- Posts by Eric I. Emanuelson Jr.Associate
Attorney Eric Emanuelson counsels multi-state employers on all facets of employment law, with an eye towards minimizing risk and achieving optimal workplace outcomes. Eric’s practice focuses on litigating employment ...
As anticipated, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) has published proposed updates to its Equal Pay Transparency Rules (the “Updated EPT Rules”), which implement the Colorado legislature’s recent amendments (the “2024 Amendments”) to the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (the “Act”) that take effect January 1, 2024. Below, we identify four areas in which the Updated EPT Rules provide much-needed clarity to Colorado employers regarding their obligations under the 2024 Amendments.
The Updated EPT Rules incorporate the 2024 ...
With amendments to the Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (the “Act”) set to take effect on January 1, 2024 (the “2024 Amendments”), the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (“CDLE”) has started the process of updating its compliance guidance for employers. The first update comes in the form of a revised Interpretative Notice & Formal Opinion ("INFO") #9, which the CDLE published on July 28, 2023.
Governor Jared Polis recently signed into law legislation (SB 23-105 or the “Amendments”) that will soon change Colorado employers’ disclosure and notice requirements under the state’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (“Act”).
As we previously reported, in addition to prohibiting sex-based wage discrimination, the Act requires all employers, regardless of where they are located, with at least one Colorado-based employee to (1) notify their Colorado-based employees of internal opportunities for promotion and (2) disclose salary and benefits information in job postings for all positions that are or can be performed in Colorado. The Amendments modify the Act by:
On May 3, 2023, Maryland Governor Wes Moore signed into law SB 828, which amends the state’s Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program (the “Program”) that was originally established in April 2022. As we previously reported, the Program generally provides eligible employees with 12 (but in some cases, 24) weeks of paid leave to be used for certain covered family and medical-related absences. The Program and SB 828’s amendments—which will take effect on June 1, 2023—are nuanced, so below are five significant updates from the new legislation for Maryland employers to consider.
On January 1, 2023, Washington joined the growing list of states requiring pay transparency in job postings. Amendments (the “Amendments”) to the Washington State Equal Pay and Opportunities Act (the “EPOA”) require covered employers to disclose pay range, benefits, and other compensation in job postings. The Washington Department of Labor and Industries issued an administrative policy (the “Guidance”) to provide guidance regarding the broadened disclosure requirements.
Now that the New Year is underway, employers should ensure that required messaging about employee/workers’ rights is up to date and conforms with federal, state, and local law.
UPDATE – On July 27, 2022, Mayor Bowser signed the Non-Compete Clarification Amendment Act of 2022. The approved Act must now be sent to Congress for a period of 30 days before becoming effective as law.
Washington, D.C. employers will not need to scrap all their non-compete agreements after all. On July 12, 2022, the D.C. Council (the “Council”) passed the Non-Compete Clarification Amendment Act of 2022 (B24-0256) (the “Amendment”), which among other things, tempers the District’s near-universal ban on non-compete provisions to permit restrictions for highly compensated employees. For further analysis on the original D.C. Ban on Non-Compete Act, please see our previous articles here and here.
The Council delayed the initial ban several times in response to feedback from employer groups. However, barring an unlikely veto or Congressional action during the mandatory review period, the amended ban will take effect as of October 1, 2022. We detail the key revisions to the ban below.
On June 7, 2022, the District of Columbia Council approved the Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Support Act of 2022 (“Act”), which includes an increase to the number of weeks of paid leave available to eligible employees through the Universal Paid Leave Act (“UPLA”) (also known as “Paid Family Leave,” or “PFL”). Generally, as we previously explained, PFL-eligible employees are those who spend at least 50 percent of their work time – whether full time or part time – in D.C.
