I’ve posted before about Fox Rothschild’s dominance of the legal blogosphere. But in this post, I want to highlight the variety of our employment-related blogs. We have:

So whatever your area of interest relating to employment law, we have you covered.

Copyright: outstyle / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: outstyle / 123RF Stock Photo

 

The Bay Area Urban Debate League (“BAUDL”) is a debate mentoring program that currently serves 14 Bay Area schools and over 400 students. Studies show that these programs improve literacy, GPA, graduation rates, and provide a host of other direct benefits to the participants, their schools, and the community.

Fox Rothschild LLP is proud to be among 14 prominent law firms competing in BAUDL’s “Champions of Diversity” fundraising campaign. The initial round is this week, ending Friday, March 28th, during which the firms will compete to see which firm can raise the most money and the most money per attorney in their Bay Area office(s). There will then be a second round among the top three finalists. The winner gets a full-page ad.

You can find updated results here and, if you’re moved to give, you can do so on behalf of your my favorite law firm here. Every bit helps and it’s a very worthy cause.

Nancy Yaffe’s post entitled “Want to Get Sued? Fire Someone and Say ‘You Aren’t the Right Fit’” was named by Mondaq as their Most Popular Article in the United States for January 2014. Careful readers will recall that we won the same award last October for our post “8 Things You Should Never Say in a Termination Meeting.”

In the spirit of the award season, Nancy and I would like to thank our readers for continuing to follow our blog, even when we occasionally lapse into shameless self-promotion and bask in our unprecedented popularity.

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My colleagues Mark McCrearyAmy Purcell, and Scott Vernick have created Data Breach 411, an app that helps companies affected by a data breach quickly and efficiently navigate the various state legal requirements governing breach notifications and related concerns.

Features include:

  • State Breach Notification Statutes: Alphabetical listing of the 46 states that have data breach notification statutes in place and links to relevant information.
  • HIPAA/HITECH Statutes: Breach notification rules and other information related to the loss or theft of personal health information.
  • General Privacy Law Resources: Links to Fox’s Privacy Compliance & Data Security Blog and its HIPAA, HITECH and Health Information Technology Blog as well as links to credit reporting agencies, monitoring services, and the FTC. There’s also, a section on COPPA – the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act – and relevant information about the mining of data originating with minors.

You can download it here for free. Or look for it on iTunes.

Fox Rothschild LLP is a proud sponsor of the Bay Area Urban Debate League. So am I. As I’ve written before, BAUDL helps to establish and maintain competitive debate leagues in under-resourced public high schools, through which under-served youth are taught to research and advocate positions on complex policy issues. Its participants are overwhelmingly students of color (98%) and low income (66%). BAUDL currently serves 15 high schools locally, with about 500 student participants, principally in San Francisco and Oakland. Our goal is to grow that number.

If you believe in equality of access to education, if it bothers you that the gap between the “haves and “have nots” continues to widen, if you believe that there are young people in the poorest parts of the Bay Area who deserve a chance to succeed (and have much to contribute), please support BAUDL.

I’ve been fortunate to meet many of these young people and their stories are inspiring. Rashid Campbell is one of many. Please take two minutes to watch this video and see how our organization is literally changing people’s lives. If you’re motivated to donate, you can do so on that same page (and feel free to repost the message).

BAUDL fight! BAUDL win!

 

 

Our post entitled “8 Things You Should Never Say in a Termination Meeting” was named by Mondaq as their Most Popular Article in the United States for October 2013. Mondaq is a leading online source of legal, financial, and regulatory information. This follows Paralegal 411 ranking us as the best blog covering California employment law.

Some may consider this shameless self-promotion. But I think that’s unfair. I can’t argue with the self-promotion part. But how do they know whether or not I’m ashamed?

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Paralegal 411, an online guide to paralegal programs and careers, just ranked the top employment law blogs. According to the site, the rankings are based on “website popularity metrics including the number of websites linking to them, Google Page Rank, website authority, and Twitter followers.” They ranked us 12th overall. Our friends at the Employment Discrimination Report came in a very respectable 15th. You can see the complete rankings here.

What we’re most proud of, though, is that we’re the highest rated of the five blogs devoted to California Employment Law.

