Author Archives: Joseph Marra


Employers are often wondering whether they should consider mandatory arbitration agreements for their non-union employees. Such arbitration agreements provide many advantages to the employer-employee relationship. As the law continues to develop, employers are asking more and more whether arbitration agreements are right for their workplace. What is an arbitration?  Arbitration is a form of dispute resolution where an employment dispute is privately resolved by a neutral third-party arbitrator, or panel of such arbitrators. Non-union arbitration typically occurs under the rules … Continue reading

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Posted in Arbitration, Handbook Policies, Labor, New Legislation, Supreme Court | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment


Employers who use contract service providers or independent contractors are now at increased risk of being sued. The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) recently issued an interpretive bulletin aimed at curbing employers’ misclassification of individuals as independent contractors. The USDOL says most independent contractors should be legally classified as employees. An employee misclassified as an independent contractor can sue the employer for minimum wage violations, overtime pay and other benefits. The employer may also owe retroactive contributions for worker’s compensation … Continue reading

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Posted in Department of Labor, Independent Contractor, Legal Updates, Wage and Hour | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment


The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled on March 12, 2015 that social anxiety disorder may be a recognized disability under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA).  The case is titled: Jacobs v. N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts. Previously, the ADA definition of disability had been construed more narrowly by the courts.  However, where the alleged unlawful acts occurred after January 1, 2009, the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (“ADAAA”) applies.  Under … Continue reading

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Posted in ADA, EEOC, Leave Laws | Tagged , , | Leave a comment


Recently, in Battle’s Transportation, Inc. and Jerome Kearney, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) ruled that an employer’s confidentiality agreement was an unlawful restriction on employee rights. The confidentiality agreement barred employees from discussing “human resources related information” and “investigations by outside agencies.”  The NLRB held the agreement was overboard because employees could reasonably construe those phrases to restrict employees from discussing their terms and conditions of employment or from discussing protected activity such as NLRB complaints or investigations. Employers should … Continue reading

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Posted in Confidentiality Agreement, Handbook Policies, Legal Updates, NLRB | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Employers Beware: Your No-Fault, Points-Based Attendance Policies May Violate the Law

Under “no-fault” attendance policies, employees accumulate a set number of “points” per absence — regardless of the reason for the absence. After an employee accumulates a pre-designated number of points, the employee is usually subjected to increasing levels of discipline ending with termination. Understandably, these policies are often used by companies that cannot expend time or resources to determine the reason(s) for each absence. While the policies may seem fair and make sense from a business standpoint, they also create … Continue reading

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Posted in Leave Laws, Legal Updates | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Washington Employers: Beware of Meal and Rest Period Claims

One of the more troubling types of employment claims an Employer can face is a claim by employees that they did not receive their meal periods or rest periods. Meal and rest period claims are often added to other employee complaints and lawsuits, such as complaints involving discrimination, retaliation, and whistleblower claims. This is because attorneys for employees are well aware of the inherent proof problems that Employers face with meal and rest period litigation.  As a result, meal and … Continue reading

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