Technology Employment Law

Technology Employment Law

Legal Insight for Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Employers

NLRB Argues “Misclassification” of Independent Contractors Is Unfair Labor Practice

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Our colleague Steven M. Swirsky, a Member of the Firm at Epstein Becker Green, has a post on the Management Memo blog that will be of interest to many of our readers in the technology industry: “NLRB Argues ‘Misclassification’ as an Independent Contractor Is Unfair Labor Practice.”

Following is an excerpt:

In a further incursion into the area of the gig and new age economy, the Regional Director for the National Labor Relations Board’s Los Angeles office has issued an unfair labor practice complaint alleging that it is a violation of the National Labor Relations Act (the “Act”) for an employer to misclassify an employee as an independent contractor. …

The issuance of the complaint in this case comes less than a month after the Board’s General Counsel issued General Counsel Memorandum 16-01, Mandatory Submissions to Advice, identifying the types of cases that reflected “matters that involve General Counsel initiatives and/or priority areas of the law and labor policy.”  Among the top priorities are “Cases involving the employment status of workers in the on-demand economy,” and “Cases involving the question of whether the misclassification of employees as independent contractors,” which as reflected in the IBT complaint the General Counsel contends violates Section 8(a)(1) of the Act.

Read the full post here.

Weak HR Departments May Leave Startups Vulnerable to Lawsuits

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We recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by Julianne Tveten of Motherboard, for her article “HR Comes Last at Startups, and Women Pay the Price.”

The article raises some important issues for startup founders and investors.  In particular, as we discuss, a delay in establishing HR policies may inadvertently draw claims of harassment in the workplace.

Following is an excerpt of one of our passages:

“Usually, the wakeup call comes by way of litigation, investigation, or when the people strategy is not completely sound and investors or potential acquirers look at the operating model and it impacts their evaluation,” Schaefer said. “And that’s often way too late in the game to be focused on that.”

“It’s important to get on top of these issues early on or it’s easy to go for years out of [legal] compliance,” Michelle Capezza, an attorney who edits the blog with Schaefer, told Motherboard.

Read the full article here.

Paid Parental Leave in San Francisco: Employer Alert

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Our colleagues Steven R. Blackburn and Elizabeth J. Boca, attorneys at Epstein Becker Green, have a post on the Retail Labor and Employment Law blog that will be of interest to many of our readers in the technology industry: “San Francisco Paid Parental Leave.”

Following is an excerpt:

Under the proposed San Francisco ordinance, for up to six weeks employers must bridge the gap between the amount the employee receives in PFL and one-hundred percent of the employee’s gross weekly wages (referred to as “Supplemental Compensation”) for parental bonding purposes.  In other words, the employer must pay the remaining forty-five percent of the employee’s gross wages. However, if the employee is already receiving the maximum weekly benefit under the PFL law, the employee’s gross weekly wage is calculated by dividing the maximum weekly benefit amount by the percentage rate of wage replacement provided under the PFL.

Read the full post here.

Accessible Technology Claims Are Not Going Away: Recent Decisions Under ADA

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Our colleague Joshua A. Stein, attorney at Epstein Becker Green, has a post on the Retail Labor and Employment Law blog that will be of interest to many of our readers in the technology industry: “Recent Decisions Reinforce That Accessible Technology Claims Are Not Going Away.”

Following is an excerpt:

As businesses continue to compete to provide customers and guests with more attractive services and amenities, we have seen increased utilization of technology to provide those enhanced experiences.  However, in adopting and increasingly relying on new technologies such as websites, mobile applications, and touchscreen technology (e.g., point of sale devices, beverage dispensers, check-in kiosks) accessibility is often overlooked because of the lack of specific federal standards in most contexts. The two recent decisions discussed below – one in New York and the other in California – do just that.

Read the full post here.

New Online Resource Can Help Employers Make Their eRecruiting Technologies Accessible to All Job Seekers

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Our colleague Frank C. Morris, Jr., attorney at Epstein Becker Green, has a post on the Financial Services Employment Law blog that will be of interest to many of our readers in the technology industry: “New Online Recruiting Accessibility Tool Could Help Forestall ADA Claims by Applicants With Disabilities.”