On April 28, 2022, the New York City Council (the “Council”) approved an amendment to a recently enacted pay transparency law, 2022 Local Law 32 (the “Law”) by an overwhelming majority. The Law will require employers to disclose salary ranges in advertisements for jobs that are performed, at least in part, in New York City, and was set to become effective on May 15, 2022. After significant pushback from the business community, the Council introduced a new bill, Int. No. 134-A (the “Amendment”), to offer additional clarity and time for employers to comply. The Amendment is expected to be signed into law by Mayor Eric Adams. Of greatest immediate significance, once signed, the Amendment delays the effective date of the Law from May 15 to November 1, 2022.
The Amendment clarifies that advertisements for any job, promotion or transfer opportunity will have to include a statement of either a minimum and maximum annual salary or the minimum and maximum hourly wage. The Law will apply to advertisements seeking both exempt employees who earn a salary, and non-exempt employees, who may be paid on a salary or hourly basis.
Due to a surplus in the Universal Paid Leave Fund (the “Fund”), D.C. employees who are covered by the District’s Paid Family Leave (PFL”) program will soon be eligible for the maximum amount of paid family leave benefits permitted under the law.
As discussed in our previous Insight, starting in 2022, under the Universal Paid Leave Emergency Amendment Act of 2021 (“PLEAA”), the District’s Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”) may modify the maximum duration of leave available under the PFL program annually depending upon the projected balance of the Universal Paid Leave Fund. On March 1, 2022, the Acting CFO certified that the Fund has enough money to increase the potential maximum duration of qualifying paid leave available to D.C. employees as follows:
On March 28, 2022, the New York City Commission on Human Rights released official guidance (Guidance) regarding the upcoming pay transparency law, Int. 1208-B (Law), which requires all advertisements for jobs, promotions, and transfer opportunities for positions performed in the City to include a minimum and maximum salary range. As we previously reported, the City Council passed the Law on December 15, 2021, and it currently is expected to take effect on May 15, 2022.
In addition, amendments to the Law have recently been introduced in the New York City Council (T2022-5021 (Bill)) which, if passed, will modify the Law in important ways, including delaying its effective date and further clarifying its requirements.
On March 28, 2022, District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser signed D.C. Act 24-350, postponing the applicability date of the Ban on Non-Compete Agreements Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Act 23-563) (the “Act”) until October 1, 2022. As we previously reported, the D.C. Council will likely use the coming months to consider various amendments, which will hopefully offer clarity to employers.
The first state to implement workplace health and safety standards for COVID-19 is poised to roll back those requirements. Virginia’s Permanent COVID-19 Employee Health and Safety Requirements (the “Permanent Standard”) established requirements for employers to control, prevent, and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. However, with the Omicron wave receding, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin says the Permanent Standard presents “a significant burden on businesses” and should be reconsidered.
Pursuant to Governor Youngkin’s Executive Order issued on January 15, 2022, the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board (the “Board”) convened on February 16, 2022, to determine whether the Permanent Standard is still necessary. Adopting the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry’s (“DOLI”) recommendation, the Board agreed that there is no continued need for the Permanent Standard because the virus, “based on emerging scientific and medical evidence, . . . no longer constitute[s] a grave danger to employees in the workplace.”
The D.C. Council (the “Council”) is poised to further postpone the Ban on Non-Compete Agreements Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Act 23-563) (the “Act”). On March 1, 2022, Councilmember Elissa Silverman introduced emergency legislation (B24-0683) that would push back the Act’s applicability date from April 1 to October 1, 2022. Councilmember Silverman simultaneously introduced and the D.C. Council adopted an emergency declaration resolution (PR24-0603) allowing the measure to proceed directly to Mayor Muriel Bowser’s desk for signing after a single reading.
NYC employers will soon be required to include a minimum and maximum salary on all job postings for positions performed within the City. As we previously reported, the City Council passed Int. 1208-B (Law) on December 15, 2021, and due to new NYC mayor Eric Adam’s inaction within the 30-day veto period, it became a law as of January 15, 2022. Beginning May 15, 2022, the Law requires employers with four or more employees to include a “good faith” minimum and maximum salary range on for all advertised NYC job, promotion and transfer opportunities. Additionally, the Law makes the failure to include salary range an unlawful discriminatory practice under the City’s Human Rights Law.
