In a bylined article published in Above the Law, partner Emily Litzinger takes a compassionate look at work-life balance for mothers. She explains how working moms are often given little support in balancing a demanding career with even more demanding work at home. Aggravating the situation is the guilt that often accompanies attempts at self-care, Emily says. One solution? Recalibrating our notions of success. “We must switch out the lens to one that views finding and continuing to work toward that delicate balance that fits your life — not the expectations of others. Flexibility should be normalized. Parents should be supported. Women deserve equality in the workplace. The unspoken ‘expectations’ of our grandfathers should be forgotten. It’s time.”

To read the article visit Above the Law.

A year and a half of remote work allowed many employees to wear pajamas, sweatpants and T-shirts as acceptable professional wear. But now, the transition to the physical…

At Northeastern University, qualified applicants who hold the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP credentials or the SHRM People Analytics Specialty Credential can receive credit transfers to graduate certificate and master’s programs. Alumna Kaitlynn Greene, SHRM-CP, received her Master of Science degree in leadership with a concentration in HR management and is now the employee engagement coordinator for a commuter services company.
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Fisher Phillips, one of the country’s preeminent labor and employment law firms representing employers, announces the launch of its Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Taskforce, a dedicated team of attorneys who assist clients with the many labor and employment issues arising from cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies.

As the first national workplace law firm to dedicate a taskforce solely to these issues, the team encompasses attorneys from a variety of practice groups – wage and hour law, international law, data security and workplace privacy, corporate compliance, employee benefits and tax, and more – to ensure Fisher Phillips covers client interests from every angle when it comes to digital assets and blockchain capabilities.

The goal of the taskforce is to provide guidance on the business practicalities of utilizing cryptocurrencies in business and employment-related operations, as well as serve as a resource and sounding board to explain, evaluate, and discuss various blockchain technology use cases for businesses. This encompasses the use of smart contracts in various aspects of workplace law, including human resources, data privacy, employment contracts, restrictive covenants, and a variety of other employment-specific issues.

“Cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies are radically altering the way many companies do business, with the pace of change increasing exponentially by the day,” said Phillip Bauknight, Chair of Fisher Phillips’ Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Taskforce. “While these revolutionary and disruptive technologies are being adopted at a rapid pace, a key area where these technologies have been overlooked is how they can impact the workplace. Fisher Phillips’ Taskforce is uniquely positioned to help employers by providing advice and resources as they begin to integrate cutting-edge strategies to their day-to-day operations. We are excited to serve employers as a trusted partner in successfully navigating this largely uncharted frontier.”

In addition to helping clients navigate the day-to-date impact and use of cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies in the workplace, the team offers interactive Introduction to Blockchain/Cryptocurrency trainings for both management and C-Suite members. The team is also familiar with the nuances of permissioned vs. permissionless blockchains and can help employers evaluate which type of blockchain may make the most sense for their operations.

For more information about Fisher Phillips’ Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Taskforce visit https://www.fisherphillips.com/services/emerging-issues/cryptocurrency-and-blockchain.

When various news outlets reported last week that President Biden was considering using his executive authority to ban or limit the use of non-compete restrictions, all manner of speculation arose from employers across the country as to what was coming down the pike. On Friday, the White House released the much-anticipated Executive Order, as well as an accompanying Fact Sheet – and the good news for employers is that it may not have been as drastic as many had feared. What do you need to know about this latest development, and what could be on the horizon? 

Executive Order, Summarized

The key provision of the Executive Order is as follows:

To address agreements that may unduly limit workers’ ability to change jobs, the Chair of the FTC is encouraged to consider working with the rest of the Commission to exercise the FTC’s statutory rulemaking authority under the Federal Trade Commission Act to curtail the unfair use of non-compete clauses and other clauses or agreements that may unfairly limit worker mobility.

This was not the sweeping prohibition of non-compete restrictions by executive order that had been discussed earlier in the week. Instead, President Biden simply asked the Federal Trade Commission to look at using its authority on the subject. 

What Should We Expect?

The vague nature of this Executive Order creates a number of possibilities that could unfold over the next several months:

  • The FTC may decide that all use of non-compete restrictions is prohibited (the law in Oklahoma).
  • The FTC may decide that not only is all use of non-compete restrictions prohibited, but that all related restrictive covenants such as customer non-solicitation provisions are also prohibited (the law in California and North Dakota).
  • The FTC may decide to prohibit the use of non-compete restrictions with lower-wage employees. This has been the trend with numerous state statutes in recent years, such as those in Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington.
  • The FTC could make additional changes to the way that non-compete provisions are used, such as requiring that an employer disclose in advance to a prospective hire that the new employee will be expected to sign an agreement containing a non-compete paragraph.

What’s Next…And is This Even Legal?

The use of the term “unfair use of non-compete clauses” seems to indicate that the FTC will lean in the direction of simply preventing their use with lower-wage employees, which would not change much about how the agreements are used in practice – at least when it comes to workplace-related litigation. That said, the rule-making process for the FTC is lengthy and fact-intensive, so it is hard to guess what will come out of the administrative odyssey that is likely forthcoming. 

Additionally, hanging over the process is the question of what power the FTC has to regulate non-compete restrictions, given that they have traditionally been interpreted exclusively under state common and statutory law. That issue will almost certainly be litigated, with the frequency and intensity of the challenges depending on the degree to which the FTC chooses to restrict the use of non-compete provisions.

We will be watching for news as the FTC process unfolds and will provide updates as they occur. Make sure you are subscribed to Fisher Phillips’ Insight System to get the most up-to-date information. For further information, contact your Fisher Phillips attorney, the author of this Insight, or any member of our Employee Defection and Trade Secrets Practice Group.

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The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was entitled to summary judgment on married employees’ wrongful termination and retaliation claims.

Dom Merritt, chief people officer at Buildout Inc., will tell you that an onboarding plan for remote workers can only be effective if you have a vision, a strategy and the supporting technology to reimagine the onboarding experience.
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Fisher Phillips, one of the country’s preeminent labor and employment law firms representing employers, is pleased to announce that Samantha Monsees has rejoined the firm as an associate in the Kansas City office.

Samantha spent over four years of her legal career at Fisher Phillips representing employers in state and federal courts and before state and local administrative agencies including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Department of Labor. She left the firm in 2020 to assume an in-house counsel role at a digital marketing company serving law firms and the broader legal industry. Samantha has now returned to Fisher Phillips where she will resume her practice representing employers in claims arising from all aspects of the employment relationship, including wage and hour, harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. She will also help employers of all sizes prevent workplace disputes by advising them on day-to-day compliance issues and litigation avoidance, including conducting employee handbook review and drafting personnel policies and procedures tailored to her clients’ needs.

“We could not be more thrilled to have Samantha back at the firm,”  said Jim Holland, Regional Managing Partner of the Kansas City office. “She is a tremendous lawyer and further strengthens our bench here in Kansas City and across the country.  It is always a joy to have one of our own return home.”

Samantha earned her J.D. from the University of Kansas School of Law and her B.A. and B.S. from the University of Kansas. She was named a “Rising Star” by Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers in 2018 and 2019.

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