It’s an honor just to be nominated and we’d like to thank our readers, our contributors, the Academy, … oh, darn! They’re playing the music. We’ve got to go.

Here guest bloggers Chip Zuver in LA and Dan Berkley in San Francisco explain some of the issues that employers need to pay close attention to when they take over a unionized workforce. Both Dan and Chip previously worked at the NLRB (which they insist we call “the Board”) and we’re grateful for their insights:

In Horizon Coach Lines, the NLRB’s Division of Advice discussed when a successor employer could lawfully implement changes to employee health and welfare benefits after hiring a substantial group of the predecessor’s employees, but before the union made a demand to bargain. In a factually specific opinion, the Division of Advice (“Advice”) concluded that the employer was not obligated to bargain with the union over the changes.

Under Board law, a successor employer  is generally free to hire whomever it wishes if it doesn’t do so to avoid a bargaining obligation with the union representing its predecessor’s employees. If the predecessor’s bargaining unit employees constitute less than half of the successor’s employees in the same positions, the employer can refuse to bargain with the union. Where the predecessor’s bargaining unit employees constitute more than half of the successor’s employees in the same bargaining unit positions, the successor is obligated to bargain with the union assuming the business continues. However, the  employer doesn’t have to assume the predecessor’s collective bargaining agreement. If the successor makes it clear before hiring the employees, it may set its own initial terms and conditions of employment.  However, any changes the successor makes after hiring those employees in the bargaining unit and after the union demands bargaining, must be bargained to agreement or impasse prior to implementation.  In the instant case, Advice concluded that the successor notified the union prior to takeover that it would be acquiring the predecessor’s business and provided employees with its employee handbook informing them that the terms and conditions of employment set forth in the employee handbook would apply if the employees were hired.

Based on how Advice addressed the matter, it seems that the enrollment forms given to employees after the union demanded bargaining did not explicitly describe some of the terms of the insurance plans. Here’s the good news for employers: This means that the successor employer can begin operations without explicitly laying out all the new terms and conditions of employment, at least with regard to benefits plans, if it makes clear that the employees will operate under new terms, describes those new terms, and any additional terms subsequently conveyed to employees  are consistent with those described by the successor prior to hire. The bad news for employers is that neither the General Counsel nor the Board needs to follow Advice’s recommendation.

Only time will tell whether the Board will choose to follow Advice’s recommendation in any cases the General Counsel chooses to prosecute irrespective of Advice’s recommendation. Of continuing value to employers is the notion that each business take over with a previously organized work force must be carefully planned, well in advance, and with attention to all of the details reflected in this decision and others on the subject.  The relationship among the various NLRB entities, Advice, Office of the General Counsel, the Regions is not always in harmony or logically driven.

You can read the full Advice Memo here: Horizon Coach Lines Advice Memo (pdf).

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 This post was authored by Alka Bahal, Partner in Fox Rothschild’s Roseland, NJ office.  It originally appeared on Fox Rothschild’s Immigration View blog.

On March 8, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a revised Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 for immediate use.  The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) published a Notice in the Federal Register informing employers of the new Form I-9.  This form replaces all other forms and should be used from today forward for all new hires and reverifications.  The previous editions of the Form (with an OMB control number expiration date of August 31, 2012) are valid for 60 days.  Thereafter, only the new edition of the form is acceptable.

Improvements to Form I-9 include new data fields, a revised format that expands the form to two pages, and clearer instructions to both employees and employers.

All U.S. employers are required to complete a Form I-9 for every employee hired in order to verify that the individual is authorized for employment in the United States under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA).  Beginning May 7, 2013, employers must use the new version of the Form for all new hires and for re-verifying current employees with expiring employment authorization documentation.  [Employers should not complete new Forms for existing employees who do not require re-verification.]  A best practice would be for employers to begin using the new edition of the form immediately.

The new Form I-9 and List of Acceptable Documents is available on USCIS’ website in English and in Spanish.  (Note, however, that the Spanish version of the Form may only be executed by employer’s in Puerto Rico; Employers in the 50 states, Washington, D.C., and other U.S. territories may use the Spanish version of the Form as a translation guide, only, but must complete the English version of the Form.)