Delaware Chancery Court Declines to Blue-Pencil Overly Broad Noncompete Agreement; Casts Doubt on Choice of Law Provisions

A recent Delaware Chancery Court opinion has elucidated Delaware’s approach to judicially modifying, or “blue-penciling,” overly broad noncompete agreements and deferring to parties’ choice of law provisions. The case, FP UC Holdings, LLC, et al. v. James W. Hamilton, Jr., et al., C.A. No. 2019-1029-JRS (Del Ch. Mar. 27, 2020), highlights the importance of drafting well-tailored restrictive covenants, and shows that even in Delaware – where employers often have been reassured by the safe harbor of courts’ relative willingness to blue-pencil problematic agreements and apply Delaware law to fact patterns that have developed in other states – employers must make careful drafting and choice of law decisions. It also emphasizes that if an employer’s intent is to litigate in Delaware, the employer should do so from the beginning, without acquiescing to another court’s jurisdiction.

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OFCCP Issues Directives Regarding Mediation Procedures and Audit Efficiency

The Department of Labor Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) released three new directives on April 17, 2020 that formalize its mediation procedures, seek to further increase the efficiency of its compliance evaluations (audits) and expand the role of the agency’s Ombudsman. The OFCCP’s recent directives were designed to further reduce the burden on federal contractors, and further confirms that the agency remains operational and committed to its enforcement efforts.

For the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.

More States and Municipalities Impose Mandatory Face Covering and Other Workplace Protections

After an initial wave that saw a focus on closing or limiting “non-essential” or “non-life sustaining” businesses and limiting individual travel, states and municipalities have shifted their attention to protections for those who are continuing to work and travel as they perform essential personal and professional functions. The primary, but not only, area of such focus is on mandating the use of cloth or fabric masks. This change has come as more has become known about how the highly infectious coronavirus spreads, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommending that cloth face coverings be worn “in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain,” such as grocery stores and pharmacies, “especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.”

These new orders vary in their scope and strictness. The Pennsylvania Department of Health, for example, has issued an order requiring masks to be worn by employees of businesses authorized to maintain in-person operations and further requiring employers to provide such masks. The Pennsylvania order also requires most shoppers to wear masks before entering most stores.

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New Executive Order Temporarily Suspends Entry of Certain Immigrants

On April 22, 2020, President Trump signed an Executive Order (“Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak”) temporarily suspending the entry of certain immigrants due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Executive Order, effective April 23, 2020, is valid for an initial 60-day period and may be extended or modified within this period.

For the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.

Question & Answer Employer Guide: Return to Work in the Time of COVID-19

As government authorities look to implement business reopening measures, employers are now planning to move employees back into the workplace as state and local stay-at-home orders expire and other COVID-19 business restrictions expire or are modified. What are the various considerations employers must keep in mind when reopening their physical work locations?

This Question and Answer Guide describes a number of COVID-19 employment and return-to-work considerations. Because the COVID-19 pandemic is a fluid situation and highly dependent on jurisdiction- and sector-specific considerations, we anticipate that additional guidance will be coming from the federal, state and local governments as plans to allow businesses to open are developed in the coming days and weeks.

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OFCCP Recent Developments and Guidance on COVID-19

In the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many federal contractors are questioning to what extent the Department of Labor (DOL) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) will continue to operate and whether recently passed legislation includes any relief for federal contractors. While the OFCCP has made it clear that it remains “virtually” operational, it will not be “business as usual.”

For the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.