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

On September 8, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it settled charges against Monolith Resources LLC, a privately held technology and energy company headquartered in Nebraska. The SEC’s enforcement action alleged that Monolith had been using restrictive employee separation agreements that violated the SEC Whistleblower Protection Rule 21F-17. Without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, Monolith agreed to revise its separation agreements and pay a $225,000 penalty, among other remedial actions.Continue Reading SEC Charges Privately Held Monolith Resources for Violating Whistleblower Protection Rules

Q: Is medical marijuana an expense reimbursable by the employer?

A: For New Jersey employers, the answer is likely yes. Weednews reports that as of January 9, New Jersey and 34 other states have legalized marijuana for medical use, although it remains a Schedule 1 controlled substance at the federal level. As a result, patients have had to pay out of pocket for medical marijuana, as insurers contend that covering the cost would violate the federal prohibition on marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Recently however, the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the ruling in Hager v. M&K Construction, 462 N.J. Super. 146 (App. Div.), that an employee injured in the workplace is eligible to have medical marijuana costs reimbursed by his/her employer under New Jersey’s state workers’ compensation laws.
Continue Reading New Jersey: Medical Marijuana Costs Reimbursable in Workers’ Compensation Scenario

Q: Are there any new laws or regulations that I should know about as we enter 2021?

A: The year 2020 undoubtedly presented many challenges to employers in keeping up with seemingly ever-changing laws and regulations, in large part due to the COVID-19 pandemic that swept our nation. As employers leave the previous year behind and begin focusing on what will follow in 2021, it is important to be mindful of various significant labor and employment law changes — in addition to those specifically related to COVID-19. Below are summaries of key non-COVID-related issues that employers should know about now and in the year ahead.

Continue Reading Goodbye 2020! A Look Ahead to Non-COVID Labor and Employment Updates for 2021

Q. How will the federal court decision impact business policies and practices that address FFCRA leave?

A. On August 3, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York struck down four parts of the regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) implementing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). As a result of the decision:
Continue Reading Federal Court Decision Changes How Employers Must Implement Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Troutman Sanders and Pepper Hamilton officially became Troutman Pepper (Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP), a national law firm of 1,100 attorneys in 23 U.S. offices. Our new firm offers clients greater resources and bench strength, enhanced practices, and expanded geographical reach.

We are now one of the 50 largest law firms in the country, with

The White House took another step last week aimed at easing the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. President Trump signed an Executive Order seeking “to combat the economic consequences of COVID-19” by giving “businesses, especially small businesses, the confidence they need to re-open.”  The Order directs agencies to address the economic impact of the pandemic by eliminating regulations, providing reopening guidance to businesses, and recognizing that regulatory compliance may be difficult under the current circumstances.
Continue Reading President Trump Signs Executive Order Seeking “To Combat The Economic Consequences Of COVID-19

It is hard to overstate the significance of the employment law changes going into effect as of July 1, 2020. As Virginia employers presently consider how to return to work following an unprecedented global pandemic, they will soon meet the added challenge of a radically different legal landscape governing employment matters. The affected areas of Virginia employment law are broad, covering wage and hour laws, employee misclassification, LGBTQ rights, employment thresholds for coverage under anti-discrimination laws, and expanded whistleblower protections. Whereas, Virginia was once considered a State where employee rights were extremely narrow, effective July 1, it will have some of the broadest protections available for employees to assert their rights. The following is a summary of the more significant laws going into effect.
Continue Reading Virginia Employers Brace for Seismic Changes in Employment Laws Effective July 1, 2020

Authors:
Emily Schifter, Associate, Troutman Sanders
Richard Gerakitis, Partner, Troutman Sanders
Tracey Diamond, Of Counsel, Pepper Hamilton
Rogers Stevens, Associate, Pepper Hamilton
Lee Tankle, Associate, Pepper Hamilton
Susan Lessack, Partner, Pepper Hamilton

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), signed into law on March 27, provides an estimated

During this time of emergency, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has provided guidance for employers on how to complete the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form, which requires employers to inspect the original documents provided in person by employees. If there are individuals who wish to limit social interactions with others and do not want