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Tracey Diamond counsels clients on workplace issues, provides harassment training, conducts internal investigations, drafts policies and procedures, negotiates employment and severance agreements, advises on independent contractor, FMLA and ADA compliance issues, and partners with clients to structure their workforce in the most efficient and effective way possible.

In this episode of the Hiring to Firing Podcast, hosts Tracey Diamond and Evan Gibbs, along with Erin Cannon, director of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at Troutman Pepper, draw parallels between the popular reality TV show Big Brother to discuss the future of corporate DEI programs after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard. They discuss the benefits of affinity groups, the importance of allyship, and the significance of focusing on inclusion and belonging in the workplace.Continue Reading The Reality of DEI Programs: A Big Brother Perspective

Q. Has OSHA issued any new rules addressing employees’ rights to have representation during an OSHA inspection at a private employer’s worksite?

A. Yes. Earlier this month, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a Final Rule that significantly revises OSHA’s longstanding regulations concerning an employee’s right to choose a representative to participate during OSHA’s physical inspection of a workplace. Under the new final rule, employees will be permitted to bring other employees or nonemployee third parties (including nonemployee union representatives) on OSHA walkarounds at union and nonunion workplaces, if these individuals are “reasonably necessary to the conduct of an effective and thorough physical inspection of the workplace by virtue of their knowledge, skills, or experience.” The new rule will take effect on May 31.Continue Reading OSHA’s “Walkaround” Rule Allows Union Reps and Others Access to Private Worksites During Inspections

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released a final rule, “Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees,” which significantly raises the salary thresholds for exemption from overtime pay for bona fide executive, administrative, and professional employees.Continue Reading New DOL Rule: Changes to Salary Thresholds for Overtime Exemptions

In this episode of the Hiring to Firing Podcast, Partners Tracey Diamond and Evan Gibbs, along with Dan Sieck, a partner in the firm’s Corporate practice group, discuss the hit TV show Silicon Valley and the concept of garden leave. What are the pros and cons of having employees sit on the bench? What is the difference between garden leave and noncompete agreements? Tune in for an engaging dialogue on this unique aspect of employment transition.Continue Reading Unraveling the Concept of Garden Leave: Insights From Silicon Valley

Speaking at the Global Competition Review: Law Leaders Global Summit last month, Commissioner Alvaro M. Bedoya of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) argued that the FTC could — and should — combat worker misclassification under Section 5 of the FTC Act, as an unfair method of competition. Commissioner Bedoya advocated that worker misclassification — when an employer classifies a worker, who should be an employee, as an independent contractor — satisfies the criteria established by the FTC in its November 2022 policy statement, for when conduct constitutes an unfair method of competition. Specifically, the commissioner stated that worker misclassification distorts competitive conditions when it allows companies who improperly classify their employees as independent contractors to underbid those competitors that correctly classify employees. Additionally, worker misclassification may be coercive, exploitative, and abusive when workers who know they are being misclassified feel that they have no choice but to accept such treatment. Commissioner Bedoya also suggested that an employer’s efforts to limit the independence of a worker classified as an independent contractor could constitute an illegal vertical restraint on trade.Continue Reading Employers Beware: Worker Misclassification May Be Seen as Anticompetitive Conduct

In this episode of the Hiring to Firing Podcast, Partners Tracey Diamond and Evan Gibbs navigate the evolving landscape of employee sick days in a post-COVID-19 workplace. Special guest Lisa Whittaker, director and managing counsel, employment and labor law at The J.M. Smucker Co., joins them for a humorous discussion of the use and abuse of employee sick days, using clips from the popular TV show, Parks and Recreation. Tune in for an insightful discussion!Continue Reading The Evolution of Employee Sick Days in a Post-COVID-19 Workplace With Parks and Rec

Q: Is New York City considering a total ban on noncompete agreements?

A: Yes — a total ban on noncompete agreements would be the result of one of the three noncompete bills currently pending in the New York City Council, Committee on Consumer and Worker Protection.Continue Reading Talk About Competition! New York City Considers 3 Different Noncompete Bans

In this episode of the Hiring to Firing Podcast, Partners Tracey Diamond and Evan Gibbs draw insights from the TV series NCIS to discuss effective workplace harassment training. Our hosts are joined by Victoria Pasquale, chief human resources officer at Pritchard Industries, who shares her expertise on structuring effective trainings for her employees. Listen as the group explores how to capture their audience’s attention and drive home important messages in an engaging way.Continue Reading Effective Harassment Trainings: Best Approaches With Insights from NCIS

Published in Law360 on February 26, 2024. © Copyright 2024, Portfolio Media, Inc., publisher of Law360. Reprinted here with permission.

“Minority Report,” a cinematic masterpiece that debuted over 20 years ago, continues to resonate with audiences today. Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise, the movie takes place in the year 2054 where a special police department, called Precrime, apprehends criminals before they commit a crime based on information obtained from three psychics, called Precogs.Continue Reading Water Cooler Talk: Investigation Lessons in ‘Minority Report’

In this episode of the Hiring to Firing Podcast, Partners Tracey Diamond and Evan Gibbs, along with fellow Partners Sheri Adler and Mary Weeks, chat about the ultimate whistleblower — police officer Frank Serpico — and the SEC’s recent crackdown on whistleblower provisions in employment and separation agreements. Listen in as the group shares a top 10 list of drafting tips to ensure compliance.

Continue Reading Navigating Employment and Separation Agreements: Lessons From Al Pacino’s Serpico