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Category Archives: Employment Law

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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Supreme Court Considers “Fair Share” Laws

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

Over the last several decades, public sector unions that represent state and local government employees have steadily increased in power and influence in the United States. This has partially been due to the ability of these unions to enjoy a stable stream of revenue due to “fair share” laws that allow them to collect… Read More »

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High Court Case Takes on “Donning and Doffing” Under the FLSA

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

Despite the fact that the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has been in effect for almost 75 years, there are still instances where its nuances require judicial interpretation. One issue that arises from time to time is the extent to which union-negotiated collective bargaining agreements can override certain provisions of the FLSA. In a… Read More »

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US Supreme Court Clarifies Causality Standard for Retaliation Cases

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

Employee charges and lawsuits for discrimination under federal law frequently go hand-in-hand with allegations of retaliation. These types of charges can be particularly damaging to employers from a public relations perspective because they are almost always premised upon allegations of deliberate and premeditated action by the employer. They are also a threat legally because… Read More »

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How NLRB v. Noel Canning Could Impact Labor Policy

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

Every so often, a case comes along that can rightly be called a landmark decision because it has exceptionally broad ramifications and fundamentally changes the legal landscape. It seems, however, that such landmark cases have become peculiarly common of late. With the legal community still mulling over the impact of the Windsor decision from… Read More »

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U.S. Supreme Court Rules that Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives Are Not Entitled to Overtime Pay

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers are generally required to pay overtime to employees. In Christopher v. SmithKlineBeecham Corp., pharmaceutical sales representatives sued their employers for overtime wages owed pursuant to the FLSA. However, there is an outside salesmen exception to the FLSA. The defendant pharmaceutical company maintained that these employees fell… Read More »

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Coleman v. Maryland Court of Appeals: Important Supreme Court Decision Regarding the Family and Medical Leave Act

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

The Family and Medical Leave Act’s self-care provision permits an employee to take leave if there is a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of the position of such employee. The plaintiff, Daniel Coleman, worked at the Court of Appeals of Maryland when he requested leave under the… Read More »

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