Employment Law This Week- August 13, 2018: Ninth Circuit Voids No-Rehire Clause, Massachusetts Discourages Non-Competes, California Reviews Wage-Hour Issues, NLRB Streamlines Case Handling
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This week’s stories include ...
1. Ninth Circuit Extends CA’s Non-Compete Ban Through No-Rehire Clause
Our top story: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit considers the outer limits of California’s ban on non-competes. California’s Business and Professions Code states that any contract that prevents someone from “engaging in a lawful profession, trade, or business” is void. The case in question dealt with a physician who refused to sign a settlement agreement with a no-rehire clause that barred him from working for specific employers that might have been connected to the medical group he worked for. The Ninth Circuit found that the provision would have substantially restrained the physician’s ability to practice, in violation of the law. Jim Goodman, from Epstein Becker Green, has more.
2. Massachusetts Takes On Non-Competes
In Massachusetts, Governor Charlie Baker is expected to sign a bill that would require an employer in the Commonwealth with non-compete agreements to continue paying workers after they’ve left the company. This type of “garden leave” policy would extend through the entire period that former employees are banned from working for competitors. Intended to discourage non-compete agreements, the bill also limits the agreements to no more than one year and prohibits them outright for many employees, including low-wage workers, minors, and those who have been laid off.
3. California Tackles Wage and Hour Issues
The California Supreme Court has agreed to advise the Ninth Circuit on the application of state wage and hour laws. Among other issues, the court will evaluate whether the state’s wage statement law should apply to employees who work in California on an irregular basis and are employed by out-of-state employers. Meanwhile, a state appeals court addressed the requirement that an employee who quits without notice must receive a final paycheck within 72 hours. The court found that the 72-hour period did not begin to run when an office manager quit through an email sent after-hours on a Friday.
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4. NLRB Streamlines Case Handling
The General Counsel’s Office of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has announced a series of changes in the agency’s case-handling practices that it says will streamline processes at the NLRB’s Regional Offices and make better use of limited resources. In a six-page memo, Head of Operations-Management Beth Tursell describes a new, simpler, and faster process for Regional Offices to follow when they submit complex and novel legal issues to the Division of Advice in Washington, DC. Supervisors and investigators, not just Regional Directors, will be able make decisions on whether to dismiss unfair labor practice charges or issue complaints. Post-hearing decision writing in representation cases will be more centralized, with regional and district teams drafting the decisions. These changes were announced July 30 and were effective immediately. The memo referred to these changes as “Part One,” suggesting more to come.