Monday, May 21, 2018

The NLRB Finds Terminations Following Employees’ Group Emails Regarding Workplace Concerns Violated the NLRA


In a unanimous decision last month, a three-member panel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found that a restaurant company violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when its New York City location fired four employees after the employees emailed other employees and managers to complain about, among other things, work schedules, the company’s tip policies, and the management’s treatment of employees.

The case arose after an employee wrote an email upon her resignation complaining about management’s treatment of employees, tip policies, work schedules, and more. The email included some profanity. The now-former employee sent the email to several employees as well as the owners of the company and several managers. Four of the employees replied-all to the email with positive messages including agreeing with its contents and expressing support and gratitude for the former employee and her message. Three of the four employees had spoken with each other about the contents of the email before they sent their responses. Shortly after the employees replied to the email, all four employees were terminated.

Monday, May 14, 2018

California Supreme Court Establishes New Employee-Friendly Misclassification Standard


Employers that have operations or contractors working in California, beware. On April 30, 2018, the California Supreme Court issued an opinion establishing a new pro-employee standard in worker misclassification cases arising under California state wage and hour law. The opinion overturned three decades of precedent and will likely lead to more rulings that “independent contractors” have been misclassified and are actually employees.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Legislation Proposed to Significantly Alter Minnesota Sexual Harassment Law


Last week, a bipartisan group of Minnesota legislators introduced legislation that, if enacted, would significantly alter sexual harassment law for Minnesota employers. The proposed legislation would amend the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) to eliminate the decades-old requirement that sexual harassment be “severe or pervasive” to be legally actionable. This proposed change comes amidst the #MeToo movement, which has prompted talk around the country about potential changes to harassment law to foster more respectful and nondiscriminatory work environments. The proposed legislation also follows the resignations last fall of several Minnesota legislators accused of sexual harassment and the Minnesota Legislature’s revamp of its own internal harassment policy and response processes.