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January 2016 Newsletter

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”) has once again weighed in on employer use of confidentiality and non-disparagement language, this time in the settlement arena. Recently, the NLRB withheld its approval of a global settlement of Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) claims and Board charges, stating its objection to the negotiated non-disparagement and confidentiality provisions in the parties’ settlement agreement. The...
Gee, Ma, this is swell! The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission came out this week with some guidance about the rights of individuals with AIDS and HIV. The guidance is unremarkable for anyone who is familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act, although it never hurts to get a refresher, and in any event it’s aimed at employees, not employers. But what is really great – and novel, as far as I know – is that the EEOC...
This article, reporting on a significant settlement of a claim of wrongful termination of an employee who was a victim of domestic violence, should serve as a reminder for all New York employers.  As reported by the New York Times, a retailer in New York state was accused of sending a female employee home after she reported to company security that her husband had threatened to kill her.   She claimed that she was sent home by her...
Keith was a manager for Costco. By all accounts, he wasn’t a very good employee.  The store disciplined Keith over customer complaints, dress code violations, and failing to perform his job duties.  Consequently, he was placed on a performance improvement plan. Shortly after receiving the PIP, Keith told a subordinate that he planned to take FMLA leave “to secure his managerial rate of pay and...
Law firms are often retained by employers facing the fast-paced, distracting, emotionally charged experience of unionization efforts. Part of the union organizing process is legal in nature, and part feels more like politics, particularly where an employer wants to communicate to its employees that it would prefer to deal with them directly, rather than through a union. Hence “persuasion”:  many times, an employer attempts to persuade...
Readers have been clamoring for my take on the alcoholism-discrimination lawsuit filed by Steve Sarkisian against the University of Southern California. Actually, I got one email from a reader, who had a better take on the whole situation than I do. But who cares! I still think it’s a great topic, and a case worth following! Here’s the deal, as I understand it: Mr. Sarkisian took over as head coach of the USC football team in...
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