Archives: Employment & Labor (U.S.)

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German federal labor court gives further clarifications on controversial aspects with regard to vacation entitlements

Under German law, the (mostly mandatory) provisions of the German Federal Vacation Act (Bundesurlaubsgesetz – BUrlG) constitute the basic legal framework for vacation entitlements. The Federal Vacation Act itself has not been changed for years. However, there are still a number of unanswered questions and controversial debates regarding vacation claims in Germany. In 2019, the … Continue Reading

Gov. Newsom signs bill to expand CFRA rights

On October 10, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom officially signed a bill expanding protected leave rights under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) to flight crew employees. We covered this issue in more detail here. The new law will allow flight crew employees to be eligible for CFRA protected leave with certain conditions.… Continue Reading

Maryland clamps down on non-competes

Maryland employers who wish to require their employees to sign a non-competition agreement beware. Effective October 1, 2019, non-competition agreements under Maryland law are valid only if the employee earns more than $15/hour or $31,200 annually. (See SB 328.) For employees who earn equal to or less than that, the agreement will be considered in … Continue Reading

NYC Council amends the New York City Human Rights Law definition of covered employer

New York City’s Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) is one of the broadest anti-discrimination statutes in the country. But does it apply to all Big Apple employers, regardless of size? A recent amendment passed by the City Council clarifies precisely which entities are considered “employers” for purposes of the NYCHRL. In its current incarnation, the NYCHRL … Continue Reading

Supreme Court poised to hear oral arguments in blockbuster LGBTQ+ workplace discrimination cases

On October 8, 2019, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in three landmark LGBTQ+ rights cases, which could broaden protections for the LGBTQ+ community by prohibiting employers from discriminating against employees based on their sexual orientation, transgender-status, or gender identity under federal law. Currently, conflicting federal cases and shifts in interpretation and policies at … Continue Reading

New York City’s Commission on Human Rights issues new guidance on immigration status and national origin discrimination

For decades, the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) has provided protections against discrimination, harassment, and retaliation on the basis of an individual’s actual or perceived immigration status or national origin. However, last week, New York City’s Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR) issued new guidance (the Guidance) that greatly expands the basis on which … Continue Reading

California legislature passes expansion of CFRA rights for flight crew employees

The California Legislature has recently passed a new bill to expand the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) to flight deck and cabin crew employees (pilots and flight attendants). The new bill conforms California’s CFRA to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) with regard to protected leave. Currently under the CFRA, employees are eligible … Continue Reading

Guarding against sexual harassment in the workplace: a robust policy is only the starting point

One in two women have been sexually harassed at work according to a survey conducted earlier this year by the Trades Union Congress. It is timely, therefore, that last month saw the launch of a specialist legal advice line for women in England and Wales experiencing sexual harassment at work. The advice line, run by … Continue Reading

New Jersey prohibits employers from asking about salary history

A part of the hiring process for many employers involves asking applicants about their prior salary and compensation information. Employers might use this information in deciding whether to make an offer to a particular candidate and the amount of compensation to offer the potential employee. However, beginning January 1, 2020, employers in New Jersey will … Continue Reading

DOL final overtime rule issued with few significant changes from 2019 proposed rule

On September 24, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published a highly anticipated final rule that updates the salary thresholds necessary to qualify for overtime exemptions – often referred to as the “salary level test” – under the Fair Labor Standards Act (the 2019 Final Rule).[1] This rule will replace the prior final rule … Continue Reading

Eighth Circuit affirms working overtime can be essential job function

Overtime work is essential in many industries. As a result, employers frequently structure job roles to require mandatory overtime. Although mandatory overtime can present difficult questions when an employee has a disability that disqualifies them from working overtime, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, in McNeil v. Union Pac. R.R., No. 18-2333, recently confirmed that … Continue Reading

Fall to bring more than just foliage for New York employers

New York lawmakers had a busy summer overhauling many of the state’s existing workplace laws. Many of the newly enacted changes, as well as others enacted within the past year, become effective in October 2019. Below we will highlight the new laws taking effect in October and discuss measures employers should take to ensure their … Continue Reading

