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Lindsay Burke

Lindsay Burke co-chairs the firm’s employment practice group and regularly advises U.S., international, and multinational employers on employee management issues and international HR compliance. Her practice includes advice pertaining to harassment, discrimination, leave, whistleblower, wage and hour, trade secret, and reduction-in-force issues arising under federal and state laws, and she frequently partners with white collar colleagues to conduct internal investigations of executive misconduct and workplace culture assessments in the wake of the #MeToo movement. Recently, Lindsay has provided critical advice and guidance to employers grappling with COVID-19-related employment issues.

Lindsay guides employers through the process of hiring and terminating employees and managing their performance, including the drafting and review of employment agreements, restrictive covenant agreements, separation agreements, performance plans, and key employee policies and handbooks. She provides practical advice against the backdrop of the web of state and federal employment laws, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Equal Pay Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the False Claims Act, with the objective of minimizing the risk of employee litigation. When litigation looms, Lindsay relies on her experience as an employment litigator to offer employers strategic advice and assistance in responding to demand letters and agency charges.

Lindsay works frequently with the firm’s privacy, employee benefits and executive compensation, corporate, government contracts, and cybersecurity practice groups to ensure that all potential employment issues are addressed in matters handled by these groups. She also regularly provides U.S. employment law training, support, and assistance to start-ups, non-profits, and foreign parent companies opening affiliates in the U.S.

July 10, 2024, Covington Alert

On July 3, 2024, Judge Ada Brown of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas granted the motions for a preliminary injunction—filed by Ryan LLC (“Ryan”) and several trade associations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (“Chamber”)—to prevent the FTC’s rule banning non-compete clauses from going into effect, but the court’s order only applies to the named plaintiffs (i.e., it is not a nationwide injunction). The court has indicated that it will issue a final order on the merits by August 30, 2024, just a few days before the FTC’s rule is scheduled to go into effect on September 4. It is possible that Judge Brown enjoins the non-compete ban nationwide in her final order.

Background

In April, the FTC issued a final rule banning almost all non-competes with U.S. workers, with narrow exceptions, pursuant to its claimed authority to issue competition-related rules under Sections 5 and 6(g) of the FTC Act. That same day, Ryan challenged the FTC’s rule and, shortly thereafter, filed a motion to stay and preliminarily enjoin the rule, arguing that the FTC has no statutory authority to promulgate the rule, that the rule is the product of an unconstitutional exercise of power, and that the FTC’s acts were arbitrary and capricious. The Chamber and other trade groups intervened as plaintiffs on May 8, making substantially the same arguments.

The Order

In its Order, the court found that the Plaintiffs had demonstrated a likelihood of success that (1) the FTC does not have the statutory authority to engage in competition-related rulemaking, (2) the non-compete rule is arbitrary and capricious, and (3) the plaintiffs and intervenors had satisfied the standard to obtain injunctive relief.Continue Reading Texas District Court Enjoins FTC’s Rule Banning Non-Compete Clauses

Since 2020, with the adoption of Washington state’s non-compete statute (Chapter 49.62 of the Revised Code of Washington (“RCW 49.62”)), Washington has imposed significant restrictions on employer use of non-compete agreements with employees and independent contractors, permitting such agreements only subject to certain statutory and common-law requirements, including without limitation, a minimum annual earnings threshold (the 2024 limits are $120,559.99 for employees and $301,399.98 for independent contractors), and a Washington forum for any disputes.

Now, Senate Bill 5935 (“SB 5935”) – which takes effect on June 6, 2024 – amends the non-compete statute to further restrict the use of non-compete provisions and expand the types of agreements that may be considered non-competes. As a result, employers will need to take quick action to review their employment agreements and hiring processes to ensure compliance with the new law.

However, as discussed in our Covington Alert, on April 23, 2024 the Federal Trade Commission issued a final rule purporting to ban the use of non-competes with most U.S. workers.  The FTC Rule – should it become effective – would supersede inconsistent state laws.  The earliest the FTC Rule would take effect is late August 2024, and pending legal challenges may result in court orders that could delay or stay enforcement of the FTC Rule. Accordingly, employers with workers in Washington State should take steps to comply with SB 5935 before it takes effect on June 6, 2024.  Employers should also consider consulting with employment and executive compensation counsel for assistance with navigating the evolving non-compete landscape.

Here is an overview of the key changes under SB 5935:Continue Reading Changes to WA’s Non-Compete Law Require Employers to Take Action

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

A new law signed by President Biden brings significant changes to employers’ ability to require arbitration of certain disputes with employees and could lead to an increase in sexual assault and sexual harassment claims against employers in court.  On March 3, 2022, President Biden signed into law the “Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault

On September 11, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued revised regulations to clarify certain rights and employer responsibilities under the paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”).  The revisions were made in response to a recent decision of the U.S. District Court

International Employment

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court issued a ruling staying certain parts of the injunctions entered by the Fourth and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeal against Executive Order No. 13780, the so-called “travel ban” Executive Order (the “Order”), and the State Department issued clarifying guidance last night. The effect of the Supreme Court