cases.




Kevin Fritz profiled by Chicago Lawyer

Mon, 02 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Kevin Fritz was profiled in a April 2 story from Chicago Lawyer, "‘Radical confidence’ : A Seyfarth Shaw associate focuses on doing the job." You can read the full article here.




Stanley Jutkowitz and Andrew Sherman quoted in Financier Worldwide

Sun, 01 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Stanley Jutkowitz and Andrew Sherman were quoted in an April 1 cover story from Financier Worldwide, "Trump’s tax cuts and the impact on US M&A." Jutkowitz said that two provisions of the new tax law – the ability to expense the cost of tangible property and the limitation on the deductibility of business interest – are particularly relevant. Sherman said that the energy industry pays some of the highest rates of tax, so the cut in the corporate tax rate will make companies in this space more attractive targets. You can read the full article here.




Philippe Weiss quoted in Small Business Trends

Sat, 31 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Philippe Weiss was quoted in a March 31 story from Small Business Trends, "It’s Best to Avoid April Fools Day Pranks at your Business, Expert Says." Weiss said that a boss pranking is offering a complete pranking license to his or her employees. You can read the full article here.




Robert Whitman quoted in the Washington Post

Fri, 30 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Robert Whitman was quoted in a March 30 story from the Washington Post, "A New York City official wants to give workers the right to ignore after-hours emails," on a law proposed in New York that would make it illegal for private employers to require workers to check and respond to email and other messages during nonwork hours. Whitman said that he can’t imagine how this law could apply to exempt [salaried] employees. You can read the full article here.




Jack Toner quoted in Politico

Fri, 30 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Jack Toner was quoted in a March 30 story from Politico, "Morning Shift," on an update on the NLRB wars. You can read the full article here.




Matthew Gagnon, Annette Tyman, Jeffrey Wortman and Kristina Launey's client alert referenced in The Recorder

Fri, 30 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Matthew Gagnon, Annette Tyman, Jeffrey Wortman and Kristina Launey's client alert was referenced in a March 30 story from The Recorder, "Google Must Face Female Employees' Class Claims Alleging Pay Disparities," on how a San Francisco judge found allegations sufficient for class claims alleging intentional discrimination. The Seyfarth authors called the ruling against Google “a worrying development for employers.”




Christine Hendrickson quoted in Law360

Fri, 30 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Christine Hendrickson was quoted in a March 30 story from Law360, "Step Up On Pay Equity Or Get Caught Flat-Footed, Attys Warn," on how more states are passing laws making it easier for workers to sue their employers over unfair gaps in pay. Hendrickson said that for employers with global operations, to the extent they’re reporting out ... the pay gap info within the U.K, they’re getting questions from U.S. employees.




Bart Lazar quoted in CBS MoneyWatch

Fri, 30 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Bart Lazar was quoted in a March 30 story from CBS MoneyWatch, "Everything that's going wrong for Facebook right now," on how a handful of advertisers have hit pause on their Facebook relationship. Lazar said that Facebook has proven itself to be a very powerful tool for creating community and for legitimate marketing activities. You can read the full article here.




California Judge Allows Pay Equity Class Action To Move Forward On Behalf Of Female Google Employees Who Were Employed In Thirty Separate Job Positions

Fri, 30 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Seyfarth Synopsis: After initially dismissing a sweeping class action complaint alleging systemic pay discrimination on behalf of “all women employed by Google in California,” the Court has now decided to allow an amended – and only somewhat narrowed – class action to proceed. Key to the Court’s decision were the allegations in Plaintiffs’ amended complaint that Google had a company-wide policy of considering new hires’ previous salaries when determining starting salary and job level. On March 27, 2018, a California Superior Court denied Google’s motion to defeat Plaintiffs’ second attempt to plead a class action alleging wide-ranging gender-based pay discrimination. Although Plaintiffs’ amended complaint had narrowed their class definition, it still encompassed employees who worked in thirty separate positions, many in which the named Plaintiffs had never worked and about which had no direct knowledge. But Plaintiffs had added allegations that Google maintains a class-wide policy of using prior salary to set salary for new hires. According to the complaint allegations, women in the United States are paid on average no more than 79 cents for each dollar a man is paid, and Google’s policy perpetuates this historic pay disparity. That was enough for the California Court to conclude, at least at the pleading stage, that common issues would predominate over individualized issues. Background Plaintiffs filed their original complaint on September 14, 2017. That complaint pled a sweeping class definition of “all women employed by Google [...]



