Posts from April 2015.
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The Fourth District California Court of Appeal recently held that a Department of Corrections employee’s claim that he was constructively discharged after being discriminated against on the basis of his religion—“Sun Worshipping Atheism”—was properly dismissed.  Marshel Copple is the founding and only member of a religion he calls Sun Worshipping Atheism, the core tenets of which include: praying in the sun; taking in fresh air on a daily basis; sleeping at least 8 hours per day; eating and drinking when necessary; frequent exercise; daily rest; and engaging in frequent social activities.

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On April 1, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit decided Alvarado v. Corporate Cleaning Serv., Inc., 2015 WL 1456573 (7th Cir. Apr. 1, 2015), an important decision interpreting the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime requirements.  The plaintiffs in the case were twenty-four (24) window washers employed by a company servicing commercial skyscrapers in the Chicago area.  The plaintiffs argued they had not been paid certain overtime wages under the Act.  The company, CCS, admitted it had not paid overtime, but argued that an exemption applied in the case to the FLSA’s overtime requirements.

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On April 3, 2015, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed an Executive Order that “bans the box” and prohibits Virginia agencies, boards, and commissions from asking questions about an applicant’s criminal history on employment applications.

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The government has continued to issue a number of regulations and other guidance on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and related health care laws, including the following:

  • Final regulations on the use of “bona fide orientation periods” in coordination with waiting periods for health care coverage;
  • IRS forms and instructions regarding reporting of health care coverage by health plans and large employers;
  • Updated proposed rules on the required Summary of Benefits and Coverage;
  • Guidance regarding use of “skinny plans”; and
  • Preliminary guidance on ...
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On April 1, 2015, the US Securities and Exchange Commission brought its first enforcement action against a company for asking employees to agree to confidentiality terms during internal investigations.

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Federal agencies need not go through the formal and drawn-out “notice-and-comment” process when altering an interpretation of a regulation.  In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association stated that the Administrative Procedure Act (the “APA”) does not mandate notice-and-comment rulemaking for interpretive rules.  In doing so, the Supreme Court overturned the doctrine established by the D.C. Circuit’s 1997 decision, Paralyzed Veterans of America v. D.C. Arena L.P., 117 F.3d 579 (D.C. Cir. 1997), which had held that an agency must use the APA’s notice-and-comment procedures prior to issuing a new interpretation of a regulation that deviates significantly from a definitive interpretation the agency had previously adopted.  In Perez, the Supreme Court addressed the question of whether the Paralyzed Veterans doctrine was consistent with the APA, ultimately finding that it was not. 

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If your company did NOT attend our recent webinar concerning the new Ambush Union Election rules, then please READ ON:

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A California appellate court recently invalidated an arbitration agreement that an employee had voluntarily entered into on the basis that it contained an unenforceable waiver of the employee’s claims under the California Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) and, under the parties’ agreement, that provision could not be severed.


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