Tuesday, April 17, 2012

California Employers Need Not Police Meal Breaks

On April 12, 2012, the California Supreme Court issued a long-awaited ruling in the class action case of Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court[AU1] Brinker, which had been pending since 2008 and triggered more than twenty six amicus briefs from interested organizations on both sides, centered on a number of issues relating to California state requirements for non-exempt employee meal and rest breaks.

Kelly Drye Settles EEOC Age Bias Suit, Promises Changes

A long simmering age discrimination battle between the EEOC and Kelly Drye, a law firm with more than 300 lawyers and 130 partners, has been resolved[AU1]  by a consent decree awarding more than $500,000 in damages to an 81-year old partner.  This settlement follows the EEOC’s $27.5 million settlement with Sidley Austin LLP in 2008.

D.C. Federal Court enjoins NLRB Poster Rule

The Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit today enjoined the NLRB from putting its controversial union rights poster rule in place on April 30, 2012. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) had appealed the January 2012 ruling of the district court upholding the rule. The NAM sought an emergency injunction from the Court of Appeals to delay the rule pending the outcome of the appeal. The court granted the request.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

IRS Initiative for Reclassification of Contractors

As part of the IRS Fresh Start initiative to help employers obtain a “fresh start” with their tax obligations, the agency has outlined a new program for employers to create a “low cost” resolution to prior worker classification issues by voluntarily reclassifying their employees.

In September of 2011, the IRS announced its Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (VCSP), which affords employers the opportunity to achieve compliance by making a “minimal” payment to cover past payroll tax obligations instead of waiting for an IRS audit. The complete announcement can be found at Announcement 2011-64and you can also read the IRS news release (IR-2011-95).

D.C. Bans Hiring Discrimination Against Unemployed

On March 6, 2012, the District of Columbia passed the Unemployment Antidiscrimination Act of 2012 (“UAA”), making it illegal for an employer or employment agency to discriminate based on a potential employee’s status as unemployed.

Password Protected: No Passwords for Employers

The Maryland General Assembly, nearly unanimously, passed the first legislation in the nation banning employers from requesting or requiring that an employee or applicant disclose any user name, password, or other means for accessing a personal account or service. After the Governor signs the Bill, the law will go into effect on October 1, 2012. A copy of the legislation can be found here.

Under the new law, employers will be flatly prohibited from asking applicants for user names or passwords to any personal websites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Employers will also be prohibited from failing or refusing to hire an applicant who does not provide that information. There are no exceptions or exclusions for certain employers. There is no size or revenue limitation and no carve out for public employers.