Employee handbooks typically contain an overview of company history, a set of employment policies and general guidance, and a clear and prominent disclaimer that nothing in the handbook creates a contract of employment between the company and its employees. The Raymours Furniture Company handbook went one step further—it also contained a mandatory arbitration agreement, which purported to require employees to arbitrate any and all employment related claims against the company. Raymours Furniture Company, Inc. v. Rossi, Civ. No. 13-4440 (D.N.J., Jan. 2, 2014). After an employee sent a demand letter to Raymours asserting various claims of discrimination, the company moved to compel arbitration pursuant to the handbook’s arbitration agreement. The court ruled against the company, finding that the arbitration agreement was unenforceable. It noted that the clear disclaimer on the handbook’s first page, which began: “THIS HANDBOOK IS NOT A CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT,” did not expressly exempt the arbitration policy. As such, the handbook did not clearly and unambiguously confirm the employee’s agreement to arbitrate. Moreover, Raymours’ reservation of its right to change the contents of the handbook at any time without notice rendered the arbitration provision illusory and unenforceable.
On October 15, 2017, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill (SB) 396 into law. California employers with 50 or more employees currently must provide two hours of sexual harassment training for supervisors every two years.
In a little over a month, two large companies have made headlines for either eliminating or greatly reducing the availability of their telecommuting programs. Both companies claim to be motivated by a desire to “reinvigorate” their companies by fostering “collaboration” among workers. Why were these companies’ decisions—though seemingly innocent—the cause of…..
In a recent case involving the layoff of employees assigned to land drilling rigs, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas limited the ability of plaintiffs to claim that multiple rigs collectively form a “single site of employment” under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act).