ACA § 1557: TO COMPLY OR NOT TO COMPLY; FOR NOW – THERE IS NO QUESTION.

With the recent election, the fate of the ACA is uncertain. However, we can be fairly certain that, whatever the changes may be, it is unlikely that we will return to life as it was prior to the enactment of the ACA on March 23, 2010. What the “new” ACA will look like, we can’t know, so it is important to continue to be compliant with the laws and regulations as they are currently, unless and until those laws and regulations change. Read More »

LISTEN TO THIS: PIONEER PIPE, INC. V. SWAIN REVERSES 30 YEAR OLD RULE OF LAW THAT LIMITED WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CHARGEABILITY ATTACHING TO EMPLOYERS

The claimant worked as a heavy equipment operator for various employers over a thirty-three year period, during which he was routinely exposed to loud noises from the machines he operated and from equipment being used around him. The claimant worked for his last employer for a total of forty hours. After he was subsequently diagnosed with hearing loss directly attributable to industrial noise exposure, the claimant filed a hearing loss claim for worker’s compensation benefits. Read More »

A HIGH PRICE FOR NON-COMPLIANCE: NON-COMPETE/NON-SOLICITATION AGREEMENTS IN PENNSYLVANIA

Non-compete and non-solicitation agreements have become common today for numerous positions at various levels throughout all industries. This is true even though courts look with disfavor on such agreements and seek reasons not to enforce them; viewing such agreements as one-sided, prepared by and favoring employers, and restricting the individual’s ability to work and earn a living. In fact, for such reasons, these agreements are generally unenforceable in California. Thus, when asked to enforce non-compete/non-solicitation agreements, courts examine them to see if the employer has a protectable interest in the matters being restricted and whether the restrictions are narrowly-tailored in terms of both their length and geographic scope. Read More »

APPALACHIAN MOUNTAIN HIGH

Pennsylvania recently enacted a medical marijuana statute. This Act clouds the rights of employers and is another hit to Pennsylvania’s employment-at-will doctrine. Nevertheless, even in Pennsylvania, marijuana remains an illegal substance under the Federal Controlled Substances Act, and employers may continue to enforce their drug-free workplace policies for safety and production reasons, as well as compliance with other contractual or statutory obligations. The new Pennsylvania statute does, however, have implications for employers. Read More »

CHEVY CHASE MADE CHRISTMAS VACATION TIME LOOK EASY

With the holidays fast approaching, many employees will be looking to extend their holidays with use of vacation time. While generally it is good policy to allow employees to use their vacation time as they wish, such usage can present some difficulties for the employer.  For instance, discretionary usage by employees can be especially problematic if the holidays also double as that employer’s busy season. Read More »

NOT AS “EASY” AS IT APPEARS: THE THIRD CIRCUIT RULES THAT CLASS ACTION WAIVER IN ARBITRATION AGREEMENT VIOLATES THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS ACT

Recently, in a case of first impression in the Third Circuit, a Delaware bankruptcy judge presiding over an adversary action in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Fresh & Easy LLC ruled that a class action waiver in an employment arbitration agreement violates the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Read More »

EMPLOYEES MAY BE ENTITLED TO TIME OFF FOR VOTING

Why do so many eligible voters stay home from the polls?  In the 2012 presidential race, depending upon the survey, it is estimated that only 54 – 58% of eligible voters cast ballots. There are a myriad of reasons people do not vote, but many voters complain that lines are too long, or they are too busy to vote. Read More »

POWDER KEG: ISSUES WHEN CONSIDERING A WORKPLACE FIREARMS POLICY

According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (“OSHA”), nearly two million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence each year. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, homicide is the fifth-leading cause of workplace fatalities in the U.S., accounting for 8% of all fatal on-the-job injuries. In recent years, tragedies around the country have focused employers’ attention on workplace violence, especially those involving firearms. Read More »

COMPLIANCE CHECK: BACKGROUND CHECK CLASS ACTION SUITS CONTINUE AT GREAT EXPENSE TO EMPLOYERS

If you set goals late last year or early this year for workplace compliance to be completed in 2016 and have not yet met your goals, now is the time to revisit them. It is critical to allocate time and energy now to review your policies and achieve compliance with various statutes including the National Labor Relations Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) as the repercussions to employers for failing to do so are proving to be very costly. As was predicted for 2016, the trend of filing class actions for failure to comply with the requirements of the FCRA has and continues to grow. Read More »