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Alta Ray is an Associate in the firm’s Washington, DC office. She has devoted her entire legal career to representing employers and management officials in employment matters. Alta provides advice and counsel to employers in employment discrimination matters, harassment and retaliation claims, unemployment appeals, and many other employment-related issues.

If your company operates in a territory covered by the 4th circuit (Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina) and requires employees to sign a noncompete agreement with language similar to the following, it may be time to consider revising the agreement:

Continue Reading Fourth Circuit Decision Reminds Employers That Overbroad Noncompete Agreements May Not Be Enforceable

The employer community was sent into a frenzy with the Department of Labor’s release on May 18, 2016 of its final white-collar overtime regulations.  Just two days before however, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission also released its own final regulations regarding employer wellness programs.

Continue Reading In Case You Missed It: The EEOC Sneaks in Its Final Wellness Program Rule Ahead of The DOL’s New OT Rule

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule aimed at updating the way it collects data and preventing workplace injuries and illnesses.  The final rule can be broken down into two parts: (1) Electronic Reporting and Data Collection; and (2) and Employee Involvement and Retaliation, each of which we discuss below.

Continue Reading OSHA’s New Electronic Reporting and Retaliation Rules Will Make Your Company’s Workplace Injury Reports Accessible to the Public

From:             Ned Help

To:                  Carrie Counselor

Date:               May 4, 2016

Subject:          Employment Agreements for Employees Working In High Risk Countries

Carrie:

Thanks again for your guidance over the past several weeks.  Now that we’ve tackled updating our offer letters for employees working abroad, I’d like to look at our employment agreements.  What provisions should our company consider including in employment agreements for employees who will be working in high risk countries?

Thanks,
Ned

Continue Reading Innocents Abroad: Employment Agreements for Employees Working In High Risk Countries

Just last month, two federal district courts reached different conclusions, further contributing to the confusion as to whether notes taken during a Human Resources department investigation of a discrimination or harassment complaint are protected from disclosure in subsequent litigation. Continue Reading Are Your HR Investigation Notes Protected Against Disclosure? Maybe, Maybe Not.

The benefits world was set abuzz late last year with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Flambeau, Inc., in which the Federal District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin upheld the validity of Wisconsin-based plastics manufacturer Flambeau, Inc.’s wellness program in the face of a challenge by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). We provided the details of the case in an earlier post. The EEOC has since appealed the lower court’s decision to the Seventh Circuit. An earlier appellate case, Seff v. Broward County, 691 F.3d 1221 (11th Cir. 2012) reached a conclusion similar to Flambeau.

If the Seventh Circuit affirms the Flambeau decision on appeal, then the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADA) will have virtually no impact on wellness programs tied to employer-sponsored group plans in six states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin—i.e., the states comprising the Seventh and Eleventh federal appellate circuits. An appeal to the Supreme Court would almost certainly follow, though it’s not clear whether the Court would accept the case in the absence of a split in the Circuits. But if the Seventh Circuit sides with the EEOC, then a confrontation before the Supreme Court is almost assured.

This post explains what is at stake in the EEOC’s appeal of the Flambeau decision and offers some predictions about the likely outcome.

Continue Reading EEOC v. Flambeau, Voluntary Plans, the Insurance Safe Harbor, and the Future of Wellness Programs

Sometimes a judge says what many of us are already thinking.  In Rivera v. Crowell & Moring L.L.P., Katherine B. Forrest was that judge.

Continue Reading New York Federal Court Judge Expresses Dismay Over NYC Human Rights Law Claim Legal Standard

The EEOC unveiled its proposed revisions to the Employer Information Report (EEO-1) last month.  With the revisions, the EEOC hopes to gather additional data to help better discern pay discrimination.  However, the revisions could also create additional administrative burdens for employers and unintended legal consequences.

Continue Reading The EEOC’s Proposed Revisions To The EEO-1 Report Could Create Legal and Administrative Headaches For Employers

Last month, a district court in Wisconsin dealt a blow to the EEOC and the future of its proposed ADA wellness program regulations.  In EEOC v. Flambeau, Inc., the court held that that an employer did not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act by requiring its employees to participate in a wellness program, including by undergoing health risk assessments and biometric screenings, as a precondition of participating in the employer’s health insurance plan.

Continue Reading Federal Court Says Employer’s All-or-Nothing Requirement that Employees Submit to Wellness Program or Lose Health Insurance is ADA-Safe

While we were in the midst of office holiday parties and end of the year celebrations, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals came down with two precedential decisions for employers to ponder in the New Year.  In Williams v. Genex Services, LLC, the Court analyzed the FLSA’s learned professional exemption, while in Calderon v. GEICO General Insurance Co., the Court analyzed the FLSA’s administrative function exemption.

Continue Reading The Fourth Circuit’s Countdown to 2016 Includes Two FLSA Classification Decisions