Polsinelli at Work |  Labor & Employment Blog

Employers, whether large or small, face an ever-growing web of workplace regulations and potential entanglements with employees. With employment litigation and advocacy experience as our strength, preventing legal problems from arising is our goal. Our Labor & Employment attorneys advise management on complex employee relations and workplace issues. 20 offices; 800+ attorneys. 

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Employer Beware: Considerations When Hiring a Competitor’s Employees

Employer Beware: Considerations When Hiring a Competitor’s Employees

By Emma Schuering

Restrictive covenants, such as non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, typically assist employers to protect their legitimate business interests.When properly drafted and implemented, an employer can use these types of agreements to limit an employee’s ability to unfairly compete after he or she concludes employment.

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Ninth Circuit Certifies Questions to California Supreme Court Regarding Applicability of California Employment Laws to Mobile Workforce

Ninth Circuit Certifies Questions to California Supreme Court Regarding Applicability of California Employment Laws to Mobile Workforce

By: Michele Haydel Gehrke

In three separate cases involving airline employers, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently certified five questions to the California Supreme Court for guidance on whether California’s labor code provisions apply to non-residents who may be temporarily working in the state for an out-of-state employer because of the mobile nature of a company’s operations. 

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United States Supreme Court Validates Class and Collective Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements

United States Supreme Court Validates Class and Collective Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements

By: Stan Hill

In a 5-4 decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, No. 16-285, the United States Supreme Court upheld the use of class and collective actions waivers in arbitration agreements.  Employers nationwide may require employees to sign agreements to arbitrate any employment disputes on an individual basis

The majority opinion, written by Justice Gorsuch, found no conflict between the broad mandate to enforce arbitration agreements under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) and employees’ rights to bargain collectively under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).  Observing that these nearly 100-year-old laws “have long enjoyed separate spheres of influence,” the majority opinion saw no reason to pick one statute over the other.

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Employee Grooming Policies and the Limits of Title VII

Employee Grooming Policies and the Limits of Title VII

By Stan Hill

Employers may regulate the length, style, and neatness of employees’ hair in the workplace through so-called grooming policies, unless the hair style is a matter of sincere religious observance posing no more than a minimal burden on the employer.   A more complicated issue arises when grooming policies prohibit certain hairstyles that are culturally associated with race, such as dreadlocks.  Untangling this issue, on which few courts have spoken, the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals (binding in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida) held that employers may enforce a grooming policy that prohibits dreadlocks, despite a close cultural association to race.

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