Labor & Employment

April 6, 2020

COVID-19: Applying the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

With the recent implementation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), small business owners have more questions than answers applying the law in real time as shelter-in-place orders go into effect in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Department of Labor (DOL) has answered several questions in its Q&A sheets to assist employers on their responsibilities under the Act.  The following is a recap of the DOL’s answers to some of the more pertinent questions:

March 20, 2020

Employment Law Update – COVID-19 and the Workplace:  An Employer’s Quick Guide

With COVID-19 reaching pandemic status and the total number of cases in the United States surging, it has become critical that employers have a response strategy.  Any response strategy to COVID-19 should consider the current and developing labor and employment laws implicated by the COVID-19 crisis along with the concerns that could arise outside the employment context, including potential tort and contract liability.

October 8, 2019

Employment Law Update: Arbitration Clauses in Employment Agreements – October 2019

Arbitration Clauses in Employment Agreements:  Keeping Them Enforceable  By:  Malissa Wilson Mandatory arbitration clauses in employment contracts reduce the possibility that legal action will be taken against employers.  Wrongful termination, wage and discrimination claims can all be resolved in a private process before a disinterested third person, rather than publicly in court before twelve jurors. While enforceable, arbitration clauses in employment agreements must still comply with basic principles of contract formation.  For instance, an employee can still raise misrepresentation, mistake, and undue influence as defenses to the enforcement of an employment agreement containing an arbitration clause.  In drafting arbitration clauses, it is important that the language is written in a way that is not confusing (use of terms that are vague or not commonly understood) or hard to read (font size is too small).  It is also important that the clause is fair by not placing more of the cost to arbitrate on the employee or placing unreasonable limitations on damages or the proceedings themselves. The arbitration clause should name the arbitration organization, such as the American Arbitration Association, where the claim will be filed and whose rules will be followed. When presenting an arbitration clause to potential and current employees, human resource personnel should go over the clause with the employee; answer any questions an employee may have; and, not rush or pressure the employee into signing the agreement.  Last, the agreement must be signed indicating an understanding that the employee is waiving the right to pursue employment-related claims […]

June 6, 2019

Employment Law Update: Failure to File Charge of Discrimination Is Not The Death Knell For A Discrimination Lawsuit

In a recent decision, the U.S. Supreme Court opened the door for employees to bypass filing a Charge of Discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) before filing suit.  The Court unanimously decided, in Fort Bend County v. Davis, that Title VII’s charge-filing requirement is procedural and not jurisdictional. By making this finding, the Court for the first time made clear that federal courts have the authority to hear Title VII claims that are not the subject of a Charge of Discrimination, and that the charge-filing requirement could be waived by employers for failure to timely assert it as a defense.

June 5, 2019

Join FormanWatkins at the Mini Law School for HR Professionals Seminar

Malissa Wilson and Spencer Ritchie will be speakers at the upcoming Mini Law School for HR Professionals seminar.  This is a basic level seminar that will examine the current issues in human resource law for attorneys, Human Resources and financial professionals, and other business executives.  Malissa and Spencer would love for you to join them!

April 8, 2019

Wilson and Ritchie Speak at Human Resource Law from A to Z Seminar

Malissa Wilson and Spencer Ritchie were speakers at the Human Resource Law from A to Z seminar, held March 27-28, 2019, in Pearl, Mississippi. The basic-to-intermediate level seminar provided a comprehensive overview of current issues in human resource law for attorneys, Human Resource and financial professionals, and other business executives.  Wilson and Ritchie spoke about discrimination and harassment; workplace behavioral issues; workplace privacy and employee monitoring; and, disciplining and firing employees. Click here to learn more about FormanWatkins’ Labor & Employment practice.

March 12, 2019

Employment Law Update: Spring Has Sprung Proposed Overtime Rule and Confusion Over Wellness Incentives

The seasons have changed from Winter to Spring, but the EEOC’s position regarding wellness incentives remains the same. This year’s stalemate over employee wellness programs has increasingly caused employers to ask: have wellness incentives become more trouble than they are worth? In a dramatic shift from its former endorsement of wellness incentives, the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) has invalidated the incentive provisions of its wellness program regulations. The result: since January 1, 2019, when the EEOC regulations became ineffective, employers have been in limbo when it comes to implementing their employee wellness programs, with no guidance from the EEOC to speak of.

December 20, 2018

Join FormanWatkins at the Human Resource Law from A to Z Seminar

Malissa Wilson and Spencer Ritchie will be speakers at the Human Resource Law from A to Z seminar.  This seminar is basic-to-intermediate level and will examine current issues in human resource law for attorneys, HR personnel, accountants, and presidents and vice presidents.  Malissa and Spencer would love for you to join them!