February 15, 2024

Labor and Employment Newsletter

3 min

We Want to Hear from You

What legal issues are keeping you up at night?

We are continuing to monitor key trends and significant updates that affect employers across a wide variety of industries. We want to make sure we touch upon issues that are of concern to you. We invite you to take a moment and let us know what you would like to hear more about in this newsletter. Click below to email our team of attorneys.


New York's New Privacy Protections for Employees' Social Media Accounts—What Employers Should Do Now to Prepare

"Follow me on Instagram, will you?" That may seem like a harmless question to a colleague, but starting soon, New York will ban most employer inquiries regarding an employee's personal social media account.

Estrada v. Royalty Carpet Mills, Inc.—California Supreme Court Clarifies Trial Courts' Power to Manage PAGA Claims

On January 18, 2024, the California Supreme Court issued its long-awaited opinion in Jorge Luis Estrada et al. v. Royalty Carpet Mills, Inc., resolving a court of appeal split between the Second District (Wesson v. Staples the Office Superstore, LLC (2021) 68 Cal. App. 5th 746) and the Fourth District (Estrada v. Royalty Carpet Mills, Inc. (2022) 76 Cal. App. 5th 685) over whether courts have the inherent authority to dismiss claims under California's Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) with prejudice on manageability grounds.

Game Changer: NLRB Rules College Basketball Players Are Employees and Can Unionize

For years now, the tide of college athletics has been shifting toward student-athlete representation and empowerment. Now, in what might become a landmark decision, a regional director for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ruled that members of the Dartmouth men's basketball team are employees of the school, allowing them to move forward with a vote that could make them the first unionized NCAA athletes in the country. The effects of such a vote could have far-reaching effects on college athletics, permitting athletes to negotiate over issues that were previously reserved for the schools, including salaries and work conditions, such as practice.

Tip of the Month

Rudy KlapperRudy Klapper: The California legislature has consistently evidenced a disdain for arbitration agreements that has resulted in a seemingly endless series of statutes designed to take the option of arbitration away from employers. Few laws embodied anti-arbitration animus more than AB 51, which explicitly prohibited employers from requiring individuals to sign arbitration agreements concerning disputes under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act or Labor Code as a condition of employment. The four years of litigation that commenced once AB 51 went into effect on January 1, 2020 left confused employers wondering if it was still legal to require employees to sign arbitration agreements in the Golden State. Those employers can now breathe a sigh of relief: on January 1, 2024, the federal district court in Chamber of Commerce of the USA et al. v. Becerra et al. permanently joined AB 51 as preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), a decision that is expected not to be challenged further. California employers can confidently continue to roll out arbitration agreements to their employees, with the caveat that such agreements should always include a provision that they are governed by and subject to the FAA.

About the Labor and Employment Group

The national, 40-person Labor and Employment team at Venable provides guidance and support across the full spectrum of workplace dynamics – helping employers control costs, avoid disputes, and defend themselves when litigation arises. As co-editors of this newsletter, Michael Volpe and Doreen Martin invite you to share the content with your colleagues and reach out with any questions.

Subscribe to Venable's Labor and Employment Newsletter.