Category Archives: Uncategorized

OSHA Issues New Illness and Injury Recordkeeping Rule That Casts Doubt upon Commonplace Employer Drug Testing and Safety Incentive Policies

Announcing a series of requirements that will begin to take effect August 10, 2016, OSHA released, on May 11th, its final rule to “modernize injury data collection to better inform workers, employers, the public and OSHA about workplace hazards.” Tellingly, OSHA acknowledges in its accompanying press release that the rule is intended to “nudge” employers …

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Google Tries “Pretty Woman” Tactic in Oracle Copyright Suit

I’m not sure Julia Roberts’ use of that blonde wig and eighties cut-out dress when she leaned against Richard Gere’s car in Pretty Woman should be considered “fair use,” but perhaps a court might say otherwise. How does Julia’s transformation from wayward to womanly in that iconic 1990 film come into play in a fight between …

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DOL Announces Final Rule on Salary Threshold for Exempt White-Collar Employees

Today, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced its final rule on the minimum salary that white-collar employees must be paid to qualify as exempt from the overtime requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The new rule raises the current salary level that such employees must receive in order to qualify as “exempt” …

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Religious Freedom Regarding ACA Contraceptive Mandate Still In Limbo

On May 16, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court offered only limited guidance on the challenges to the religious “accommodation” procedure under the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) contraceptive mandate. Numerous faith-based institutions had challenged the mandate and the procedural requirements for seeking an exemption on religious grounds as violations of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) …

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The Latest in the NLRB Handbook Saga? Another Unlawful Recording Policy Fails to Pass Muster

Last month, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) yet again shed further light on its analysis – and increased scrutiny – of employers’ handbook policies.  The NLRB’s decision in T-Mobile USA, Inc., 363 NLRB No. 171 (Apr. 29, 2016), serves as a follow-up to an earlier decision with respect to rules restricting employees’ use of …

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European Commission Gives Portugal Two Months To Address Issues With Biofuel Law Compliance

On April 28, 2016, the European Commission (EC) encouraged Portugal to become fully compliant with the Renewable Energy Directive (Directive) through the release of an April infringements fact sheet. The Directive has set the goal of 20 percent of the European Union’s (EU) 2020 energy consumption coming from renewable energy, with each Member State consuming …

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Whistleblower Wins Big in Case that Tests Limits of Confidentiality Agreements

Confidentiality agreements are common in corporate America. Many companies require new employees to sign them as part of the hiring process. In some industries like healthcare, privacy policies are elevated to a legal requirement. Can these agreements be used to stop an employee from reporting his or her employer for fraud or turning documents over …

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No Going Back – Rejection of Promotion Offer Not a Failure to Mitigate

Gibbs -v- Leeds United Football Club concerned the former Assistant Manager of the Club who took his £330,000 constructive dismissal claim to the High Court so as to sidestep the compensation ceiling in the Employment Tribunal. Having fairly easily established the fundamental breach of contract necessary to win his claim against Leeds, Mr Gibbs then …

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Biomass Research And Development Initiative Provides Seven Projects With Up To $10 Million In Funding

On May 9, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the recipients of up to $10 million in funding through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI). BRDI is a joint program through DOE and USDA that helps develop …

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The Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act: Impact on Employers

On May 11 2016, President Obama signed The Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA” or the “Act”). Effective immediately, the DTSA creates a federal civil cause of action that allows companies to file civil lawsuits for trade secret theft under the federal Economic Espionage Act. Before the passage and signing of the DTSA, the statute only provided for criminal cases …

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