Recently, the EEOC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) which would amend the regulations implementing Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) as they relate to employer wellness programs that are part of group health plans. This NPRM related to GINA is an encore, of sorts, to the regulations the Commission proposed earlier this year in the area of wellness programs as they related to the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Act.
The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania recently decided that restrictive covenants not to compete are unenforceable if entered into during employment and not supported by “new and valuable” consideration (which does not include continued employment). Socko v. Mid-Atlantic Systems of CPA, Inc. held that a mid-employment non-compete agreement may be challenged for lack of consideration even if the agreement, by its express terms, indicates that the parties “intend to be legally bound” pursuant to the Uniform Written Obligations Act (“UWOA”), 33 P.S. § 6. The UWOA provides that a written promise “shall not be invalid or unenforceable for lack of consideration, if the writing also contains an additional express statement, in any form of language, that the signer intends to be legally bound.”
“For, although common Snarks do no manner of harm, Yet, I feel it my duty to say, Some are Boojums –.” So goes the warning in Lewis Carroll’s 1876 poem The Hunting of the Snark. In the poem, a hunting party pursues the harmless Snark but is warned along the way that some Snarks are actually highly dangerous Boojums. If one meets a Boojum, he will “never be met with again!” At the conclusion of the story, one member of the crew believes he has found a Snark and calls out to his friends – but when they arrive, they find that he has vanished without a trace, “For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.”
Unpaid internship programs have become almost a prerequisite for many individuals entering the workforce today. However, due to the recent wave of class action lawsuits by unpaid interns asserting claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), many employers have been questioning whether to continue their internship programs. These lawsuits have become so pervasive that there is a website created and run by a law firm dedicated to filing such lawsuits. Some of the defendants in recent class actions include Viacom, Sony, Fox Searchlight, Hearst Corporation, NBC Universal, and Madison Square Garden Company.
‘Twas the holiday season upon us once more,
Not a single employee was at HR’s door.
The silence was heavy; I was starting to freak.
I hadn’t a complaint in more than a week.
No lawsuits or grievances were pending at all.
Instead of unease, I should be having a ball.
Our lawyer thinks I’m dead – I haven’t made a call.
Yet, all I know to do is wait for the other shoe to fall
Employees were trained as required by law.
Not to grope, fondle, or otherwise paw.
The handbook was updated, acknowledgments signed.
That NLRB Guidance almost blew my mind.
I took out the language that was certain to chill,
Because wages and hours can be discussed at will.
Our handbook was given a complete overhaul.
Revising conduct rules was the hardest of all.
And speaking of conduct, where has everyone gone?
Are they suddenly (eerily) getting along?
I take a deep breath and head to the break room.
The postings are current, not a single cartoon.
Then what to my wondering eyes should appear
But all my employees and staff I hold dear.
“We all want to thank you for all that you’ve done.”
“Let’s start the holidays by having some fun!”
“No beer! No liquor! And no copying our bums!”
“No mistletoe smooching! We’re just having fun!”
My heart swelled with pride, as tears blurred my sight.
Merry Christmas to all. Let’s do this party right!