On November 16, 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Speak Out Act (the “Act”), which President Biden is expected to sign into law. The bipartisan legislation, passed by the Senate on September 29, 2022, limits the enforceability of pre–dispute nondisclosure and nondisparagement clauses relating to sexual assault and sexual harassment claims.
As featured in #WorkforceWednesday: This week, we break down the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC’s) recent commissioner charges surrounding abortion travel benefits, potential changes to employer policies due to midterm election results, and the U.S. Supreme Court’s (SCOTUS’s) decision not to review whether COVID-19 justifies a violation of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act.
On October 31, 2022, the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) released Memorandum GC 23-02 urging the Board to interpret existing Board law to adopt a new legal framework to find electronic monitoring and automated or algorithmic management practices illegal if such monitoring or management practices interfere with protected activities under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”). The Board’s General Counsel stated in the Memorandum that “[c]lose, constant surveillance and management through electronic means threaten employees’ basic ability to exercise their rights,” and urged the Board to find that an employer violates the Act where the employer’s electronic monitoring and management practices, when viewed as a whole, would tend to “interfere with or prevent a reasonable employee from engaging in activity protected by the Act.” Given that position, it appears that the General Counsel believes that nearly all electronic monitoring and automated or algorithmic management practices violate the Act.
Effective November 16, 2022, non-governmental health care entities must offer eligible employees continued employment for at least four months following a change in control without any reduction in their wages and benefits – including paid time off, health care, retirement, and education benefits in accordance with Senate Bill No. 315 (the Law). Change in control includes sales, transfers, assignments, mergers, and reorganizations and is deemed to “occur on the date of execution of the document effectuating the change.”
On November 1, 2022, in Dusel v. Factory Mutual Ins. Co., the First Circuit Court of Appeals held that “close temporal proximity” alone does not establish pretext as this evidence “must be considered alongside the . . . record.” Nor does mere close temporal proximity establish pretext where the employer has a legitimate business reason for taking adverse action against the employee, and more particularly, where the employer subsequently discovers the employee’s misconduct in a separate, unrelated matter. Dusel is a win for employers because it signals that engaging in protected activity will not immunize an employee from the consequences of misconduct that violates company policy if the employer enforces its policy consistently and documents the reasons underlying the employee’s discipline.
As featured in #WorkforceWednesday: This week, we shed light on the growing issues surrounding electronic employee monitoring, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC’s) disavowal of comments by a former General Counsel (GC) regarding abortion travel benefits, and California’s latest marijuana employment protection law.
In the wake of the landmark decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, we have been closely monitoring legal developments across the country. In addition to well publicized “trigger laws” that were effectuated as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s order, states have taken up a variety of legislative actions in response to the ruling, which placed authority for the regulation of abortion with the states.
On November 6, 2022, clocks will fall back an hour and in Westchester County, New York a new law requiring disclosure of salary ranges in job advertisements will take effect.
As we previously reported, Westchester, located just north of New York City and home to numerous corporate campuses, recently enacted an amendment to its local human rights law to require employers to state a minimum and maximum salary in any “posting” for jobs, promotions, and transfer opportunities. This comes on the heels of a similar law in New York City that took effect on November 1, 2022.
As featured in #WorkforceWednesday: This week, we weigh in on the upcoming expiration of California’s privacy exemptions and how employers can develop preventative policies and procedures to effectuate employee rights under the state’s laws.