On January 21, 2015 at The Standard, Highline, New York, New York, members of Epstein Becker Green’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications Strategic Industry Group, Stout Risius Ross (SRR), Axial and the New York State Innovation Venture Capital Fund led an informative roundtable discussion regarding “Moving to the Next Level: Valuation & Financing Considerations and Employment Strategies for Start-Ups and Emerging Technology Companies.” This two-part discussion addressed how to take a company to the next level from a financial and valuation perspective, and relatedly, how to manage and mitigate workplace employment issues to ensure the human capital engine of the business … Continue Reading
The common denominator for all start-ups – whether your start-up has $50 or $500 million in its coffers – is its people. As they grow beyond founders, each start-up and emerging technology company will welcome new faces into the organization to deliver on its business plan. Whether they are new partners, employees, freelancers, consultants or otherwise – it is the human capital engine that often dictates the success or failure of an otherwise brilliant idea.
While welcoming like-minded, passionate people into one’s organization can be source of immense pride for founders, it also presents employment law challenges and pitfalls that … Continue Reading
The unrelenting wave of wage and hour suits continues to roll through the high-tech industry.
On July 21, 2014, in Felczer v. Apple Inc., Judge Ronald S. Prager of the Superior Court of California granted class certification as to a class of approximately 21,000 current and former Apple retail and corporate employees on claims alleging Apple failed to provide timely meal and rest breaks as required under California Law. The California Labor Code, with a few exceptions, requires employers to provide non-exempt employees with 30-minute unpaid and … Continue Reading
Whitney Wolfe, former marketing vice president and co-founder of the company responsible for the popular mobile dating app, Tinder®, recently filed suit in California state court alleging sexual harassment and discrimination surrounding her experience and eventual departure from the company. Tinder Inc.’s parent companies, IAC and Match.com, are also named as defendants. While the complaint is only one side of the story, the exhibits attached to the complaint, which contain text messages between Wolfe, Chief Marketing Officer Justin Mateen (Wolfe’s supervisor and alleged harasser), and Chief … Continue Reading
One of the main battlegrounds between employers and employees relates to the ability of employers to preclude class actions by way of arbitration agreements containing class action waivers. In California, the seminal case of Gentry v. Superior Court (“Gentry”) has had the practical effect of invalidating class action waivers in employment arbitration agreements since 2007. Gentry held that an employment class action waiver was unenforceable as a matter of California public policy if the class action waiver would “undermine the vindication of the employees’ unwaivable statutory rights” under the Labor … Continue Reading
The newest issue of Take 5 is online, featuring contributions from Michelle Capezza, Nancy Gunzenhauser, Marshall Jackson Jr., Brandon Ge, Gregg Settembrino, and myself, colleagues in our firm’s Technology, Media, and Telecommunications (TMT) Strategic Industry Group.
In this issue, we cover employment issues in “The Cloud”:
- Solving Rainy Day Problems While It’s Only Partly Cloudy: Wage and Hour Concerns
- PHI in the Cloud: HIPAA, Data Privacy, and Data Security
- The Cloud, the Evolving Role of the CIO, and the Increasing Importance of Attracting and Retaining Key IT Talent
- The Cloud Keeps Following Me: Jurisdictional Challenges … Continue Reading
As a member of the New Jersey Technology Council and an NJTC Ambassador, I participated in the TechVoice D.C. Fly-in held February 11 through 12 in Washington, D.C. on Capitol Hill. This Tech Policy Summit was sponsored by TechVoice, CompTIA and TECNA which brought together delegations from nation-wide State technology councils and organizations, technology industry business leaders, and academicians (the “Advocates”), as well as members of the U.S. Congress (House and Senate) and their staff to discuss various policies and legislation impacting today’s technology companies and our economy. The following are a few of the policy priorities and reform issues … Continue Reading
In a complimentary webinar on February 20 (1:00 p.m. ET), our colleagues Frank C. Morris, Jr., and Adam C. Solander will review the ongoing impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on employers and their group health plans.
The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service recently issued highly anticipated final regulations implementing the employer shared responsibility provisions of the ACA, also known as the employer mandate. The rules make several important changes in response to comments on the original proposed regulations issued in December 2012 and provide significant transition relief.
Objectives of the webinar are to:
- Provide an overview … Continue Reading
As an increasing number of employers use social media to screen prospective employees and to monitor the activities of current employees, several states have enacted social media privacy laws, including Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Utah and Washington. Oregon joins those states in 2014.
