Labor & Employment

May 17, 2022

Wilson and Ritchie Speak at Mississippi Employment Law 2022 Seminar

Malissa Wilson and Spencer Ritchie were speakers at the Mississippi Employment Law 2022 seminar sponsored by the National Business Institute, which was held May 3, 2022. The basic level seminar examined current issues in Mississippi employment law for attorneys, human resources and financial professionals, and other business executives. Wilson and Ritchie spoke about issues related to hiring and firing employees and discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims against employers. Click here to learn more about FormanWatkins’ Labor & Employment practice.

December 16, 2021

Gault and Ritchie Complete Successful Department of Labor Whistle Blower Trial

Win Gault and Spencer Ritchie completed a successful administrative law trial before the United States Department of Labor, Office of Administrative Law Judges.  The plaintiff, a former pilot, claimed monetary damages under the FAA whistle blower provisions from his employer in the high six-figures.  After a three-day trial and substantial post-trial briefing, the administrative law judge awarded only $2,700 in damages.

November 10, 2021

Employment Law Update: With COVID-19 Numbers Down, Vaccinations Up, Employer’s Things-To-Do List

For 18 months, companies have been consumed with navigating a myriad of operational challenges during this once-in-a-generation pandemic.  HR departments have had the daunting task of interpreting in real time the onslaught of executive and state orders, congressional acts, and federal agencies guidelines to implement COVID-19 policies and procedures to address a variety of personnel matters from remote work to vaccination directives.

October 1, 2021

Malissa Wilson Re-Joins Forman Watkins & Krutz as Partner

FormanWatkins is pleased to announce that Malissa Wilson has re-joined the firm as a partner in its Jackson, Mississippi office.  Malissa brings to the firm nearly 20 years of litigation and trial experience, much of which has involved handling employment matters.

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 […]