Employment Matters Blog

Employee’s LinkedIn Contacts Once Again Becomes Focus of Trade Secrets Claim

Posted in California, Confidentiality, employee mobility, litigation, non solicitation, restrictive covenants, summary judgment

Written by Jennifer Rubin

Following up on the piece I wrote with Jim Ninivaggi, “Whose LinkedIn Profile is it Anyway,” the information contained in an employee’s LinkedIn contacts were discussed in the context of trade secrets in a recent California Federal District Court case, Cellular Accessories for Less, Inc. v. Trinitas.

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Employment Law Summer Recap 2014: Part 5 of 11 – Old School’s Frank Ricard and Contractual Statute of Limitations Provisions: I Don’t Know If We’ll Have Enough Time

Posted in Applicant, At-Will Employment, discrimination, Employment Law Summer Recap 2014, litigation, New Jersey

Written by Michael Arnold

“I told my wife I wouldn’t drink tonight. Besides, I got a big day tomorrow. . . . Well, um, actually a pretty nice little Saturday, we’re going to go to Home Depot. Yeah, buy some wallpaper; maybe get some flooring, stuff like that. Maybe Bed, Bath & Beyond, I don’t know, I don’t know if we’ll have enough time.” Frank Ricard, Old School (2003)

“As we have pointed out, in the absence of a statute to the contrary, parties are free to contractually limit the time within which an action may be brought, as long as the contractual time is reasonable and does not violate public policy. . . . Plaintiff was under no compulsion to pursue the application if he was dissatisfied with any of the terms of employment, including the shortened limitation period.” Judge Joseph F. Lisa, Rodriguez v. Raymours Furniture Co., Inc. (N.J. App. Div. June 19, 2014)

One of these quotes has been repeated about 50 million times by engaged and married men. The other one was a famously funny line delivered by Will Ferrell in the movie Old School. Both of these quotes address time limitations related an individual’s ability to perform an activity and we discuss them below.

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Employment Law Summer Recap 2014: Part 4 of 11 – Chris Pratt and Unexpected Surprises in Hollywood and the World of California Employment Law

Posted in California, class action, Employment Law Summer Recap 2014, Employment Legislation, minimum wage, sexual harassment, sick leave, Wage and Hour

Written by Michael Arnold

This summer, those (31?) of us who watched Chris Pratt steal scene after scene in Parks & Recreation saw him ripen into the star we always hoped he’d become. First he charmed audiences as the voice of Emmett in the Lego Movie (you know, the one that easily broke the record for most references that went over your kid’s head in a G-rated movie). Then he dazzled audiences as Peter Quill, the fun-loving action hero, in the top-grossing movie of the summer Guardians of the Galaxy. Overall, an unexpected, but welcomed surprise.

Also unexpected, but a welcomed surprise: the California Supreme Court siding with an employer in a wage and hour class action case.

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Daddy Dearest?: Some Considerations Concerning Paid Parental Leave for Fathers in the United States

Posted in caregiving, EEOC, employee benefits, pregnancy

Written by Robert Sheridan

Recently I had a conversation with my father about his options for parental leave when I was born (1979). As a new father myself, I was curious what leave options were open to baby-boomer Dads. My father told me that it was fairly standard to take a day or two off after the birth of a child and to then return to the office, with cigars and tired eyes.

While attitudes and policies towards paid leave for fathers have changed since 1979, paid parental leave for fathers is still relatively rare in the United States. This post will briefly examine the issue of paid parental leave for fathers and address some of the practical and legal principles that a company considering paid parental leave should take under consideration.

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California Employers May Get Ill Over California’s New Mandatory Paid Sick Leave Law

Posted in California, employee benefits, Employment Legislation, sick leave

Written by Brandon Willenberg

The collective sobbing you may have recently heard from the west coast of the United States was that of California employers in response to Governor Jerry Brown’s September 10, 2014 signing of AB 1522 – California’s new paid sick leave law called the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014. California employers already have myriad employment laws to track, comply with and administer. And given the sheer volume and complexity of California’s employment laws, strict compliance is often challenging enough for employers. The new paid sick leave law will add to that challenge.

