Category Archives Insight

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) signed into law a pay equity bill that is the first in the nation to prohibit employers from inquiring about an applicant’s salary history. Since women have historically been paid less than men, supporters of the bill emphasized that the practice of asking for a salary history perpetuates a cycle of lower salaries for women. The bill was unanimously approved by both the Massachusetts House and Senate.

Unpaid internships historically have been a common practice among for-profit companies and a valuable means for students to gain work experience and earn high school or college credit. In 2010, however, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidelines limiting for-profit companies’ ability to offer unpaid internship opportunities. The focus of these guidelines is the requirement that the internship serve as educational training and a benefit for the intern, not the benefit of the employer.

The U.S. Supreme Court released its much anticipated opinion in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, No. 13-1339, 578 U.S. ___ (2016). There, the Court considered whether a bare statutory violation of a procedural right under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is sufficient to confer Article III standing. The Court held that to confer standing, the statutory violation must present an injury-in-fact which is “concrete and particularized.” But because the Ninth Circuit’s analysis focused solely on the particularization requirement, and omitted the requisite concreteness analysis, the Court remanded the case back to the Ninth Circuit. The Spokeo decision is an encouraging development for companies facing high-stakes, “harm-less” class action litigation based on alleged technical statutory violations.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has required employers to provide reasonable accommodations to disabled employees since its passage in 1990. Although the ADA is now more than 25 years old, many employers still struggle with the question: When is an extended leave of absence considered a reasonable accommodation?

In our ever-innovative, competitive and connected economy, those seeking to protect trade secret information just added one more arrow to their quiver. On Wednesday, May 11, 2016, President Barack Obama (D) signed into law the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), which is implemented as a series of amendments to the Economic Espionage Act (EEA). The DTSA had vast bipartisan support and passed through each house of Congress handily.

Shook, Hardy & Bacon Partner Bill Martucci discusses Lyft’s recent proposed settlement agreement to end its “employee vs. independent contractor” class action lawsuit and how the decision could affect similar pending litigation.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released a detailed summary of its enforcement and litigation data for fiscal year (FY) 2015, calculated from October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015.