Q: In a unanimous opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court held that employers who do not act promptly to invoke an arbitration clause may be held to waive arbitration. What does this mean for my company?

A: As noted in our colleagues’ blog post, on May 23, in a unanimous opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court held that employers who do not act promptly to invoke an arbitration clause may be held to waive arbitration. In so holding, the Court resolved a circuit court split over whether a party arguing waiver had to demonstrate prejudice. The Court held that prejudice was not a requirement. The Court’s holding departs from its generally pro-arbitration holdings over the last 15 years.

Continue Reading SCOTUS Resolves Circuit Split: A Showing of Prejudice Not Required to “Waive” Right to Arbitration

Q: What types of damages are available when a former employee breaches a restrictive covenant barring solicitation of his or her former employer’s customers?

A: While parties often focus on the possibility to enjoin a former employee from soliciting a company’s customers, it is possible to recoup lost profits as well, particularly where they are significant. For example, a Massachusetts federal court found a sales representative liable for over $1.6 million in damages for breaching a nonsolicitation clause that prohibited him from procuring business from his former employer’s customers.

Continue Reading Court Awards Employer Over $1 Million for Former Employee’s Breach of Nonsolicitation Clause

In Episode 1 of the Hiring to Firing Podcast, Troutman Pepper Partners Tracey Diamond and Evan Gibbs sit down with European Metal Recycling VP of People and Deputy General Counsel Kate Puccio to discuss the hit show Emily in Paris and the lessons learned about national origin based on events from the show. This episode blends pop culture and fashion into a discussion about important and contemporary legal issues in the workplace.

Continue Reading Lessons Learned on National Origin Discrimination from Emily in Paris

Q. There have been lots of recent headlines about workers unionizing, but is labor activity actually increasing — and what’s on the horizon for employers?

A. Although union membership declined slightly between 2020 and 2021, labor organizing now appears to be on the rise. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) announced this month that union election petitions increased by 57% in the first half of the federal fiscal year, which began in October 2021. At this pace, the nation is on track this year to see the highest levels of union election petitions in at least a decade, according to the NLRB.

Continue Reading Is Labor Activity Increasing? What’s on the Horizon for Employers?

What do Emily in ParisSquid GameSeveranceTed Lasso, and Moneyball have in common? Find out by listening and subscribing to our Hiring to Firing Podcast hosted by Tracey Diamond and Evan Gibbs. The pair delve into hot-button labor and employment law issues with unique perspectives drawing on pop culture and hit shows and movies. Stay informed and entertained! Continue Reading Introduction to Hiring to Firing Podcast

Q: I heard that New York City recently amended the salary transparency law. What are the key aspects of the amendment and when does it go into effect?

A: As discussed in our previous post, an upcoming law requires New York City employers to include salary bands in job advertisements or postings. Employers must include the minimum and maximum salary or hourly rate for the position, and the requirement applies to both internal and external postings.

Continue Reading NYC Amends Upcoming Salary Transparency Law and Releases Key Guidance

Q: What are the key highlights of Maryland’s new law providing paid family and medical leave to employees?

A. Maryland has now joined a minority of states obligating employers to contribute to a program providing paid family and medical leave to its workforce. Beginning on October 1, 2023, businesses with 15 or more employees will be required to contribute to the Family Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) Program, with the goal of making benefits available to eligible employees through the Maryland Department of Labor by January 1, 2024.

Continue Reading Maryland Legislature Passes the Time to Care Act, Overriding Governor’s Veto

Q: What states have biometric laws and what does this mean for my company?

A. Introduction: Biometric Laws in 2022

In the first quarter of 2022 alone, no fewer than seven states have introduced biometric laws — California, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, and New York — generally based on Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). Currently, only Illinois, Texas, and Washington have enacted biometric laws, and only the Illinois law provides individuals with a private right of action. While California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) covers the protection of biometric data, the act only provides a private right of action where the information was involved in an unauthorized exposure as a result of the business’ failure to implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and the business’ failure to take certain steps after receiving a consumer request.

Continue Reading A Fresh “Face” of Privacy: 2022 Biometric Laws

Q: What do employers need to know about state and local pay transparency and salary equity laws?

A: Pay equity has been a hot topic for employers over the last few years and it continues to make headlines. Today, March 8, is International Women’s Day and March 15 marks this year’s “Equal Pay Day” – a date meant to symbolize how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.

Continue Reading Pay Transparency and Salary Equity Laws: Coming to a State Near You?

Q. As a New York employer, what do I need to know about the amendments to New York’s Labor Law regarding whistleblowers?

A. Effective January 26, New York State enacted legislation significantly expanding whistleblower protections under Section 740 of the New York Labor Law. In passing this law, New York has become one of the most pro-employee whistleblower jurisdictions in the country. The amendments expand the scope of individuals protected, the definition of protected activity, the types of employment-related actions that constitute retaliation, the available remedies for aggrieved employees, and the notice requirements for employers.

Continue Reading New York Expands Whistleblower Protections Under Section 740 of the Labor Law