Five Workplace Policies That Trending Caselaw Suggests Employers Should Include In Their Employee Handbook

Most employers are aware of the traditional “must have” policies that should be included in every employee handbook.  For example, all employers should have an equal employment opportunity and anti-harassment policy and, in most states, an at-will employment statement.  Likewise, employers with fifty or more employees must have a written FMLA policy.  There are, however, …read more »

A Primer on Legal Protections for LGBT Employees: Past, Present, and Future (Part 1)

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider a trio of cases presenting the question of whether Title VII’s protections are broad enough to forbid discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The cases will be argued in the fall, with decisions likely issued by June 2020. Until then, employers …read more »

State Medical Marijuana Laws Provide Increasing Protections for Applicants and Employees

As more states approve marijuana’s medical use, employers must understand the significant legal developments and how they affect the workplace. New Mexico and Oklahoma have recently passed medical marijuana laws with provisions that provide employment protections for applicants and employees. Below is a discussion of those protections, several of which are the types of protections …read more »

Is Your Company Vulnerable to the New Wave of Sex Discrimination Class Actions?

As we have written about previously, the #MeToo movement is spurring changes in harassment and discrimination law.  One of these changes appears to be a new wave of class action sex discrimination lawsuits that do not simply focus on one alleged discriminatory practice at a time – such as pay discrimination, or a hostile working …read more »

M2D Defeats Anti-SLAPP Motion in Nonsolicitation Case

On behalf of a client prosecuting claims for breach of a customer nonsolicitation agreement, M2D lawyers Mike Muskat and Daniel Lenhoff recently obtained the trial court’s denial of the defendants’ motion to dismiss under the Texas Citizens Participation Act (TCPA), the state’s anti-“SLAPP” law.   The TCPA has been used in recent years by some defendants …read more »

CBD: What Employers Need to Know

CBD seems to be everywhere lately. You may have noticed ads for CBD oil and other products, promising all types of health benefits—from eliminating acne to improving brain function to alleviating cancer-related symptoms. New shops selling CBD have popped up, and established businesses have gotten into the act. There is even a one-mile stretch in …read more »

FMLA Medical Certifications: Does 15 Days Really Mean 15 Days?

The Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and accompanying regulations require employees to return a requested medical certification within 15 days.  I frequently get questions asking what to do if an eligible employee does not return the medical certification within the 15-day period. While the FMLA suggests that an employer may be able to deny FMLA …read more »

Shining the Light on Ambiguous Arbitration Agreements

We have previously analyzed employers’ ability to arbitrate class-wide claims on an individual basis, see here, but what happens if an arbitration agreement is ambiguous as to whether class arbitrations are permitted? The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Lamps Plus, Inc. v. Varela, 139 S. Ct. 1407 (2019) provides guidance. In Lamps Plus, an …read more »

What Employers Need to Know about Hair Discrimination

Most employers maintain dress codes and grooming policies. And most of these policies dictate that employees must wear “professional” or “business-appropriate” hairstyles. Some go a step further, prohibiting “extreme” or “distracting” coiffures. Such policies, so long as enforced in an even-handed way, have not traditionally been viewed as presenting significant legal risk. But over the …read more »

Four Government-Drafted Resources for Employers You Might Have Missed

It’s hard to imagine a better defense an employer could have than “the government said I should do it this way.” But even though government agencies take months or years to create guidance for employers, too often that guidance never gets used (or even heard about). Below are four government-created resources with guidance for employers …read more »