North America

Take Five Newsletter – Managing Employee Mobility Today: Are You Succeeding or Scrambling?

The 2019 legal landscape of employee mobility continues to evolve, at times drastically. Courts and legislatures are giving increased scrutiny to employers’ claims to protect the confidentiality of their trade secrets and attempts to enforce their employees’ restrictive covenants, including non-competition and non-solicitation agreements. It can be hard for employers to prevent their confidential information and client goodwill from following certain departing employees.
With greater knowledge of the latest legal theories, decisions, statutes, and other developments in this area, employers can better protect and defend their interests—even preemptively—including in the ways they draft their employee agreements, design their compensation structures, and consider whether and when to engage in litigation.
This issue of Take 5 aims to provide a few tools for deciphering and navigating this changing employee mobility landscape.

Read more

Read full article

Privacy Concerns Loom as Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing Industry Grows

The market for direct-to-consumer (“DTC”) genetic testing has increased dramatically over recent years as more people are using at-home DNA tests.  The global market for this industry is projected to hit $2.5 billion by 2024.  Many consumers subscribe to DTC genetic testing because they can provide insights into genetic backgrounds and ancestry.  However, as more consumers’ genetic data becomes available and is shared, legal experts are growing concerned that safeguards implemented by U.S. companies are not enough to protect consumers from privacy risks.

Read more

Read full article

Does an annual salary exclude overtime pay?

Countless employment agreements are simply drafted: an annual salary is specified, and the number of working hours is more or less loosely expressed, if at all. Does such an agreement exclude overtime pay?

Read more

Read full article

Safeguarding access to the retail electric marketplace requires vigilance

Just over 20 years have passed since all New England states, except Vermont, restructured electric service to enable competitive retail supply and implemented basic protections focused on licensing, enrollment standards, customer notices and contractual protections.  In recent years, additional rules have been implemented, such as credit card-style “Schumer Box” contract summaries, standard renewal notices 30-60 days prior to contract end, disclosures specific to variable price products, and minimum conduct standards for door-to-door sales.  As New England heads towards its third decade of retail electric competition, the next evolution of rules and enforcement priorities is underway.  The following new front-line issues, which hold the promise of both hindering and fostering competition, should be watched by all stakeholders.

Read more

Read full article

Does your company understand the bankruptcy, insolvency and rehabilitation proceedings for your jurisdiction?

Does your company understand the bankruptcy, insolvency and rehabilitation proceedings for your jurisdiction? The ILN’s Restructuring & Insolvency group has put together a collaborative paper on Bankruptcy, Insolvency & Rehabilitation Proceedings, which serves as a quick and practical reference for those with relevant needs in the 12 jurisdictions covered. Please see the full paper here.

Read full article

Maryland Law Bars Enforcement of Non-Compete Agreements Against Low Wage Workers

Maryland recently joined the ranks of states with laws limiting the enforcement of non-compete agreements against low wage workers.  Maryland’s recently enacted law (SB 328) bars employers from enforcing non-compete agreements against workers earning less than or equal to $15 per hour or $31,200 per annum.

Read more

Read full article

Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave Provides New Worker Notices and Posters, and Issues Final Regulations

As previously reported, last week the Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (“DFML”) announced several changes, both substantive and procedural, to the state’s Paid Family and Medical Leave program (“PFML”). This week, the DFML has provided further guidance on changes to the worker notice requirements, issued new workplace posters, and posted the final regulations.

Read more

Read full article

New Jersey Law Aims to Reduce Sexual Assault and Harassment of Hotel Workers

In an attempt to protect hotel employees such as housekeepers and room service attendants from violent acts by hotel guests, including sexual assault and harassment, New Jersey recently passed a novel law requiring New Jersey hotels with more than 100 guest rooms to arm hotel employees assigned to work in a guest room alone with a free panic button device. Under the law, hotel employees who activate the button on the reasonable belief there is an ongoing crime, immediate threat of assault or harassment, or other emergency, can immediately leave the guest’s room and await assistance without facing an adverse employment action.

Read more

Read full article

NLRB Rebalances Employers’ Rights to Prohibit Union Solicitation on Their Property

Last Friday, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) in UPMC overturned 38-year old precedent and held that employers may lawfully prohibit non-employee union solicitation in public spaces on their property absent evidence of discriminatory enforcement. This ruling may seem like common sense to many as employers have long been permitted to control what types of activities occur on their private property in other contexts.  However, for the past four decades, the NLRB has compelled employers to allow non-employee union organizers to engage in non-disruptive solicitation in areas, such as cafeterias and restaurants, where the Employer had opened its private property to the public.  The NLRB’s ruling in UPMC ends this compelled acquiesce and affirms employers’ property rights.

Read more

Read full article

Employer Insights: Recreational Marijuana in Illinois

On June 4, 2019, the Illinois legislature passed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (the “Cannabis Act”).  Under the Cannabis Act, Illinois residents over 21 years of age may legally possess 30 grams of marijuana flower and five grams of marijuana concentrate for their personal use, starting January 1, 2020.  The 610-page Cannabis Act also provides the most extensive workplace protections for employers of any marijuana legalization statute around the country. Indeed, the Illinois General Assembly declares at the beginning of the Cannabis Act that “employee workplace safety shall not be diminished and employer workplace policies shall be interpreted broadly to protect employee safety.”  Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is expected to sign the legislation this month.

Read more

Read full article