In the midst of the onslaught of Hurricane Harvey, and prior to the arrival of Hurricane Irma, a flicker of other news might have caught the eyes of employers and employees in New York City. A federal judge in Texas issued his final decision blocking implementation of a federal rule that would have raised overtime pay.
We’ve been looking in our last couple posts at the former Google engineer fired after publishing his memo criticizing the company’s diversity policy. In particular, we’ve been looking at the potential strength of a retaliation claim in his case, noting the differences in causation standards under federal and state law.
Previously, we noted about the case of former Google engineer James Damore that the strength of any retaliation claim he might make would likely depend on whether Google had knowledge of the complaint he made to the National Labor Relations Board prior to his termination, as well as the extent to which Google was motivated by the complaint in its decision to fire him.
In our last post, we began looking at some of the basic protections available to workers in terms of family and medical leave at both the state and the federal level. As we noted, the state of New York is progressive in this area, guaranteeing up to 12 weeks of paid family leave for most employees. Additional protections may apply at the local level.
Family and medical leave is an important issue nowadays, particularly with Americans starting families later in life and an increasing aging population. While some workers are lucky enough to have an employer who provides paid family and medical leave, not everybody is. This is because federal law doesn’t require employers to provide paid leave, at least not yet.
In our previous post, we briefly mentioned the fact that arbitration is known to often be favorable to employers, not only because it often allows them to select the arbitrator who hears their case, but also because it allows them to keep the proceedings private and avoid full accountability for potentially widespread workplace problems.
Previously, we looked at a recent memorandum written by the general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board which opined that some college athletes may be considered employees having rights under the National Labor Relations Act. This federal law recognizes the right of employees to organize in order to seek improved working conditions and wages, and to forms unions to negotiate such matters with employers.
Federal agency raises issue of whether college athletes have federal employment rights
Many individuals who become whistleblowers first attempt to address violations of law through their employer’s internal complaint process, but when that doesn’t work, they do have the ability to report directly to the enforcing agency. In our previous post, we said that it is important for employees who become privy to regulatory violations on the job to understand their legal rights with respect to whistleblowing.
Those working in heavily regulated environments know that there is a great deal of noncompliance that goes on. Unfortunately, corporations too often do not foster robust compliance efforts, and don’t take employees seriously when they report wrongdoing through the internal complaint process.