On Monday, December 20, District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a “situational update,” declaring a state of emergency due to the “Winter 2022 Surge” in COVID-19 cases driven by the Delta and Omicron variants. The District will combat the current rise in COVID-19 cases with a six-pronged approach outlined in an action plan (the “Plan”) published by the Mayor’s Office and implemented under Mayor’s Order 2021-147 (the “Order”). The Plan includes expanding free testing programs, a new indoor mask mandate, and a vaccine mandate for city employees and contractors.
The District has been operating a program called “Test Yourself DC,” which provides free PCR testing kits for use at home. On December 20, 2021, nine new pick-up/drop-off sites were added to the program, making a total of 36 locations available. The Test Yourself locations are in addition to the eight public testing sites staffed by health professionals administering free PCR COVID-19 tests. Further, the program will be expanded to include “Test Yourself Express,” which will offer free at-home rapid antigen COVID-19 testing kits at eight DC public libraries. District residents who provide proof of residency will be permitted to get two free rapid tests per day and must report their results via an online portal.
UPDATE: New York State issued FAQs confirming that the mask mandate applies to private businesses and their employees. Employers in office spaces must either require proof of vaccination or impose a mask mandate. Masks must be worn except “when eating, drinking, or alone in an enclosed room.”
On October 8, 2021, the New York State Department of Labor (“NYSDOL”) issued guidance in the form of Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs” or the “Guidance”) to assist employers in navigating the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (“MRTA” or the “Act”) and in understanding what they can and cannot do. As we previously reported, the MTRA, enacted on March 31, 2021, legalized recreational cannabis in the State. Of particular importance to employers, the Act amended New York Labor Law Section 201-D (“Section 201-D”) to create new legal protections for ...
As we wrote in our last Marijuana Legalization Rundown, state legislatures across the country have been busy enacting cannabis legalization laws this year. Along with those laws has come a number of recent court decisions interpreting the application of cannabis legalization laws. This post summarizes some of the significant decisions issued this year.
On April 28, 2021, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California granted summary judgment to the defendant employer on claims brought under the Fair Employment and Housing Act ...
Washington, D.C. employers have more time to get their non-compete ducks in a row. On August 23, 2021, Mayor Bowser signed the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Support Act of 2021 (B24-0373) (the “Support Act”), which includes various statutory changes necessary to implement the D.C. FY 2022 budget. As expected, the Support Act postpones the applicability date of the Ban on Non-Compete Agreements Amendment Act of 2020 (the “Non-Compete Act”) until April 1, 2022. The postponement not only provides more time for employers to prepare for the non-compete ban—it also permits the D.C ...
There has been a recent flurry of movement – both in the courts and in state legislatures – on the marijuana law front across several states. As we previously reported, on February 22, 2021, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed three separate cannabis reform bills into law (NJ A21, NJ A 1897, and NJ A5342/NJ S3454), formally legalizing the use and possession of recreational marijuana in the Garden State. The new laws contain express workplace-related provisions that impact New Jersey employers by establishing non-discrimination rules for recreational cannabis users or ...
Just as Washington, D.C. employers begin navigating the District’s recently enacted non-compete ban, changes to the law are already in the works. As we previously reported, earlier this year D.C. enacted the Ban on Non-Compete Agreements Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Act 23-563) (the “Act”), which prohibits employers from requiring or requesting that an employee sign any agreement containing a non-compete provision. For a more detailed summary and analysis of the Act, please refer to our December 22, 2020 article.
