Author Archives: Joseph U. Leonoro

WAGE-AND-HOUR IMPLICATIONS FOR TELECOMMUTING

The practice of allowing employees to work from home – telecommuting – is a growing trend.  After all, today’s technology allows employees to work from almost anywhere, and telecommuting can be beneficial for both employers and employees.  For employers, telecommunicating can be a less expensive alternative to traditional brick and mortar locations.  Employees like telecommuting because of the flexibility it provides. 784x2048

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TWO NEW LAWS WEST VIRGINIA EMPLOYERS MUST KNOW ABOUT

The West Virginia Legislature’s 2014 regular session concluded last month.  Like in many states, the West Virginia Legislature passed a bill to increase the state minimum wage this year.  In addition, following the lead of several other state legislatures, the West Virginia Legislature also passed a bill relating to pregnant employees.  Both laws have significant implications for West Virginia employers. Read More »

WHEN GRANTING AN EMPLOYEE’S OWN TRANSFER REQUEST MAY STILL BE THE BASIS FOR AN EMPLOYMENT LAWSUIT

Last month, the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which is the federal appeals court for Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, and Tennessee, issued a very important decision which quite unfavorably defines what an “adverse action” is under several federal employment laws.

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NEW V. GAMESTOP, INC. D/B/A GAMESTOP: NEW HOPE FOR ARBITRATION AGREEMENTS

As we have reported on this blog before, there has been a trend among employers to adopt mandatory arbitration agreements.  For many employers, arbitration is preferred to civil litigation because the process is usually faster and, as a result, tends to be less expensive.  In part, this increased use of mandatory arbitration agreements can be attributed to a series of recent decisions by the United States Supreme Court that have reaffirmed the validity of arbitration agreements.  West Virginia courts have not always been receptive to arbitration agreements and have found them to be invalid in a variety of contexts, including the employment context.  However, this month the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia has issued two important decisions that found arbitration agreements to be valid.  The Court’s decision in New v. GameStop, Inc. d/b/a GameStop, No. 12-1371, which upheld an arbitration agreement in the employment context, has important ramifications for all West Virginia employers that use or plan to use arbitration agreements.

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BLAND V. ROBERTS: FOURTH CIRCUIT HOLDS THAT “LIKING” ON FACEBOOK CONSTITUTES PROTECTED SPEECH

Regular readers of the Employment Essentials blog know that we frequently post articles about the interplay between the workplace and social media.  Most of our social media posts relate to the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB”) frequent examination of the topic.  In fact, two years ago this month, I posted an article about a decision from an Administrative Law Judge with the NLRB Division of Judges who found that Facebook postings constituted protected activity under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).  

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HOW THE EEOC’S SCRUTINY OF BACKGROUND CHECK PRACTICES HAS EMPLOYERS BETWEEN A ROCK & A HARD PLACE

This shouldn’t be a newsflash, but employers have been performing background checks as part of the hiring process for quite a long time.  Lately, the practice has become even more common, since information is more readily available in the internet age.  Most employers use these checks to help ensure they hire the best qualified employees; some employers are required to use them under federal or state regulations governing their industries.

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THIRD CIRCUIT AGREES WITH NOEL CANNING; IS THE 2ND COURT TO INVALIDATE NLRB RECESS APPOINTMENTS

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) has been the subject of a great deal of court attention during the Obama Administration.  Halfway through 2013, that train is still rolling and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

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STATE COURTS: BE HOSTILE TO ARBITRATION CLAUSES AT YOUR PERIL

For a long time now, employers have engaged in the practice of entering into arbitration agreements with their employees to arbitrate disputes that may arise during the employment relationship, including wrongful discharge claims stemming from the end of an employment relationship.  Although several state courts continue to be hostile towards arbitration agreements, the Supreme Court of the United States has issued a handful of significant decisions in the last few years reminding the states that the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) “declares a national policy favoring arbitration” which will preempt state laws inconsistent with this policy. 

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NAVIGATING WEST VIRGINIA’S EMPLOYMENT WATERS ISN’T GETTING ANY EASIER

On November 7, 2012, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia issued an important decision upholding a jury verdict in excess of $2,000,000 in favor of a plaintiff in an employment discrimination case.  In rendering its decision, the Supreme Court of Appeals also reaffirmed a number of controversial legal issues that have troubled West Virginia employers for years. 

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