Following is an excerpt:

In recent years, employers have increasingly turned to web based recruiting technologies and online applications. For some potential job applicants, including individuals with disabilities, such as those who are blind or have low vision, online technologies for seeking positions can prove problematic. For example, some recruiting technologies and web-based job applications may not work for individuals with disabilities who use screen readers to access information on the web. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) recently announced the launch of “TalentWorks.”

Read the full post here.

Immigration Alert: USCIS Announces That the Congressionally Mandated H-1B Cap for Fiscal Year 2017 Has Been Reached

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Immigration AlertOur colleagues in Epstein Becker Green’s Immigration Law Group recently published a special client alert: “USCIS Announces That the Congressionally Mandated H-1B Cap for Fiscal Year 2017 Has Been Reached.

Following is an excerpt:

On April 7, 2016, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that it had reached the Congressionally mandated H-1B cap for fiscal year 2017 (“FY17”). This announcement applies to both the general cap of 65,000 and the additional cap of 20,000 for those with advanced degrees from U.S. universities.

Read the full alert here.

DHS Expands F-1 STEM OPT Program – Employment Law This Week

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One of the featured stories on Employment Law This Week is the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) release of its highly anticipated final rule expanding and modifying the F-1 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Optional Practical Training (OPT) Program.

A 2015 district court case found procedural errors in the DHS’s program, putting the current employment and OPT extensions of thousands of foreign nationals in jeopardy. This new final rule is DHS’s response to the court’s decision. Among other changes, the new final rule extends the potential work period to 24 months and puts into place new, tougher requirements for employers to satisfy.

View the episode below or read more about the final rule in a Special Immigration Alert from Epstein Becker Green.

Employers: Caregivers Will Be Protected Under New York City’s Human Rights Law

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Our colleagues Peter M. Panken, Nancy L. Gunzenhauser, and Marc-Joseph Gansah have a post on the Retail Labor and Employment Blog that will be of interest to many of our readers in the technology industry: “Employers Should Care About This: New York City’s Amendment on Caregiver Discrimination.”

Following is an excerpt:

The New York City’s Human Rights law (“NYCHRL”) prohibits employment discrimination against specified protected classes of employees and applicants including:

race, color, creed, age, national origin, alienage or citizenship status, gender, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, partnership status, any lawful source of income, status as a victim of domestic violence or status as a victim of sex offenses or stalking, whether children are, may be or would be residing with a person or conviction or arrest record.

If this list wasn’t long enough, on May 4, 2016, NYCHRL will add “caregivers” to the protected classes including, anyone who provides ongoing medical or “daily living” care for a minor, any disabled relative or disabled non-relative who lives in the caregiver’s household. …

Read the full post here.

Immigration Alert: USCIS Announces That Current Form I-9 Remains in Effect Until Further Notice

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USCIS Announces That Current Form I-9 Remains in Effect Until Further Notice

Our colleagues in Epstein Becker Green’s Immigration Law Group recently published a special client alert: “USCIS Announces That Current Form I-9 Remains in Effect Until Further Notice.”

Following is an excerpt:

On March 31, 2016, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that employers should continue using the current version of Form I-9 until further notice. USCIS guidance was required because the current Form I-9 bears an expiration date of March 31, 2016. The USCIS has proposed a new Form I-9 to replace the current version, but the agency has been unable to finalize it prior to the expiration date of the current form.

We anticipate that the USCIS will issue the new form within the next two to three months.

Read the full alert here.

DOL’s New Persuader Rule Is Intended to Aid Union Organizing

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Our colleagues Adam C. Abrahms and Steven M. Swirsky, attorneys at Epstein Becker Green, have a post on the Management Memo blog that will be of interest to many of our readers in the technology industry: “Department of Labor Releases New Persuader Rule Intended to Aid Union Organizing.”

The US Department of Labor has finally issued its long awaited Final Rule radically reinterpreting the “Advice Exemption” to the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (“LMRDA.”).  The Final Rule eviscerates any meaningful use of the Advice Exemption, which would be swallowed up by the new expansive definition of persuader activity which could include discussion regarding strategy, reviews of employer drafts and myriad other ways labor attorneys currently aid their clients including essentially any meaningful advice or counsel provided by labor counsel. The move comes just over two years to the day from the DOL’s 2014 postponement of its issuance of the Final Rule. …

Read the full post here.

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