It’s been a busy week. The ABA Journal’s Legal Rebels project stopped by for a visit yesterday. We talked about the blog and how attorneys and clients can really take advantage of technology.
(We also talked about bar association activities; my public thanks to all the people on the various task forces and committees as well as the CBA staff for their tireless work on the projects referred to. Profiles like this tend to understate the accomplishments of others so I’d like to publicly acknowledge those folks too.)
But with all else going on, there’s just enough time for another edition of "Quick Hits" where I touch on stories you might have missed recently:
- The Employee Free Choice Act, the on-again, off-again bill that would make wide-spread changes to the nation’s labor laws is depending on what you read either getting closer to passage, or going nowhere. But at least one key senator, Arlen Specter, is pointing to the bill’s eventual passage with perhaps some changes from the original bill. EFCA Report has a good recap. Those comments have since been tempered. Additionally, Michael Fox points out that even without EFCA’s passage, there could be other changes in the way labor laws are enforced. [My take: Wait until the dust settles on the health care debate before worrying about EFCA.]
- The Wait a Second blog reports on a recent racial harassment case that was reversed by the Second Circuit. But this is not your textbook case as the blog highlights: "Most racial harassment cases involve racist whites harassing blacks. This case is the opposite, but the legal standard is the same."
- Last week, I talked about Saunders v. Firtel — which arose out of a dispute between business partners. The case had a bit more about it that I was going to highlight, but the (still relatively new) Connecticut Business Litigation Blog took up the cause. As Kane states: "The Supreme Court also upheld judicial dissolution of a company owned by the partners. The case highlights the complications that can arise between partners when one partner is also an employee in the business." Check it out. particularly if you are in a closely held small business.
- The CT News Junkie has a link to the state’s long-anticipated strategic economic planning document. You are warned, however, it’s 550 pages long. There are many facts and figures there that will be of interest to companies and HR professionals about workforce development and employment. However, despite the positives that the state has, it still lags behind in growing jobs (noting that the state ranks 37th in employment growth). Expect to hear a lot more about this in the upcoming weeks and months as the gubernatorial campaign heats up and the expected Democratic challengers focus on this.
- Non-Compete agreements continue to be a hot topic in employment law as companies struggle to protect their shrinking or stagnant business from walking out the door with key employees. A recent HR Capitalist blog addresses the issue of how to discuss this with employees.
- On Wednesday, the EEOC approved of a "Notice of Proposed Rulemaking", starting the process of developing new regulations for the Americans with Disabilities Act. No significant details are available yet but the EEOC has indicated that it will construe the statute liberally in light of the new ADA amendments. (H/T Washington Labor & Employment Wire)
- The Laconic Law Blog offers a link to some fresh guidance from the IRS on the proper classification of employees vs. independent contractors. Although there’s nothing revolutionary about it, it does help to clarify issues in a nice quick summary.
- And lastly, the Delaware Employment Law Blog routinely does a good job discussing work/life balance issues that are worth taking a look it. But as another blog recently noted, this issue is not confined to work. A terrific article by VentureBeat on how entrepreneurs can raise a family AND start a business, regardless of gender is definitely worth a look at.