Welter is a national employment law and litigation firm with offices in Virginia, Texas and California.

welterlaw.com 12/17/2019

New Jersey Proposes Strict ABC Test for Classifying Independent Contractors

On November 7, 2019, the New Jersey legislature recently proposed S4204, which would codify a strict form of what is known as the “ABC test” to determine if a worker is an independent contractor versus an employee. The ABC test derives its name from its three prongs, A, B, and C. Under the current New Jersey ABC test, a worker is considered an employee unless: [ 421 more words ]

welterlaw.com The New Jersey legislature introduced S4204, which would adopt a strict ABC test for independent contractors.

welterlaw.com 12/10/2019

California Court of Appeals Holds That Employer’s Mistaken Belief About Disabled Employee Constitutes Evidence of Disability Discrimination

In Glynn v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County, a California Court of Appeals recently reversed a trial court’s grant of summary adjudication to defendant employer, Allergan, Inc., in a lawsuit brought by a former Allergan employee alleging disability discrimination under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), among other claims. Case No. B296735 (Cal. Ct. App. Nov. 13, 2019). [ 516 more words ]

welterlaw.com California Court of Appeal reverses trial court’s grant of summary adjudication to employer, holding that the employer’s mistaken belief that employee was totally disabled and terminating employmen…

welterlaw.com 11/20/2019

Court of Appeals Upholds Franchisor Victory In Joint Employment Class Action

On October 1, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion in Salazar v. McDonald’s Corp., affirming the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of McDonald’s Corp. in a class action brought by franchise employees alleging that they had been denied overtime premiums, meal and rest breaks, and other benefits in violation of the California Labor Code. [ 463 more words ]

welterlaw.com The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a grant of summary judgment in favor of McDonald’s Corp. in a wage and hour class action filed by McDonald’s franchise employees.

welterlaw.com 11/13/2019

California Governor Signs Bill Prohibiting Mandatory Arbitration in Employment Agreements

On October 10, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 51, which outlaws mandatory workplace arbitrations in employment agreements. The law prohibits employers from requiring job applicants and employees to waive rights, forum, or procedures established by the California Fair Employment and Housing Act and the Labor Code. Employers may not revoke a job offer or retaliate against an employee who objects to signing an arbitration agreement. [ 245 more words ]

welterlaw.com Starting in 2020, California employers can no longer require employees to arbitrate claims as a condition of accepting a job or continuing employment.

welterlaw.com 11/06/2019

Operating in Texas: A Primer for Employment Law Issues in the Entertainment Industry

Entertainment industry companies face many unique challenges in in the area of employment law. Irregular schedules, unpredictable work, and a competitive atmosphere are just some of the aspects of the entertainment world which can cause headaches from an employment law standpoint. The entertainment industry encompasses a wide variety of jobs in a diverse range of mediums, including television, film, radio, music, theater, video games, and more. [ 192 more words ]

welterlaw.com WHITE PAPER: What entertainment industry employers should know when operating or locating production in Texas.

welterlaw.com 10/23/2019

California Passes CROWN Act to Protect Employee Natural Hairstyles

The CROWN Act (Senate Bill 188) amends California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act’s definition of race to include protection for “traits historically associated with one’s race, such as hair texture and protective hairstyles.” Texture and styles include afros, cornrows, braids, twists, Bantu knots, faces, and dreadlocks, as well as “the right to keep hair in an uncut or untrimmed state.” Proponents of the legislation view hair characteristics as a proxy for race, the most prominent of which is Black and African American employees who are disparately impacted by employment policies, such as grooming codes, that do not permit natural hair styles. [ 218 more words ]

welterlaw.com Creating a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act will be taking effect in California on January 1, 2020.

welterlaw.com 10/16/2019

Third Circuit Upholds “Blue Penciled” Non-Compete Agreement

On September 5, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued an opinion in Tilden Recreational Vehicles, Inc. v. Belair, concluding that a Pennsylvania district court did not abuse its discretion in granting a preliminary injunction enforcing a modified, less-restrictive version of a non-compete agreement against the plaintiff’s former employee. Case No. 18-2737 (3d. Cir. Sept. [ 862 more words ]

welterlaw.com United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upholds Pennsylvania District Court’s enforcement of a modified non-compete agreement blocking former employee from competing with former employ…

welterlaw.com 10/14/2019

September 2019 Verdicts and Settlements

California: Jury awards former Los Angeles Times sports columnist $15.4 million in damages for discrimination based on his age and disability. T.J. Simers had worked 22 years at the newspaper company before he was demoted. Simers was moved from columnist to writer after he had developed health problems. The issues began when he suffered a mini-stroke while covering baseball spring training in Arizona. [ 1,090 more word ]

welterlaw.com Our summary of recent verdicts and settlements for September 2019.

