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Carolyn Rashby

Carolyn Rashby provides business-focused advice and counsel to companies navigating the constantly evolving and overlapping maze of federal, state, and local employment requirements. She conducts workplace investigations and cultural assessments, leads audits regarding employee classification, wage and hour, and I-9 compliance, advises on employment issues arising in corporate transactions, and provides strategic counsel to clients on a wide range of workplace matters, including harassment and #MeToo issues, wage and hour, worker classification, employee accommodations, termination decisions, employment agreements, trade secrets, restrictive covenants, employee handbooks, and personnel policies. Her approach is preventive, while recognizing the need to set clients up for the best possible defense should disputes arise.

In February 2024, the regional director for the Region 1 office of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) ruled that the men’s basketball team for Dartmouth College (“Dartmouth”) are university employees, allowing the team to proceed with an election to unionize. This ruling came months after the men’s basketball team filed a petition to unionize and join the Service Employees International Union, Local 560 (“Local 560”), which Dartmouth challenged. After the ruling, Dartmouth submitted an emergency motion to stay the election or impound the votes. However, the motion was denied, and on March 5th the Dartmouth men’s basketball team held an official election and voted 13-2 in favor of joining Local 560.

This is not the first time that the NLRB has evaluated the employment status of college athletes. In 2015, the NLRB evaluated a petition to unionize from Northwestern University’s football team. The regional office ruled that the Northwestern players were employees, but the case was subsequently appealed to, and reversed by, the NLRB[1] based on jurisdictional grounds, leaving the issue of student-athletes as employees unresolved.

Joining a union could provide additional rights to the Dartmouth basketball players, such as the ability to negotiate for compensation or better working conditions. However, allowing student-athletes to join a union could cause ripple effects for other colleges and universities and their athletic teams.

This post outlines the key takeaways from the Dartmouth ruling; what this ruling could mean for Dartmouth, other student-athletes, and other universities; and the likely next steps for Dartmouth.Continue Reading Men’s Basketball Team Scores With NLRB Ruling

On September 6, 2023, U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, published a white paper addressing artificial intelligence (AI) and its potential benefits and risks in the workplace, as well as in the health care  context, which we discuss here.

The whitepaper notes that employers

On May 1, 2023, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (“OSTP”) announced that it will release a Request for Information (“RFI”) to learn more about automated tools used by employers to “surveil, monitor, evaluate, and manage workers.”  The White House will use the insights gained from the RFI to create policy and best practices surrounding the use of AI in the workplace.Continue Reading White House Issues Request for Comment on Use of Automated Tools with the Workforce

On April 25, 2023, four federal agencies — the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) — released a joint statement on the agencies’ efforts to address discrimination and bias in automated systems. Continue Reading DOJ, FTC, CFPB, and EEOC Statement on Discrimination and AI

Many employers and employment agencies have turned to artificial intelligence (“AI”) tools to assist them in making better and faster employment decisions, including in the hiring and promotion processes.  The use of AI for these purposes has been scrutinized and will now be regulated in New York City.  The New York City Department of Consumer

The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the digital transition and the adoption of artificial intelligence (“AI”) tools and Internet of Things (“IoT”) devices in many areas of society. While there has been significant focus on leveraging this technology to fight the pandemic, the technology also will have broader and longer-term benefits. As the New York Times has explained, “social-distancing directives, which are likely to continue in some form after the crisis subsides, could prompt more industries to accelerate their use of automation.”

For businesses proceeding with reopenings over the coming weeks and months, and for sectors that have continued to operate, AI and IoT technologies can greatly improve the way they manage their operations, safely engage with customers, and protect employees during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. But businesses also should take steps to ensure that their use of AI and IoT technologies complies with the evolving legal requirements that can vary based on several factors, including the industry sector where the technology is deployed and the jurisdiction where it is used. Businesses also will want to have mechanisms in place to help ensure that the technology is used appropriately, including appropriate oversight and workforce training and other measures.Continue Reading Return to Workplace Considerations for Businesses Using AI and IoT Technologies