In a decision with important consequences for employers with national non-compete programs, a Massachusetts Superior Court Judge recently invalidated the Massachusetts choice-of-law and forum-selection provisions of a non-compete agreement between a Massachusetts company and its former, California employee. See Oxford Global Resources, LLC v. Hernandez, No. 1684CV03911-BLS2 (Mass. Super. Ct. June 9, 2017). The court determined that the agreement was adhesory and designed to circumvent California public policy.
Following the lead of other states and cities, on July 19, 2017, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee signed the “Parity in Pay Ordinance” into law. The Ordinance, which takes effect on July 1, 2018, prohibits San Francisco employers from asking job applicants about their salary history or from considering earnings information in determining whether to hire an applicant and what salary to offer them.
In addition to requiring payment of minimum wage and overtime, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act protects employees from retaliation for making a complaint, testifying, or instituting a proceeding “under or related to” the FLSA. A new decision from the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals underscores the scope of this protection.
On June 14, 2017, Governor John Carney signed a new law that will prevent Delaware employers from requesting the salary history of job applicants. It is designed to narrow the pay gap between men and women. The law currently will be the first state law of its kind to go into effect on December 14, 2017. Although Massachusetts passed a similar law, it does not go into effect until January 2018. Employers cannot be sued under Oregon’s law until January 1, 2019. New York City, Philadelphia, and Puerto Rico have also passed
Unlike the parenting technique that requires a misbehaving child to sit in a designated area for a set amount of time, Gymboree Corporation, the well-known San Francisco-based company that operates specialty retail stores of children’s apparel, will serve its time-out before Judge Keith L. Phillips in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
With little fanfare or explanation, US Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced on June 7, 2017 the withdrawal of the US Department of Labor’s 2015 and 2016 informal guidance on joint employment and independent contractors.
Following a recent trend that started in Massachusetts and the City of Philadelphia, New York City has become the latest jurisdiction to ban employers from inquiring about salary history for applicants. Mayor Bill de Blasio signed Intro. 1253 into law on May 4, 2017. The law is designed to prevent pay discrimination against women and people of color.
On May 30, 2017, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law Bill 1387-A, which prohibits covered retail employers from engaging in so-called “on-call scheduling,” a practice that is very common and in many cases critical to the industry.
A watchdog organization known as Transparentem has uncovered dire working conditions in the heavily polluted tanneries located outside of Dhaka in Bangladesh. According to Transparentem, men, women, and children as young as fourteen have been working in a highly toxic environment under dangerous conditions with little or no protective gear. Further, Transparentem claims to have tracked the flow of leather from these tanneries to companies that produce shoes and handbags for several leading Western brands.