Jordan A. Fishman
Jordan A. Fishman
Senior Associate, Atlanta
Formerly: Hostess, Server
Education
  • B.S., Corporate Communications, University of Texas at Austin;
  • J.D., University of Georgia School of Law.

While I intended for the practice of law to be only a temporary detour from my path to become a politician – that detour has instead become my passion. And that’s one less politician for the world! I’m pleased to admit that I have acquired a true enthusiasm for the practice of employment law, especially within the hospitality industry. What could be more gratifying than helping a new hotel open its doors, or counseling a restaurant with best practices to elevate the employee-employer relationship and avoid lawsuits? To the conventional belief that the practice of law is nerdy or boring… “I object!”

At Stokes Wagner, we take pride in our “preventive law” approach – helping you avoid costly and distracting issues before they may arise. I have fully embraced this concept. By counseling my clients on a daily basis, I seek to build a communicative relationship whereby my familiarity with the client enables me to spot issues before they become problems. And should litigation be unavoidable, I step up to the plate as a dedicated and informed advocate for my clients.

As a mid-level associate, I have gained an impressive range of experience. I have already deposed celebrities, conducted confidential workplace investigations, completed on-site audits of iconic hospitality institutions, trained an army of managers, argued countless motions (several for Grammy-winning rappers), served as lead counsel in arbitration, mediated numerous cases, and served as lead counsel in a jury trial. I have also drafted a mountain of vendor contracts, handbooks, tip pool agreements, employment agreements, employee policies, S.O.P.’s, releases, leave notices and other hospitality-related documents. And while each client’s needs may present new challenges, I am undaunted. As Benjamin Franklin stated, “energy and persistence conquer all things.”

When not throwing myself into the legal deep-end, I am a noted restaurant hound, amateur chef and new dog-mom. But above all else, I am a problem-solver that seeks to lead by showing-up prepared and ready to take on a challenge.

Based on recent guidance from the Office of the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations, covered employers with unionized workers must engage their employees’ unions when developing their vaccination and/or testing policies to comply with OSHA’s new ETS rule (“ETS”). The Board has emphasized employer’s duty to bargain concerning changes in terms and conditions of employment where employers are allowed discretion in implementation. Since ETS gives covered employers discretion with regards to implementing certain of its requirements, employer’s must bargain with their employees’ unions.

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Employers may legally require their employees be vaccinated. Consistent with California’s FEHA, all employers with five or more employees have an affirmative duty to make a reasonable accommodation for any employee with a disability or sincerely-held religious belief. Employers must engage in a good faith, interactive process with employees in these situations. One such accommodation may be to require routine COVID-19 testing in lieu of vaccination.

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On January 1, 2021, Georgia joined 41 other states in allowing a person to remove certain convictions from their criminal record after a period of “conviction-free” years. With the passage of SB 288, an individual of any age may petition their original sentencing court to restrict and seal the record of a misdemeanor offense four years after they have completed their sentence. The individual can make this petition as long as they have not been convicted of a new offense in those four years and do not have any pending charges.

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On March 12, 2021, Governor Cuomo signed legislation granting both public and private employees time off to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. Under this new law, employees are entitled to receive paid, job-protected leave “for a sufficient period of time, not to exceed four hours per vaccine injection” (i.e., 8 hours of total leave if receiving two shots) to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

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We are proud to announce the release of our latest Quarterly Newsletter, which may be found here.

This quarterly covers topics including:

  • Anticipated changes in labor law under the Biden Administration,
  • The latest Assembly and Senate Bills for California,
  • Minimum Wage updates, and
  • Classification of independent contractors.

Our newsletter summarizes key developments in the employment law arena on a quarterly basis, with a focus on how these developments may impact the hospitality industry and your operations. As you may have noticed, the legal landscape changes on a far more frequent basis than four times a year. So, when a particularly significant development occurs, we immediately publish a “Legal Alert” and make it available to each of our clients and subscribers. If you would like to stay abreast of legal developments in real-time, and receive our legal updates in a more timely fashion, we invite you to follow us on Instagram @stokeswagner.

THIS DOCUMENT PROVIDES A GENERAL SUMMARY AND IS FOR INFORMATIONAL/EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO BE COMPREHENSIVE, NOR DOES IT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE. PLEASE CONSULT WITH COUNSEL BEFORE TAKING OR REFRAINING FROM TAKING ANY ACTION.

