By Maria Lewis and Jessica Burt
Last month, Waldron Mercy Academy, a K-8 Catholic school located in Merion, Pennsylvania, fired Margie Winters from her position as Director of Religious Education, a job she had held for 8 years. According to Ms. Winters, her employment contract was not renewed because she is gay and married to her partner. A few days later, the United States Supreme Court issued its landmark opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, in which it held that same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry. The majority opinion in Obergefell stated that religious believers may continue to “advocate” and “teach” their views of marriage, but did not however, address or reverse the precedent established by the Supreme Court in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, in which the Supreme Court held, in an … Read More »
By Pascal Benyamini
As California employers, and those non-California employers with employees in California, know by now, as of July 1, 2015, such employers were required to provide paid sick leave to any employee who works 30 days or more within a year under the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (the “HWHFA”).
The HWHFA provides, among other things, that eligible employees are entitled to paid sick days for prescribed purposes to be accrued at a rate of no less than one hour for every 30 hours worked, or alternatively, be provided at least 3 days or 24 hours on a lump sum method. The accrual rate method imposed by the HWHFA created several challenges for employers who were already providing paid sick leave, albeit under a different accrual method, such as per pay period, per month, per week etc. To … Read More »
By Lawrence J. Del Rossi
Are former employees in violation of non-solicitation agreements by using social media to contact their employer’s customers or co-workers? Florham Park Counsel, Lawrence Del Rossi, recently published an article in Law360 discussing the emerging trends regarding the role that social media plays in restrictive covenant case. He also provides practical guidance to employment law practitioners.
Read “Is Social Media Eroding Nonsolicitation Agreements?” here.
New Guidance Regarding Employee Handbooks Part Six: Ensuring Conflict of Interest Rules Don’t Inhibit Protected Concerted Activity
By Valerie Dutton Kahn
This post is the sixth in a series providing guidance on federal rules regarding permissible and impermissible employer handbook policies and rules. See Guidance Regarding Confidentiality Rules Here, Employee Conduct Rules, Rules Related to Company Logos, Copyright, and Trademark, Rules Restricting Photography and Recording and Rules Restricting Employees From Leaving Work. While the recent guidance was issued by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), (found here) this guidance is applicable to both unionized and non-unionized employers. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) restricts all employers from issuing policies or rules – even if well-intentioned – that inhibit employees from engaging in activities protected by the act, such as discussing wages, criticizing management, publicly communicating about working conditions and discussing unionization.
Conflict of Interest Rules: A Balancing Act
Naturally, all employers would like to prevent their employees from engaging in activities that … Read More »
Bad News for Whistleblowers: New Jersey Supreme Court Rules Theft of Confidential Documents for Self-Help in Employment Lawsuit Can Result in Jail Time
By Lynne Anne Anderson
Does an employee have an unfettered right to take confidential documents from her employer to use in her discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against the employer? Not in New Jersey. The New Jersey Supreme Court recently ruled in State v. Ivonne Saavedra that the theft of a company’s confidential documents for self-help in an employment lawsuit can result in jail time.
Florham Park partner Lynne Anderson recently published an article in Law360 discussing the decision and its ramifications for employers and would-be whistleblowers.
Read “Woe To The NJ Whistleblower Who Whisks Away Documents” here.
An Employer’s Obligation to Follow up after Receiving a Medical Certification: Greater Than You Might Think
By David J. Woolf
If an employee seeks FMLA leave, she typically needs to ask for it. Likewise, it goes without saying that if an employee is asked to provide a medical certification in support of her request (something employers are free to seek) and fails to provide that information – or worse provides a certification indicating that she does not qualify for FMLA leave – the employer has no obligation to provide that leave. Or does it?
In Hansler v. Lehigh Valley Hospital Network, the plaintiff, Ms. Hansler, asked for a two-day per week, one-month leave of absence to deal with certain medical issues, a condition that was diagnosed after her separation as diabetes. In support of her request, Ms. Hansler submitted a medical certification that referred to the length of the requested leave, but did not describe the nature or … Read More »
The DOL Announces Proposed Revisions to FLSA Regulations Doubling the Minimum Salary Requirement for Exempt Employees
By Dennis M. Mulgrew, Jr.
More than 15 months after President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum directing the Secretary of Labor “to propose revisions to modernize and streamline the existing [FLSA] overtime regulations,” the Department of Labor on June 30, 2015 finally issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) detailing its proposed revisions. These proposals include:
(1) Increasing the minimum salary requirement from $455 per week ($23,660 per year) to an expected $970 per week ($50,440 per year) in 2016;
(2) Increasing the minimum annual compensation requirement to qualify as a “highly-compensated” exempt worker from $100,000 to $122,148 annually;
(3) Creating a mechanism for automatically updating the minimum salary and compensation levels, by tying them to either (a) a fixed percentile of earnings for full-time salaried workers or (b) changes in the CPI-U (i.e., the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers).
Note that these are … Read More »