welterlaw.com 10/03/2019

Hiring And Onboarding Employment Law Issues Facing California Startups & Growing Businesses: Part II

While many startups and growing companies have fully developed business plans, human resources planning and employment-related issues are often overlook. Employers’ failure to address these issues can lead to substantial financial and operational risks associated with employment-related litigation and penalties for failing to comply with employment-related federal, state, and local laws. California employment laws can be particularly complicated and are constantly changing. [ 173 more words ]

welterlaw.com WHITE PAPER: What California employers should know about onboarding employees for startup companies and growing businesses.

welterlaw.com 09/24/2019

DOL Issues Opinion Letter: Parents May Take FMLA Leave to Attend Child’s Individualized Education Program Meeting

On August 8, 2019, The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued an opinion letter in response to a private inquiry made by a parent regarding the use of leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) to attend meetings to discuss a child’s Individualized Education Program (“IEP”). In its opinion letter, the DOL concluded that an employee’s need to attend IEP meetings addressing the educational and medical special needs of the employee’s child, who has a serious health condition as certified by a health care provider, is a qualifying reason for taking intermittent FMLA leave. [ 557 more words ]

welterlaw.com U.S. Department of Labor says employees may take protected FMLA leave to attend Individualized Education Program meetings for child with a serious health condition.

welterlaw.com 09/20/2019

Eighth Circuit Clarifies Employer’s Alleged Accusation of Employee Racism Did Not Constitute Racial Discrimination By The Employer

Allegations of racism are not the same as racism when it comes to race discrimination claims in the workplace. In Lovelace v. Washington University School of Medicine, et al., Lovelace was a Medical Assistant (MA) for the defendants for approximately 12 years. Lovelace alleged that she was terminated in retaliation for exercising her rights under the Family Medical Leave Act and was discriminated against on the basis of her race (white) in violation of the Missouri Human Rights Act. [ 624 more words ]

welterlaw.com The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit holds accusations of racism against a plaintiff in the workplace cannot form a race discrimination claim or retaliation claim.

welterlaw.com 09/18/2019

Chicago Joins Other Cities in Passing a Fair Workweek Law

On July 24, 2019, the Chicago City Council voted to pass a fair workweek law. This law will apply to employers with 100 or more employees (including any employees outside of Chicago), and at least 50 “covered” employees and who are primarily engaged in a covered industry (building services, healthcare, hotels, manufacturing, restaurants, retail, or warehouse services industry). “Covered” employees are defined as employees who spend the majority of their time working within Chicago; work in a covered industry; and earn $50,000 or less per year (if salaried) or $26.00 per hour or less (if hourly). [ 433 more words ]

welterlaw.com Chicago is the next city to pass an ordinance which places requirements on certain employers regarding scheduling practices.

welterlaw.com 09/16/2019

Seventh Circuit Provides a Break to Employers Who Delay in Disciplining a Low-Performing Employee

Almost as soon as his employment begin, the plaintiff in Graham v. Arctic Zone Iceplex, LLC, received customer complaints about his attitude, something that Arctic Zone employees also noticed, in addition to the plaintiff’s inability to timely complete tasks. Plaintiff, however, was not written up for these issues at the time they occurred. A few months into his employment, Plaintiff was injured on the job and took leave. [ 478 more words ]

welterlaw.com The Court held that basing an employee’s termination on issues that were not promptly addressed or documented in discipline to the employee is not in and of itself, evidence of pretext.

welterlaw.com 09/13/2019

New NJ Wage Theft Law Imposes Steep Fines On Employers Who Fail To Pay Wages

On August 6, 2019, Acting Governor Sheila Oliver signed New Jersey Senate Bill No. 1790 (“S1790”) into law, which expands the fines, penalties, and damages to be imposed against employers who fail to timely pay wages owed to employees under the state’s wage payment law. The new “wage theft” law takes effect immediately. Key provisions of S1790 include: Liquidated damages equal to 200% of the wages owed. [ 448 more words ]

welterlaw.com New Jersey employers are now on the hook for fines, penalties, and liquidated damages equal to 200% of wages owed to employees.

