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

  • 11
  • July
  • 2017

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Texas Supreme Court Weighs In on Jones Act Coverage

The Texas Supreme Court recently addressed an important question of Jones Act coverage: when is a vessel “out of navigation” and thus outside the Act’s purview?1 With the number of stacked rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, this is an important case for companies with employees on those rigs. In a 5-4 split decision, the Court found that a ship that was taken out of service, subjected to a 20-month conversion process, and unable to engage in transportation was “out of navigation.”

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Employers May Not Always Enjoy the Luck of the Irish

During meetings in Dublin, Ireland, I was reminded that employers in many countries outside the U.S. need to be prepared for injunction cases when terminating employees. I spent the first three months of this year representing an employer that brought an injunction action against a former executive for enforcement of non-compete and confidentiality obligations. It was intense and time consuming, but the company was on the offensive to protect its business interests. Injunction cases are still rare in the U.S., and even less likely to be brought by employees upon termination than by the employer. In places such as Ireland, however, employers might instead find themselves on the defensive in injunction cases. There, employees can bring injunction actions to stop the employer from terminating their employment and require continued payment of the employees’ wages.

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Texas Supreme Court Gives Employers New Tool to Slap Down Defamation Claims

When a company does an investigation, it needs honest answers from its supervisors. But how does that happen if the supervisors are worried about being sued for defamation by the employees involved? Travis Coleman, for example, was fired by Exxon for failing to gauge storage tanks at a facility where he worked as a terminal technician. Coleman then sued Exxon and his supervisors, alleging that he had been defamed by statements made by the supervisors to the company’s safety investigators.

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  • 25
  • January
  • 2017

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Supreme Court Agrees to Consider Class Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements

Mandatory arbitration programs are, by now, prevalent in the workplace, in large part because employers assume that those programs can be used to combat class action litigation by requiring employees to arbitrate multiple, individual disputes instead of bringing a single class or collective action. Now, the Supreme Court has indicated that it will weigh in on whether that assumption is correct.

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Contributors

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