Archives: Employment

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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

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

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

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

Pittsburgh employers: Immediately review your policies concerning the new Paid Sick Days Act

In 2015, the City of Pittsburgh enacted the Paid Sick Days Act (the “Act”), requiring all private employers of full or part-time employees within the City of Pittsburgh to provide paid sick leave benefits as follows: Employers with 15 or more employees must provide workers with up to 40 hours of paid sick time per … Continue Reading

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
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