Friday, September 30, 2016

Do Employees Have the Right to Be “Insubordinate”?

“Insubordination” is a term that shows up frequently in documentation and discussions about why an employee was, or should be, disciplined or terminated. According to the dictionary definition, “insubordinate” means “not obeying authority” or “refusing to follow orders.” Following direction from one’s boss is a pretty important part of any job, so “insubordination” certainly sounds like it should be a terminable offense. However, it is risky for employers to accept a charge of insubordination at face value without analyzing the nature of the conflict that is driving it. Labor law protects a surprisingly high degree of insubordination if it is “concerted.”

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.