Archives: Employment & Labor (U.S.)

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New Requirements For City Contractors and Subs Under Philadelphia’s Whistleblower Law

On November 13, 2017, Mayor Kenney signed an Executive Order providing additional protections for whistleblowers, as well as specific requirements for city agencies, contractor, and subcontractors in addressing complaints, aimed at encouraging discovery, investigation and remediation of waste and corruption in city affairs. The Executive Order protects city employees, as well as employees of city … Continue Reading

Third Circuit Affirms Bright-Line FLSA Rule on Short Breaks, and Rejects Employer’s ‘Good-Faith’ Absent Disclosure of Legal Advice

On October 13, 2017, the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that short breaks during the work day of 20 minutes or fewer are compensable as a “bright-line rule” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  The case, DOL v. American Future Systems, et al., arose out of the employer’s policy of withholding … Continue Reading

Third Circuit Finds No ADA Violation Where Employee Deemed Unfit for Duty

On Tuesday August 15, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a claim for disability discrimination, where the plaintiff was deemed psychologically unfit for duty and subsequently had his employment terminated. The Third Circuit’s decision provides guidance for employers regarding the extent of their obligations to accommodate employees under … Continue Reading

NYC Proposes Ban on Non-Competes

New York City, which for years has been a trailblazer in employee-friendly workplace legislation, is at it again. Late last month, the NYC Council proposed a bill that would prohibit non-compete agreements for low-wage workers.  The bill would also bar non-competes for all other employees, if the potential that the employee might be asked to … Continue Reading

Employers Beware: Fifth Circuit Narrows “Fluctuating” Workweek

In a recent Wage and Hour development, the Fifth Circuit held that the “fluctuating workweek method,” which allows employers to decrease their liability for overtime payments in situations where they misclassify exempt employees, should not automatically be used where the employee works a different number of hours each week, based on a recurring, fixed schedule. … Continue Reading

EEOC Determination: Denial of Transition-Related Health Care Benefits Violates Title VII Rights of Transgender Employees

In a recent Letter of Determination, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) found probable cause to believe an employer violated the Title VII rights of a transgender employee when it excluded coverage for “transgender treatment/sex therapy” services from its medical benefit plans.  Specifically, the EEOC determined that denying coverage for transition-related services constituted sex … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Expands Scope of PAGA Discovery

On July 13, 2017, in a decision with serious repercussions on the scope of PAGA discovery, the California Supreme Court overruled the Court of Appeals in Williams v. Superior Court to allow state-wide discovery of Marshalls employees’ contact information, without the plaintiff first having to show any evidence to support his own individual claims or the … Continue Reading

NY Court Rules That Class Action Waivers Are Unenforceable

While pundits and practitioners eagerly await the U.S. Supreme Court’s looming decision on whether class action waivers in employment-related agreements violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) – which will not be issued until 2018 – one New York State court has decided to wade into the fracas. On July 18, a New York State … Continue Reading

NYC Agency Publishes Rules for New Independent Contractor Law

As we previously reported, the New York City “Freelance Isn’t Free” Act (the Act) took effect on May 15, 2017. The Act requires virtually all entities that engage an independent contractor in NYC for $800 or more in services to execute a written agreement with the contractor before work begins.  The Act additionally bars wage … Continue Reading

Chicago-Area Employers: Paid Sick Leave Begins July 1

A reminder to all employers with any employees who work in Chicago or elsewhere in Cook County, Illinois: ordinances mandating that you provide paid sick leave to employees who work in Chicago or Cook County take effect July 1, 2017. As we previously reported here, under the Chicago Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (and the almost … Continue Reading

New California Workplace Harassment Guide Is Useful Tool for Preventing and Addressing Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation

On May 2, 2017, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) issued a Workplace Harassment Guide, which offers recommendations for employers on how to prevent and address harassment in the workplace. While the Guide focuses on workplace harassment, it also is a useful tool for how to handle other workplace issues, including discrimination … Continue Reading

Reminder for NYC Employers: Independent Contractor Law Takes Effect May 15

On May 15, a new law takes effect in New York City that will require written agreements between many, if not most, independent contractors and the entities that engage them.  As we previously reported, the “Freelance Isn’t Free” Act (the Act) requires that virtually all entities that engage a “freelance worker” for $800 or more … Continue Reading

NYC to Employers: “No Salary for You!”

