U.S. Labor And Employment Law


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A Primer for Foreign Companies on U.S. Labor and Employment Law

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U.S. Labor And Employment Law

  1. 1. 1<br />A Primer for Foreign Companies on U.S. Labor and Employment Law<br />JACKSON LEWIS<br />
  2. 2. About Jackson Lewis LLP<br />2<br />Represents management exclusively in every aspect of employment, benefits, labor and immigration law and related litigation<br />Almost 650 attorneys in 46 offices nationwide<br />National perspective and sensitivity to the nuances of regional business environments<br />In the last five years, the firm has litigated more than 10,000 employment law cases<br />
  3. 3. Strategically Located Throughout the Nation to Serve Employers’ Needs<br />3<br />Offices in 46 locations<br />
  4. 4. U.S. Employment Law Basics<br />4<br /><ul><li> “At-Will” Employment
  5. 5. Unions
  6. 6. Employment Agreements</li></li></ul><li>At-Will Employment<br />5<br /><ul><li> Generally, companies can terminate employees at any time for any reason, so long as the termination is not in violation of a statute, a contract, or public policy.
  7. 7. There is no “2 weeks notice” requirement.</li></li></ul><li>A Brief List of U.S. Employment Laws<br />6<br /><ul><li> Fair Labor Standards Act
  8. 8. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
  9. 9. Age Discrimination in Employment Act
  10. 10. Americans with Disabilities Act
  11. 11. Equal Pay Act
  12. 12. Occupational Safety and Health Act
  13. 13. Fair Credit Reporting Act
  14. 14. Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (“COBRA”)
  15. 15. Family and Medical Leave Act
  16. 16. Drug-Free Workplace Act
  17. 17. Immigration Reform and Control Act</li></li></ul><li>State, Local and Common Law<br />7<br /><ul><li> State Wage & Hour Laws
  18. 18. State Discrimination Laws
  19. 19. State Leave Laws
  20. 20. State Workers’ Compensation
  21. 21. State Disability Laws</li></ul>* * *<br />Common Law: Privacy<br />Common Law: Whistleblower<br />
  22. 22. Unlawful Discrimination<br />8<br />Discrimination occurs when a person or group is treated less favorably than a similarly-situated person or group, because of a protected characteristic. Discrimination includes harassment.<br />
  23. 23. Termination “For Cause”<br />9<br /><ul><li>Employment Agreements
  24. 24. Collective Bargaining </li></ul> Agreements<br />
  25. 25. A Word About Unions<br />
  26. 26. Union Avoidance<br />11<br />Hiring and orientation procedures to lower turnover and produce loyal employees<br />Performance management system to identify and deal with poor performers<br />Apply compensation/benefits systems that are perceived as fair<br />Use effective discipline procedures that show “due process” to eliminate the need for a union grievance process<br />Use employee feedback systems that get employees involved in the business <br />
  27. 27. Non-Compete Agreements<br />12<br /><ul><li> Are they really enforceable?
  28. 28. What should they contain?
  29. 29. Reasonable Time
  30. 30. Geographical Scope
  31. 31. Protect Legitimate Business Interests
  32. 32. When should they be executed by employees?
  33. 33. Non-Solicitation vs. Non-Competition</li></li></ul><li>The Hiring Process<br />13<br />Advertisements<br />Employment Applications:<br />A request for the complete employment history<br />A requirement that the applicant explain gaps in employment or short residency periods<br />Careful questions about whether the employee has been convicted of a crime<br />Careful questions regarding medical issues<br />Applicant acknowledgment statement<br />True and accurate<br />Employment-at-will <br />
  34. 34. Background Checks<br />14<br />Privacy Issues<br />Direct vs. using a Third Party<br />The Fair Credit Reporting Act<br />
  35. 35. Job Descriptions<br />15<br />Job descriptions should be drafted to ensure they reflect only job-related criteria, list essential functions, and distinguish between essential and marginal job functions.<br />Job Descriptions are frequently important in wage and hour cases and disability cases.<br />
  36. 36. I-9 Forms/Immigration Status<br />16<br /><ul><li> Discrimination on the basis of nationality and/or citizenship is prohibited by federal and state law.
  37. 37. Employers should ask only whether an applicant may legally work in the United States.
  38. 38. An employer must complete an INS Form I-9 for each employee.</li></li></ul><li>Employee Handbooks<br />17<br />All Companies Should Have an Employee Handbook<br /><ul><li> The United States Supreme Court
  39. 39. Anti-discrimination policies
  40. 40. Anti-harassment policies
  41. 41. Family and Medical Leave Act Policies
  42. 42. Employee Acknowledgment Forms</li></li></ul><li>18<br />JACKSON LEWIS<br />QUESTIONS?<br />
  43. 43. THANK YOU<br />JACKSON LEWIS<br />19<br />