BCLP At Work

Main Content

New York City Follows Trend in Predictable Scheduling Law

New York City Follows Trend in Predictable Scheduling Law

June 27, 2017

Authored by: Bryan Cave At Work

Bryan Cave’s Retail practice recently published a Client Alert: New York City Follows Trend in Predictable Scheduling Law.  The Alert highlights New York City’s new scheduling law for retail employers and discusses the impact of similar laws in other major cities. Follow the link below to read more.

https://www.bryancave.com/en/thought-leadership/new-york-city-follows-trend-in-predictable-scheduling-law.html

 

Minimum Wage Increases on the Horizon in California

Effective July 1, 2017, employers in San Francisco must raise the minimum wage from $13.00/hour to $14.00/hour.  By July 1, 2018, San Francisco’s minimum wage rate will be $15.00/hour.  Similarly, in the city of Los Angeles and the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, for employers with more than 25 employees, the minimum wage will be increased from $10.50/hour to $12.00/hour.  These minimum wage rates are currently higher than the State of California’s minimum wage rate of $10.50/hour for employers with more than 25 employees.  California will gradually increase minimum wage rates for employers with more than 25 employees, adding $1 to the base rate every January 1st culminating in $15.00/hour by January 1, 2022.

Bryan Cave LLP has a team of knowledgeable lawyers and other professionals prepared to help employers assess their minimum wage obligations. If you or your organization would like more information on wages or any other employment issue, please contact an attorney in the Labor and Employment practice group.

Arizona Mandatory Paid Sick Leave Update: Can We Use Our Old PTO System?

As Arizona employers prepare for the imminent July 1 effective date of Arizona’s first mandatory paid sick time law (The Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act (the “Act”)), one of  the questions that we get most frequently is, “If we have a Paid Time Off policy, do we need to have a separate policy for paid sick time?”

Read our recent Client Alert here: Arizona Mandatory Paid Sick Leave Update

Bryan Cave LLP has a team of knowledgeable lawyers and other professionals prepared to help employers assess their sick time obligations. If you or your organization would like more information on compliance with sick time laws, please contact an attorney in the Labor and Employment practice group.

Paid Sick Leave Laws – City of Chicago and Cook County, Illinois

The City of Chicago and Cook County have each passed “Paid Sick Leave” ordinances that go into effect July 1, 2017.  See https://www.bryancave.com/en/thought-leadership/new-leave-laws-in-illinois.html

Employers with employees in Chicago (but not other parts of Cook County) need only comply with the City of Chicago ordinance.  Employers with employees in Cook County municipalities other than Chicago need only comply with the Cook County ordinance, although certain Cook County municipalities have opted out of the Cook County ordinance (see list below of municipalities that have NOT opted out).  Employers with locations and employees in both Chicago and other Cook County municipalities would need to comply with both ordinances as applicable to specific employees.

We have been monitoring the ordinances for some time, but there has been a delay in the finalization of the interpretative rules by Cook County and the City of Chicago.  Cook County recently finalized its regulations (which are 46 pages long and more complex than anticipated), but the City of Chicago has not. We expect the City of Chicago to issue final rules within the next week.

Cook County Municipalities That Have NOT Opted Out Barrington Hills (partly in Kane, Lake, and McHenry Counties) Bensenville (partly in DuPage County) Berwyn Blue Island Broadview Brookfield Burnham Calumet City Calumet Park Chicago Heights Chicago Ridge Cicero Country Club Hills Countryside Deer Park (partly in Lake County) Deerfield (partly in Lake County) Des Plaines Dixmoor Dolton East Dundee (partly in Kane County) Elmhurst (partly in DuPage County) Evanston Flossmoor Ford Heights Forest

Georgia Enacts New Family Care Act That Broadens Permissible Uses Of Paid Sick Leave

Although Georgia still lags behind states that mandate paid sick leave, certain Georgia employees will now be able to use some of some of their paid sick leave to care for a qualifying family member without fear of reprisal.   Under Georgia’s new Family Care Act, which was signed into law on May 8, 2017 and goes into effect on July 1, 2017, employers with 25 or more employees that provide paid sick leave must allow employees who work at least 30 hours per week to use up to five days of their paid sick leave per calendar year to care for an immediate family member.  The Act defines immediate family members as an employee’s child, spouse, grandchild, grandparent, parent, or any dependent shown on the employee’s most recent tax return.

The Family Care Act does not mandate that employers provide paid sick leave nor does it require employers to allow employees to use sick leave until it has actually been earned.  In addition, an employer may still require employees to comply with the terms of its sick leave policy.  Although the State of Georgia and its political subdivisions are covered by this Act, employers that offer an employee stock ownership plan are excluded from coverage.  Only time will tell how effective the Family Care Act will be since it does not provide employees with a cause of action against employers, does not provide any enforcement provisions, and will be automatically repealed on July 1, 2020, unless the General Assembly chooses

Avoiding State Law Pitfalls (Part 4 of 4)

June 19, 2017

Categories

This is the fourth hypothetical in our series showing how well-intentioned employers can violate unfamiliar state laws.

Scenario #4

A manager of a Minneapolis, Minnesota restaurant calls you regarding an employee who showed up for work exhibiting bizarre behavior and with white powder under her nose.  The Company has a written policy prohibiting the use of illegal drugs and authorizing the Company to conduct probable cause testing of employees.  In accordance with Company policy, the employee undergoes testing which confirms that the employee is under the influence of cocaine.  The manager is calling for approval to terminate the employee.  You know that some states prohibit random drug testing, but you are not aware of any law that would prohibit an employer from discharging an employee who shows up for work under the influence of cocaine, especially when the employer has probable cause to test the employee and the testing confirms the employee’s use of an illegal drug.  You authorize the termination.

