Selected articles concerning employment related issues noted by law firms Source: The Lexology newsfeed [New users can register free of charge at www.lexology.com/account/register.aspx] Telecom privacy news Arent Fox LLP As part of the draft of a law governing workplace privacy, Germany has proposed placing restrictions on employers who want to use Facebook and other social networking sites when making hiring decisions. Did your business make the OSHA primary inspection list? McDermott Will & Emery The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has narrowed its Site-Specific Targeting primary inspection list to 4,100 workplaces with high rates of workplace injuries. Financial reform legislation provides new incentive and protection for whistleblowers of securities law information Strasburger & Price LLP Last month, a new federal bill passed that financially rewards employees for reporting their employers' violations of securities law, while simultaneously protecting them from any employer retaliation. Massachusetts – Massachusetts imposes onerous new personnel file requirements Littler Mendelson PC The 2009-2010 formal session of the Massachusetts Legislature ended with another new law that will affect Massachusetts employers. Whistleblower claims begin Leonard Street & Deinard In a comment letter recently sent to the SEC, one firm describes how in a span of just 10 days it had already "filed several whistle-blower complaints with the SEC, pursuant to the new statute, involving major Wall Street firms, which filings appear to implicate hundreds of millions of dollars, if not more, of investor related fraud issues, including on behalf of former senior employee(s) of entities. California – The 2010 California legislative session limps to an end; an update on employment-related bills awaiting a decision by the Governor Greenberg Traurig LLP The legislative session came to a close at midnight on September 1, 2010. Massachusetts – New Massachusetts law on criminal background checks Jackson Lewis LLP How employers access and use criminal offender record information ("CORI") in the Commonwealth has changed under a new law signed by Governor Deval Patrick signed on August 6, 2010. New Jersey – "Rounding" update: New Jersey Department of Labor hears testimony on proposed regulations Jackson Lewis LLP The New Jersey Department of Labor held a public hearing on a proposed rule to adopt the federal standard permitting "rounding" of employees' starting and stopping time to the nearest five minutes, 1/10 of an hour, or quarter of an hour, for calculating compensable work time. Appeals court rules insurance agent is an independent contractor, not employee, under Title VII Jackson Lewis LLP The federal appeals court in San Francisco has ruled that an insurance agent was an independent contractor, not an employee, for purposes of various federal employment statutes, and therefore was not protected from discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Employers beware: internships are not free labor Jackson Lewis LLP Employers may have their pick of applicants to fill paid and unpaid internship positions this fall. U.S. Department of Transportation issues final rule revising drug testing procedures Jackson Lewis LLP The U.S. Department of Transportation has published a final rule revising certain drug testing procedures to conform its testing rules to new rules being implemented by the Department of Health and Human Services California – California rejects "stray remarks" doctrine and rules objections preserved Jackson Lewis LLP Refusing to exclude from court consideration remarks made by certain supervisors and co-workers of a fired employee, California's highest court has ordered an employment discrimination case to proceed to trial. Department of Labor issues guidance on FMLA's definition of in loco parentis Dinsmore & Shohl LLP On June 22, 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") issued an Administrator's Interpretation publication that broadly defined who may be in loco parentis to a "son or daughter" for purposes of the FMLA. California – New labor law class action lawsuits again claim top spot among categories of class action lawsuits filed in California state and federal courts Jeffer Mangels Butler & Marmaro LLP To assist class action defense attorneys anticipate the types of cases against which they will have to defend in California, we provide weekly, unofficial summaries of the legal categories for new class action lawsuits filed in California state and federal courts in the Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, San Diego, San Mateo, Oakland/Alameda and Orange County areas. Are you paying hourly employees correctly? Masuda Funai Eifert & Mitchell Ltd As August 2010 comes to a close, a review of the Department of Labor's ("DOL") Wage and Hour Division ("WHD") web page illustrates for all employers the importance of ensuring that non-exempt hourly and nonexempt salaried employees are paid for all hours worked, paid for overtime in excess of 40 hours per week and that accurate time and payroll records are maintained. Wisconsin – Union contract agreements overturned by court Masuda Funai Eifert & Mitchell Ltd Recently, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago affirmed the district court's decision that Wisconsin's wage payment law requires employees to be paid for all time spent donning and doffing safety gear. The Wall Street Reform Act creates strong incentives for FCPA whistleblowers and significantly expands whistleblower protections Jones Walker The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was signed into law on July 21, 2010, creating a lucrative whistleblower awards program for individuals who report violations of the securities laws to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The lucky 13 Fisher & Phillips LLP The new administration's focus at OSHA, and other government agencies, focuses less on compliance and increasingly more on enforcement. Social networking in the retail world Fisher & Phillips LLP Employer interest in social networking and blogging first came to the headlines when a flight attendant was fired purportedly for posting information about her job on a blog. Update on the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program McDermott Will & Emery Assemble your Early Retiree Reinsurance claims! Fee disclosure regulation: Department of Labor provides leverage for plan sponsors Jones Day On July 16, the Department of Labor published regulations outlining required disclosures by certain service providers in connection with services provided to retirement plans (the "Regulation"). IRS seizing retirement benefits! Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz PC IRS seizure of retirement benefits can occur under certain circumstances. Regulatory agencies publish interim procedures for federal external review processes for non-grandfathered self-insured health plans and model notices for internal appeal and external review determinations Baker & Hostetler LLP Non-grandfathered self-insured group health plans now have guidance regarding the new requirements for federal external reviews of adverse benefit determinations. Department of Labor issues guidance on FMLA's definition of in loco parentis Dinsmore & Shohl LLP On June 22, 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") issued an Administrator's Interpretation publication that broadly defined who may be in loco parentis to a "son or daughter" for purposes of the FMLA. Sweeney, Norcross measure giving freeholders veto power now law Duane Morris LLP Legislation sponsored by Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney and Senator Donald Norcross giving county freeholder directors the ability to prevent irresponsible spending and other wayward actions by county authorities has been signed into law by Governor Chris Christie. Illinois – Amendments to Illinois Vehicle Code address bus driver disqualification and school bus communication devices Franczek Radelet PC Governor Quinn recently signed into law Public Acts 96-0962, 96-1066 and 96-1182 which amend the Illinois Vehicle Code as it relates to school bus drivers and school buses. .
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