Tag Archives: Jason shinn

Employment Agreements Found Unlawful by NLRB

Employers should carefully evaluate their employment agreements with a focus on eliminating provisions that may be unlawful, given a recent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruling. Specifically, DISH Network was ordered on April 13, 2017, to revise or rescind its employment agreements after the NLRB found the agreements contain provisions that violate federal labor law. See … Continue Reading

Ex-Worker Sued for Accessing Former Employer’s Google Drive Account

A former employee’s accessing a Google Drive he set up for his employer may result in a violation of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). This case also serves as a reminder to carefully evaluate how your company uses any third-party services like Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Background … Continue Reading

Revisiting Your Whistleblower Protection Compliance Game Plan

On February 3, 2017, the Michigan Supreme Court issued a ruling involving Michigan’s Whistleblowers’ Protection Act (WPA). The ruling requires employers to carefully evaluate any changes made to an employee’s position, job duties, and working conditions after that employee raises concerns that may be protected activity under the WPA. Otherwise, an employer may be setting … Continue Reading

Hiring the No. 2 Guy on al-Qaeda’s Hit List: An Uber-Example of Limitations in Employee Background Checks

If you recently used Uber in Florida, did you check to see if your driver was Terry Jones? If Mr. Jones’ name or his significance is not immediately apparent to you, don’t worry, Uber apparently had no clue either. The Washington Post reported (by Faiz Siddiqui) that Uber hired Terry Jones. He is the (in)famous preacher … Continue Reading

What President Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee Means for Employment Law Cases

On January 31, President Trump announced that his U.S. Supreme Court nominee is Neil Gorsuch. Judge Gorsuch sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. If confirmed, he would fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat. Judge Gorsuch authored a dissenting opinion that exemplifies how he will likely affect employment law decisions if he … Continue Reading

What the Trump Transition Teaches About Social Media Legal Issues Facing Companies

Companies focus on maximizing social media strategies to promote the business. This week’s transition between the Obama and Trump administration highlighted numerous social media issues that employers need to pay close attention to concerning business and employee social media issues. Social Media Use – Two Presidential Approaches President Barack Obama was the first President to use … Continue Reading

Pitfalls in Contracting with Employee Staffing Companies

Business owners are increasingly considering the use of outside vendors to meet workforce needs. This is especially true for temporary employees or flexible staffing solutions. But companies must carefully review any contractual terms apply to such workforce situations. Employee Leasing Companies We recently represented a company involved in a lawsuit against a staffing company called … Continue Reading

Labor Department Seeks Information From Employers and Employees About FMLA

On October 28, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) gave notice that it is seeking comments from employers and employees about the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The notice is available here Federal Register. The comments will be used to develop and administer two surveys in 2017 and 2018. According to the DOL, these … Continue Reading

Detroit Casino Sued for Violating Americans with Disabilities Act

Detroit’s Greektown casino was sued on October 3, 2016, by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for allegedly violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by denying a reasonable accommodation to and then firing an employee because of his disability. The former employee, Michael Lepine, was a pit manager for Greektown Casino. The lawsuit … Continue Reading

Michigan Joins Quest to Block New Overtime Rule

On September 20, 2016, Michigan joined 20 other states in filing a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to block a new overtime rule that goes into effect on December 1, 2016. Here is a link to the complaint Nevada v. Labor Dept., (9/20/16). The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups … Continue Reading

Honesty is an Employer’s Best Policy – Honest Defense Rule in Employment Discrimination

A recent court decision shows that the “honest belief” rule continues to be a potent defense for employers responding to employment discrimination claims. And conversely, it continues to be a frustrating hurdle for employees to overcome in proving unlawful discrimination in the workplace. Specifically, the honest belief of a Wal-Mart manager was found to protect … Continue Reading

Employers Have New Guidance for Avoiding Retaliation Claims

On August 25, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued its Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation. As such, the newly published guidance should be a “must read” for HR professionals and companies (right, just want you needed going into the Labor Day Weekend). Next, HR should be prepared to follow up with a meaningful assessment … Continue Reading

Workplace Recommendations for Responding to the Zika Virus

The number of Zika cases being reported in the United States and its territories continues to rise. Such cases were recently reported in Michigan (Ingham County and Monroe County).  For these reasons, it is prudent for Michigan businesses to understand their obligations and precautions that may be taken to limit Zika related risks in the workplace. … Continue Reading

Noncompete Litigation Between Papa John’s and Panera – Lessons For Protecting Competitive Advantages

Earlier this month a federal district court judge entered a temporary restraining order (TRO) against a former Panera executive and his new employer, Papa Johns. The TRO arose out of a lawsuit to enforce the former Panera executive’s non-compete agreement. That agreement restricted him from competing against Panera for one year after his employment ended. … Continue Reading

NLRB Makes Gambling with Your Company’s Employee Handbook a Risky Bet

Employers are once again put on notice that missteps in drafting employee handbooks and other HR policies will be targeted as unfair labor practices where they come within an area code of compromising employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). This time, a California casino was found to have interfered with workers’ labor … Continue Reading

Emails Become an Expensive Sideshow in Employment Discrimination Lawsuits

A recent employment discrimination lawsuit underscores the importance employers must place on preserving and producing electronic evidence. As explained below, the employer lost an opportunity to avoid significant costs associated with searching and recovering emails. Specifically, in Wagoner v. Lewis Gale Med. (7/13/16), the plaintiff sued his former employer Lewis Gale Medical Center LLC for … Continue Reading

What is Your Company’s Mindset in Conducting Employee Investigations?

I recently watched an excellent TED Talk by Julia Galef, that should be a “must read” for every HR professional who is tasked with the responsibility of conducting employee investigations. As explained below, applying the points made by Ms. Galef can improve your company’s response to allegations of discrimination or workplace misconduct, as well as … Continue Reading

Buying or Selling a Business? Don’t Forget to Consider Employment and Non-compete Agreements.

The decision to sell a company involves many considerations. One important – but often overlooked – consideration is the value that should be derived from having enforceable employee and non-compete agreements. However, all too often, due diligence fails to critically assess the enforceability or transferability of non-compete restrictions. As discussed below, the value of the … Continue Reading

Using Co-worker’s Computer Password Ends with Federal Computer Hacking Conviction

A federal appeals court on July 5, 2016, affirmed the conviction of a former executive, David Nosal in a Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) case that we’ve extensively covered. In sum, Mr. Nosal was charged in 2012 and amended charges were filed in 2013 for violating the CFAA by using a shared password to steal headhunting … Continue Reading

Trade Secret Computer Inspections Should Require More than Knee Jerk Reactions

A lawsuit involving trade secret misappropriation recently brought to mind the definition of a “knee-jerk reaction;” an “automatic and unthinking” response. Specifically, our law firm filed a lawsuit for breach of contract involving unpaid commissions and other claims on behalf of a former executive. In response, the former employer manufactured filed a counter-claim for trade secret misappropriation … Continue Reading
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