Friday, July 31, 2009
An Employee Must Show Employer Knew Statements Were False or Recklessly Disregarded Truth in Making Defamation Claim.
The employee sued the firm for, among other things, defamation. He argued that the purported investigation of his billing practices was flawed and did not take into account time away from the office that he spent billing. The Utah Supreme Court ruled that, because under Utah law the employer had a conditional privilege in its communication with the client, the employee had to show that the firm actually knew the communication was false or that the firm was reckless in establishing the truthfulness of the claims. It therefore ruled that the employee had no claim because the employee did not establish that the statements were knowingly false or were made with reckless regard for the truth.
What does this mean? It means if an appeals board determines that an employee is at-will, the employee must first appeal that decision to the district court. However, if the appeals board determines that an employee is not at-will and the employee loses his underlying appeal to the board on its merits, the employee must file the appeal with the Utah Court of Appeals.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
This case is noteworthy because vacating an arbitrator's award is an extremely rare occurrence.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Dear Mr. Crook:
Any updates on the Employee Free Choice Act?
Would you be able to comment on how this act may affect public employers? If passed, would it make it nearly impossible for public employers to keep unions out? I've read where "newly certified unions would enter binding arbitration if they cannot reach agreement on an initial contract after 90 days of negotiations."
Very Concerned HR Professional
The Employee Free Choice Act of 2009 was introduced in the House as H.R. 1409 and in the Senate as S. 560. The legislation amends the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) in an attempt to make it easier for employees to form or join a labor union at their place of employment by allowing certification of a Union without a secret-ballot election if "a majority of the employees in a unit appropriate for bargaining has signed valid authorizations." The legislation further requires an arbitration panel to resolve any dispute that prevents the entry of a collective bargaining agreement within 120 days of a newly formed unit. The legislation also strengthens enforcement mechanisms to protect against employer violations of the NLRA during the formation process.
The legislation has been referred in the House to the House Subcomittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions and in the Senate to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
The legislation does not affect public employers at all since it does not include any language expanding the NLRA's reach to federal or state governments or their agencies.