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Mintz labor lawyer quoted in Forbes

July 14, 2011 | Blog | By Martha Zackin quotes my colleague, labor attorney Don Schroeder, on Target unionization in “Target’s honeymoon could be over.”

Tips for Electronic Communications

July 13, 2011 | Blog | By Martha Zackin

In recent months, a number of clients have asked us to provide recommendations concerning the do's and don't's for sending emails and other electronic communications. In response to these requests, we have put together a summary of best practices for electronic communications, which can be found here.
On July 5, 2011, the EEOC filed suit against Verizon and a number of its subsidiaries, claiming that Verizon’s no-fault attendance program violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Two recent cases applying Massachusetts law signal a willingness by state and federal courts to enforce noncompetition agreements. In each case, a judge held a former employee to the terms of fairly broad noncompetition agreements.
The Supreme Court's historic ruling in Wal-Mart v Dukes will make it more difficult for plaintiffs to pursue actions against employers on behalf of nationwide and other broad classes of employees. Read an excellent analysis of the decision here.
As we previously reported, the EEOC held a public meeting on June 8, 2011 to examine the use of medical leaves of absence as “reasonable accommodation” for employees’ disabilities.  A total of six panelists participated in the hearing: two from the EEOC, two representing the interests of disabled workers, and two representing the interests of the business community.
On Wednesday June 8, the EEOC will hold a public meeting to examine the use of medical leaves of absence as “reasonable accommodation” for employees’ disabilities.
On May 9, 2011, the US Department of Labor launched a smartphone "app" to help employees track hours worked and break times, and to calculate regular wages and overtime. Data collected may be viewed in daily, weekly, and monthly formats, and can be sent with wage data as an attachment to an email.
67 seconds of viewing porn . . . That’s all it took to get a high school biology teacher and former teacher’s union president, Robert Zellner, fired- 67 seconds of viewing porn. Why is this news?  Because Mr. Zellner sued, claiming that he was actually terminated because of his union activities and not because he viewed porn from his school-owned computer.
In a decision that likely surprised no one but the plaintiffs, on May 3, 2011, the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that Boeing was within its right to fire two employees who complained to the media about practices they viewed as potential violations of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX”).
If one thing was made clear in a recent seminar sponsored by BNA that included panelists who are former U.S. Department of Labor officials, the enforcement of labor laws as they relate to the classification of service providers as employees or independent contractors is on the rise – as could be expected when both the federal government and states are starved for revenue.

New York Anti-Bullying Law Back in the Mix for 2011

February 16, 2011 | Blog | By David Barmak

Last year, New York nearly became the first state to pass a law protecting employees against workplace bullying. The New York State Senate passed the bill in May 2010 by a wide margin, but the following month, the New York Assembly Labor Committee voted to “hold” it in committee, effectively killing its chances at passage in 2010.
On October 20, 2010, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission held a hearing on employer use of credit history as tool to screen candidates for employment.
On September 30, 2010, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the “EEOC”) filed a lawsuit against a non-profit social services agency, claiming that the agency had discriminated against an employee on the basis of her disability—severe obesity.
As recently reported in Employment Law 360 (subscription required), the EEOC sued US Steel alleging that certain of its alcohol testing practices violate the Americans with Disabilities Act.
In an Administrator’s Interpretation issued on June 22, 2010, The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has "clarified" the definition of “son or daughter” under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) as it applies to an employee standing in loco parentis to a child. The result is to significantly expand the universe of caregivers entitled to FMLA leave.
In the long awaited case of City of Ontario v Quon, the Supreme Court has ruled that city officials could search the personal text messages sent on text devices owned by the city and provided to certain employees for business use.
Many hospitals and other healthcare providers are government contractors, and must comply with various laws and regulations enforced by the Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), but don't realize it.

New York Employers Beware: Task Force at Work!

June 23, 2010 | Blog | By David Barmak

The New York State Joine Enforcement Task Force on Employee Misclassification has been hard at work and reports that it has uncovered more than 12,000 instances of misclassification and recovered more than $400 million in unpaid wages.

Supreme Court decides City of Ontario v Quon

June 18, 2010 | Blog | By David Barmak

See this interesting write-up of the Supreme Court's decision in the text message privacy case, City of Ontario v Quon.

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