Employment Matters Blog

Employment Law Summer Recap 2014: Part 11 of 11 – GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL: the World Cup and Onionhead Capture America’s Attention…Briefly

Posted in discrimination, EEOC, Employment Law Summer Recap 2014, New York, religious discrimination, Title VII

Written by Michael Arnold

This summer’s FIFA World Cup was truly spectacular. I know this because I’ve been working in the same office building for years and not once has every one of the 10+ pubs located within a five-block radius been packed to the gills on a weekday afternoon for a sporting event. I know this because unfortunately I had to race back to said office building to attend to a work matter with the U.S. down 2-0 in extra time, and as I was headed back, I heard the loudest collective roar I’ve ever heard. There was such joy and excitement over the U.S.’s first goal in the 107th minute – it was a sound I’ll never forget.

I can’t tell you how many people said to me during the tournament, and especially after that game, “watch, you’ll see, soccer is now finally going to catch on in America.” To which I’d politely respond, “no, no, that’s just not going to happen; the World Cup is just an easy opportunity to show your patriotism through sports – something we are really good at, but like every other recent World Cup, we’ll just forget all about it ten seconds later.” Which, as predicted, is exactly what happened. Ask yourself: have you thought about the World Cup until you read this post?

Face it, futbol is a religion everywhere but in America.

Also claiming not to be a religion in America: “Onionhead.”

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Federal Court Stops the EEOC’s Assault on CVS’s Severance Agreement

Posted in EEOC, release, Title VII


CVS Pharmacy SignWritten by Daniel Long

A federal court has tossed the EEOC’s controversial lawsuit against CVS seeking to invalidate its severance agreements. While the EEOC still has a similar lawsuit pending against another company in Colorado, employers can brief a sigh of relief for the moment.

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Employment Law Summer Recap 2014: Part 10 of 11 – Derek Jeter and Big Macs: What Will Happen to Their Franchises Now?

Posted in Employment Law Summer Recap 2014, NLRB, traditional labor, union organizing

Written by Michael Arnold

Sadly, for this writer, Yankee legend Derek Jeter’s playing days have come to a close. This summer we were able to watch the Captain and five-time World Series Champion take the final swings of his illustrious career where he finished 6th on the all-time hits list – a remarkable accomplishment. He also finished 7th in at bats, 9th in runs scored, 26th in games played, and 29th in doubles – out of 16,000+(!!!) players who’ve played in the major leagues. And to all those who say he was a defensive liability, I give you this, this, and especially this. Derek Jeter was the face of the storied New York Yankee franchise for the past 20 years all the way up until his “fantasy becomes reality” final at bat at Yankee Stadium. Things are sure going to look different next year without No. 2 at shortstop.

If the NLRB has its way, the McDonald’s franchise model could be changing as well.

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The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 13: IRS Notice 2014-49 Offers Useful Guidance on Changes in Measurement Periods or Changes in Testing Methods

Posted in ACA Compliance Series, Affordable Care Act, IRS

Written by Alden J. Bianchi

For purposes of complying with the Affordable Care Act’s employer shared responsibility rules (which are codified in Internal Revenue Code § 4980H), employers must identify their “full-time employees.” Final regulations issued under Code § 4980H provide two principle testing methods for making this call: the “monthly measurement method” and the “look-back measurement method.” (The final regulations are available here. See here for a useful IRS summary). In recently-issued Notice 2014-49, the Internal Revenue Service offers proposed approaches that employers may use when addressing changes in and among measurement methods, including:

  • A change in the look-back measurement method (e.g., where an employee transfers within an employer from a position for which one measurement period applies to a position for which a different measurement period applies); or
  • Where the measurement period applicable to an employee changes (e.g., an employer changes the measurement method applicable to employees within a permissible category).

