The National Labor Relations Board’s decision to reinstate the narrower standard for determining joint employment it had in place prior to its controversial Browning-Ferris ruling has won plaudits from business groups, angered worker advocates and left some experts wondering if Congress is likely to soon decide the issue once and for all. Here, Law360 looks at five questions left lingering by the board’s bombshell decision.
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Analysis

5 Questions Raised By NLRB’s Joint Employer About-Face

The National Labor Relations Board’s decision to reinstate the narrower standard for determining joint employment it had in place prior to its controversial Browning-Ferris ruling has won plaudits from business groups, angered worker advocates and left some experts wondering if Congress is likely to soon decide the issue once and for all. Here, Law360 looks at five questions left lingering by the board’s bombshell decision. Read more »

NLRB Nixes Specialty Healthcare's 'Micro-Unit' Standard

The National Labor Relations Board on Friday overturned an Obama-era ruling allowing “micro-units” of workers to unionize in a decision split along party lines, lowering the bar for employers to expand bargaining units past the limits proposed by workers. Read more »

NLRB Reverses On Employers' Duty To Bargain With Unions

The National Labor Relations Board in a split decision Friday overturned a 2016 ruling limiting the changes employers can implement in union workplaces, restoring 50-year-old precedent that allows businesses to change policies without a union’s permission if they’ve taken similar actions before. Read more »

Gibson Dunn Joins Probe Of Sex Misconduct In Calif. Senate

A team from Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP led by a former federal prosecutor and Sacramento employment specialists Van Dermyden Maddux will conduct a two-year investigation into sexual harassment allegations in the California Senate, a move Senate leaders announced Thursday as part of a commitment to change the culture at the Capitol. Read more »

MVP: Jones Day's Matthew Lampe

Jones Day labor and employment practice co-chair Matthew Lampe had another banner year in 2017, securing judgments ending and narrowing two suits against IBM and helping Verizon beat back a potentially costly wage class action to earn himself a spot among Law360’s 2017 Employment MVPs. Read more »

DISCRIMINATION

11th Circ. Revives Ex-Detective's Discrimination Fight

The majority of an Eleventh Circuit panel on Friday revived a former Union City, Georgia, police detective’s claims that she was discriminated against because of her race, gender and a disability when she was fired, saying a jury should decide the case after hearing all the evidence. Read more »

WAGE & HOUR

Jimmy John's Managers Can Sue Franchisees, 7th Circ. Says

The Seventh Circuit reversed a decision Thursday that blocked a number of Jimmy John’s assistant store managers from suing the owners of the sandwich-shop franchises where they work over allegedly unpaid wages while their litigation bringing similar claims against the franchisor proceeds, saying a lower court didn’t have the authority to issue the injunction. Read more »

NJ Justices Won't Mull 'Exotic Dancers As Employees' Ruling

The New Jersey Supreme Court has refused to second-guess a state appellate opinion issued this year that a now-defunct strip club owed money to state funds meant for employees who lose their jobs or become disabled because exotic dancers there were employees, not independent contractors. Read more »

MGM Slashes Suit By Ex-Atty Facing Child Sex Charges

A California judge on Friday granted MGM’s request to toss defamation and employment claims brought by an entertainment attorney who was fired from an MGM subsidiary after he was charged with sexual assault of a child, but said the lawyer could take another shot at the employment claims. Read more »

LABOR

Casino, Union To Settle Unfair Labor Practice Charges

Las Vegas-based Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has agreed not to interfere with its workers’ rights to join or assist a union as part of a deal with a UNITE HERE affiliate that would settle a matter before the National Labor Relations Board, the union announced Friday. Read more »

Unions, Fashion Brand Settle Bangladesh Fire Safety Accord

Two international labor unions said Friday they had reached a settlement in arbitration proceedings with an unnamed global fashion company that will ensure the Bangladeshi supplier factories used by the brand are brought up to the safety standards laid out under the country’s Accord on Fire and Building Safety. Read more »

BENEFITS

Trump's ACA Birth Control Waivers Blocked By Pa. Judge

A Pennsylvania federal judge on Friday temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s rules dialing back the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate through religious or moral exemptions for employers, saying the federal government failed to follow proper procedures in implementing the policies. Read more »

House, Trump Admin, States Settle ACA Subsidy Battle

The Trump administration, the U.S. House of Representatives and 17 states embroiled in a legal battle over billions of dollars in Affordable Care Act subsidies have agreed to settle a dispute currently pending before the D.C. Circuit, according to an agreement filed in federal court Friday. Read more »

TRADE SECRETS

Special Master Says Uber Should Have Produced Letter

The special master in Waymo’s self-driving car trade secrets suit against Uber said Friday that a letter detailing an ex-Uber employee’s allegations against the company should’ve been produced during discovery, in a report released the same day the 37-page letter — and its claims of corporate espionage and evidence destruction — was unsealed. Read more »