Oregon’s new law is highly protective of employee and applicant privacy. Employers in Oregon are prohibited from requesting that an employee or applicant disclose a username or password to social media accounts. The law also prohibits employers from compelling employees or applicants … Continue Reading
Our colleague Frank C. Morris, Jr., at Epstein Becker Green wrote the December issue of Take 5, with five key action items for employers in 2014. Following is an excerpt:
It’s December, and human resources professionals and law departments are reflecting on the issues addressed in 2013 and giving thanks for incident-free holiday parties. But the big question is this: What issues should get priority attention for 2014 as part of a proactive approach to workplace issues and limiting potential employment and labor law claims? This month’s Take 5 provides a “Top 5″ list of action items to maximize … Continue Reading
How can an employee of a national employer not “work” where her employer works? How can such an employee not be subject to suit in the corporation’s backyard?
According to a recent New Jersey state court decision, a technology consultant for a New Jersey corporation who worked in Illinois and provided no services to New Jersey based clients could not be subject to suit in New Jersey. This decision is instructive for technology companies with a significant national workforce (particularly if they leverage remote/agile workers) in how to structure the employment relationship … Continue Reading
I recently read Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, which includes a call to action for men and women to end gender bias in the workplace. Yet, Lean In is not only a discussion about gender bias and stereotypes, women being held back or holding back themselves but, it’s a call to action as a society to work together toward equality. A common question that has followed for many who have read the book is where do we begin; how can we move forward as a society to address the issues that face all of us in the … Continue Reading
New York State has finally codified its position on permissible deductions from employees’ wages. On November 6, 2012, an amendment to New York’s Labor Law (“Labor Law”) will take effect. The amendment expands the list of employee wage deductions that New York employers may lawfully make, so long as the employee authorizes such deductions.
On September 7, 2012, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the legislation that he introduced, which amends Labor Law Section 193 … Continue Reading
Two recent decisions involving Netflix again raise the question of whether all online business activities are covered by the public accommodation requirements of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) or whether a “bricks and mortar” presence is required to invoke ADA protections. In late June, in National Association of the Deaf v. Netflix, Judge Ponson of the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts denied Netflix’s motion for judgment on the pleadings that challenged the application of the ADA to its video streaming website. The court found that, despite the absence of a … Continue Reading
In a move that signals a trend to employers, the Acting General Counsel (“AGC”) of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) recently claimed in two unrelated cases that allegedly overly broad “employment-at-will” disclaimers contained in employee handbooks have the effect of chilling or interfering with employees’ exercise of their right under the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”) to engage in protected concerted activity. As we previously discussed in “Helpful Guidance Summarizing the National Labor Relations Board’s … Continue Reading
Effective April 3, 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) extended its existing recordkeeping requirements under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act to employers covered by Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (“GINA”). The burden on employers to comply with the recordkeeping requirements under GINA will likely be minimal, as employers should already have recordkeeping policies in effect for personnel and other employment records pursuant to these and other employment laws with the same … Continue Reading
We are pleased to announce that Epstein Becker Green’s first app – Wage & Hour Guide for Employers – is now available for download in the App Store on iTunes, for both iPhones and iPads. You can find this complimentary app by searching for “Wage Hour” or accessing the following http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wage-hour-guide/id500292238?mt=8&ls=1.
The Wage & Hour Guide app enables employers to access up-to-date federal wage and hour guidelines as well as various state guidelines, which can differ by jurisdiction. In addition, users can obtain insights and commentary about the latest wage and hour developments and issues by accessing this blog directly through … Continue Reading
On October 20, 2011, the Computer Professionals Update Act (“the CPU Act”) – one of the first potential pieces of good news for employers this year – was introduced in the U.S. Senate. If passed, the CPU act would expand the computer employee exemption of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). S. 1747.
Unlike much of the other legislation affecting employers that has been proposed or passed this year, the CPU Act would make business easier… Continue Reading
By: Betsy Johnson and Evan J. Spelfogel
Employment litigation is growing at a rate far greater than litigation in general. Twenty-five times more employment discrimination cases were filed last year than in 1970, an increase almost 100 percent greater than all other types of civil litigation combined. Case backlogs at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and in state and federal courts and administrative agencies nationwide number in the hundreds of thousands. Class and collective wage and overtime cases are inundating the courts. These types of cases now even outnumber discrimination cases. Most of the employment-related cases pending … Continue Reading