In response to concerns raised by the employer community
On February 22, 2021, Governor Murphy signed three separate cannabis reform bills into law that formally legalize the use and possession of recreational marijuana in the Garden state: (1) the “New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act” (the “Cannabis Act”) (NJ A21), which legalizes the recreational use and possession of cannabis or cannabis products (collectively “cannabis items”) for adults; (2) a decriminalization law (NJ A1897), which legalizes the possession of up to six ounces of cannabis and provides for ...
The New York City Council is planning to evaluate how effectively both the City, as an employer, and private employers disseminated and implemented COVID-19 workplace guidance over the past year with the goal of strengthening how the public and private sectors manage future public health emergencies. On February 28, 2021, the Council enacted Int. 2161-2020 (the “Law”), which establishes a board to review the workplace health and safety guidance that agencies and private employers issued to their respective employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. The newly formed board will ...
On October 1, 2020, numerous laws in Maryland providing expanded protections for both existing employees and job applicants addressing race and sex discrimination, pay equity, and wage transparency went into effect. As we begin a new year, employers should review these new laws to ensure compliance.
Expansion of Employers’ Notification and Reporting Obligations for Workforce Layoffs
Maryland has instituted its own version of the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (“WARN”) Act with the passage of H.B. 1018/S.B. 780. This “mini” WARN Act revises ...
As many employers approach their one-year anniversary of working from home, it is obvious that the COVID-19 pandemic has permanently changed both how and where we work. By 2025, an estimated 36.2 million Americans will be working remotely—a staggering 87% increase from pre-pandemic levels. Moreover, surveys reveal that company leaders plan to permit employees to work from home at least part of the time upon reopening their offices. However, a remote workforce poses a challenge for employers that must display certain notices and posters in their workplaces to advise employees of ...
Just one week after ordering new business restrictions to combat the recent surge of COVID-19, Governor Larry Hogan announced further mitigation measures in Maryland that will dial back business operations.
On November 17, 2020, Governor Hogan issued Executive Order 20-11-17-01, which amends and restates Executive Order 20-11-10-01 (which we previously summarized here). The amended order goes into effect at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 20, 2020.
The amended order, titled “Regulating Certain Businesses and Facilities and Generally Requiring Use of Face Coverings,” has ...
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the nation, the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia all recently have implemented additional mitigation measures that impact business operations. Below is a summary of the key restrictions of which businesses within the DMV should be aware.
District of Columbia
The District of Columbia maintains a compilation of Phase Two Guidance to assist all businesses in reopening (or staying open) responsibly. Recently, on November 6, 2020, Mayor Muriel Bowser issued Mayor’s Order 2020-110, which modifies previous quarantine ...
Take a deep breath. Now exhale. While the country awaits the results of the presidential race and many others that are still too close to call, the 2020 election made one thing clear: the march toward 50-state legalization of marijuana (and now perhaps other drugs) continues. On Tuesday, voters in five states decided to legalize recreational or medical marijuana, while Oregon voted to decriminalize most hard drugs, including heroin and cocaine. We summarize each ballot initiative and its outcome below.
Ballot Summary: Although a similar initiative was narrowly defeated at ...
Although cannabis (marijuana) remains an illegal substance under federal law, companies in the cannabis industry are not exempt from complying with federal laws in general. A recent flurry of complaints filed in federal courts and with federal administrative agencies have highlighted the obligation of companies in the cannabis industry to comply with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (the “ADEA”), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (the “ADA”). These employers must also remain compliant ...
As COVID-19 cases once again surge across the country, Washington, D.C. employers must remember to provide both paid and unpaid leave under the new District of Columbia Coronavirus Support Temporary Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Law 23-130) (the “Act”). Although passed in July 2020, the Act formally became effective on October 9, 2020 and will remain in effect through the end of the declared COVID-19 public health emergency—currently December 31, 2021. The law repeals the emergency laws that we previously blogged about, but carries over the additional obligations to provide ...
Part 6 of a series featuring our video Rules of the Road: Return to Work in the Time of COVID-19.
