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    EMPLOYMENT LAW LEGAL RESEARCH BLOG

    Nadine Roddy

    Recent Posts

    Recent Legislation Provides Coronavirus Relief for the American Workforce

    Posted by Nadine Roddy on Tue, May 12, 2020 @ 12:05 PM

    Nadine Roddy—Senior Attorney, National Legal Research Group

                On March 18, 2020, the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 ("Families First Act"), Pub. L. No. 116-127, was signed into law. The measure is the second in a series of recent legislative attempts to ameliorate the adverse health and economic effects of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 in the United States.  The Act applies to employers with fewer than 500 employees, and its major provisions require (1) paid sick leave, and (2) paid FMLA leave for child care during the pandemic. The Act's leave provisions are effective April 2, 2020 through December 31, 2020.

                A third piece of legislation, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020 ("CARES Act"), Pub. L. No. 116-136, was signed on March 27, 2020. A massive relief package, it provides for increased public health spending, cash relief for individual citizens earning under $75,000 a year ($150,00 a year for married couples), enhanced unemployment benefits, a lending program for small businesses, and targeted relief for certain heavily impacted industries.

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    Topics: Nadine Roddy, wrongful burial statute, virtual juries, COVID-19, Families First Act, CARES Act, child care leave, employer tax credits, paid sick leave

    Arbitration—“Gateway Issues”

    Posted by Nadine Roddy on Tue, Feb 5, 2019 @ 11:02 AM

    Nadine Roddy—Senior Attorney, National Legal Research Group

                When an arbitration agreement is in effect, who decides whether an employment dispute—or any dispute for that matter—is arbitrable? The Supreme Court recently released a pair of decisions that address this issue under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), Henry Schein, Inc. v. Archer & White Sales, Inc., ___ S. Ct. ___, 202 L. Ed. 2d 480, 2019 WL 122164 (Jan. 8, 2019), and New Prime, Inc. v. Oliveira, ___ S. Ct. ___, 2019 WL 189342 (Jan. 15, 2019).

                Each case involved an arbitration agreement that contained a clause delegating the issue of arbitrability of disputes to an arbitrator rather than a court. The Supreme Court had previously held that such clauses are enforceable under the FAA. Rent-A-Center W., Inc. v. Jackson, 561 U.S. 63 (2010) (applying 9 U.S.C. § 2). Some courts of appeals developed an exception to this general rule, holding that a court need not grant a motion to compel arbitration under § 4 of the FAA if the argument that the underlying claim is within the scope of the arbitration agreement is "wholly groundless."

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    Topics: contracts, Federal Arbitration Act, arbitration clause, Nadine Roddy, gateway issue of arbitrability, exceptions to Act

    AGE DISCRIMINATION—PUBLIC EMPLOYERS

    Posted by Nadine Roddy on Thu, Dec 27, 2018 @ 12:12 PM

    Nadine Roddy—Senior Attorney, National Legal Research Group

                The Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA") applies to all public employers, including those with fewer than 20 employees, a unanimous Supreme Court held in its first merits decision of the October 2018 term.  Thus, the 20-employee minimum that applies to private employers does not apply to a state or its subdivisions. The 8-0 decision, Mount Lemmon Fire Dist. v. Guido, ___ S. Ct. ___, 202 L. Ed. 2d 262 (2018), resolves a split of authority between the Ninth Circuit on one hand and the Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and Tenth Circuits on the other.

                The case arose when a fire district in Arizona, faced with a budget shortfall, laid off its two oldest full-time firefighters—Fire Captains who were aged 46 and 54. Not surprisingly, the firefighters brought suit against the fire district for age discrimination. In seeking to dismiss the suit, the fire district argued that it was too small to qualify as an “employer” under the ADEA. The district court agreed, granting summary judgment for the fire district, but the Ninth Circuit reversed, holding that the 20-employee minimum that applies to private employers does not apply to a state or its subdivisions.

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    Topics: Nadine Roddy, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, public employers, 20-employee minimum, state and political subdivisions

    Breach of Fiduciary Duty and Unfair Competition

    Posted by Nadine Roddy on Mon, Nov 26, 2018 @ 11:11 AM

    Nadine Roddy—Senior Attorney, National Legal Research Group
    John Buckley—President, National Legal Research Group

                A federal district court sitting in Pennsylvania has held that an employer may proceed with its unfair competition suit asserting contract and tort claims against a former employee and the employee’s current employer. The employer adequately stated claims of common-law breach of fiduciary duty and unfair competition against the employee, and of aiding and abetting the same against the competitor. However, the employer’s claim of tortious interference with prospective contractual relationship against the employee would be dismissed because the complaint failed to allege a sufficient likelihood of a prospective contract. Neopart Transit, LLC v. CBM N.A., Inc., 314 F. Supp. 3d 628 (E.D. Pa. 2018).

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    Topics: employment law, John Buckley, Nadine Roddy, unfair competition, prospective contract

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