Two recent federal criminal indictments have captured the attention of both antitrust and employment lawyers, as well as the legal and business community nationwide. The cases – both in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas – demonstrate that the U.S. Department of Justice is escalating its focus on so-called wage-fixing and no-poach agreements. This is an important development to be aware of because (1) the Department of Justice treats wage-fixing and no-poach agreements as per se illegal, meaning that they violate the law regardless of whether there is any anti-competitive effect, and (2) companies may be held liable for these agreements even if they are formed between lower-level employees. Continue Reading New Indictments Raise Antitrust Issues in Employment Settings
In November 2020, Montana joined Arizona, New Jersey, and South Dakota in legalizing recreational cannabis use. Montana voters approved a pair of ballot initiatives on November 3, the Marijuana Legalization Initiative (“Montana I-190”) and the Allow for a Legal Age for Marijuana Amendment (“Montana CI-118”), both of which needed to pass for recreational use to become legal for adults 21 and older. Continue Reading Cannabis Legislation in Key States: Montana Voters Approve Legalizing Marijuana for Recreational Use
Remember August 2019? Before COVID? Before masks? Before shutdowns, limited reopenings, resurgences, and renewed shutdowns? Before presidential election drama?
Fifteen months seems like a lifetime ago. And for many of us, at least a few action items that were important at the time have since slipped to the back burner. That doesn’t make us bad people or even procrastinators; we’ve had a few emergent issues to address that have taken priority. But we’re now about five weeks away from a deadline that was instituted for Illinois employers in August 2019, and if you haven’t already done so, now is the time to ensure compliance with the Workplace Transparency Act (WTA).
Election Day 2020 is days away. Early voting records have been shattered, with tens of millions of voters already casting their ballots by mail or in-person early voting. Despite these record early voting numbers, tens of millions more will still vote in person on November 3. Some of those Election Day voters are certain to be your employees. Continue Reading We Have Enough Battlegrounds: Keep Employee Voting Leave Requests Civil by Following State Law
Under a new presidential executive order, employers may not provide any employee training that teaches employees “cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race or sex” if the employer is a federal contractor.
Following a September 4, 2020 White House memorandum reprimanding federal agencies for holding “divisive, un-American” instruction on systemic racism, on September 22 Donald Trump signed Executive Order 13950, “Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping,” which prohibits federal agencies from “promot[ing] race or sex stereotyping in the Federal workforce or in the Uniformed Services.” The Order goes much farther than that, however, by providing that federal contractors “will not be permitted to inculcate such views in their employees.” Continue Reading New Executive Order Prohibits “Divisive” Diversity and Inclusion Training for Federal Contractors
Many companies were caught off-guard in the spring when diagnoses of COVID-19 multiplied rapidly and forced businesses to close or drastically change their policies with little warning. Now companies that have reopened must prepare for the future. As we have seen in recent weeks, resurgences may occur at any time in different parts of the country. And epidemiologists have warned about a potential second wave of infections in the fall. Continue Reading Reopening and Readjusting: Preparing for a Diagnosis or Resurgence in the Coming Months
In our last post, we discussed policy changes and new procedures that companies should consider as they reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly given the increase in cases in many parts of the country. But companies cannot change policies in a vacuum: they must clearly and effectively communicate these changes to employees, customers, and the public. Clear, written policies will be ineffective if they are not communicated effectively. Continue Reading Reopening and Readjusting: Communicating COVID-19 Policies to All Stakeholders
Business closures have been immensely difficult for companies of all sizes during the COVID-19 pandemic. But reopening is proving difficult, too, especially given the ever-changing nature of the pandemic. As cases have surged in recent weeks in new parts of the country, businesses have been forced to reassess their operational plans in both the near- and long-term. Owners and executives are paying close attention both to customer and employee safety. And businesses must be mindful of potential legal ramifications of their decisions. Continue Reading Reopening and Readjusting: What Businesses Should Be Thinking About
Effective July 6, travelers coming into the City of Chicago from 15 designated high-risk states have been asked to quarantine for 14 days or risk incurring fines. With few exceptions to the order, employers will have to navigate the practical implications that are sure to arise as summer travel heats up. Continue Reading Stay Home, Chicago: Emergency Order Requires Travelers from High-Risk States to Quarantine
Earlier today, the U.S. Supreme Court held that discrimination based on sexual orientation or transgender status is sex discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Court’s opinion in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia resolves a circuit split and makes adverse employment actions against gay, lesbian, or transgender people illegal across the nation.