Topic: Employment Law

Supreme Court Says Separation of Church and State Applies to Hiring Decisions – Confirms “Ministerial Exception”

Are religious institutions (i.e., churches) free to dismiss ministers without regard to federal employment discrimination laws? On January 11, 2012, a unanimous Supreme Court answered that question with a resounding “yes:” “… the Courts of Appeals have uniformly recognized the existence of a ‘ministerial exception,’ grounded in the First Amendment, that precludes application of [employment… Read more »

Guns at Work: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (Just Leave Them in the Car)

“[In Texas] … public and private employers can no longer prohibit employees from storing legally possessed firearms in a locked vehicle parked in a designated public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area. One notable effect of this new law is that employees can no longer be… Read more »

Employee Handbooks: 5 Workplace Policy Revisions to Consider for the New Year

“For many employers, the employee handbook sits up on a shelf gathering dust. Some may not even think about company policies until there is a problem, and then it may be too late. The upcoming new year is a perfect time to make a resolution to review and revise your employee handbook to take advantage… Read more »

NLRB Poster Rule Delayed. Again. (New date: April 30, 2012)

Are you keeping up? On December 27, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board announced that it was delaying yet again the implementation of its rule requiring covered employers to post notice of employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act. For your reference, here’s a roundup of legal updates on the latest postponement: NLRB Postpones… Read more »

3 Things You Have To Do When Terminating an Employee for Theft

If the fear of employees stealing from your business keeps you awake at night, you’re probably not alone: experts estimate that employee theft costs employers billions each year. When it happens, here are three things you must do, from labor & employment lawyers on JD Supra: 1.Keep your cool: “The responsible employer should not permit… Read more »

Doc of the Day: Littler on “40 Years of Experience with the Fair Credit Reporting Act”

Littler’s analysis of the Federal Trade Commission’s 40 Years of Experience with the Fair Credit Reporting Act report. Who should read it? Every employer who uses credit reports for employment purposes. Why? “For many years, it was relatively uncommon to see lawsuits or FTC enforcement actions against employers for alleged violations of the [Fair Credit… Read more »

New Jersey Trade Secret Act Passed; Awaits Governor’s Signature

On December 5, 2011, the New Jersey Assembly sent the New Jersey Trade Secrets Act, the state’s own version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, to Governor Chris Christie for signature. Written to codify a long history of well-developed case law, the Act provides statutory remedies and procedural guidance for the misappropriation of trade secrets.… Read more »

Transgender Equal Rights Bill Passed in Massachusetts

“On November 23, 2011, [Massachusetts] Governor Patrick signed into law House Bill 3810, ‘An Act Relative To Gender Identity.’ The new law protects transgender individuals from discrimination in housing, education, employment and credit by adding ‘gender identity’ to the list of classes protected by various Massachusetts non-discrimination and hate crime statutes.” (Massachusetts Enacts Transgender Equal… Read more »

H-1B Visa Cap Reached: What Options Remain for Businesses That Missed the Cut?

On November 22, US Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that the cap of 65,000 applications for 2012 H-1B visas had been met, and that petitions received after that date would be rejected. What does this mean for employers seeking work visas for foreign nationals in 2012? The short answer: they have to wait until April 1,… Read more »

Employment Background Checks: 5 Things You Can and Cannot Do

“The proper question is not, ‘Can the employer conduct a background check?” but rather, “Can an employer use the information found on the background check to deny employment to the applicant or employee?’” (From Background Checks: Employers Beware! by Janette Levey Frisch)  When hiring new employees, it’s common for employers to want more information than… Read more »

California Employment Laws: Governor Brown Goes to Town

“California Governor Jerry Brown finally addressed the bulk of the labor and employment-related bills passed by the California state legislature during the first half of the 2011-2012 session … [relating] to various and diverse areas such as hiring practices, required leaves of absence, health insurance, and worker classification.” (From Governor Brown Signs Significant New Employment… Read more »