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New York’s highest court holds that home health aides are not entitled to 24-hour pay

Recently, New York’s highest state court, the Court of Appeals, held that the New York Labor Law (NYLL) does not automatically entitle New York home health care providers to wages for each hour worked during a 24-hour shift. The ruling is the result of an appeal of two state court class actions in which home … Continue Reading

Tell everybody: Confidentiality clauses may violate employees’ section 7 rights

In a recent decision issued on March 21, 2019, an administrative law judge (ALJ) held that confidentiality clauses in arbitration agreements violate the National Labor Relations Act (the Act). Specifically, the ALJ held that such provisions run afoul of section 8(a)(1) of the Act, and unlawfully require a waiver of employees’ rights under section 7 … Continue Reading

New Jersey bans NDAs and certain waivers of rights in agreements with employees

On March 18, 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed new legislation (S121) that significantly impacts the scope of certain employment agreements and settlement agreements between employers and employees/former employees. The controversial legislation addresses the following: Ban on waiver of substantive and procedural rights in employment contracts related to discrimination, harassment or retaliation claims The … Continue Reading

NLRB returns to more employer-friendly independent contractor test

In a recent decision involving SuperShuttle drivers, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) overruled a 2014 decision making it less likely a worker would be deemed an independent contractor, returning to the more employer-friendly common law test to determine independent contractor status. In 2014, the Board purported to clarify the standard for evaluating … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit limits ADEA’s scope, but beware state law

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently reversed its prior decision and upheld an Illinois district court ruling that the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) does not protect job applicants from disparate impact claims. But beware, as this seemingly apparent win for employers in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin may drive … Continue Reading

San Francisco increases costs and requirements for employers in 2019

San Francisco’s Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE) continues to raise the cost of doing business at the foot of the Golden Gate by requiring employers to provide some of the most generous benefits to employees in the United States. The OLSE has amended certain of its rules regarding employer obligations, and will begin enforcing … Continue Reading

NYC Council enacts new protections for employees’ sexual and reproductive health decisions

This week, the New York City Council passed new amendments to the New York City Human Rights Law, which prohibit employment discrimination, discriminatory harassment and violence on the basis of an individual’s sexual and reproductive health decisions. A copy of the new, amended law can be found here. The amended law defines “sexual and reproductive … Continue Reading

NYC employers must provide lactation rooms effective March 2019

Beginning March 18, 2019, New York City employers with four or more employees will be required to provide lactation rooms to employees upon request. Specifically, under two bills recently passed by New York City Council (Int. No. 879-A and Int. No. 905-A), New York City employers must: Upon request, provide a lactation room and a … Continue Reading

End of year reminder for NY employers: NYC’s cooperative dialogue law is in effect

On October 15, 2018, the New York City Human Rights Law (CHRL) was amended to require employers to engage in a “cooperative dialogue” with individuals who may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation under the CHRL. Whereas federal and state laws require an “interactive process” to determine a reasonable accommodation, the CHRL requires that employers … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court clarifies rules regarding health care employees’ waiver of second meal breaks

In an important decision for California health care employers, the California Supreme Court recently confirmed that certain health care employees are allowed to waive their second meal breaks even if they work more than 12 hours in a shift. History of the Gerard litigation In 2015, the California Court of Appeal shocked health care employers … Continue Reading

New Jersey Employers: The State Paid Sick Leave Law Is Now In Effect – Are You Ready?

The New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act takes effect today, October 29, 2018. Just in time for flu season. If you are a New Jersey employer or an employer with employees in New Jersey, regardless of size or employee number, you are now required by law to provide one hour of sick leave for every … Continue Reading

NY Issues Final Guidance on Key Sexual Harassment Laws – Empire State Employers Must Take Immediate Action

As we previously reported, on October 9, 2018, two landmark New York State laws concerning sexual harassment prevention take effect. These laws require that all Empire State employers: Implement a written sexual harassment prevention policy that meets or exceeds the content of a model sexual harassment prevention policy prepared by State regulators, and Provide employees … Continue Reading

New Jersey Federal Judge Finds Medical Marijuana User Cannot Compel Employer to Waive Employment Drug Testing Requirements

The United States District Court of New Jersey recently dismissed an employee’s disability discrimination, failure to accommodate and retaliation claims, holding that neither the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) nor the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act (CUMMA) required the employer to waive its drug testing requirements. In Cotto v. Ardagh Glass Packing, … Continue Reading

Reminder for NY employers: NYC’s Temporary Schedule Change Law is in effect

On July 18, 2018, New York City’s temporary scheduling provisions of the New York City Fair Workweek Law went into effect. As a reminder, this law requires covered employers to grant employees a maximum of two temporary work schedule changes per calendar year for qualifying personal events. Also, the law prohibits employers from retaliating against … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court finds mere minutes matter…sometimes

Today, the California Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated opinion in Troester v. Starbucks Corp., No. S234969 (Cal. July 26, 2018), regarding whether the long-standing de minimis doctrine adopted under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) applies to claims for unpaid wages for minute increments of time under the California Labor Code. The majority opinion … Continue Reading

Reminder for NY employers: key pieces of sexual harassment legislation just took effect

Earlier this year, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the State’s Budget Bill for fiscal year 2018-19. Astute employers may recall that the Budget Bill has in the past been the Governor’s preferred mechanism for enacting sweeping employment law reforms. For example, the 2016-17 Budget Bill included provisions that will ultimately increase the … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Class Action Waivers Are Enforceable

On Monday, May 21, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that agreements between employers and employees providing for individualized arbitration proceedings are enforceable. The decision came in a trio of cases, all raising the issue of whether the Federal Arbitration’s Act’s saving clause, which removes the obligation to enforce an arbitration agreement in certain circumstances, … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Holds Worker Classifications Easy As A-B-C

The California Supreme Court handed down its highly anticipated decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County, No. S222732 (Cal. April 30, 2018), adopting a new legal standard to be used in determining whether workers should be classified as employees or as independent contractors. Specifically, in the unanimous Dynamex … Continue Reading

NY State of Mind: New State and City Laws (Part 4)

This is the fourth in a series of blog posts concerning recent employment law developments in New York State and City: Legislation Update: New York State Legislature Passes Sweeping Anti-Sexual Harassment Legislation The New York State Legislature has had an eventful year and is showing no sign of slowing down. Adding to the growing federal … Continue Reading

A New Path Forward: Changing the #MeToo Culture

On January 9, 2018, Reed Smith attorney Miriam Edelstein co-presented a panel discussion on the impact of the #MeToo movement in the workplace at the January meeting of the Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA), Philadelphia chapter. LERA is comprised of professionals across the employment law field, both management- and employee-side attorneys, as well as … Continue Reading

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

California’s Employment Law Class of 2017: The Summarized Laws and Recommendations for Compliance

Note: All bills become effective January 1, 2018 unless stated otherwise. AB 168 – Ban on Salary History Inquiries NEW LAW: Effective January 1, 2018, California employers cannot ask a job applicant about his or her prior salary or seek out an applicant’s salary history through a third party. Employers may consider prior salary information that … Continue Reading

DOL Issues Final Rules for Sick Leave for Federal Contractors

On September 30, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor issued the long-awaited Final Rule implementing President Obama’s Executive Order 13706, which requires federal contractors (and their subcontractors) to provide workers with a minimum of seven days of paid sick leave. The Rule will impose substantial new obligations on many employers beginning January 1, 2017, and … Continue Reading
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