2019 kept US employers on their toes. From intensifying scrutiny of independent contractor relationships, data privacy changes, and hostility to arbitration agreements to continued pressure to examine pay data, increasing employee activism and politically charged discourse in the workplace, it has been a busy year!

Click here to continue reading the US Employment Law Digest.

Join us on January 28, 2020 for our California Employment Compensation Update in Los Angeles.

We’ll clarify the impact of employment and compensation developments in California, the US and abroad that raise opportunities for the visionary companies that seize them.

We will offer a choice between two sessions:

1. Predictions for the Year Ahead in Employment Law
or
2. Developments Impacting Share-Based Compensation

Click here to view the invitation.

U.S. merger and acquisitions activity had another busy year in 2019, with total domestic M&A transactions at $1.1659 trillion, almost equal to 2018’s momentous year, according to reports from the fifth annual global transactions forecast by Oxford Economics Ltd. and Baker McKenzie.

With these transactions, many companies have been looking to acquire businesses with unionized facilities. Purchasers unfamiliar with operating unionized sites, though, can sometimes move too quickly, potentially triggering a host of legal problems and employee relations headaches. To protect against these issues, companies will want to take care and evaluate the following subjects when acquiring a unionized facility.

1. The structure of the acquisition matters.
2. Early strategic planning is important in asset deals.
3. Strongly weigh negotiating a new CBA.
4. Operating under a CBA can be very different.

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This article was originally published in Law360.

On December 30, 2019, Judge Kimberly Mueller in the Eastern District of California issued a temporary restraining order that enjoined California from enforcing AB 51. AB 51 prohibits employers from requiring, as a condition of employment, employees’ waiver of any right, forum, or procedure for an alleged violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act or the California Labor Code. (For more on AB 51, read here).

Continue Reading Stop! In The Name Of The Federal Arbitration Act

Going into 2020, employers should be mindful of several new state laws aimed at limiting the enforceability of noncompete agreements against low-wage employees. Crucially, while protecting low-wage worker job mobility is the key aspect of these new state laws, each has its own unique nuances and one-off requirements, further complicating employer efforts to protect their legitimate business interests when key employees leave.

This article summarizes these new state noncompete laws (all of which became effective in 2019 or take effect in 2020), and briefly discusses new federal-level efforts to adopt legislation, tracking recent noncompete trends.

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This article was originally published in Law360.

Join us in our Toronto office for our Client Appreciation and Learning Event on January 30, 2020.

Our program will start with a year-in-review to bring you up to speed on key workplace law developments of 2019 and how they impact you, followed by two panel discussions on the timely issues of diversity and inclusion and pay equity. We’re also excited to have our colleague, The Honourable Peter MacKay, P.C., joining us for an insightful keynote address.

Click here to view the invitation.

Join us for our Annual California Employer Update on January 8 in Palo Alto and January 9 in San Francisco.

We’ll clarify the impact of employment and compensation developments in California, the US and abroad that raise opportunities for the visionary companies that seize them.

We will take a closer look at key developments through both a local and global lens:

• New employment laws impacting California employers
• Wage and hour updates and trends
• Living and litigating in the gig economy
• Immigration changes affecting California employers
• Preparing for global business change
• And much more!

Click here to view the invitation.

We are pleased to share a recent SHRM article, “Prepare for Talks with Canadian Employment Insurance Officers,” with insight from our Toronto colleague Claire-Marie Colantuoni. This article discusses how and why HR professionals and employers in Canada need to navigate the country’s employment insurance (EL) program after terminating employees.

Click here to view the article.

This article was originally posted in SHRM.

Mark your calendars for a new law prohibiting “no-rehire” provisions in settlement agreements. California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill No. 749 into law on October 12, 2019. Effective January 1, 2020, “no-rehire” provisions are void as a matter of law in California.

Continue Reading New Law For 2020 Prohibits “No-Rehire” Provisions

The Seventh Circuit significantly narrowed the EEOC’s broad interpretation of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) last month. The court held that the ADA does not cover discrimination based on a future impairment.

The Seventh Circuit determined that the “regarded as having” prong of the ADA does not extend to applicants who are rejected due to an employer’s concerns about future disabilities. Shell v. Burlington N. Santa Fe Ry Co. The Seventh Circuit joins the Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits in holding that the present tense “having” in the ADA does not include the future tense “will have.” The facts here involved an obese applicant, and not an applicant with an existing predisposition, so its practical impact may be narrower than at first blush.

Continue Reading From The Seventh Circuit: Future Disabilities Not Protected Under The ADA