welterlaw.com 09/11/2019

Challenges to Paid Sick Leave in Texas

A few months ago, we provided an update on paid sick leave in Texas here, as both San Antonio and Dallas had passed paid sick leave ordinances, which were supposed to take effect on August 1 of this year. Local businesses/associations filed suit against the City of San Antonio prior to the August 1st start date, seeking a permanent injunction against the paid sick leave ordinance. [ 261 more words ]

welterlaw.com The future of San Antonio’s and Dallas’ paid sick leave ordinances is now uncertain following challenges to each ordinance in court.

welterlaw.com 09/05/2019

Hiring and Onboarding Employment Law Issues Facing California Startups & Growing Businesses: Part I

California is known for its startup companies and developing businesses, especially in the tech industry. Startups and new companies understandably focus energy on growing the business and developing business plans and strategies for accomplishing core business goals. Issues concerning human resources and compliance with employment laws, however, may often be overlooked. Employers’ failure to address these issues can lead to substantial financial and operational risks associated with employment-related litigation and penalties for failing to comply with employment-related federal, state, and local laws. [ 121 more words ]

welterlaw.com WHITE PAPER: What California employers should know about hiring and onboarding employees for startup companies and growing businesses.

welterlaw.com 08/27/2019

Federal Court Applies Mandatory Arbitration Clause To Sexual Harassment Claims In Spite of Recent State Law Prohibition

In response to the wave of #MeToo sexual harassment claims, New York passed New York Law, N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 7515 (“Section 7515”), which prohibits the use of mandatory arbitration clauses to resolve any allegation or claim of an unlawful discriminatory practice of sexual harassment. Section 7515 was signed into law in April 2018 and became effective on July 11, 2018. [ 556 more words ]

welterlaw.com In response to the wave of #MeToo sexual harassment claims, New York passed New York Law, N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 7515 (“Section 7515”), which prohibits the use of mandatory arbitration clauses to resolve …

welterlaw.com 08/22/2019

An Accommodation May No Longer Be Reasonable If The Job Changes

In Bilinsky v. American Airlines, the plaintiff-employee worked for American Airlines for more than two decades, and the employment continued after the plaintiff was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). In 2007, she began a role as a communications specialist located in America’s headquarters in Dallas, but because excessive heat aggravated her MS symptoms, Plaintiff was permitted to work from the cooler city of Chicago and traveled to Dallas one day per week. [ 498 more words ]

welterlaw.com The Seventh Circuit held that a previously granted accommodation prevented an employee from performing an essential function of her job after her job duties changed. Accordingly, the employee was …

welterlaw.com 08/20/2019

Oregon Becomes 8th State To Mandate Paid Family And Medical Leave

On June 30, 2019, Oregon Legislative Assembly passed House Bill 2005 (“HB 2005”), which provides eligible employees with twelve (12) weeks of paid medical and family leave. Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced that she intends to sign the bill. HB 2005 will take effect January 1, 2023. Covered Employers: Employers who employ one or more employees in Oregon are required to provide paid family and medical leave under HB 2005. [ 470 more words ]

welterlaw.com Effective January 1, 2023, Oregon employers must provide eligible employees up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave.

welterlaw.com 07/29/2019

A Higher Burden for Plaintiffs Claiming Disability Discrimination in the Second Circuit

The plaintiff in Natofsky v. City of New York brought various disability-related claims under the Rehabilitation Act (which applies to employees of programs receiving federal financial assistance), as well as state and city law. Plaintiff claimed that during his employment, he experienced several adverse employment actions because of his hearing disability, and that his employer failed to accommodate him and retaliated against him. [ 390 more words ]

welterlaw.com The Second Circuit recently held that plaintiffs bringing disability discrimination claims must meet the higher but-for causation standard, rather than a mixed-motives standard.

welterlaw.com 07/26/2019

Wal-Mart Hit with $102M Judgment for Non-Compliant Pay Stubs

In Magadia v. Wal-Mart Associates, Inc., the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California recently ordered Wal-Mart to pay $102 million for non-compliant pay statements. Plaintiffs alleged violations for failure to pay adequate compensation for missed meal breaks, failure to provide accurate wage statements with regard to final pay and overtime incentive payments; and Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claims. [ 677 more words ]

welterlaw.com Court finds Wal-Mart liable for Labor Code wage statement violations in California class action.




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