On January 25, 2019, the Illinois Supreme Court issued a highly anticipated decision, Rosenbach v. Six Flags Entertainment Corporate et al., extending the reach of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). BIPA is an Illinois privacy law that regulates the collection, use, and retention of biometric data such as fingerprints, face, and eye scans by imposing procedural requirements on corporations that collect the data. Though not an employment case, the decision impacts employers using biometric time-keeping systems in Illinois.
In the wake of the #MeToo movement, a number of states (and New York City) now mandate workplace sexual harassment prevention training.
The chart below is intended to help multi-state employers keep track of their obligations across the country.
In a welcome decision for franchisors, and first of its kind in the Second Circuit, the Southern District of New York ruled that Domino’s Pizza Franchising LLC, the franchisor (Domino’s), did not exert enough control over its franchisee to warrant joint employer status. This determination means Domino’s will not have to face claims brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the New York Labor Law (NYLL) by current and former employees of a Domino’s franchisee.
Click here to read more about the case, the decision and takeaways for employers.
Welcome news for employers: companies can require their workers go through arbitration to pursue any legal claims against their employers, rather than go to court or join together in class lawsuits or grievances, the US Supreme Court held today in a 5-4 vote.
Writing for the majority in three consolidated cases (Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, NLRB v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc., and Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris), Justice Neil Gorsuch said the Federal Arbitration Act sets a strong policy favoring the enforcement of arbitration agreements, and employees of the three companies failed to show they had any right to disregard the arbitration agreements they signed.
The policy may be debatable but the law is clear: Congress has instructed that arbitration agreements like those before us must be enforced as written. While Congress is of course always free to amend this judgment, we see nothing suggesting it did so in the NLRA — much less that it manifested a clear intention to displace the Arbitration Act. Because we can easily read Congress’s statutes to work in harmony, that is where our duty lies.
The ruling means that companies can enforce their class action waiver agreements and their employees will have to pursue their claims in individual arbitration proceedings. Please stay tuned for more to come from us on the actions employers should take now in response to this important decision.
Attorneys from the EEOC (Greg Gochanour, Regional Attorney for Chicago Office) and the NLRB (Paul Hitterman, Regional Attorney for Region 13 of the NLRB) joined us in leading the discussion. Topics included disciplining employees for uncivil workplace behavior, the enforceability of confidentiality restrictions on witnesses during internal investigations and the NLRB’s newly issued test for reviewing employee work rules.
Here, we share a “top 10” list to highlight the principal takeaways from the program.
Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) introduced its voluntary Diversity Assessment Report for Entities Regulated by the SEC. The Report is intended to help SEC-regulated entities conduct self-assessments of their diversity policies and practices, and provides these entities with a template for submitting information about their self-assessments to OMWI. Conducting self-assessments and providing the information to OMWI are voluntary.
The SEC’s Report is in line with the recent demands from US shareholders demanding transparency and accountability when it comes to gender pay and commitments to creating more inclusive and diverse workplaces. We expect diversity and inclusion to remain at the forefront of legal issues facing employers for years to come.
As we embark on a new year, take note of the minimum wage in each state and comply with any increases that begin in 2018.
Unless otherwise indicated, the following minimum wage increases are effective January 1, 2018:
Attention employers using biometric identification technology, such as retina scans, fingerprint identification and facial recognition technology:
A number of corporations in Illinois, including internet and video game companies, food product manufacturers, gas stations, and restaurant chains, have been sued in the past few months for alleged BIPA violations.
Here’s what you need to know
Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.
– F. Scott Fitzgerald
After two years of blogging to our friends in the Lone Star state, we are excited to announce that we are embracing the opportunity for new beginnings this fall. We are turning over a new leaf and expanding our blog to reach all US employers, including those managing operations outside of the US.
The new Employer Report provides legal updates and practical insights about the latest labor and employment issues affecting US multinationals, at both the domestic AND global level.
The original site will be redirected, so no action necessary on your part (other than to spread the word!). The Employer Report will be updated regularly by our US Employment and Compensation lawyers with insights covering a wide range of labor and employment topics, including wage and hour updates, new compliance obligations outside the US, trends concerning the gender pay gap, and much more!
We appreciate your continued support and hope you enjoy the Employer Report.