Simple in theory. Challenging in practice.
While we all intuitively know that we should stay home when we are feeling unwell, a fall 2019 survey suggests just the opposite—that approximately 90% of workers generally “push through” and come to work anyway. The reality is that employees come to work when they are sick for a myriad of reasons: to stay atop long to-do lists, meet production goals, because they think the business would crumble without them, or that somehow taking a sick day and ...
While the country remains focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. employers cannot ignore the ongoing opioid epidemic or how it may affect their workforces. On August 5, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) released new guidance addressing the rights of opioid users in the workplace under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The two question-and-answer documents clarify that while current illegal drug use is not protected, employees who “are using opioids, are addicted to opioids, or were addicted to opioids in the past, but are not ...
Philadelphia is making sure employers err on the side of caution when it comes to COVID-19. As of June 26, 2020, Philadelphia-based employees have additional protections from retaliation through the unanimously passed the Essential Workers Protection Act (“EWPA” or “Act”), which prohibits retaliation against any employee who speaks out about, or refuses to work due to, the employer’s non-compliance with Pennsylvania and Philadelphia COVID-19 public health orders. The EWPA applies to all Philadelphia employers, regardless of their size.
While much attention is currently focused on whether Congress will extend, in whole or in part, the emergency $600 increase in unemployment insurance benefits (“UI”) that, until July 31, 2020, had been provided by the CARES Act (“Act”), the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) is continuing to address questions about the other expansions of UI benefits under the Act, most recently, in an advisory letter issued on July 21, 2020 by the DOL’s Employment and Training Administration office (“ETA”). Of particular note, the latest ETA advisory letter instructs that an ...
July 1, 2020 represents a milestone for Virginia employers. As we previously reported, nearly two dozen new employment laws take effect, including the Virginia Values Act. In addition, all of Virginia enters Phase Three of Governor Ralph Northam’s Safer at Home plan to reopen the economy in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Changes to Virginia Employment Law
Employers with Virginia operations should take note of the following important changes:
- Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Military Status, and Pregnancy: The Virginia Values Act amended the Virginia Human Rights Act
For the last two weeks, Texas is continuing to break records for daily coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, on June 23, 2020 Texas had the highest daily number of COVID-19 cases (5,489) since the pandemic began, and for twelve consecutive days had record-high hospitalizations. Also on Wednesday, June 23rd, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said 97% of the intensive care unit beds in Houston are filled. Governor Abbott acknowledged this week that there is a massive outbreak of COVID-19 across the state of Texas, and ...
As we explained in an earlier post, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (“DLE”) has issued new Health Emergency Leave with Pay (“HELP”) Rules in response to the coronavirus. Effective March 11, 2020, the HELP Rules mandate employers provide four (4) days of paid sick leave for employees in certain industries who have flu-like symptoms to receive COVID-19 testing. The DLE has since released FAQs to clarify some ambiguities in the HELP Rules.
Four Calendar Days of Paid Sick Time
Per the FAQs, the four days of paid sick leave are measured in calendar days. This ...
The Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (“DFML”) continues to provide ongoing substantive and procedural guidance regarding the implementation of the state’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Program (“PFML”). As previously reported, prior guidance has addressed how to determine if an employer meets the 25-covered individual threshold for reporting purposes, whether to count visa holders as part of the workforce for PFML purposes. Last week, the DFML provided clarification as to the requirements for an employer to qualify for reimbursement for ...
- Video: The Department of Labor's New Rules and Rising Challenges - Employment Law This Week
- Fifth Circuit Applies Its New Broader Title VII Standard in Bias Case
- New York to Extend Window for Filing Administrative Complaints of Unlawful Discrimination
- Massachusetts Federal Judge Rules That Protected Activity Does Not Shield an Employee from the Consequences of Engaging in Misconduct
- Pay Transparency Remains in Vogue This Legislative Session – Part 2: Pay Data Reporting