On April 5, New York City became the latest jurisdiction to enact legislation barring employers from inquiring into a job applicant’s salary history.  Originally introduced last summer at the behest of NYC Public Advocate Letitia James, the bill specifically prohibits businesses from (1) inquiring about the salary history of a job applicant or (2) relying … Continue Reading

Sexual Revolution: Seventh Circuit Holds Title VII Protects Sexual Orientation

On April 4, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit broke new legal ground by ruling that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination in employment, also forbids sexual orientation discrimination.  Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, No. 15-1720 (7th Cir. 2017) (en banc).  The ruling … Continue Reading

New York Wage Payment Regulations Are Revoked at the Eleventh Hour

Recently, New York’s Industrial Board of Appeals (IBA) revoked regulations issued by the State’s Department of Labor (NYSDOL) governing employee wage payments via direct deposit and payroll debit cards, which were scheduled to go into effect March 7, 2017. The IBA, an independent agency with certain oversight authority over the NYSDOL, held that the proposed … Continue Reading

Philadelphia Employers Barred from Asking about Wage History

On January 23, 2017, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signed the Philadelphia Wage Equity Ordinance into law. The bill amends the Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance to prohibit employers from asking about an applicant’s wage history at any point during the hiring process. Philadelphia City Council unanimously voted in favor of the legislation in December 2016. Introduced … Continue Reading

NY Dept of Labor Finalizes Major Changes to Wage Regulations

In New York, a large number of wage and hour requirements are statutorily codified in the Labor Law. Many others requirements, however, are set forth in regulations known as wage orders, which are issued and updated from time-to-time by the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL).  The NYSDOL publishes wage orders covering the hospitality, … Continue Reading

What Employers May Expect with Trump in Office

This installment of our ongoing series prognosticating about the new Presidential administration focuses on the regulatory environment employers may face. President-elect Trump has promised to revoke a number of the more employee-friendly measures that the Obama Administration has passed over the previous eight years.  Additionally, Ivanka Trump, who was influential throughout her father’s campaign, has … Continue Reading

Court Preliminarily Enjoins DOL Overtime Rule

A Texas federal court judge has issued a preliminary nationwide injunction blocking the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing the controversial overtime rule set to take effect December 1. The rule would have more than doubled the weekly salary threshold for the federal Fair Labor Standards Act’s so-called “white collar” exemptions, from $455/week to … Continue Reading

Employing Workers in a Trump Administration

As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump voiced many opinions about his priorities and goals for the country. Yet as President-elect Trump prepares to take office in January, employers remain uncertain as to what the American workplace will look like under a Trump administration. As a lead-up to the presidential inauguration, we will provide a series … Continue Reading

Illinois Bans Noncompetes for Low-Wage Employees

Starting January 1, 2017, the new Illinois Freedom to Work Act will prohibit private sector employers from entering into covenants not-to-compete with “low-wage employees” who work in the state, and render unenforceable any such restrictions that are entered into on or after that date. The Act defines a “low-wage employee” as one who earns the … Continue Reading

NY Dept. of Labor Proposes Major Changes to Wage Regulations

In New York, a large number of wage and hour requirements are statutorily codified in the Labor Law. Many others requirements, however, are set forth in regulations known as wage orders, which are issued and updated from time-to-time by the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL).  The NYSDOL publishes wage orders covering the hospitality, … Continue Reading

NYC Passes Comprehensive Independent Contractor Bill

On October 27, the New York City Council, long known for pushing the envelope when it comes to employment legislation, passed a first-of-its-kind bill, known as the “Freelance Isn’t Free” Act, that requires written agreements between certain independent contractors and the entities that engage them (the Act).  The Act also bars wage theft and retaliation … Continue Reading
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