Employment and Labor Law


Author: Jo Bennett, Co-Chair of the Labor & Employment Practices Group

On June 3, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the charge filing requirement under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is not a “jurisdictional” bar to litigation, but instead is a claim-processing rule subject to waiver if the defendant-employer fails to raise an affirmative defense. The Court’s decision means employer’s counsel should be diligent in assessing whether the plaintiff has followed the Title VII requirement to identify the basis of the alleged discrimination in a charge of discrimination filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). Otherwise, employers risk waiving this important procedural defense in litigation.

Read more: Supreme Court: Employers Must Timely Raise Affirmative Defenses Involving Administrative...


Authors: Mark Kenney, Partner, Lara Radik, Special Counsel & Gemma Sweeney, Solicitor

The Queensland Government has introduced the Ethical Supplier Mandate and Ethical Supplier Threshold via changes to its Queensland Procurement Policy to impose tougher standards on government suppliers; the idea being that taxpayer dollars should only be spent on companies doing the right thing by workers through commitment to training, safety and fair wages.

Read more: Ethical Supplier Mandate: Tougher Guidelines for Government Suppliers


In Tillman v Egon Zehnder Ltd, the Supreme Court held that a restrictive covenant which prevented a business executive from being directly or indirectly engaged, concerned or interested in any competing business for six months after the termination of her employment was too wide to be enforceable.  However, it was possible to remove the wider wording from the clause to leave a narrower, and enforceable, restriction.

Read more: Restriction against holding any ‘interest in’ a competing business was too wide but could be severed


Author: Debra Gers

The EAT (Employment Appeal Tribunal) has recently considered the issue of an employee's covert recording of a meeting with HR and held that there are various circumstances when it would be acceptable for an employee to covertly record a meeting without that behaviour constituting misconduct. Also relevant is the employer's attitude to covert recordings and whether or not, for instance, any prohibition on recording is set out in the relevant HR policies.

In the case of Phoenix House Limited v Stockman, the EAT considered the issue of an employee's covert recording of a meeting with HR and the implications of this when assessing compensation. In an interesting judgment, the EAT held that that there are various circumstances when it would be acceptable for an employee to covertly record a meeting without that behaviour constituting misconduct.

Read more: Covert Recording of Meetings Isn't Always Misconduct


Men are scared of women now. Well, according to the New York Times in a May 2019 article reporting on the results from a recent LeanIn.org and SurveyMonkey’s new #MentorHer poll, which revealed that 60% of male managers report feeling “too nervous” about being accused of harassment to interact with women in “common workplace” activities such as mentoring, socializing and one-on-one meetings.

This is a most unfortunate consequence of the Harvey Weinstein et al sex scandals.

Read more: #MeToo and the Law: Harassment at Work