Monday, June 30, 2014

That is SO last week

As its session drew to a close, the U.S. Supreme Court issued two decisions last week in cases important to employers, and both drew lots of attention.  The Noel Canning decision gave rise to much hyperbolic discussion on what the ruling actually meant, and the Court may have sent a signal to employers about the sanctity of employee cell phones in the Riley v. California decision when it declared warrantless searches of cell phones unconstitutional.

Also last week, the White House hosted a summit on working families and timed the summit to deliver a list of initiatives, including increased apprenticeship opportunities for women, grants to get the unemployed back to work, support for STEM programs, and extended tax cuts for working families.  While no substantive legislation was introduced during the summit, the focus on work/life issues facing working families drew praise from participants and commentators.  As President Obama continues to criticize the lack of congressional initiatives, expect these summits to continue and to put pressure on Congress to take related action.

In other developments: 

Technology
  • Josh Bersin looked at privacy issues as employee monitoring and big data gain more acceptance and adoption in the workplace.
  • The International Association of Privacy Professionals recognized a paper entitled Big Data's Disparate Impact that will examine the hidden biases used in big data.
  • Meghan Biro at Forbes looked at the big trends in human resources, including cloud computing, videos, and social media, as ways to engage and communicate with  employees and potential applicants.

     
     
Wage and Hour
  • Massachusetts increased its minimum wage to over $11.00 per hour.
  • The New York Times examined what the minimum wage should be, based on the costs of living in different cities.
  • InsideCounsel looked at wage and hour audits and how to best conduct an internal audit before the Department of Labor comes knocking.
Litigation
  • With hundreds of NLRB cases in legal limbo, Dan Schwartz examined recent NLRB cases in which the employee was protected and reinstated regardless of how vulgar or offensive s/he was.
  • The California Supreme Court held that class action waivers in arbitration agreements can be enforceable.
Posted by: Kate Bischoff
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