For the last five years, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has been aggressively reviewing and issuing decisions regarding employer rules and policies and whether such rules and policies violate Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (Act). What once started as a relatively limited review of social media policies has now broadened to other policies and procedures of employers, including the areas of confidentiality, email and technology use, and conduct in the workplace. These decisions by the NLRB have required many employers, both union and non-union, to revisit and redraft employee policies that could be interpreted to violate employee rights protected by the Act. However, even with the reported decisions, it was still difficult for an employer to know whether a policy “chilled” an employee’s Section 7 rights under the Act.
With an ever mobile workforce utilizing electronic devices, non-compete/non-solicitation agreements are more common than ever before. More employees at lower levels of organizations are being asked to sign such agreements which restrict their subsequent employment. Pennsylvania courts, like those in many other states, look with disfavor on such agreements – viewing them as historic restraints of trade which inhibit an individual’s ability to earn a living.
Facing an increasing amount of wage and hour liability these days, employers are considering every feasible method to track employee time accurately. Believe it or not, that includes biometric systems. Indeed, as a replacement for traditional time card machines, biometric systems offer employers numerous benefits. Of course, they present accompanying risks and pitfalls, too.
As we have highlighted previously on this blog, employers have faced an onslaught of wage-and-hour litigation in recent years. Many of those cases have been filed as class or collective actions on behalf of hundreds and even thousands of plaintiff-employees. Most of these cases allege that employees have not been compensated for overtime hours worked as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).
Effective December 31, 2014, the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) now includes institutions of higher education (“colleges”) in its definition of “school,” resulting in an expansion of required background checks and other changes to child abuse reporting and training. One of the biggest reasons for this expansion is the increase in youth programs and enrollment of high school students on college campuses.
Currently, there are no federal laws that require paid sick leave. If an employer is subject to the FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act), it is required to provide up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave to an employee under certain medical conditions when that employee is eligible. In many cases, an employer will require an employee to substitute paid leave for the unpaid FMLA leave. Similarly, the Fair Labor Standards Act requires that an employee only be paid for hours worked.
The Supreme Court of the United States recently vacated a decision that made an employer responsible for the lifetime costs of its retirees’ health benefits, despite there being no language in the labor agreement with the union stating that the employer had this responsibility. The Court sent the case back to the appellate court to determine whether the parties intended for the employer to pay for all of the retiree health care costs in perpetuity.
Roses are Red,
Violets are Blue,
Office Romances are Sweet,
Until Somebody Sues.
It’s February, and to quote Tom Jones “love is in the air, everywhere [you] look around.” Depending upon the make up of your work force, dating amongst your employees may be a common issue for you. A recent survey conducted by Vault.com reported that 59% of respondents had been involved in a relationship with a co-worker.