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Category Archives: Employment Law

When D.C. Employers Use Criminal Records in Hiring

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

When you have a criminal record, it can be daunting to find a job. You might be surprised to learn that one in four Americans has been arrested. There is a stigma attached to a criminal history that can haunt an individual in his or her job search. Studies show that up to 92… Read More »

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Are You Protected Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination?

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

The United States has a long history of affording protections to groups commonly targeted with harassment and discrimination. Today, state and federal officials are turning their attention to the treatment of people based on their sexual orientation. However, people are still openly discriminated against for being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transsexual ‘ especially in… Read More »

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Should You Have An Arbitration Clause in Your Employment Contract?

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

When you are negotiating an employment agreement, there are many things to consider beyond the basics of the job description and salary. Unfortunately, not every employment situation works out ideally, and it is important to prepare for disputes and contingencies that could arise in the future. One contractual element to consider including is an… Read More »

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Considering a Criminal Record During Hiring

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

The hiring of individuals with criminal records is a sensitive issue. On one hand, many released convicts have a great deal of talent and exuberance to offer and can contribute significantly in a variety of positions. On the other hand, depending on the type of position and the nature of the conviction, hiring a… Read More »

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When Does Criticism Become Concerted Action?

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

Employers have always had to deal delicately with criticism and insubordination by employees. On one hand, it is important for employees to feel they have an outlet for identifying problems in the company and suggesting ways that it can improve. However, when such criticism is pervasive and unconstructive, it can destroy morale, decrease productivity… Read More »

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SCOTUS May Consider Circuit Split on Retirement Plan Vesting

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

As more and more employers in the United States are shying away from providing permanently vested benefits to their employees and retirees, a circuit split has erupted regarding the interpretation of ambiguous provisions governing collectively bargained retiree health care benefits. As is often the case when two U.S. courts of appeal reach conflicting answers… Read More »

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Government Moves to Raise Minimum Wage for Government Workers

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

While efforts in Congress to raise the national minimum wage — currently $7.25 per hour — have received resistance from employers and a lukewarm reception for legislators, the Obama Administration’s decision to raise the minimum wage for government contractors across the board could have an impact on many employers that do business with the… Read More »

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What Northwestern’s Football Player Union Could Mean

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

On April 25, 2014, 76 student athletes from Northwestern University cast their votes on whether the players should certify a union to bargain on their behalves under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). While the results of the election may not be known for some time — and are certain to have significant ramifications… Read More »

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U.S. Supreme Court Determines Scope of Whistleblower Protection under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

In Lawson v. FMR LLC, whistleblowers worked for mutual fund advisers, rather than the public company mutual funds. The Court of Appeals determined they did not fall within the whistleblower protections of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. The Court of Appeals held that the protections only applied to employees of public companies, not those… Read More »

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NLRB Reissues Expedited Union Election Rules

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

In 2011, business advocates across the nation balked at the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB’s) attempt to modernize labor union election procedures and expedite elections. Opponents argued that these new rules — dubbed “ambush election” rules by opponents — would deprive management of a fair opportunity to make a case against unionization to their… Read More »

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