Result

The employee sues the Company under the Minnesota Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Act, which prohibits employers from discharging an employee who tests positive for illegal drugs on only one occasion.  See Minn. Stat. §181.950, et seq.  Under these circumstances, the employer has a statutory obligation to offer the employee the opportunity to participate in a rehabilitation program at the employer’s expense.  The employee prevails and is reinstated to her former position.  In addition, the employee is awarded back pay, attorneys’ fees, and $500,000 in punitive

The Italian Data Protection Authority restricts the monitoring of employees’ internet access and e-mail use

The Italian Data Protection Authority (“IDPA”) issued its first decision interpreting the amended Section 4 of the “Workers’ Bill of Rights,” concerning the monitoring of employees’ internet access and e-mail use.

In particular, the employees of a University in Italy claimed their employer monitored their personal data, by recording their web-browsing file logs (specifically, the Media Access Control address, “MAC Address”, and the Internet Protocol address, “IP Address”) and other personal internet-access information, using hidden software operating “in the background”.

The IDPA inquired and found the employer had wrongly classified its employees’ MAC and IP address data as being subject to no “personal protection” rules. This classification, according to the IDPA’s decision, would run contrary to the principles established by the EU Council of Ministers in its Recommendation No. CM/Rec (2015) 5, dated 1 April 2015.  Therefore, the IDPA found the generic notice included in the University’s internal privacy policy, concerning its monitoring of internet access and e-mail use by employees, was insufficient under Section 13 of the Italian “Data Protection Code”.  The IDPA further declared the relevant principles of “actual need and proportionality” had been breached by the University in performing such invasive and indiscriminate monitoring.

In the decision, the IDPA found the following technical means of internet monitoring to be lawful, to the extent they are strictly connected with the employees’ work or the safety of the employers’ information network: (a) monitoring log-ins to verify the proper use by the employee of the e-mail system made available by

The California Supreme Court Provides Guidance on Day of Rest Requirements

June 14, 2017

Categories

The California Supreme Court clarified employer obligations under the state’s day of rest statutes, Cal. Labor Code §§ 550-558.1, which entitle employees to one day’s rest in seven.  In Mendoza v. Nordstrom, Inc., 2 Cal. 5th 1074 (2017), a case that was (mostly) good news for employers, the Court unanimously upheld interpretations of the requirement that largely preserved scheduling flexibility for employers and employees alike.

Three questions were certified to the Court for consideration:

  • Is the day of rest required by sections 551 and 552 calculated by the workweek, or does it apply on a rolling basis to any seven-consecutive-day period?
  • The day of rest requirement is calculated by workweek.  After finding the plain language of sections 551 and 552 “manifestly ambiguous” and the legislative history irrelevant to the dispute, the Court held that the regulatory and statutory schemes of the day of rest laws required the day of rest requirement to apply during each workweek.  The Court looked to past iterations of Wage Orders related to day of rest requirements and to section 510 of the Labor Code, which governs overtime, in deciding that sections 551 and 552 require a day of rest per workweek, and not on a rolling basis.

    Importantly, the Court noted that the current wage order governing day of rest requirements only guarantees one day of rest per every seven days on average.  In other words, “rest days need not fall on every seventh day and can be spaced out differently in a calendar

    Employers May Substantially Reduce Their Potential Exposure for Employment-Related Lawsuits with a Simple Modification to Their Employment Applications

    June 12, 2017

    Categories

    Employers go to great lengths and expense to reduce their potential exposure to employment-related claims.  Most employers implement employment policies to address the ever-growing myriad of federal, state, and local employment laws, regularly conduct employee EEO training, hire qualified human resources professionals and in-house attorneys with expertise in employment law, and regularly seek advice and assistance from outside counsel concerning these prophylactic measures.  The article addresses a fast, simple, and inexpensive way to substantially reduce exposure to certain types of employment-related claims through the inclusion of an express waiver (“Waiver”) in a form employment application or other document signed by applicants or employees.  The Waiver contractually reduces to six (6) months the time period within which certain types of employment-related claims must be filed and waives any statute of limitations to the contrary, thereby significantly reducing the number of timely-filed claims and, consequently, the employer’s potential exposure.  Although waivers can vary by jurisdiction, the following include example of things to bear in mind.

    Which Claims Should Be Included in the Waiver?

    The employment-related claims that subject employers to the most potential exposure are those that carry lengthy limitations periods and no damages caps.  For example, 42 U.S.C. § 1981 (“Section 1981”), which prohibits race discrimination and retaliation, has a four (4)-year statute of limitations and does not cap emotional distress or punitive damages.[1]  State common law also provides a source for employment-related breach of contract and tort claims, such as defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent hiring /

    Macron’s Reforms

    Macron’s Reforms

    June 8, 2017

    Authored by: François Alambret

    Emmanuel Macron was elected one month ago promising to reform France’s employment regulations. It’s too early to determine if Mr. Macron will succeed in opening up the French labor market and much will depend on the result of parliamentary elections that will be held in mid-June 2017. However, what are the main reforms that have been proposed by Mr. Macron?

    Click here to read the Alert in full.

    Bryan Cave LLP has a team of knowledgeable lawyers and other professionals prepared to help employers assess the French labor market. If you or your organization would like more information on this or any other employment issue, please contact an attorney in the Labor and Employment practice group.

    The attorneys of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner make this site available to you only for the educational purposes of imparting general information and a general understanding of the law. This site does not offer specific legal advice. Your use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Bryan Cave LLP or any of its attorneys. Do not use this site as a substitute for specific legal advice from a licensed attorney. Much of the information on this site is based upon preliminary discussions in the absence of definitive advice or policy statements and therefore may change as soon as more definitive advice is available. Please review our full disclaimer.