News & Analysis

Delaware's direct deposit doubts

Among the many duties of an employment attorney is the routine review of personnel manuals. The goal is to make sure that employers are up to date on the most recent changes to local, state, and federal law. In the process, we observe many violations, but few are more common than direct deposit violations. Here's what you need to know to comply with Delaware law.

Down but not out: the EEOC and background checks

In recent months, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has suffered some significant defeats in lawsuits related to employers' use of background checks. Despite the losses, representatives of the EEOC have made clear that they will continue to pursue these claims.

NLRB General Counsel sets sights on common employer policies

Creation of sound and legally compliant employee handbook policies has been something of a moving target in recent years because of the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) continual review and interpretation of employee rights under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Section 7 gives employees the right to "self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection."

Balancing employee self-expression and your business image

There are times when an employee's personal conduct can reflect badly upon your business image, though your business itself had nothing to do with said conduct. A detailed "personal conduct policy" could be the remedy for this.

Resisting change in work assignment leads to justifiable discharge

The 3rd Circuit (whose rulings apply to all Delaware employers) recently affirmed the dismissal of an employee's race and age discrimination claims because his mistakes provided a legitimate reason for the employer to change his work assignment and his refusal to accept the new assignment provided a legitimate reason for his discharge.

Court: Employers can't use private surveys to set prevailing wages

The 3rd Circuit recently held that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) cannot use private employer surveys to determine prevailing wages under a program that allows U.S. employers to temporarily hire foreign workers.

Agency Action

OSHA announces new rule on retaliation complaints. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on March 6, 2015, published a final rule confirming procedures for handling whistleblower retaliation complaints filed under Section 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX). SOX protects employees who report fraudulent activities and violations of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules that can harm investors in publicly traded companies. SOX prohibits publicly traded companies, nationally recognized statistical ratings organizations, and other covered persons from retaliating against employees who provide information about conduct they reasonably believe violates federal mail, wire, bank, or securities fraud statutes, SEC rules, or any provision of federal law relating to fraud against shareholders.

Workplace Trends

Growth in temporary jobs predicted. The number of people employed in temporary jobs stands at nearly three million, and that number is expected to continue to rise in 2015 and beyond, according to an analysis from CareerBuilder released in March. Temporary employment is expected to grow 3% (75,384 jobs) from 2014 to 2015 and 13% (354,877 jobs) from 2014 to 2019. Temporary employment will continue on an upward trajectory as companies look for ways to quickly adapt to market dynamics, said Eric Gilpin, president of CareerBuilders staffing and recruiting and healthcare divisions. Two in five U.S. employers expect to hire temporary or contract workers this year, which opens new doors for workers who want to build relationships with different organizations and explore career options.

Union Activity

IAM seeks union election for South Carolina Boeing workers. The International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM) on March 16, 2015, filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to hold an election for more than 2,400 production employees at the Boeing Company in North Charleston, South Carolina. The petition was filed after a significant number of Boeing workers signed authorization cards expressing interest in union representation, according to an announcement from IAM that said workers had reached out to the union regarding concerns, including forced overtime, fair wages, and a lack of respect on the shop floor. Boeing responded with a statement that IAM aggressively opposed the companys decision to build the South Carolina plant. Now, simply by filing this petition, the same union that tried to take our jobs and our work has already begun to divide our team at a time when were just beginning to gel and catch a solid rhythm in production, said Beverly Wyse, Boeing South Carolinas vice president and general manager.

KY federal court decision expands FMLA's antiretaliation protections

A recent decision by a Kentucky federal court has extended the antiretaliation provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to employees who never requested FMLA leave or directly engaged in any "protected conduct."