Archives: Workplace Laws and Regulations

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New Jersey law requires severance pay in mass layoffs

Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation yesterday, January 21, 2020, amending New Jersey’s mini-WARN law, the Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act (the “Act”). Most notable among the changes is the requirement that companies with 100 or more employees (now including part-time workers) pay severance to employees impacted by a mass layoff. A “mass … Continue Reading

EEOC rescinds longstanding policy statement on mandatory binding arbitration

Last month, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) surprisingly announced that it was formally rescinding its longstanding “Policy Statement on Mandatory Binding Arbitration of Employment Discrimination Disputes as a Condition of Employment,” which took the position that mandatory arbitration provisions between employers and employees were contrary to federal antidiscrimination laws. Originally issued in July … Continue Reading

Illinois takes first step to combat bias in hiring decisions with Artificial Intelligence Video Interview Act

As the use of artificial intelligence in employment decisions grows, regulations on the practice will increase as well.  Illinois has kicked off these regulations with the Artificial Intelligence Video Interview Act, which requires employers to disclose and job applicants’ consent before using artificial intelligence on candidate videos when used to assess an individual’s fitness for employment.  To prepare … Continue Reading

The Board reinstates traditional deferral standard

On December 23, 2019, in United Parcel Service, Inc., 369 NLRB 1 (2019), the National Labor Relations Board (the Board) gave employers one final holiday gift by returning to its traditional standard for post-arbitral deferral. The Board uses this standard to decide whether it should defer to arbitration awards in cases alleging the unlawful discipline … Continue Reading

DOL makes historic, pro-business changes to FLSA joint employer test

On January 12, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its final rule updating and revising its interpretation of joint employer status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The new rule simplifies the FLSA joint employer analysis with a four-factor test for determining whether workers are jointly employed by associated businesses or persons. … Continue Reading

New year, new changes to New York state’s minimum wage and tip credit rules

New York state rang in 2020 with a sweeping change to its minimum wage and tip credit rules that is expected to impact roughly 70,000 workers. On December 31, 2019, the New York State Department of Labor (the NYSDOL) recommended to Governor Andrew Cuomo that the state eliminate the tip credit for all miscellaneous industry … Continue Reading

Illinois requires single-occupancy restrooms to be gender neutral

As a reminder to Illinois employers, on January 1, 2020 “The Equitable Restrooms Act” took effect, requiring all single-occupancy (or one-person) restrooms in a place of public accommodation or public building to be identified as all-gender and designated for use by no more than one person at a time, or for family, or assisted use.  … Continue Reading

Year in review: 2019 employment law changes in New Jersey

For employers in the Garden State, 2019 brought a barrage of legal changes and new requirements. As 2019 comes to a close, we recap some of the most significant changes to the employment landscape in New Jersey. Minimum wage In July 2019, the New Jersey minimum wage increased to $10 per hour. This number will … Continue Reading

NLRB gives employers back the right to restrict employee use of work email

On Tuesday, December 17, 2019, in Caesars Entertainment d/b/a Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, 368 NLRB No. 143, the National Labor Relations Board (the Board or NLRB) held that an employer may restrict the use of its email system if it does so on a non-discriminatory basis, effectively reinstating the holding of Register Guard, 351 … Continue Reading

The City of Pittsburgh publishes new information regarding the Paid Sick Days Act

The City of Pittsburgh has provided much needed clarity regarding several lingering questions concerning the Paid Sick Days Act (the Act), which requires all private employers of full- or part-time employees within the City of Pittsburgh to provide paid sick leave benefits. In July 2019, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the Act following a nearly four-year … Continue Reading

NLRB greenlights employer rules requiring employee confidentiality during workplace investigations

On Tuesday, December 17, 2019, in Apogee Retail LLC d/b/a Unique Thrift Store, 368 NLRB No. 144 (2019), the National Labor Relations Board (the Board or NLRB) held that requiring employee confidentiality during workplace investigations does not constitute an unfair labor practice under the National Labor Relations Act (the Act or NLRA). This is yet … Continue Reading

NLRB returns to past precedent in holding that employer’s duty to deduct union dues ceases when collective bargaining agreement expires

On December 16, 2019, in Valley Hospital Medical Center, Inc. d/b/a Valley Hospital Medical Center (368 NLRB No. 139 (2019)), the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) overturned its 2015 decision in Lincoln Lutheran of Racine (362 NLRB 1655 (2015)), restoring the Board’s 50+ year precedent established under Bethlehem Steel (136 NLRB 1500 (1962), that there … Continue Reading

DOL final rule updates exclusions from employees’ regular rate

On December 16, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published its first significant revision since 1968 to its interpretation of the calculation of the “regular rate” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).[1] The regulations address whether certain fringe benefits must be included in calculating an employee’s regular rate for overtime purposes. With the … Continue Reading

Changes to the NLRB’s representation case procedures to go into effect in 2020

On December 13, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board (Board) announced a series of modifications to its representation case procedures. These modifications will be published on December 18, 2019, and are scheduled to go into effect on April 16, 2020. Unlike the Obama Board’s 2014 amendments, the current Board has elected to implement these changes … Continue Reading

Tech industry watchdog challenges AI-driven recruiting practices

As technology continues to rapidly evolve, so do hiring and recruiting practices. A number of start-up companies have emerged in recent years offering employers the ability to use artificial intelligence (AI) to screen job candidates and determine their employability. These AI-driven recruiting practices, such as those that use facial and voice recognition technologies, are touted … Continue Reading

New York state’s reproductive health law necessitates handbook revisions

New York state employers, it’s time to dust off and update your employee handbooks again.  Earlier this month, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law that protects employees against discrimination on the basis of their reproductive health decision-making. The law, which mirrors a recent bill passed by New York City lawmakers, also requires that employers in … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania wage rules: Changes on the horizon

Shortly after the U.S. Department of Labor’s new overtime rule was finalized, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) followed suit and finalized its own proposed overtime rule. Regulation 12-106 was set to exceed the new federal rule regarding the minimum salary to be paid to employees who are exempt from overtime. The new … Continue Reading

California extends deadline to file employment claims from one year to three years

Beginning January 1, 2020, an individual’s deadline to exhaust their administrative remedies through advancing a charge of unlawful workplace discrimination, harassment, and retaliation with the California Department of Fair Housing and Employment (DFEH) will be extended from one year to three years. Assembly Bill 9, known as the Stop Harassment and Reporting Extension (SHARE) Act, … Continue Reading

The future is now: Employer use of present-day medical information to predict future disabilities does not violate the ADA

The sci-fi film Minority Report envisions the year 2054, when the U.S. government uses predictive foreknowledge of “precogs” to apprehend criminals before their crimes are ever committed, thereby reducing future harm. More than 15 years after the popular film was made, the Seventh Circuit’s decision in Shell v. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company arrives … Continue Reading

New data security law has broad implications for New York employers

On October 23, 2019, New York state’s Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security (SHIELD) Act went into effect. The law broadens the state’s existing breach notification laws and imposes new security obligations for companies doing business in New York, including an expanded focus on how companies handle biometric data. The SHIELD Act also applies … Continue Reading

When do beliefs attract legal protection at work?

An employer is likely to find a wide variety of beliefs held by its employees. We’re all aware that some people hold (and perhaps we share) firm beliefs as regards climate change, and there is certainly a growing trend towards a vegan lifestyle and beliefs. Others may hold beliefs in spiritualism, life after death, and … Continue Reading

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
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