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March 2015 Newsletter

With recent price drops in the oil and gas industry it is likely that reductions in force (RIFs) are looming on the horizon. But employers need to tread carefully when implementing any RIF, as it can raise thorny issues under both state and federal law. In addition, an often overlooked aspect of RIFs is the spillover implications for the community where a facility is located. These issues may include the effect a RIF can have on customers,...
On January 29, 2015, the California Court of Appeal, Second District, published a landmark decision in Augustus v. ABM Security Services.  Specifically, the Augustus court held that while California law prohibits employers from requiring employees to work during rest breaks, it does not require employees to relieve employees of all duty during rest breaks.  In Augustus, the trial court certified a large class of security guards in...
Effective April 7, 2015, the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act will be replaced by the Parental Leave Act ("PLA"). The new law expands the scope of the Maternity Leave Act by extending parental leave rights to men.  The new law requires employers to provide both women and men with time off "for the purpose of giving birth" or adopting a child. While the new statute does not define how the phrase "giving birth" applies to men, it is clear...
On January 13, 2015, a hospital in West Palm Beach, Florida discovered that an unidentified juvenile had been walking its halls dressed as a physician, wearing a lab coat with the hospital’s logo and a stethoscope. According to the Sun Sentinel, a patient reportedly told the hospital’s OB/GYN offices that a young man who “looked like a child” had entered an examination room. Hospital staff immediately reported the patient’s concerns to the West...
President Obama has made increasing the federal minimum wage a priority for the administration due in no small part to sustained union efforts over the past few years—including “worker center” protests and campaigns aimed at the hospitality industry, such as “Fight for 15” and “Fast Food Forward” To this end, President Obama issued Executive Order 13658 on February 12, 2014, announcing an increase in the minimum wage rate to $10.10 per hour for...
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