Morality Clauses & Employment Agreements: What Employers Need to Know

Employers take risks every day with the people that the company hires - including top level managers and CEOs.  So do brands and sports teams when they hire spokespeople or athletes on multi-year, multi-million dollar contracts.  Anytime there are significant dollars committed to a single person over a long period of time, real risk exists.  

One of the most impactful traits of the people you hire is their moral character.  This is especially true when the person you hire is your spokesperson, or your chief executive, or otherwise is the face of your organization.  One of the most impactful tools you have to control your contractual relationships are called morality clauses.

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Employment Law Update: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Employers' Contractual Rights to Require Individual Claims Via Arbitration

In a significant and far-reaching decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that employment agreements that require the arbitration of certain employment claims brought by employees on an individual basis will be enforced as written.  Employees may not band together to form a quasi-class action against their employer in an arbitration setting if the employment agreement specifically prohibits it. 

Today's decision in the case of Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis addressed an issue that has been unresolved in employment law for decades.  It also potentially affects every employer and every employee in the United States.

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Employment Law Update: Philadelphia Ordinance on Wage History Blocked

The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia was awarded a preliminary injunction in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against the implementation of a City of Philadelphia Ordinance which purported to: 1) prohibit an employer from inquiring about a prospective employee's wage history and 2) make it illegal for an employer to rely on wage history "at any stage in the employment process" to determine a salary for an employee.

The Court held that the "Inquiry Provision" of the City Ordinance violated the free speech clause of the First Amendment. The Court allowed the "Reliance Provision" to stand. 

The City's rationale was that relying on salary history arguably could perpetuate a perceived wage gap between genders.  

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How NOT to Interview a Job Candidate, the NFL Edition

The NFL Combine just took place last week in everyone's sort-of favorite convention city,  Indianapolis, Indiana.  A jarring news story came out of that event wherein an official from an unidentified NFL team asked a prospect, LSU running bank Darrius Geice, "if he liked men" during the interview.  Yes, according to the story as reported, an NFL team asked a potential employee if he was a homosexual in the job interview. 

While that by itself is startling - that an major employer like an NFL team - can be so foolish as to ask a blatantly illegal interview question to a job candidate, the response that one hears on sports talk radio is equally surprising.  Unbelievably, there are a fair amount of people out there who have no idea that this question potentially violates Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964

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#TakeTheKnee, Part II: Why the NFL Teams Must Allow the Protests to Continue

The NFL is subject to a Collective Bargaining Agreement, the most recent version of which went into effect in 2011.  The term of the current CBA is ten years and it will expire in 2021 (the "NFL CBA"). 

In the overwhelming response to my prior writings on the #TakeTheKnee controversy (the first article from 2016 here, and yesterday's post here) one astute commenter asked whether the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement has any impact on the NFL's official stance on player protests in uniform.

In short, a close reading of the NFL CBA shows exactly why the NFL has no choice but to let the players protest, at least within the confines of the 2017-2018 season.  

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Federal Judge Blocks DOL Overtime Regulations

The Fair Labor Standards Act is the federal law that regulates, among other things, overtime pay for US workers. It has been a source of concern for small and big businesses that the US Department of Labor was set to enact - effective December 1, 2016 - a new rule which raised the salary cap below which workers must receive overtime pay from $455 a week to $921 per week (the "Overtime Rule").  In other words, the new Overtime Rule was about to make roughly 4 million more workers eligible for overtime: almost all workers who earned up to $47,892.00 annually. 

This rule applied to all organizations: both for profits and non profits. 

The compliance aspects of this were messy to say the least.  

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