In a world radically changed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the way we communicate in the workplace has been permanently altered with the integration of online communication platforms. Effective communication is essential to human functioning, including within the context of organizations and business entities. But the common workplace communication method changed swiftly when communication technologies replaced in-person communication that once typified office settings. While the integration of online communication platforms was a major contributor to the survival of many businesses, is it possible that these same communication platforms have the potential to exacerbate underlying differences among a diverse and remote workforce leading to increased employment litigation?
Continue Reading Can Differences in Communication Styles Among a Diverse Workforce Contribute to Discrimination Claims?

In a unanimous 8-0 decision, in Southwest Airlines Co. v. Saxon, the U.S. Supreme Court (Court) held that airline cargo ramp supervisors that assist with loading and unloading cargo constitute a class of workers engaged in foreign or interstate commerce and are exempt under the from the scope of the Federal Arbitration Agreement (FAA). Justice Thomas authored the opinion on behalf of the Court (Justice Barret was recused from the case) and set forth a two-part analysis that (1) defined the relevant “class of workers” and (2) determined whether the class of worker is “engaged in foreign or interstate commerce.”
Continue Reading SCOTUS Nixes Forced Arbitration Clause in Southwest Employment Contract of Cargo Ramp Supervisor

A new COVID-related bonus from the State of Minnesota is coming “to thank those Minnesotans who worked on the frontlines during the COVID-19 peacetime emergency.”  Certain employers who employed frontline workers in Minnesota have affirmative, required steps to take to make their employees aware of the opportunity.
Continue Reading Required Notice Posting for Employers of Frontline Workers in Minnesota

As anticipated, Governor Polis signed into law last week Colorado’s new limitations on restrictive covenants, which includes noncompetition, nonsolicitation, and confidentiality covenants.  Our Colorado employment team has already issued a legal alert that provides detail about the bill.  FAQs:  Colorado Further Limits Restrictive Covenants.
Continue Reading Colorado Cracks Down on Restrictive Covenants

Predictability and fairness are typical pillars of employment law. Where predictability allows both employers and workers to understand and navigate the rules and regulations that are applicable to them, fairness provides a constant level of security to all parties. Recently, the Texas Supreme Court used an unpredictable procedure to reach what it calls a “rule of fairness and right.”
Continue Reading Conditioning Payment on Continued Employment: Texas Supreme Court Rules Company Owed Fired Executive Commissions

Not surprisingly, simple solutions to complex issues are often elusive. Yet on rare occasions, the solution is in plain sight. Doubtful? For employers struggling with the issue of a remote employee’s eligibility for job-protected leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), there is a very simple answer. And, unlike the analysis we discussed in our commentary about wage and hour issues for remote employees, the answer does not depend on the location of the remote employee.
Continue Reading Employer Compliance Guidance: Remote Worker Eligibility for FMLA Benefits