Legal Issues

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Massachusetts Governor Wants to Ban Non-Compete Agreements

Deval Patrick

By Eric J. Uhl  and Jeffrey Fritz

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (right) recently announced a bill — An Act to Promote Growth and Opportunity — that would provide workforce training opportunities and promote economic development incentives across the Commonwealth.

As part of his economic development package, the Gov. Patrick proposes to enact the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, but at the same time eliminate traditional non-competition agreements.

The proposed bill (which is not the first non-compete legislation in recent Massachusetts history) prohibits any contract that would in any way restrict an employee’s, or independent contractor’s, ability to seek employment with any other employer after termination of the employment or independent contractor relationship. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Court Says There’s No Right to Be Left Alone While on FMLA Leave


By Eric B. Meyer

One of the questions I hear a lot from employers is: Can we communicate with employees on Family and Medical Leave Act leave and, if so, how much?

Over the weekend, I read this recent opinion from the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Philadelphia, which is right in my backyard. The case involved an employee who was informed that her job was being eliminated. However, her employer offered her another position within the company.

The only catch was that she sign a non-competition agreement. The employee was given specific deadline in which to accept and sign. The alternative was termination with a severance. Read more…

Compensation, Legal Issues

Employers Stuck in the Middle on Evolving Equal Pay Laws

123RF Stock Photo

By Gregory D. Hanscom

President Obama recently signed two executive orders changing the landscape of equal pay protections applicable to federal contractors.

The first executive order prohibits federal contractors from firing, demoting or retaliating against employees who discuss their compensation. The second order directs the Secretary of Labor, Thomas Perez, to establish and implement new regulations requiring federal contractors to submit compensation data that, in part, is broken down by sex and race.

According to the White House, the data will be used to encourage voluntary compliance with already existing equal pay laws and assist with more targeted enforcement initiatives. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Does the ADA Now Require That You Accommodate Stealing?


By Eric B. Meyer

Back in 2011, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Walgreens from disability discrimination.

Specifically, the EEOC claimed that Josefina Hernandez, a cashier at Walgreens’ South San Francisco store, who suffered from diabetes, was on duty when she opened a $1.39 bag of chips because she was suffering from an attack of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

The EEOC further alleged that Walgreens knew of Ms. Hernandez’s disability and fired Ms. Hernandez after being informed that Hernandez had eaten the chips because her blood sugar was low, even though she paid for the chips when she came off cashier duty. Read more…

Legal Issues, Webinars

TLNT Webinar: Navigating Murky Waters of ADA & FMLA Legislation

What organization or employer is not currently having or has had leave of absence issues? The answer that first comes to mind is next to none, but what if that was able to be far less of a burden then it currently is?

Joining in the upcoming TriNet sponsored webinar, featuring Eric Meyer, will provide you with many tips, tricks, and real-life applications that you can use to improve your workforce immediately. This is one webinar where a leave of absence may not be a good choice.

Please join Eric Meyer, a partner in the Labor and Employment Group of the Philadelphia-based law firm Dilworth Paxson LLP,  for a one-hour webinar on Thursday, April 17, at 11 am Pacific time (2 pm Eastern).

Register here:

Can’t attend? No problem! Sign up and receive a recording to view at a time that is more convenient for you!

Legal Issues

What Is Work? The Supreme Court’s Decision Will Sort It Out

Photo illustration by

By Carolyn A. Pellegrini

“I have to go to work.” “Work was tough today.” “I don’t get paid enough for the work I do.”

We make these or similar statements, and we’ve all heard them. But what do they mean? What is “work”?

Recall that the Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to compensate employees for “work.” As set forth in the Portal-to-Portal Act, employers need not compensate employees for preliminary and post-liminary activities unless such activities were “integral and indispensable” to a worker’s main activities.

That’s completely clear, right? Wrong. Read more…

Global HR, Legal Issues

Hong Kong: Workplace Policies That Embrace the Best of East AND West

123RF Stock Photo

By Alice Wang

Hong Kong is not just a pivotal financial center of Greater Asia with soaring towers and enigmatic business opportunities; it also embraces traditions and honors family-oriented values.

Following my earlier article on Employment and Workplace Challenges in Hong Kong, let’s discuss some of the practical implications and recent developments in Hong Kong’s employment arena. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Will Congress Require Sex Harassment Training For Its Employees?


By David N. Goldman

Many private employers, and the agencies under the federal executive branch, provide regular sexual harassment training to their employees. Yet, one notable employer, the United States Congress, does not.

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-CA, seeks to bridge that gap.

This week, Speier introduced a resolution to amend the Rules of the House of Representatives to require members and their staff to take “a specific program of training in the prevention and deterrence of sexual harassment in employment.” (Section 1 (a)(1)).

The annual training would be two hours for new members and employees, and one hour thereafter. (Section 1 (a)(3)(B)(ii)). Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

U.S. Senate Once Again Rejects Paycheck Protection Act

123RF Stock Photo

By Ilyse Wolens Schuman

As expected, U.S. Senate supporters of the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 2199) failed to muster the 60 votes needed to advance the bill to a floor vote.

This bill would have, among other things:

  • Expanded damages available under the Equal Pay Act (EPA) to include potentially unlimited compensatory and punitive awards for wage discrimination; Read more…
Compensation, Legal Issues

The Disinformation Surrounding the “Tipped-Employee Minimum Wage”

123RF Stock Photo

By John E. Thompson

A White House report promoting a substantial jump in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act‘s minimum wage perpetuates now widely disseminated propaganda about an alleged “tipped employee minimum wage” of $2.13 per hour.

The fact is that there is no such thing. Talk of a so-called “tipped minimum wage” is designed in part to create a false impression that tipped employees are typically relegated to making less than the actual FLSA minimum wage. Read more…