June 16, 2022
The U.S. Supreme Court’s June 15, 2022 decision in Viking River Cruises v. Moriana could have a tremendous impact upon pending and future litigation, as well as employment practices in the state.
For some California employers, it will impact pending Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) litigation where the named plaintiff has an arbitration agreement with a class and representative action waiver.
June 16, 2022
Recent New York legislation will afford a class of sexual abuse victims the opportunity to sue their abusers, where they previously would have been time-barred. On May 24, 2022, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law the Adult Survivors Act (“ASA”) (S.66A/A.648A), which creates a one-year lookback window for alleged survivors of sexual assault that occurred when they were over the age of 18 to sue their alleged abusers regardless of when the abuse occurred. The one-year window will begin six months from signing – on November 24, 2022 and will close on November 23, 2023. In 2019, New York extended the statute of limitations to 20 years for adults filing civil lawsuits for certain enumerated sex offenses. However, that legislation only affected new cases and was not retroactive. In contrast, the ASA permits individuals who were over the age of 18 when any alleged abuse occurred to sue for civil damages regardless of the statute of limitations.
June 15, 2022
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is seeking public comment on proposed revisions to its Guide, entitled “.com Disclosures: How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising” (the Dot Com Disclosure Guides). Last year the FTC announced a new enforcement policy to crack down on illegal dark patterns, such as tricking users, trapping them into signing up for subscription plans or making it impossible to cancel ongoing billing and unauthorized charges. The FTC’s updates to the Dot Com Disclosure Guides are expected to address dark patterns and other deceptive tactics on the Internet. Read more…
June 15, 2022
As featured in #WorkforceWednesday: This week, we take a look at the federal government’s recently announced focus on mental health.
June 14, 2022
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) unanimously approved a Policy Statement that focuses on the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act’s (COPPA’s) application to education technologies (Ed Tech) used in and by schools to support learning, including remote learning. This is especially significant now that the pandemic has made online learning fairly common, causing the Ed Tech industry to undergo exponential growth. A hybrid model of learning that combines in-person teaching with Ed Tech products, whether remotely or in the classroom, is likely to be the lasting outcome of the pandemic. Read more…
June 14, 2022
Microsoft Corp. announced last week that it is immediately eliminating noncompetes for all employees below the partner and executive levels, including doing away with all existing noncompetes for covered employees. In a June 8, 2022 blog post, Microsoft’s Deputy General Counsel and Vice President of Human Resources said the following:
Empowering employee mobility: Microsoft believes that all employees should be empowered to work at a company they love and in a role where they thrive. We work hard to retain our world-class talent by making people the priority, and creating a culture that attracts and inspires world-class talent to unlock innovation aligned to our mission. While our existing employee agreements have noncompete obligations, we do not endorse the use of such provisions as a retention tool. We have heard concerns that the noncompetition clauses in some U.S. employee agreements, even when rarely and reasonably enforced, feel at odds with our talent principles. With these concerns in mind, we are announcing that we are removing noncompetition clauses from our U.S. employee agreements, and will not enforce existing noncompetition clauses in the U.S., with the exception of Microsoft’s most senior leadership (Partners and Executives), effective today. In practice, what this means is those U.S. employees will not be restricted by a noncompete clause in seeking employment with another company who may be considered a Microsoft competitor. All employees remain accountable to our standards of business conduct and other obligations to protect Microsoft’s confidential information. (Emphasis added).
June 13, 2022
Chicago’s Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection recently announced that the city’s minimum wage for various employers will increase per the Minimum Wage Ordinance (Ordinance), effective July 1, 2022.
June 13, 2022
Recent reports from both government agencies and human resources experts confirm what employers already know: challenging times are taking a toll on employees’ mental health. With employers focused on how to properly address these issues in the workplace, the DOL has stepped in with two new guidance documents: Fact Sheet #280: Mental Health Conditions and the FMLA and Frequently Asked Questions on the FMLA’s mental health provisions. Read more…
June 13, 2022
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal last week, the Federal Trade Commission is considering new regulations to prohibit the use of noncompetes and to target their use in individual cases through enforcement actions. Although President Biden issued a vague Executive Order early in his administration that “encourage[d]” the FTC to “consider” exercising its statutory rulemaking authority “to curtail the unfair use of non-compete clauses and other clauses or agreements that may unfairly limit worker mobility,” no concrete action has been taken to date. That is not entirely surprising given that, until last month, the Commission was split 2-2 along partisan lines. What has since changed that may now make federal noncompete regulation a real possibility, however, is the appointment last month of Alvaro Bedoya to the FTC, giving the Democrats a 3-2 majority.
Lina Khan, the 33-year-old Biden-appointed Chair of the FTC, told the Wall Street Journal, “We feel an enormous amount of urgency given how much harm is happening against the workers. This is the type of practice that falls squarely in our wheelhouse.” Other Commissioners disagree. Commissioner Noah Phillips has said the agency doesn’t have legal authority to impose such rules, and Commissioner Christine Wilson said last year it was “premature” to pass a federal rule because many states had taken their own actions to address noncompetes. Indeed, noncompete regulation has been the province of the states for over 200 years.
June 9, 2022
A new collective bargaining agreement governing the use of SAG-AFTRA (the Union) performers in commercials has been reached between the Union and the Joint Policy Committee (JPC).Read more…
The new 2022 SAG-AFTRA Commercials Contract (the 2022 Contract), which is retroactively effective to April 1, 2022, appears to offer certain benefits to advertiser and agency signatories of the Commercials Contract, particularly JPC authorizers, as well as Union member performers.