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USERRA: The Toothiest Fed Employment Law You Never Heard of

We recently wrote a short piece reminding in-house counselors of the general federal employment laws they should be familiar with. Now, some recent cases at the Federal District level has prompted us to add another to that list: The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, aka USERRA.

Here are a few pointers concerning liability under USERRA.

Arbitration remains an essential litigation prevention tool, and one that's regularly been given favorable legal treatment by the Supreme Court and Congress.

But two recent opinions, one from the Supreme Court and one from the Fourth Circuit, serve as an important reminder of some of the limits to arbitration agreements, at least when it comes to choice of law provisions. Here's a quick review.

Are In-House Departments Facing an Exodus of Talent?

Everyone good in the corporate legal department wants out. Yeah, you read that right. According to legal recruitment director Doron Paluch, in-house lawyers are looking to move into private practice at a rate higher than ever before.

Could it be that private practice actually has a lot more to offer?

A former Yahoo manager is challenging the tech company's famous -- or infamous, depending on where you stand -- employee ranking system in federal court. Gregory Anderson, a former Yahoo editor, sued the company on Monday, alleging that the ranking system was used to violate both California and federal employment law.

A hallmark of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's reign at the company, the system requires supervisors to rank every employee on a scale of one to five, with those on the bottom often shown the door. But, Anderson's suit alleges, that merit-based ranking is often a smokescreen for getting around mass layoff laws.

Salaries and compensation used to be highly-guarded information. Employees generally didn't know what their colleagues were making or how much they earned relative to the cubicle next door.

But pay secrecy's days are numbered, given new state and federal laws, NLRB rulings, and the anonymity of the Internet.

IRS Gives Employers a New Years Gift: An Extension

In celebration of the new year, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the IRS opted to be generous and to extend the deadlines for the 2015 information reporting requirements for employers and insurers under Affordable Care Act (ACA, Obamacare). Unbeknownst to the general public, this will be the first year that employers and insurers will be required to report specific information about their health coverage given to their employees.

In-house should use this time wisely to ensure that the human resources department in their respective companies are on the ball.

With the new year comes a renewed focus on criminal prosecutions for violations of worker safety laws. In mid-December, the Departments of Justice and Labor released a new memorandum of understanding that should lead to increased prosecutions in 2016.

The move came shortly after the criminal conviction of Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship following the death of 29 miners and indicates that the federal government will double down on such prosecutions in the future. Here's what you need to know.

In-House Lawyers: Know These Recent NYC Employment Laws

The legal landscape of New York City employment law has been changing recently and in-house would do well to take the time to become apprised of the more important (and potentially dangerous) laws.

It's all part of a push to reduce unfair discrimination while at the same time getting the "unemployable" back to work. Still, it can be a killer for employers who aren't careful.

Add this to the list of reasons to take sexual harassment seriously: not only is it illegal and unethical, but it can sink the whole company.

That's just what happened to FitzGibbon Media, the Washington, D.C., public relations firm that folded just days after claims about widespread sexual harassment were revealed.

While you're slaving away in the legal department, reviewing corporate contracts, company greeting cards, and H.R. policies, half of the company is streaming cat videos and shopping on Amazon. That is, if they're anything like the average American. A new FindLaw.com survey shows that half of all Americans use work Internet for personal use.

But does it matter?