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VETS-100 and 100A Veteran Hiring Reports Retired by the Department of Labor

Posted in DOL

Life is about to get a little bit simpler for federal contractors and subcontractors, as far as collecting veterans hiring data for the DOL goes. Today, the DOL published a final regulation that relieves the VETS-100 and VETS-100A reporting burden. HR managers will no longer have to classify vets into subclasses of protected vets, under the new VETS-4212 reporting system, which will be in play in September 2015 and thereafter. The VETS-4212 Report looks at the big picture for contractors, and should make data collection and categorization much more simple for folks in HR.

For more specifics on the new, simplified system, our colleague, Jonathan Cain, Member in Mintz Levin’s Government Contracts Practice, summarizes it in this alert: “VETS-100 and 100A Veteran Hiring Reports Retired by the Department of Labor.”

Employment Law Summer Recap 2014: Part 9 of 11 – Mo’ne Davis, Becky Hammon and Obama’s Equal Pay Disclosure Rule: Three More Cracks in the Glass Ceiling

Posted in audit, Compensation, DOL, Employment Law Summer Recap 2014, Equal Pay Act, gender, OFCCP

Written by Michael Arnold

Thirteen year-old pitching sensation Mo’ne Davis made headlines this summer as she became the first female to throw a shut-out in a Little League World Series game. She dominated batter after batter and looked mature beyond her years when she addressed the media. Meanwhile, a lesser-known news item seemed equally if not more impressive: Becky Hammon, the collegiate standout and 16-year WNBA veteran, was hired by the NBA world champion San Antonio Spurs as an assistant coach – the first female to occupy that role in any major male American professional sport. These are two more wonderful examples of women entering workplaces traditionally reserved for men.

President Obama has been focusing his attention on women in the workplace as well.

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Like a Bad Penny, Discharged AT&T Employee Turns Up Years Later Despite No-Rehire Agreement; New Jersey Appellate Court Affirms $35K Judgment Against Her

Posted in independent contractor, New Jersey

AT&T penny employment law Written by David Katz

The inclusion of a “no-rehire” provision in separation agreement is fairly commonplace. Likewise, a damages provision (including liquidated damages and attorneys’ fees) in the event of a breach by the former employee are routinely included as well. In practice however, what happens when a terminated employee tests the limits of a no-rehire provision to which she agreed? Exhibit A is Schiavi v. AT&T Corp., decided in August by a New Jersey appellate court.

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Employment Law Summer Recap 2014: Part 8 of 11 – New York’s Coldest Summer, Especially for Employers Who Utilized Unpaid Interns

Posted in class action, DOL, employer liability, Employment Law Summer Recap 2014, FLSA, interns, misclassification, New York, Second Circuit, Wage and Hour

Written by Michael Arnold

It felt like we were in a dream. Or maybe San Diego. Day after day, 82 degrees and little humidity. In a word: pleasant. We know next summer probably won’t be the same, but we sure enjoyed this one. That’s right – this was the “coldest” summer in New York’s history. And the same can probably be said for many employers in the media, entertainment and retail industries who are battling unpaid interns in the courtroom.  Each week seemed to bring us another unpaid intern class action lawsuit: Oscar de la Renta, Coach, Donna Karen and Sirius XM to name a few. And courts continued to certify classes in existing unpaid intern lawsuits: Warner Music and Gawker for example. Many of these employers may be on the hook for millions of dollars in back wages, liquidated damages and attorneys’ fees.

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Putative Class Members Not Lovin’ It – Court Denies Conditional Certification of Supersized McDonald’s FLSA Class of More Than 1,000

Posted in collective action, FLSA, minimum wage, Wage and Hour

Written by Jillian Collins

McDonald’s, the fast food giant known for supersizing its orders, avoided conditional certification of an FLSA collective action this week based on the “very large” size of the putative class. The Eastern District of Michigan denied plaintiffs’ motion for conditional collective action certification in two related cases based on allegations that McDonald’s and several franchisees failed to pay workers minimum wage.

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