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On December 16, 2020, the EEOC updated its COVID-19 guidance to include guidelines pertaining to mandatory vaccinations in the workplace. The EEOC stated that the administration of the COVID-19 vaccination is not a “medical examination” under the ADA, and thus private employers may require employees to be vaccinated as a condition to continued employment, or, at the very least, as a condition to returning to the workplace.

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Under the National Labor Relations Act, workers engaging in a “concerted activity” with other employees, such as a union organizer or representative discussing conditions of employment with an employer, qualifies as a protected activity.

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The fluctuating workweek formula applies to nonexempt, salaried employees whose hours vary widely from week to week. The formula allows employers to pay overtime hours at diminishing rates as long as they pay workers a minimum base salary, regardless of how many hours they work. While certain states have disallowed the fluctuating workweek, states who allow the method just received some clarity from the Department of Labor (“DOL”).

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, employers are struggling to determine how to protect their current workforce. We’ve compiled a list of common inquiries regarding this pandemic.

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This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a trio of cases asking whether federal law protects gay and transgender workers from discrimination. Currently, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against workers “on the basis of…sex” among other protected traits. The Court’s ruling on these cases will determine whether “sex” includes sexual orientation and gender identity.

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A recent federal court decision reminds employers that an employee’s electronic acceptance of an arbitration agreement may not, by itself, be enough to prove that the employee has agreed to arbitrate. In Shockley v. PrimeLending, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit recently affirmed the lower court’s decision to deny the employer’s motion to compel arbitration where the arbitration agreement was signed via the employer’s automated intranet system.

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In January 2020, Nevada will become the first state to bar employers from refusing to hire a prospective employee due to a positive drug test for cannabis. The new law carves out some exceptions for employees who operate a motor vehicle or whose cannabis use could adversely impact the safety of others but protects all other job applicants.

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On March 4, 2019, the U.S. District for the District of Columbia issued an opinion reinstating the EEOC’s collection of pay data as part of the EEO-1 Report filing. The revised EEO-1 form was an Obama-era change that would have required employers with 100 or more employees to report W-2 wage information and total hours worked for all employees by race, ethnicity and sex within 12 proposed pay bands. The pay data collection requirement was originally slated to go into effect on March 31, 2018 but was stalled after the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) stayed the implementation of the pay data collection portions of the revised EEO-1 Report.

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The Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal Act (“FAIR” Act) was introduced in both houses on February 28, 2019. If passed, the FAIR Act would eliminate mandatory arbitration agreements in employment, consumer, antitrust and civil rights claims. The bill would not completely do away with arbitration. Employees and consumers could agree to arbitration after a dispute occurs. The FAIR Act would also prohibit agreements that stop individuals, employees and businesses from joining or filing class actions.

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New York City recently signed the “Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act” into law. The Act amends the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) and the New York City Charter, providing several noteworthy changes aimed at preventing sexual harassment in the workplace.

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Today, the Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision holding that employers are not violating the National Labor Relations Act by requiring employees to sign class action waivers in arbitration agreements as a condition of their employment. Rejecting the NLRB’s position that class waivers violate a workers’ right to engage in concerted action, the majority held that mandatory arbitration agreements, which bar employees from joining together in a class-action lawsuit to settle disputes over wages and working conditions, must be enforced.

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California’s New Parent Leave Act (S.B. 63), which requires small business employers (20-49 employees) to provide employees with 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected parental bonding leave went into effect on January 1, 2018.

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Starting January 1, 2018, nearly all private employees in New York State will be eligible for Paid Family Leave so the employee can (1) bond with a newly born, adopted or fostered child; (2) care for a family member with a serious health condition; or (3) assist loved ones when a family member is deployed abroad on active military duty. Paid Family Leave will phase in over four years, starting at 8 weeks in 2018 and increasing to 12 weeks by 2021.

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On August 5, 2017, the New York City Commission on Human Rights published final regulations which expand on and clarify the already burdensome requirements of the Fair Chance Act (“FCA”). These newly released regulations will make background checks particularly difficult for national employers and/or employers with a consolidated hiring process in multiple states.

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