Friday, September 23, 2016

Justice Department and NLRB Petition U.S. Supreme Court to Review Whether Arbitration Agreements Barring Collective or Class Action Claims Are An Unfair Labor Practice

On September 9, 2016, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the U.S. Justice Department filed a petition for certiorari in NLRB v. Murphy Oil, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to determine whether arbitration clauses requiring workers to arbitrate disputes individually—and not on the basis of collective or class actions (“class action waivers”)—are invalid under federal labor law. Given the clear split on this legal issue among the federal circuit courts, the Supreme Court appears likely to accept review.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

City of St. Paul Follows Minneapolis' Lead, Passes Ordinance Requiring Paid Sick Leave

Nearly a year ago, we began discussing the growing movement from the local to the national level to require employers to provide employees with paid sick leave. Just last week, St. Paul became the latest city to pass an ordinance that guarantees paid sick leave for covered employees who work 80 hours or more in the city per year.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

EEOC Issues Final Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation

In our January 29, 2016 post, we informed you that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) had published a proposed enforcement guidance on “Retaliation and Related Issues” for public comment. On August 25, 2016, the EEOC issued the final enforcement guidance, which is available here: 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Minnesota Supreme Court Strikes Down Ballot Initiative for $15 Minimum Wage in Minneapolis

The victory for proponents of a new $15 per hour minimum wage in Minneapolis turned out to be short-lived. Yesterday, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued an expedited ruling that struck down a lower court ruling that had required a ballot referendum to amend the Minneapolis City Charter to add the increased minimum wage for Minneapolis workers. We recently blogged about that campaign and the lower court’s ruling.  The Supreme Court issued an abbreviated decision, due to the rapidly approaching date for printing ballots, with a more detailed decision to be issued later.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Minnesota Supreme Court to Weigh in on the Minneapolis Fight for $15

It’s been a busy year for Minnesota employers on the wage and hour front. As discussed in prior posts, new salary requirements will go into effect for “white collar” exempt workers on December 1, 2016, and a new Minneapolis sick pay ordinance will become effective July 1, 2017. On the heels of these developments, employers may also need to prepare to address a potential $15 per hour minimum wage requirement in Minneapolis. Wage advocacy groups recently scored a victory when a Minnesota district court said that Minneapolis voters must be permitted to vote in November 2016 on the proposed $15 minimum wage. After the City of Minneapolis appealed, however, the Minnesota Supreme Court accepted review and is now poised to weigh in on the question.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Alphabet Soup: The NLRB Weighs in on M & A

Employers by now are likely accustomed to hearing about the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) and its efforts to firmly insert itself into both union and non-union workplaces. For the past few years, the NLRB has issued countless decisions invalidating what have otherwise been deemed routine and sensible employment policies, such as requiring confidentiality of internal investigations, clarifying at-will employment, and prohibiting workplace bullying. Recently, however, the NLRB issued a decision involving corporate mergers and acquisitions that will impact companies’ C-suite initiatives, and not just their human resources department.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Seventh Circuit Rules That Title VII Does Not Apply to Sexual Orientation Discrimination Claims, At Least For Now...

As discussed in prior posts, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has a strategic enforcement agenda focused on expanding Title VII protections to encompass gender identity and sexual orientation. Courts are weighing in, with varied results. According to the EEOC’s website, a number of federal courts have sided with the EEOC’s interpretation of Title VII, primarily in the context of gender identity. On July 28, 2016, however, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that, under past Circuit precedent, Title VII’s anti-discrimination protections do not extend to claims of sexual orientation. At the same time, the Seventh Circuit panel observed that there is an “emerging consensus that sexual orientation in the workplace can no longer be tolerated,” and the panel appeared to be nudging the U.S. Supreme Court or Congress to take up the issue and provide direction to the lower federal courts.