The Inbox: September 6, 2013
This week in Suits by Suits:
- Merrill Lynch reportedly reached a $160 million settlement in a class action discrimination lawsuit brought by former employees alleging that the brokerage firm systematically steered its African-American financial advisors away from the highest-earning clients and portfolios, resulting in systematic disparate application of the firm’s facially neutral “pay-for-production” compensation schedule.
- We’ve previously told you about Massachusetts House Bill No. 1715, which, if enacted, would establish that noncompete clauses of six months or less are presumptively reasonable, while essentially prohibiting the enforcement of such clauses over six months in length unless certain narrow statutory exceptions apply. Discussion of the proposed bill -- which already has the endorsement of Gov. Deval Patrick – heads to a hearing before the state’s Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development next Tuesday, Sept. 10. We will of course keep you apprised of any developments.
- The state legislature in Pennsylvania is considering a bill, S.B. 300, that would add “sexual orientation, gender identity or expression” to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (P.L. 414, No. 51), which currently prohibits discrimination by employers on the basis of race, color, religious creed, ancestry, age or national origin.
- Continuing the public debate over say-on-pay: this week, the liberal think-tank Institute for Policy Studies released a study showing that nearly 40% of the country’s highest-paid CEOs “eventually ended up being fired, paying fraud-related fines or settlements, or accepting government bailout money,” suggesting that companies aren’t receiving much bang for the buck.
- Over at Bloomberg’s Labor and Employment Blog, Patrick Dorrian has a nice summary article up which surveys the landscape of increased religious discrimination cases brought before the EEOC; go check it out.
- Finally, we’re not sure if HR.BLR.com’s legal editor, Holly Jones, is reading our “State-by-State Smackdown” series or not – but she’s written a handy checklist for employers looking to draft an enforceable noncompete clause that incorporates many of the stories we’ve been covering here.