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US National Labor Relations Board: Northwestern U scholarship football players are employees, can unionize

Jurisdiction: - United States
Sector: - Education

The US National Labor Relations Board (N.L.R.B.) ruled today that Northwestern University scholarship football players are employees and therefore can unionize and bargain collectively. The ruling was contained in a 24-page decision issued by Peter Ohr, a
regional director of the N.L.R.B. 

The university has posted the following statement on its website in response to the ruling:

Statement by Alan K. Cubbage, Vice President for University Relations, in Regard to Decision by NLRB Regional Director

March 26, 2014 | by Alan K. Cubbage

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University is disappointed by today's ruling by the regional director of the National Labor Relations Board finding that Northwestern University's football players who receive grant-in-aid scholarships are employees and directing that a secret ballot election be held to determine whether the football players should be represented by the College Athletes Players Association for purposes of collective bargaining with Northwestern University.  read more »

United States Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) awards more than $14 million to whistleblower

Topics: - Whistle Blowing
Jurisdiction: - United States

The United States Securities Exchange Commission announced today that it has awarded more than $14 million to a whistleblower, pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act. The full text of the October 1, 2013 news release is as follows:

SEC Awards More Than $14 Million to Whistleblower

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced an award of more
than $14 million to a whistleblower whose information led to an SEC
enforcement action that recovered substantial investor funds.  Payments
to whistleblowers are made from a separate fund previously established
by the Dodd-Frank Act and do not come from the agency's annual
appropriations or reduce amounts paid to harmed investors.

The award is the largest made by the SEC's whistleblower program to date.  read more »

Can a corporate employer sue a former employee for defamation?

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia - United States

In a paper they presented at the CLEBC Employment Law Conference 2013 (held on May 9 - 10, 2013 in Vancouver), Mark Hamilton and Scott MacDonald addressed whether a corporate employer can sue a former employee for defamation for making disparaging claims against their former employer.

Mr. Hamilton and Mr. MacDonald are lawyers at Richards Buell Sutton LLP in Vancouver. The title of their paper was: "Potential Claims Against Departing Employees Without Written Agreements".

Based on their paper and presentation, here are some points of note:  read more »

California passes legislation prohibiting employers from demanding access to personal social media accounts

Jurisdiction: - United States

California has passed legislation prohibiting employers from demanding access to employees' and job applicants' personal social media accounts. The text of the September 27, 2012 press release from the Govenor's office is as follows:

Governor Brown Signs Laws to Protect Privacy for Social Media Users

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today took to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and MySpace to announce that he has signed two bills that increase privacy protections for social media users in California.

Assembly Bill 1844 (Campos) and Senate Bill 1349 (Yee) prohibit universities and employers from requiring that applicants give up their email or social media account passwords.

"The Golden State is pioneering the social media revolution and these laws will protect all Californians from unwarranted invasions of their personal social media accounts," said Governor Brown.  read more »

Second social media report issued by US National Labour Relations Board's Acting General Counsel

Jurisdiction: - United States

Back in January 2012, the US National Labour Relations Board Acting General Counsel released a second report describing 14 social media cases reviewed by his office.

Here's the entire news release, with a link to the report (and the one that preceded it):

To help provide further guidance to practitioners and human resource professionals, NLRB Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon has released a second report describing social media cases reviewed by his office.

The Operations Management Memo covers 14 cases, half of which involve questions about employer social media policies. Five of those policies were found to be unlawfully broad, one was lawful, and one was found to be lawful after it was revised.  read more »

"Canadian Tax Implications Of Hiring U.S. Contractors To Perform Work In Canada"

Jurisdiction: - United States

Jean-Philippe Couture, a lawyer in the Borden Ladner Gervais (BLG) office in Calgary, has written an article entitled, "Canadian Tax Implications Of Hiring U.S. Contractors To Perform Work In Canada".

The article was published in BLG's Fall 2011 Labour and Employment Law News newsletter.

"Non-Compete Clauses: An International Guide"

Jurisdiction: - United States

Lus Laboris has published a guide entitled, "Non-Compete Clauses: An International Guide" (May 2010).

As set out on their website , the lus Laboris alliance is comprised of member law firms in 42 countries, with coverage in more than 100 countries. Its specialisms include: individual employment contracts; collective redundancies; discrimination; expatriation; restructuring; compensation, benefits and tax; pensions; collective bargaining; workplace policies and handbooks; litigation and dispute resolution; and corporate social responsibility.

The Lus Laboris website describes the guide as follows:  read more »

American Bar Association's "5th Annual Section of Labor & Employment Conference" set for Seattle in November

Topics: - Conferences
Jurisdiction: - United States

Labour and employment lawyers in Vancouver may be interested to know that the American Bar Association's "5th Annual Section of Labor & Employment Conference" will be held in Seattle this year, on November 2-5, 2011. 

The program guide has not yet been posted to the Section's website. Last year's jam-packed program guide - the conference was held in Chicago - can be found here.

ONCA allows appeal, grants declaration that restrictive covenant is unreasonable and therefore unenforceable

Jurisdiction: - Ontario - United States
Sector: - Manufacturing

In Mason v. Chem-Trend Limited Partnership, 2011 ONCA 344, the Ontario Court of appeal overturned the application judge's decision and ruled that the following restrictive covenant was unreasonable and therefore unenforceable against a 17 year technical salesperson whose employment was terminated for just cause:

I agree that if my employment is terminated for any reason by me or by the Company, I will not, for a period of one year following the termination, directly or indirectly, for my own account or as an employee or agent of any business entity, engage in any business or activity in competition with the Company by providing services or products to, or soliciting business from, any business entity which was a customer of the Company during the period in which I was an employee of the Company, or take any action that will cause the termination of the business relationship between the Company and any customer, or solicit for employment any person employed by the Company.