Today, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) announced a final rule that will make information regarding workplace injuries and illnesses available online.  OSHA already requires many employers to keep a record of injuries and illnesses, but little or no information about worker injuries and illnesses at individual employers is made public.  The new regulation

Think Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) access litigation is limited to sidewalks, restrooms and physical barriers to the disabled in “brick and mortar” establishments? Think again.

A growing number of lawsuits are being filed against businesses under Title III of the ADA alleging that that the business’s website does not provide adequate accessibility to the

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced yesterday that it is issuing proposed amendments to its rules and regulations governing union election procedures.  On its website, the NLRB reported that “[i]n substance, the proposed amendments are identical to the representation procedure changes first proposed in June of 2011.”  Those of you watching this issue may

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is seeking public comments regarding a proposal for a new online whistleblower complaint form. The form, which would allow whistleblowers to electronically submit whistleblower complaints directly to OSHA, is part of OSHA’s proposal to revise the information collection requirements for handling retaliation complaints filed with OSHA under various

One likely result of the recent Presidential and Congressional elections is that the executive and legislative branches will be open to pushing the legislative agendas of organized labor.  There is little doubt that the proposed Employee Free Choice Act, H.R. 800, 110th Cong. (2007)(“EFCA”) is at the top of this legislative agenda.  The EFCA is something to which employers should pay serious attention.  If enacted, the EFCA would make it easier for employees to form, join, or assist labor organizations and would provide for mandatory injunctions for unfair labor practices during organizing efforts and for other purposes.  Moreover, if enacted, certain unions are already estimating that they will be able to organize millions of new workers.
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Did you know that an employer may be liable for failure to properly screen employees when such failure results in hiring someone that has a history of violent or criminal acts? Louisiana recognizes claims against an employer that hires an employee with dangerous propensities when that employee injures third persons at work. An employer may be liable for negligent hiring if it knew or should have known that the employee posed a threat to others. Similarly, an employer is liable for negligent retention when it continues to employ an employee knowing of his dangerous propensities.
Continue Reading Negligent Hiring

On January 22, 2008, in Allen v. Administrative Review Bd., ____ F.3d ____, 2008 WL 171588 (5th Cir. 2008), the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (the federal appellate court circuit that includes Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas) issued its first ruling addressing the employee whistleblower protections provided by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX”). In the Allen ruling, the Fifth Circuit interpreted the scope of “protected activity” under SOX narrowly. Hopefully, this trend will continue and this new whistleblower protection for employees of publicly-traded companies will not be unreasonably broadened by the courts.
Continue Reading Fifth Circuit Issues First Opinion Regarding A Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Complaint

On July 27, 2007, the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued Taylor v. Bigelow Management, Inc., et al., 2007 WL 2164282 (5th Cir. 2007), an opinion that should serve as a reminder to employers that pregnancy discrimination is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In Taylor, the Fifth Circuit affirmed a district court jury trial in which the jury found that an employer was liable for pregnancy discrimination and awarded the plaintiff court costs plus approximately $10,000 for back pay and mental anguish and $50,000 in punitive damages.
Continue Reading United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Issues Opinion Reminding Employers That Pregnancy Discrimination Is Illegal

Louisiana is an employment at-will state. This rule is found in Article 2747 of the Louisiana Civil Code which says, “a man is at liberty to dismiss a hired servant attached to his person or family, without assigning any reason for so doing. The servant is also free to depart without assigning any cause.”
Continue Reading Louisiana Strengthens Employment-at-Will Doctrine

In Jefferson City, Missouri, three people were killed by a plant worker at a manufacturing plant in 2003. In March 1998, four state lottery executives were killed by a Connecticut lottery accountant. In 1986, a part-time letter carrier facing dismissal walked into the post office where he worked and shot 14 people to death before killing himself. What are these event examples of?
Continue Reading Recognizing a Duty to Prevent Workplace Violence