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Showing 8 posts from June 2014.

U.S. Supreme Court Gives Increased Protection to Government Employees

The Supreme Court recently ruled unanimously that government employees who testify about public corruption are protected by the First Amendment. The case, Lane v. Franks, [1]centered on a public employee, Lane, who worked at an Alabama community college where he led the school’s program for at-risk youth.

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NLRB Judge Adds to Uncertainty Regarding Work Rules and Social Media Policies

On June 4, 2014, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) held in Professional Electrical Contractors of Connecticut, Case No. 34-CA-071532, that certain work rules and social media policies designed to protect customer privacy constituted unfair labor practices. The rules and policies at issue applied to employees who worked on customers’ premises. More >

U.S. DOL Issues Proposed Minimum Wage Regulations for Federal Contractors

On June 17, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its proposed regulations relating to Executive Order 13658, which established a minimum wage for federal contractors. The Executive Order – signed by President Obama on February 12, 2014 – raises the minimum wage on covered federal contracts from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour, beginning January 1, 2015. Thereafter, the Secretary of Labor will be required to set the amount of increase to take effect on January 1 of each year, indexed to inflation. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) establishes procedures for implementing and enforcing the Executive Order. More >

An Important New Decision Affects Non-Compete Agreements in Kentucky

The Kentucky Supreme Court recently reversed the Kentucky Court of Appeals’ holding in Creech, Inc. v. Brown, and declared that continued employment, standing alone, is no longer sufficient consideration to justify or support enforcement of a non-competition agreement. In the course of reaching its decision, the Court clarified prior case law dealing with the issue of whether non-competition agreements may be executed in exchange for merely retaining one’s job. While the case has an intricate and complex set of facts, this post focuses on the consideration requirement only. More >

NLRB Decision Limits Employer’s Off-Duty Policy, Part II

Earlier this week, we provided information relative to the NLRB’s decision in Piedmont Gardens, 360 NLRB No. 100 (2014).The issue in the case was the employer’s ability to regulate off-duty employee access to the property, a nursing home. The company handbook contained a provision that generally prohibited off-duty access, unless such access was previously authorized by a supervisor. The NLRB found the “unless previously authorized” caveat to be unlawful because it gave supervisors an unlimited scope in determining when and why employees could access the building. More >

NLRB Decision Limits Employer’s Off-Duty Policy

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently issued a decision in Piedmont Gardens, 260 NLRB NO. 100 (2014) regarding the legality of an employer’s off-duty access policy. Piedmont Gardens is a nursing home. Many employers, especially those in health care or other highly-regulated industries, have policies that prohibit against employees lingering around the job site when not working. Off-duty employees can not only be a disruption to the business and create security risks, but can also increase an employer’s liability. After the newest NLRB decision on the issue, however, employers should review their policies to ensure that they do not run afoul of federal law. More >

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Guidelines for Hiring Summer Interns

Summer is upon us. For employers, that means so is the prospect of hiring summer interns. Each year, clients contact McBrayer employment attorneys about the legality of their internship programs. Hiring interns gives employers access to highly motivated, educated young workers who bring a fresh perspective to the office and (sometimes) have little to no expectation of pay in return. It seems like a win-win situation, but in recent years, the practice of hiring unpaid interns has become increasingly scrutinized by the Department of Labor. In fact, there have been several high-profile cases wherein unpaid interns have sued employers (including Conde Nast Publications, Sirius XM Radio, and Warner Music Group), alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), which establishes minimum wage and overtime compensation requirements for non-exempt employees.

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