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D.C. the Latest Jurisdiction to Ban the Box

Posted in Applicant, background checks, Employment Legislation, Hiring

Written by David Barmak

The District of Columbia is on the verge of joining the 13 other states (and numerous cities and counties throughout the country) that have enacted “Ban the Box” laws prohibiting or limiting an employer from asking job applicant’s about their criminal record.

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Employment Law Summer Recap 2014: Part 3 of 11 – The Decision 2.0: This Time, LeBron Leaves the Right Way; Will Your Employees?

Posted in employee mobility, Employment Law Summer Recap 2014, non solicitation, Non-compete, restrictive covenants

Written by Michael Arnold

While it seems like it happened forever ago, it was just back in July when LeBron James once again held this nation captive over where he would play basketball. Four years ago, he jumped ship to Miami to join forces with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, which led to two championships and four straight finals appearances. (Note: one championship really since San Antonio lost 2013’s championship; Miami, and LeBron specifically, didn’t “win”). Now the King has decided to return home to form the new “Big 3” with the promising (yet oft-injured) young superstars, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. With his latest “decision,” LeBron almost instantaneously went from one of the most loathed people in the world to one of the most liked. Redemption is an amazing thing. Last time he left, he pretty much did everything the wrong way; but this time was a different story.

LeBron’s departure from and return to Cleveland has some decent parallels to the non-compete world that are worth exploring.

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The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 15: Can a Plan That Fails to Cover Inpatient Hospitalization Services Provide Minimum Value?

Posted in ACA Compliance Series, Affordable Care Act, IRS

Written by Alden J. Bianchi

A recent Washington Post article (“Glitch in health care law allows employers to offer substandard insurance,” September 12, 2014) highlights an Affordable Care Act compliance strategy being marketed heavily (and adopted widely) in industries that traditionally did not previously offer coverage to large cohorts of variable hour and contingent workers. (We discussed these arrangements in a previous post. The strategy—which is referred to commercially as a “minimum value plan” or “MVP”— involves an offer of group health plan coverage that, while similar in most respects to traditional major medical coverage, carves out inpatient hospital services.

The Washington Post article (and other commentary) engages in some hand-wringing about why these plans are inconsistent with the goals of the Act. One commentator fumed that an employer that offers these arrangements should “examine its conscience.” (Readers might recall a similar bout of hand-wringing that accompanied “skinny” plans.)

It’s time to take breath.

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Employment Law Summer Recap 2014: Part 2 of 11 – What do the Ice Bucket Challenge and FMLA-Related Lawsuits Have in Common?

Posted in DOL, Employment Law Summer Recap 2014, Family and Medical Leave Act, FMLA, Leaves of absence, retaliation, social media

Written by Michael Arnold

$113.6 million and counting – that’s the total amount donated to the ALS Association since July 29 as a result of the Ice Bucket Challenge. Just to put that fundraising number into perspective, the Association raised around $3 million in the same period last year – a staggering 3,500%+ increase.

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Employment Law Summer Recap 2014: Part 1 of 11 – FedEx sings Nico & Vinz’s “Am I Wrong”…to Classify Our Drivers as Independent Contractors?

Posted in California, class action, DOL, Employment Law Summer Recap 2014, independent contractor, misclassification, Wage and Hour

Written by Michael Arnold

Am I wrong for thinking out the box from where I stay?
Am I wrong for saying that I choose another way?

Those are the opening lyrics to Nico & Vinz’s (catchy would be an understatement) summertime hit “Am I wrong.” The music stations play it so often that my car radio now just automatically turns off in protest. You can listen to the song here if you like, but just remember, it’s sorta like eating a Lay’s potato chip. You know who is probably belting out the opening lyrics to this song as I type? FedEx executives after the loss they just suffered in the 9th Circuit.

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