News & Analysis

Employer recovers employee's tuition under reimbursement program

Many employers find it advantageous to offer tuition reimbursement programs to their employees. Such programs benefit employees by providing them with additional education or training, which allows them to qualify for better jobs. The programs also benefit employers by fostering employee loyalty and allowing them to fill needed positions for which it might otherwise be difficult to find qualified applicants.

Company layoff didn't constitute age discrimination

Companies that undertake reorganizations often face potential liability for lawsuits, including discrimination claims, stemming from the reorganizations and associated layoffs. As one recent court decision shows, a company that clearly documents the business reasons behind its reorganization decisions and implements sound, positive business practices before, during, and after any reorganization should defeat unfounded claims of discrimination.

The price of an enforceable noncompete clause

It isn't uncommon for a company to acquire a smaller business and hire its employees. One or more employees may later depart and set up a competing business that targets the customers of their former employer. These erstwhile employees may have previously agreed not to compete with their former employer or solicit its customers. A recent unpublished case illustrates the consequences of failing to follow a long-standing legal rule governing noncompete or nonsolicitation clauses in acquisition agreements.

Third time is not the charm for school district

The following sexual harassment case was tried by a jury three times. The first time, the jury found in favor of the school district. The second time, a mistrial was declared before a verdict was rendered. The third time, the jury awarded the employee $199,399 for her sexual harassment claim. The trial court then awarded the employee $3,224,569 in attorneys' fees. The school district and the alleged harasser appealed the verdict and the attorneys' fee award.

Valentine's Day: a time for love . . . contracts

According to a 2012 Stanford University sociology study, 10 percent of people meet their spouses at work. Coworker dating is common. Unfortunately, not all relationships end well, and when they don't, employers can face harassment and retaliation claims.

Writing a strong termination letter

Writing a termination letter can be a daunting task when you realize that so much can rise or fall on what it says. A few straightforward strategies can help you prepare a termination letter that provides all the benefits and helps you manage the risks that accompany all termination decisions.

Agency Action

AFL-CIO president praises Seattle ride-share action. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka spoke out in favor of the Seattle, Washington, City Councils December 2015 vote allowing drivers for rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft to organize unions. The on-demand or gig economy isnt really run by apps or machines; its powered by the labor of working people, Trumka said. The vote by the Seattle City Council represents progress in the fight to extend collective bargaining rights to all workers, regardless of whether they drive for Uber or work in a factory. Whether your work is online or offline, everyone deserves the right to speak up together on the job.

Guns in the workplace: Clear policies may provide safety

Workplace violence is always a concern for employers. Recent events like the shooting in San Bernardino, California, and the Paris terror attacks make the issue especially timely. Here are some key things to keep in mind when thinking about guns in the workplace.

With my mind on my money and my money on my mind: Employee wage issues are increasing

Wages are a tricky issue for employers. Good wages are important for attracting and retaining the best employees, but nothing sows the seeds of discontent like gossip about pay rates. Historically, employers simply prohibited employees from talking about their wages, but those prohibitions are no longer legal. This article provides a bit of guidance on pay and peace in the workplace.

DOJ insists on website accessibility compliance but delays regulations (again)

Most private businesses that provide goods and services to the public are required under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to provide individuals with disabilities "full and equal enjoyment" of the business' goods and services. To comply with Title III requirements, these entities (known as "public accommodations" under U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) regulations) must afford individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate and benefit from the goods, services, privileges, or advantages afforded to other individuals.