Wednesday, July 5, 2017

That is SO last week

Since the last edition of That Is So Last Week on June 26, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a Jimmy John’s franchise in the Twin Cities did not violate the organizing rights of six employees that it fired for publicly protesting the company’s sick leave policy. Following a failed effort in 2010 to unionize ten Jimmy John’s stores, pro-union workers were fired after they displayed posters that questioned food safety at Jimmy John’s to protest the company’s policy of not providing paid sick days. On Monday, the full Eighth Circuit held that communications in a labor dispute aren’t protected when they constitute a “sharp, public disparaging attack upon the quality of the company’s product and its business policies.” The Eighth Circuit’s ruling reversed prior decisions by the NLRB, a federal administrative law judge, and a three-judge panel of the Eighth Circuit, which had held that the workers’ organizing rights were violated.
Discrimination
Sensient Natural Ingredients LLC will pay up to $800,000, designate an internal EEO monitor, and revise its leave policies to settle charges that employees who took extended leaves of absence for disability-related care were discharged for exceeding the company’s restrictive leave policy or were required to return to work without accommodations.
Technology companies such as Google and Microsoft submitted an amicus brief urging the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to hold that Title VII protects against employment discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Janet Dhillon was nominated to chair the EEOC.
Technology
Engadget featured a biometric ring that can be used for everything from logging into your computer to keyless entry access at the office.
HR Dive reported on a clash of cultures after Walmart acquired e-commerce sites.
Venture capitalist Dave McClure resigned amid accusations of sexual harassment at the venture firm, 500 Startups, and publicly apologized for being “a creep.
In Other News
The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor announced that it is reinstating opinion letters for wage and hour issues.
Los Angeles announced that it is seeking $1.45 million in restitution and penalties from Carl’s Jr. restaurants for that restaurant chain’s failure to pay minimum wage to L.A. employees.
The Department of Labor officially withdrew its defense of the Obama administration’s FLSA overtime rule and is starting a new rulemaking process.
In two different cases, NLRB administrative law judges found that employees who complained about workplace matters to co-workers didn’t engage in “concerted” activity and weren’t illegally fired.