Friday, August 24, 2018

Members of Congress Introduce Paid Leave and Flexible Work Bills

Several Members of Congress have introduced competing bills related to paid leave and flexible work schedules. The proposals have sparked debate at the federal level about whether and how to require paid family leave, paid sick time, and flexible scheduling.

The Economic Security for New Parents Act

The Economic Security for New Parents Act would give workers at least two months off at about two-thirds of their regular salary in order to care for newborn or newly adopted children. The workers would fund the bill themselves by deferring Social Security benefits for several months. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., introduced the bill earlier this month.

The Workflex in the 21st Century Act

The Workflex in the 21st Century Act would allow businesses to bypass certain local employee benefits laws if they provide flexible work arrangement plans that include a combination of paid leave and flexible work options. The plan must provide employees with a minimum amount of paid leave per year of between 12 to 20 days, depending on the size of the employer and the tenure of the employee. It also must provide at least one of the following flexible work options: a biweekly work program; a compressed work schedule; a telework program; a job sharing program; flexible schedule; or predictable scheduling. Rep. Mimi Walters, R-Calif., introduced the bill last fall.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Avoiding Restrictive Covenant Problems – Simple Steps That Can Save You Heartache and Expense

In the past week, I have been involved in two situations in which an employer received a “cease and desist” letter from a potential competitor. The employers had hired employees away from the potential competitors and were then notified by the potential competitors that the employees were subject to various restrictive covenant obligations. The potential competitors’ letters made various demands regarding the restrictive covenants and restrictions to be placed on the employees’ activities.

As many of you know, restrictive covenants prevent employees from engaging in various types of actions both before and after they leave employment. Restrictive covenants include such things as:
  • Non-competition restrictions which prevent an employee from working for a competitor;
  • Non-solicitation of employee restrictions;
  • Non-solicitation of customer restrictions;
  • Confidentiality protections;
  • Trade-secret protections; and
  • Assignments of inventions.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Pay Equity: A Growing Priority in the #MeToo Era

In the #MeToo Era, employers who are focused on proactive sexual harassment prevention and response measures should also be mindful of other aspects of gender equity, such as pay equity. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is investigating Uber for potential gender discrimination in hiring and in its pay practices. The investigation is in line with the EEOC’s 2017-2021 Strategic Enforcement Plan, which included a focus on equal pay protections as a strategic priority.

Uber is just one of a number of companies facing public scrutiny over their pay practices. For example, Netflix was the subject of reports earlier this year that it had paid its female lead less for her Queen Elizabeth role in The Crown than her male co-star. Netflix subsequently announced that, going forward, “no one gets paid more than the Queen.”