By Matthew A. Fontana
Philadelphia is poised to strengthen the enforcement powers of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (“PCHR”), the City’s primary civil rights and anti-discrimination agency. Under legislation that passed City Council on May 8, 2017, the PCHR would have the authority to issue cease and desist orders—closing a business’s operations for an unspecified length of time—if the agency determines the business has engaged in “severe or repeated violations” of the Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance (“the Ordinance”). The authority to shut down a business’s operation is an unheard of remedy for employment related civil rights violation and—given the significant ramification for employers— it is critical for Philadelphia employers to be aware of the potential consequences of the PCHR’s enhanced powers for their business operations
The Ordinance prohibits discrimination based on age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, national … Read More »
Bill Horwitz published an article for HR Dive titled, “The most important questions to ask during internal investigations into employment-related issues.” In the article, Bill discusses internal investigations and the key questions an investigator should always ask.
Bill states the most important questions in a witness interview come toward the end and suggests an investigator always ask, “Is there any other information that you think would be helpful for my investigation?” as well as “Other than what you’ve already identified, are you aware of any documents bearing on any of the issues we discussed?”
When interviewing the accuser, Bill encourages asking if he or she has any other complaints, allegations or concerns, while tailoring the question to the situation. If the individual provides any response other than “no,” he advises repeating the question before concluding the interview.
“An individual who has a full … Read More »
Kate Gold published an article, along with Kathryn Deal, Meredith Slawe, Kate Villanueva, Dan Brewer and Ashley Super titled, “Suit Shopping: Deceptive Pricing Class Actions Persist” for the California Retailers Association’s Golden State Report.
Recent years have seen a considerable increase in deceptive pricing litigation, with plaintiffs’ attorneys turning to untried theories to help advance their cases. As a result, retailers are facing more high-risk class action suits that could lead to significant exposure, reputational damage, and considerable litigation costs. The article details two potential sources of suits—compare-at pricing and shipping charges—and how courts and agencies have thus far responded to such matters.
Read “Suit Shopping: Deceptive Pricing Class Actions Persist.”
By Lawrence J. Del Rossi
This is the third article in a continuing series, “The Restricting Covenant.” In restrictive covenant cases, a company’s trade secrets are sometimes referred to as its “secret sauce” or “secret recipe.” The “secret formula” of Coca-Cola soda is an analogy used to help explain the uniqueness of a company’s protectable interest and the need to prevent unauthorized disclosure, misappropriation or unlawful competition. This talk about secret sauces and recipes not only made me hungry, but it also relates to the subject of this article – restrictive covenants, trade secrets and the food and restaurant industry.
What’s in Your Secret Sauce?
Food recipes can constitute trade secrets. In Tavern Restaurant v. Brandow, for example, the Supreme Court of Iowa held that a restaurant had successfully demonstrated at trial that its former manager and his new employer (a competing restaurant) … Read More »
By Kate S. Gold and Jessica A. Burt
California employers using employees’ criminal convictions to make employment-related decisions should be aware of the recent flurry of new regulations and pending state legislation that place increased limitations on employers’ use of such information.
New FEHC Regulations Prohibit Consideration of Criminal History When Doing So Has An Adverse Impact On Individuals in A Protected Class
California’s Fair Employment and Housing Commission (FEHC) issued new regulations on employers’ use of criminal background information when making employment decisions, including hiring, promotion, discipline, and termination. The new regulations take effect on July 1, 2017, and are intended to clarify how the use of criminal background information may violate the provisions of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). The regulations prohibit employers from seeking or using any criminal history information that has an adverse impact on an … Read More »