22 years is long enough – German Federal Labour Court rules that fixed-term employment contracts without material reason are permissible

In general, the conclusion of a fixed-term employment contract is permissible if it is justified by a material reason (section 14(1) of the German Act on Part-time and Temporary Work (Teilzeit– und Befristungsgesetz – TzBfG)). Term limitations without a material reason are only permitted for a maximum period of two years (section 14(2)1 of the … Continue Reading

California leads the way in passing landmark legislation to classify gig workers as employees

As we have previously reported here, California Assembly Bill 5 (the bill) is slated to codify the California Supreme Court’s 2018 landmark decision in Dynamex Operations West v. Superior Court of Los Angeles, requiring companies to apply the “ABC” test in classifying their workers. The ABC test requires that workers be considered “employees” instead of … Continue Reading

Is extreme obesity a physical characteristic or a disability?

Imagine you are a human resources professional or in-house employment counsel and you learn that an employee in your organization is seeking a job transfer or other accommodation because with a body weight of almost 600 pounds, he is too overweight to do his present job. What do you do? A recent decision from the … Continue Reading

New York bolsters workplace safeguards for domestic violence victims

Following New York City’s lead, New York state and Westchester County have each enacted laws providing additional workplace protections to victims of domestic violence. In this post, we will discuss these new laws and their impact on your business. New York state: Last month, Governor Cuomo signed legislation amending the state’s antidiscrimination laws with respect … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit approves day rates for some highly compensated employees

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion last week holding for the first time that a “day rate” in excess of $455 paid to a highly compensated employee meets the requirements of the “salary basis” test under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Specifically, in Faludi v. U.S. Shale Solutions, No. 17-20808, 2019 … Continue Reading

On the eve of Labor Day, a win for business from the NLRB

Today more than ever, U.S. businesses supplement their workforce with independent contractors as a solution to competitive and customer pressures. The use of contractors is entirely legal. But the correct classification of workers as contractors, as opposed to employees, is a complex analysis with frameworks that differ across a variety of governing laws. Employers, therefore, … Continue Reading

Covert recordings at work on the rise in the UK

It is becoming increasingly common for employees to make covert recordings of meetings held with their employer. The reasons behind these recordings vary from a simple desire to keep a record of what is said to attempts to entrap their employer and use the recording against it in court proceedings. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) … Continue Reading

New York bans religious garb and grooming discrimination

New York lawmakers have been busy this summer. First, in June, they passed a suite of bills significantly expanding the protections afforded by the state’s antidiscrimination law and adding remedies for employees asserting unpaid wage claims. Then in July, they loosened the definition of retaliation under the state’s labor law. They apparently were not done. … Continue Reading

NLRB offers new guidance on mandatory arbitration agreements following last year’s Epic decision

The National Labor Relations Board (the Board) issued a 3–1 decision in Cordúa Restaurants, Inc., 368 NLRB No. 43 (2019), on Wednesday that provides significant new guidance regarding the intersection of arbitration agreements and the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The Board’s decision expressly authorizes employers to implement arbitration agreements that include collective waivers in … Continue Reading

Connecticut enacts expansive sexual harassment prevention measures

Connecticut has joined New York, New Jersey, and several other states in adopting measures to combat sexual harassment in the workplace. Effective October 1, 2019, Connecticut employers will have a host of new training, notice, and human resources requirements with which to comply — and will now face new, substantial categories of damages for violations. … Continue Reading

New York Continues Expansion of Worker Wage Protections (Part 2)

This is the second installment of our two-part blog series on recent wage-related changes to New York state law. In part one, we covered the expanded definition of retaliation under the New York Labor Law. Today, we will discuss a bill that permits employees to place wage liens on their employer’s property. Employees in New … Continue Reading

NLRB publishes proposed changes to union election procedures

The National Labor Relations Board (Board or NLRB) issued on Friday its first proposed regulation in a series that will overhaul parts of union election procedures. The Board’s 113-page proposed rule, which was published in the Federal Register today, Monday, August 12, modifies three of the board’s election processes: (1) the handling of blocking charges; … Continue Reading
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