Parks Chesin & Walbert | Employment Law
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Did Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association Kill Union Fees?

In Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, nine teachers who all declined to join the California Teachers Association filed suit. They claimed that the mandatory collection of an agency fee paid to unions violates their First Amendment rights, as collective bargaining is an inherently political activity. The case looked like it would be a victory for conservatives and a blow to organized labor. However, with the sudden passing of conservative maverick, Justice Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court is now numbered at 8, deadlocked 4-4, thus preserving the status quo for unions.

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China and the US: Their Legal Influence on One Another

The laws that govern employment in one nation have an impact on other nations, too. This is perhaps most true when it comes to China and US. In this era of globalized trade, the way that a nation creates jobs and governs employment will inevitably affect commerce. Many products that sell in the United States are made in China. Many American workers, particularly professionals, leave the United States to work in China. Though Chinese employment laws aren’t necessarily of concern to American law firms and businesses alike, these laws and regulations affect people, and they affect trade. Chinese laws’ affect on the United States is inescapable.

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What All Employees can Learn From the Panama Papers

The Panama Papers: The fallout from this leaked document has been explosive. The Panama Papers scandal resulted from a long and painstaking investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. The Papers revealed information regarding offshore companies and how they have often been created as shell companies to shield the real owners from public scrutiny. Not surprisingly, offshore tax havens were hugely featured in The Panama Papers exposure.

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The Use of Medical Marijuana and Employment Law

Progress has been made in Georgia as people suffering from certain medical conditions are now able to use medical marijuana products to alleviate their symptoms. However, since Georgia is a conservative state—the use of marijuana for medical reasons is currently the only type of marijuana use permitted. In addition, these products are often oil based and contain cannabidiol, but are designed to contain very low amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (this chemical provides the sensation that smokers of cannabis achieve when they smoke the drug).

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In the News: The Gender Wage Gap

April 12, 2016 was Equal Pay Day. In 2015, Equal Pay Day was on April 14th. In 2013, it was on April 9th. Why? The date moves not with the day of the week or the calendar, but based on what the gender pay gap is for the previous year. In 2015, a woman would have had to continue working until April 12, 2016 to make the same salary a man did in the year 2015.

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LGBTQ Anti-Discrimination Laws Around the US

Georgia, North Carolina, and Mississippi have all made the news recently because of legislation that allows discrimination towards LGBT people. However, so far each state’s legislation has resulted in very different outcomes. North Carolina continues to face significant pressure from businesses, artists, and public figures regarding the HB2 “bathroom” bill. This bill requires transgender people to use the gender that was assigned to them at birth when determining where to use the restroom. HB2 prohibits local governments from passing LGBT anti-discrimination ordinances.

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Job Interviews: What Is Legally Off-Limits?

Both employers and potential employees should be aware of the discrimination that can occur as early as the interview and the hiring stage of employment. While employers want to hire candidates who can perform the job and enhance their organization, potential employees want to make a good impression. Though interviews are crucial to the onboarding process—they leave opportunity for discrimination. Many employers may not realize this—and may violate anti-discrimination laws if they screen out a particular, protected class of potential employee.

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Uber in the News: Employment Law Ramifications

In this era of independent contractors, workers have the ability to work for themselves as consultants for other companies. If they’d like, they can simply fulfill tasks that companies outsource. Companies such as the taxi firm Uber are a prime example of this. Unfortunately, companies like this are also an example of the number of employment law cases that have recently been involved in a class action lawsuit. The way in which these workers are treated compared to the huge profits these companies make off of independent contractors is causing the era of independent contracting to be called into question.

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