Posts by Philip Bruce

Working on the Sabbath

Religious accommodation need not be employee’s preferred accommodation

Just as employers have a legal duty to reasonably accommodate employees’ disabilities, they also have an obligation to reasonably accommodate employees’ religious practices. Employers often struggle with determining what is reasonable, particularly when the employee requests an accommodation different than what the employer has offered. Recently, the Tenth Circuit clarified that a religious accommodation can…

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Resolution of wage violations not necessarily assured under PAID pilot program

A new pilot program announced by the U.S. Department of Labor just last week provides employers with renewed hope that the agency is changing its approach from one of strict regulatory enforcement to one that seeks to encourage voluntary compliance and minimize litigation.  Employers, however, should proceed with caution before voluntarily disclosing their possible violations…

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Appeals court continues narrow interpretation of Oklahoma’s non‑solicitation statute

Dealing with departing employees can be tricky. That’s why many companies require certain employees — particularly those with access to confidential or proprietary company information or customers — to sign written agreements that prohibit them from engaging in various acts of unfair competition after they leave the company. While Oklahoma law looks favorably on confidentiality…

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Employer successfully fights EEOC subpoena

Any employer that has gone through an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigation knows one thing is certain: you will have to provide mountains of documents. Normally, the EEOC will informally request documents, and the employer voluntarily complies. Other times, the EEOC will request too much information, and the employer refuses to comply. The EEOC…

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Don’t bet the farm on March (legal) Madness

March is upon us, which means spring is near and the sweet smell of tournament brackets will soon fill the air. For many, the month is synonymous with March Madness, the NCAA’s annual tournament that crown’s college basketball’s next national champion. What will that mean for businesses? If history is any indication, it is a…

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Attack on waivers of class action claims

Some companies ask their employees to sign arbitration agreements requiring them to arbitrate any disputes about their employment, rather than filing a lawsuit against the employer in a state or federal court. A few years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court held that waivers of class action claims in non-employment settings were enforceable. That led to…

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The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016: Implications for business, employers and employees

On April 27, 2016, Congress passed the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), which President Obama promises to sign soon.  This proposed legislation, which is designed to be an expansion of the Economic Espionage Act of 1996, would authorize a private civil action in federal court for the misappropriation of a trade secret that is related…

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