The Department of Energy (DOE) has proposed an amendment to the Department of Energy Acquisition Regulation (DEAR) that, among other changes, clarifies that FAR Subpart 22.12, Nondisplacement of Qualified Workers Under Service Contracts, and the associated Department of Labor regulations, applies to subcontracts under DOE’s management and operating (M&O) contracts. M&O contractors and their subcontractors
Employment Agreements/Non-Compete Policies and Practice
Arbitration Provision in Employee Handbook Not Enforceable
Employers should not rely on handbook provisions to create enforceable obligations on employees. The employers who do so took another loss recently. In Lorenzo v. Prime Commc’ns, LP, 2015 BL 386874, 4th Cir., No. 14-1622, 11/24/15, the federal Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an arbitration provision, contained in an employee handbook, was not enforceable. The provision, said the Court, did not require an employee to take her wage and hour claims to arbitration. Rather, the employee was free to pursue those claims – including a collective action – in federal court.…
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Hidden Risks in Confidentiality Requirements
Bass, Berry & Sims attorneys Tim Garrett and Dustin Carlton authored an article outlining the actions employers should take to avoid violating the Dodd-Frank Act relating to confidentiality agreements. Rule 21F-17 was adopted by the SEC to prevent employers from taking any action that would prevent an employee from “directly communicating with the Commission staff…
Tim Garrett Authors Article on KBR Settlement for Employee Benefit Adviser
Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Tim Garrett wrote an article summarizing the SEC’s April 1 announcement that it had settled an enforcement action over an employer’s use of a restrictive confidentiality agreement.
Tim made the point that the SEC’s action was consistent with similar efforts by the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Employment…
Last Chance Agreements – Asking for Waiver of Discrimination Claims Perilous
Some employers use last chance agreements (“LCA”), particularly in union settings, to allow hourly employees “one last chance” to improve performance. In return, the employee waives the right to use the union’s grievance and arbitration process if later termination is due to continued failure to improve performance or due to another policy violation. Employers will explain that the employee otherwise would be terminated, but can remain employed in return for signing this “one last chance” agreement; if the employee fails to sign the LCA, the employee will be terminated for the underlying violation which led the employer to offer the LCA.
Some employers also require employees to release statutory civil rights in an LCA. As an employer recently learned, this practice is hazardous and can lead to significant liability.…
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