BACKGROUND CHECKS

Uber Driver Objectors Call $7.5M Deal 'Outrageously Low'

Hundreds of objectors to a $7.5 million deal ending a class action against Uber for allegedly violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act by using background checks without applicants’ knowledge to make hiring decisions urged a California federal judge Thursday not to approve the "outrageously low" settlement amount. Read more »

WORKER PRIVACY

Hotel Biz Says Ex-Worker Can't Sue Over Fingerprint Data

Pineapple Hospitality Co. urged an Illinois federal court Friday to dismiss class allegations that the luxury hotel management company violated the state’s stringent biometric data law by collecting worker fingerprints, saying the ex-worker bringing the suit cannot prove workers were harmed by the practice. Read more »

EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

Del. High Court Affirms $2M Legal Fees To Ex-Optimis CFO

A three-justice panel of the Delaware Supreme Court on Friday affirmed a lower court ruling granting a $2 million judgment for attorneys’ fees in favor of the former chief financial officer of physical therapy firm OptimisCorp after a fight over control of the company. Read more »

EXPERT ANALYSIS

Employers' Insurance Issues For Sexual Harassment Claims

With daily revelations of sexual assault committed by public figures, employers are renewing their focus on employment practices liability insurance. However, the extreme social sensibility associated with sexual assault claims may complicate recovery, and employers should consider three key issues when seeking recovery under EPLI forms, says Micah Skidmore of Haynes & Boone LLP. Read more »

DOL Fiduciary Rule — Still Very Much Alive

While certain requirements of the U.S. Department of Labor's Fiduciary Rule were recently delayed, the rule's expanded definition of a fiduciary and the standards to which such fiduciaries are to be held are currently in effect, says Robert Gower of Trucker Huss APC. Read more »

Opinion

Jurors Should Have An Active Voice In Trials

We tell jurors how important they are to the successful implementation of our judicial system, but oftentimes we don’t treat them with the reverence they deserve. U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant III of the Eastern District of Texas, Lisa Blue of Baron and Blue, and Robert Hirschhorn of Cathy E. Bennett & Associates advocate three jury system improvements that will give jurors an active voice and role in our civil and criminal jury trials. Read more »

Alternative Fees: My Experience At Bartlit Beck

Bartlit Beck was a wonderful place to work for 18 years, and the lawyers there are not only excellent attorneys but also great people. That said, and stating my biases upfront, it is possible for me to look analytically at the Bartlit Beck fee model and make some observations on the pros and cons of one version of alternative fees, says J.B. Heaton, founder of investment analytics company Conjecture LLC. Read more »

LEGAL INDUSTRY

2nd Circ. Gets Kozinski Sex Probe Amid New Reports

Federal court leaders moved quickly Friday to answer accusations of inappropriate sexual behavior by U.S. Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski, sending a misconduct investigation to an oversight council at the Second Circuit amid new reports that brought the total number of public accusers to 15. Read more »

IRS Floats Tiered Partnership Rules Under New Audit Regime

The IRS on Friday released highly anticipated guidance on a new partnership tax audit regime to address, among other things, how tax adjustments should be taken into account by so-called tiered partnerships that have pass-through entities as partners. Read more »

Litigation Attorney Hiring To Tick Up In 2018

Litigation is expected to be a bright spot in an otherwise lackluster legal hiring market during the first six months of 2018, a survey of 200 law firm and corporate legal department hiring professionals has found. Read more »

Law Firm Diversity Is Uneven Across US Cities

African-American and other minority lawyers continue to be underrepresented in U.S. law firms, a nationwide report released Thursday has found, but the failure to build a diverse workforce is much more stark in some cities, such as Boston, than in others, such as Miami. Read more »

Social Media Can Create Confidentiality Exception, ABA Says

The fact that a piece of information about a former client is publicly available doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not subject to the lawyer’s duty to keep their confidences close, according to a Friday opinion from the American Bar Association. Read more »

GC Cheat Sheet: The Hottest Corporate News Of The Week

Experts shared with Law360 tips for helping employers keep the holiday festivities merry while limiting their legal risk, President Donald Trump tapped the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's Chai Feldblum for a new term and two Senate Democrats challenged the National Labor Relations Board's new general counsel. These are some of the top stories in corporate legal news you may have missed this past week. Read more »

In Case You Missed It: Hottest Firms And Stories On Law360

For those who missed out, here's a look back at the law firms, stories and expert analyses that generated the most buzz on Law360 last week. Read more »

Q&A

A Chat With Orrick COO Laura Saklad

In this new monthly series, legal recruiting experts Amanda Brady and Amy Mallow of Major Lindsey & Africa interview law firm management from Am Law 200 firms about how they are navigating an increasingly competitive business environment. The first conversation is with Laura Saklad, chief operations officer for Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. Read more »

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