Seyfarth's Andrew Boutros and John Schleppenbach authored an article in Bloomberg White Collar Crime Report

Fri, 30 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Seyfarth's Andrew Boutros and John Schleppenbach authored a March 30 article in Bloomberg White Collar Crime Report, "Department of Justice & Congress Signal Possibility of Increased Foreign Agents Registration Act Enforcement in 2018 and Beyond." You can read the full article here.




The Week in Weed: March 30, 2018

Thu, 29 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

Read the full blog post.




Class Action Issues At The U.S. Supreme Court

Thu, 29 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Seyfarth Synopsis: On Monday, March 26, the U.S. Supreme Court focused on two notable class action issues, each with the potential to significantly impact workplace litigation. In today’s video vlog, Partner Jerry Maatman of Seyfarth Shaw breaks down the importance of class action tolling issues and the concept of “cy pres” settlements for employers.

Read the full blog post.




Raging Bull: Getting Beat Up On Glassdoor?

Thu, 29 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Seyfarth Synopsis: Even if bad Glassdoor reviews have you feeling like you need to fight back, employers should stay out of the ring, and instead implement social media policies that clearly define prohibited behavior and disclosures, while spelling out the consequences for violations. Employers must not retaliate against employees for their lawful out-of-office behavior.

Read the full blog post.




Client’s Meal Period Failure Doesn’t Result In Staffing Agency Liability

Thu, 29 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Seyfarth Synopsis: The California Court of Appeal has published an important decision clarifying the employer duty to provide meal periods and the respective responsibilities of staffing agencies and the client companies they serve. Serrano v. Aerotek, Inc. The Facts Norma Serrano worked for Aerotek, a staffing agency that places temporary employees with its clients. Aerotek placed Serrano on a temporary assignment at Bay Bread, a food production facility. In their service agreement, Bay Bread accepted “responsibility to control, manage and supervise” the temporary workers and to comply with labor laws applying to them. Bay Bread set the work schedule, including meal and rest breaks, for the temporary employees that Aerotek supplied. Before her assignment to Bay Bread, Serrano received Aerotek’s employee handbook, which included a policy that temporary workers would be provided with a 30-minute off-duty meal break for any work period of more than five hours, that the meal break would begin no later than the end of the fifth hour of work, and that employees were to inform Aerotek of anything interfering with their ability to take a meal break. While working at Bay Bread, Serrano, as shown by her time records, missed a compliant meal period on most of the days she worked. The Aerotek on-site manager disavowed responsibility for monitoring whether Aerotek’s temporary employee took their meal breaks, and stated that Serrano never complained to him[...]



Philippe Weiss quoted in Corporate Counsel

Thu, 29 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Philippe Weiss was quoted in a March 29 story from Corporate Counsel, "Killjoy for April Foolers: The Legal Joke May Be on Your Company." Weiss said that he has seen office pranks lead to complaints, and sometimes even lawsuits.




Philippe Weiss quoted in the Orlando Business Journal

Wed, 28 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Philippe Weiss was quoted in a March 28 story from the Orlando Business Journal, "7 things to know today and tips for handling April Fools' Day office pranks." Weiss suggests that bosses should resist the urge to prank (because a boss pranking is offering a complete pranking license to his/her employees). You can read the full article here: https://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/news/2018/03/28/7-things-to-know-today-and-tips-for-handlingapril.html




Philippe Weiss quoted in HumanResources Online

Wed, 28 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Philippe Weiss was quoted in a March 28 story from HumanResources Online, "How-to: Manage office pranks around April Fools’ Day." Weiss provided some tips to help control the risks without killing all the fun. You can read the full article here.




Philippe Weiss quoted in SHRM

Wed, 28 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Philippe Weiss was quoted in a March 28 story from SHRM, "Discriminatory April Fools’ Pranks Are No Joking Matter," on why following company policies can help head off lawsuits. Weiss said that employers should make sure hijinks don't discriminate. You can read the full article here.