Work Visas and One International College Athlete’s Slam Dunk on His Name, Image, and Likeness Rights

A basketball player from the Dominican Republic could be the first prospective National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) athlete to secure an O-1 temporary work visa for those with “extraordinary ability” in athletics to allow him to profit from his name, image, and likeness (NIL) while in school. The move comes as brands are looking to sign college athletes under the NCAA’s interim NIL policy, though international athletes have limited ability to do so under student visas.

World Cup Heat a Reminder for Employers on Heat-Related Illness

The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar kicked off on November 20, 2022, in a special late fall edition of the quadrennial tournament—highlighting the dangers of high-heat work environments. Typically held in June and July, the 2022 World Cup is being held in November and December this time to avoid the high summer temperatures in the Persian Gulf country—which average more than 100°F during the summer months—that can make it dangerous or difficult for players.

Maryland and Missouri Pass Recreational Marijuana, Missouri Adds Medical Marijuana Cardholder Employment Protections

On November 8, 2022, voters in Maryland and Missouri overwhelmingly approved ballot measures to legalize recreational marijuana, becoming the 20th and 21st states to do so. And, as part of the ballot initiative in Missouri, the existing medical marijuana law was amended to include express employment protections for medical marijuana cardholders.

Nondisclosure and Nondisparagement Agreements in Sexual Harassment and Assault Cases: Speak Out Act Heads to President’s Desk

On November 16, 2022, the U.S. Congress passed a bill that would limit enforceability of nondisclosure and nondisparagement provisions in pre-dispute agreements with employees and independent contractors relating to sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations. The bill, S. 4524, or the “Speak Out Act,” passed the U.S. House of Representatives with a vote of 315–109, the vote coming after the U.S. Senate passed the bill on September 29, 2022.

DashCam Developer Insulated From BIPA Liability

On November 3, 2022, an Illinois circuit court judge dismissed a Biometric Information Privacy Act (Privacy Act or BIPA) putative class action against Samsara, Inc., a DashCam developer. DashCam is a safety technology for trucking companies such as Samsara’s customer and co-defendant, Beelman Truck Co. The DashCam device points an internet-connected dashboard camera at the driver to detect risky driving behaviors.

Colorado Voters to Consider Legalization of Psychedelic Mushrooms

On November 8, 2022, voters in Colorado will vote on whether to legalize psychedelic mushrooms and other naturally occurring psychedelic drugs through a ballot initiative. Proposition 122, or the “Natural Medicine Health Act of 2022,” would decriminalize psychedelics and require the state to establish a regulated system for accessing psychedelics by those 21 years of age or older.

State Voting Leave Requirements: A Refresher in Preparation for the 2022 Midterm Elections

Millions of workers across the United States will be headed to the polls on Tuesday, November 8, 2022, for the midterm elections. With control of Congress up for grabs for the final two years of President Joe Biden’s first term, several close Senate races, five states considering ballot measures to legalize recreational marijuana, and 36 states holding elections for governor, this midterm election is one of the most highly-anticipated in decades. Early voting numbers in some states already suggest there could be record turnout.

EEOC Issues Important Update to Required Rights Poster

On October 19, 2022, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a new poster that covered employers are required to display in their workplaces entitled “Know Your Rights: Workplace Discrimination is Illegal,” which updates and replaces its previous “Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law” poster. According to the EEOC, the poster uses plain language and bullet points that will make it easier for employers and employees to understand their rights and obligations.

Supreme Court Questions Whether Highly Compensated Oil Rig Worker Is Overtime Exempt

On October 12, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments in a case regarding whether an oil rig worker who performed supervisory duties and was paid more than $200,000 per year on a day rate basis is exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Recent Scandals Highlight Issues for Employers in Navigating Workplace Romances

A professional sports team head coach recently found himself in hot water over a romantic relationship with another employee of the franchise. The team’s management suspended him for an entire season for purported violations of workplace policies. What allegedly started as a consensual relationship escalated into the employee claiming that she was subjected to inappropriate comments and advances from the head coach. Media reports suggest he could ultimately lose his job as a result of this controversy. The scandal is one of the latest in the sports and entertainment industry involving potentially inappropriate romantic relationships. However, the team’s quick move to discipline highlights how employers across workplaces in the United States are treading carefully with workplace romances in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

Supreme Court Sends Federal Arbitration Act Interstate Commerce Exemption Issue Back to Ninth Circuit

On October 17, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States vacated a Ninth Circuit ruling addressing the scope of the “transportation worker” exemption from the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). The FAA generally requires enforcement of arbitration agreements but exempts “transportation workers” from the statute’s application.

3 Intricacies of Brazil Vacation Laws Employers May Want To Consider

Understanding the intricacies of local labor laws is critical for any business with operations in multiple countries or looking to establish operations in a new country. This is especially true for laws regulating or mandating vacation time as many countries, such as Brazil, have systems that differ from what employers may be accustomed to in the United States. Failure to rigorously comply with these laws could force employers to pay costly penalties and allow employees to use up large amounts of accrued vacation time.

DOL Proposes New Multifactor Rule for Determining Independent Contractor Status

On October 11, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) unveiled a new proposed rule that could make it more difficult for workers to be classified as independent contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The proposed rule, which would rescind and replace a prior rule published in January 2021, would shift the analysis of whether a worker is an employee of a business for purposes of the FLSA from a more streamlined “economic reality” test to a more complex “totality-of-the-circumstances” standard.

White House Unveils Blueprint to Guide Use of AI, Automated Systems Technology

The White House, on October 4, 2022, unveiled its “ Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights ,” outlining non-binding recommendations for the design, use, and deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) and automated systems when such tools are used in ways that affect individual’s rights, opportunities, or access to critical resources or services.

California Federal Judge Applies Viking River to Dismiss Representative PAGA Claims

In Johnson v. Lowe’s Home Centers, LLC, a decision issued on September 21, 2022, a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California issued an order compelling arbitration of a plaintiff’s individual claims under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) and dismissing the remaining representative PAGA claims.

California Appellate Court Affirms Attorneys’ Fees for Meal and Rest Break Claims

On September 12, 2022, the California Court of Appeal held that employees bringing successful rest break and meal period claims are entitled to recover attorneys’ fees under California Labor Code section 218.5. The decision reversed a prior denial of attorneys’ fees by the appellate court following the Supreme Court of California’s May 2022 decision in Naranjo v. Spectrum Security Services, Inc.

‘Work From the Ballpark’—Is the Latest Remote Work Promotion a Foul Ball?

Some professional baseball teams are beginning to promote “Work From the Ballpark” days, encouraging fans to bring their laptops to a weekday afternoon game and work remotely from their seats. Under such promotions, fans can purchase tickets for a special section of the ballpark with access to WiFi, tables, and food so that they could stay logged on at work while enjoying the sights and sounds of the game. Employers are likely accustomed to dealing with employees who play hooky to attend an afternoon baseball game. But with the rise of remote work—and promotions such as these—should employers be concerned with employees logging into work from the ballpark?

Governor Newsom Signs COVID-19 Sick Pay, Small Business Relief Bill

California is extending COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave (SPSL) through the end of 2022 under a bill signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on September 29, 2022. Assembly Bill (AB) 152 will also set up a program to provide grants of up to $50,000 to qualified small businesses to cover costs incurred for COVID-19 SPSL.