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Managing the Modern Workplace
V&E International Labor & Employment Resources

  • 09
  • October
  • 2019

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De mortuis nil nisi bonum.

The death of an employee is an upsetting and traumatic occurrence. It is also very likely to be unexpected. Thus, it is preferable to have a basic framework in mind for dealing with such an occurrence before it happens. This post is intended to give you an overview of three of the many important considerations resulting from a death occurring outside the workplace. It is not intended to cover incidents in which a death or serious accident or illness occursat the workplace, on the job, or is related to work. For example, it does not address the requirement that an employer notify OSHA when an employee is killed on the job (among other events requiring such notice).

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  • 03
  • October
  • 2019

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Don’t Forget WARN Warnings When Reducing Head Count

We have not talked much about the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (“WARN”) in recent years both because unemployment has been low and we have not seen many plant closings or mass layoffs that would trigger WARN. But much like solar eclipses and cicadas, the frequency of WARN events is cyclical, and, during the last couple of months, several of my colleagues and I have found ourselves having more conversations about WARN than we have had in the last few years. So this might be a good time to review the basics of the federal plant closing law that went into effect some 30 years ago.

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  • 26
  • September
  • 2019

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After a Long Delay, the DOL Issues a New Overtime Rule

In November 2016, a Texas federal judge enjoined the Obama administration’s regulations that sought to raise the salary-level requirement for white collar exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act from $23,660 to $47,476. Rather than appeal the injunction, the new Trump administration instead chose to withdraw the regulations so that they could be reconsidered.

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  • 24
  • September
  • 2019

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T or F: Employers Shall Make No Rule Abridging the Freedom of Speech?

It’s been so long since I’ve taken a True/False quiz, and as a young man I generally detested the format. Although the answer to the question in the title of this post is False, there really is more to it than that! While the First Amendment does not apply to private employers and has not been interpreted to prohibit employers from setting certain restrictions on speech in the workplace, many states (including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, and New York) do have laws that prohibit employers from discriminating against employees because of their political views, especially political views expressed outside of the workplace. In such states, an employer who terminates an employee because of their political views could end up facing a wrongful discharge lawsuit.

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So Long Side-Hustle? – California Aims to Reshape “Gig Economy” With Bill AB 5

Last Wednesday, the California legislature passed bill AB 5, a sweeping measure sure to impact the “gig economy” and any business that likens itself the “Uber of _____.”  If signed into law (and the governor has already signaled his intention to sign it), AB 5 would require many companies to re-classify as “employees” many workers who are currently classified as independent contractors, so long as they satisfy certain criteria. AB 5 could force drastic changes to many companies’ business models, requiring them to abide by state minimum wage laws, and to pay payroll taxes, premiums for workers’ compensation, Social Security, unemployment, and disability insurance for their employees’ benefit. Companies impacted would also need to provide their workers the ability to collectively organize under the protections of federal labor laws. 

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Thomas H. Wilson

Thomas H. Wilson Partner

Christopher V. Bacon

Christopher V. Bacon Counsel

Sean Becker

Sean Becker Partner

Stephen M. Jacobson

Stephen M. Jacobson Partner

Martin C. Luff

Martin Luff Counsel

Lawrence S. Elbaum Partner