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Employment Law

DOL: Texas Panhandle pipeline workers got the shaft

A multinational pipeline repair corporation underpaid employees working on a project in the Texas Panhandle town of Borger, according to investigators from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.

Check employee’s EEOC filings for missed deadlines

Employers should always check EEOC complaints to make sure the deadline was met. If more than 300 days have passed, and the employee still sues, you can usually get the case tossed out.

OK to expect better behavior from managers

While a subordinate might be excused for a minor rule breach, his supervisor could legitimately be disciplined for breaking the same rule. Just make sure your handbook outlines this greater expectation.

State child labor violation costs $1.2 million

Warning! State child labor laws can be far more strict than federal rules. If you have teen employees, it’s not enough to train your managers about federal youth employment rules. They need to understand state law, too.

EEOC charge trends contain good news & bad

Good news and some bad news for employers lurks within the EEOC charge statistics for Fiscal Year 2019.

DOL celebrates Women’s Bureau 100th anniversary, created in 1920

The U.S. Department of Labor is commemorating the centennial anniversary of the Women’s Bureau—one of the department’s longest-serving agencies—with a year-long celebration that marks its establishment in 1920.

AB 5—California’s new independent contractor law—comes under fire

Opponents of California’s controversial new independent contractor law, AB 5, have moved to get a competing law on the ballot. They fear that if gig workers became employees, as they would under AB 5, it would raise some employer costs an estimated 30%.

Employee represents herself? Prepare for long legal slog

Sometimes, litigious employees decide to act as their own attorneys. Don’t assume this will make it easy for you to win in court. If anything, when a past or current employee decides to represent herself, the case may end up taking longer and costing more.

Encourage staff who witness harassment to report it

Since the #MeToo movement became influential in 2017, the EEOC has focused on encouraging so-called bystander reporting of workplace sexual harassment. But a recent case highlights what happens when a bystander takes reporting harassment seriously and finds himself fired.

Broad arbitration agreement can cover even unusual claims

Challenging the legality of a specific arbitration agreement is one way employees might try to get out of it. When that fails, their attorneys may try to come up with a novel claim that doesn’t seem to fit neatly into the agreement. Fortunately, they rarely succeed.