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Immigration Audits: Coming to a Business Near You

August 17, 2011 | Blog | By Martha Zackin

As reported earlier in the week by the Wall Street Journal, over 2,300 businesses this year have been subject to a worksite audit by the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”).  These audits, which can be quite burdensome, are part of a broader effort by the Obama administration to curb illegal immigration.
Last week, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Millea v. Metro-North R.R. Co., --- F.3d ----, 2011 WL 3437513 (2d Cir. Aug. 8, 2011), found that  a “material adverse employment action” in the context of a Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) retaliation claim need not be all that “material” .

NLRB: Broad Confidentiality Clauses May Be Per Se Unlawful

August 12, 2011 | Blog | By Martha Zackin

Many employers have employees sign confidentiality agreements aimed at prohibiting disclosure of confidential business information to third parties, and it has been widely assumed that such clauses were lawful.

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: Not Okay

August 10, 2011 | Blog | By Martha Zackin

In this day and age, all employers know that sexual harassment in the workplace is wrong.  Right?  Not so fast.  If the allegations set forth in a case filed in in Utah on August 4, 2011 prove to be true, there is at least one supervisor out there who simply does not get it.
It is no secret that employers were not pleased with U.S. Supreme Court’s decision, Staub v. Proctor handed down in March.  And why would they be? 
My colleagues in the Immigration section of Mintz Levin recently posted an interesting article, pertaining to the temporary suspension of the processing of prevailing wage determinations, redeterminations, and Center Director Reviews

Mintz Employment Lawyer Quoted in WSJ!

August 3, 2011 | Blog | By Martha Zackin

The Wall Street Journal quoted one of my colleagues, employment lawyer Jennifer Rubin, in an article titled "Making Sure Employees Beat the Heat."  Click here to read the article and Jen's advice.
The Old Testament describes a “Nazirite” as a man or woman who vows to abstain from eating grapes or raisins, or drinking any beverage derived from grapes; to refrain from cutting or combing his or her hair; and to avoid corpses and graves, even those of family members.  The vow may be temporary or permanent, and the rules for each differ slightly.
On February 16, 2011, the EEOC held a public hearing to examine discrimination against the unemployed.  According to the EEOC, the practice of considering only those currently employed for job vacancies, which many employers use as an indicator of good performance, may have a disparate impact against older women, people of color, and individuals with disabilities.

Religious Discrimination Based on Abercrombie "Look Policy"

July 19, 2011 | Blog | By Martha Zackin

A federal court in Oklahoma recently found an Abercrombie Kids store (a brand of Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc.) liable for religious discrimination because the store did not hire a Muslim applicant who wore a headscarf during a job interview.

OFCCP Restores Functional Affirmative Action Programs

July 15, 2011 | Blog | By Martha Zackin

On June 28 the OFCCP announced that it was restoring the functional AAP (FAAP) program, which it had suspended a few years ago. A copy of the OFCCP's Directive regarding FAAP's may be found here; the key points are as follows

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.
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”).
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