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.

Continue Reading UPDATE: Washington, D.C. Universal Paid Leave Increases Will Begin October 2022

As featured in #WorkforceWednesday:  This week, we look at the significance of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and the impact that the overturning of Roe v. Wade will have on employers.

Continue Reading Video: SCOTUS Overturns Roe v. Wade – What Employers Should Consider – Employment Law This Week

As featured in #WorkforceWednesday:  This week, we look at two significant court decisions for employers and bring you a practical update on new bereavement leave rules in Illinois.

Continue Reading Video: SCOTUS Rules on PAGA, Fifth Circuit Rules on COVID-19 Under WARN, Illinois Expands Bereavement Leave – Employment Law This Week

Employment issues to consider while awaiting decision in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization

The United States Supreme Court (“SCOTUS”) will imminently release its decision in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, and if the final ruling is consistent with the recently-leaked draft opinion (overturning Roe v Wade and Planned Parenthood v Casey), employers may soon need to contend with a variety of novel employment and benefits related issues. Some employers have already begun to consider and plan for a post-Roe workplace. Those who have not would be wise to do so now, to best ensure a well-coordinated and thoughtful approach.

For example, some employers have publicly announced plans to provide expanded healthcare benefits, travel, lodging and other benefits to employees who may seek abortion-related services in states where those medical services will be prohibited or limited.  These benefits raise complex legal issues applicable to employers’ group health plans and fringe benefit plans, including conflicts between federal and state law, federal ERISA preemption and potential employer civil and/or criminal liability for providing these benefits.

Continue Reading Employers, Are You Ready for a Possible Post-Roe Workplace?

On May 25, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) published new Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Guidance. The newly issued Fact Sheet #280 explains when eligible employees may take FMLA leave to address mental health conditions, and new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) offer explanations on how to address various scenarios that employers and employees could face in which use of job-protected leave available under the FMLA would be appropriate.

Reviewing FMLA Basics

Although the FMLA covers public and private employers nationwide, only those private employers who have 50 or more employees for at least 20 workweeks in a year are required to provide their eligible employees with FMLA leave. FMLA leave is unpaid but job-protected, meaning that employees returning from FMLA leave must be restored to their original job or equivalent position. Employees are eligible once they have worked for a covered employer for at least 12 months and logged at least 1,250 hours of work during the period immediately preceding leave, which may be taken for an employee’s own serious health condition or to care for a spouse, child, or parent because of their serious health condition.

Continue Reading U.S. DOL Releases Guidance on FMLA Leave and Mental Health

For the second time this spring, a California statute designed to promote diversity in corporate boardrooms was blocked by a state judge. On May 13, 2022, in Crest v. Padilla I (Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. 19STCV27561) (Crest), Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Maureen Duffy-Lewis ruled that California Corporations Code Section 301.3 (SB 826), which requires publicly listed corporations in California to have women on their boards, violates the Equal Protection Clause of California’s Constitution. California Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber has since announced plans to appeal the decision, stating that “SB 826 was passed not to remove men from the boardroom, but simply to make room for highly qualified women who have been excluded from the corporate board selection process for decades.”

Continue Reading Another California Board Diversity Statute Struck Down in Court: Appeal to Be Filed

As featured in #WorkforceWednesday:  This week, we look at a range of recent anti-harassment and gender equity updates from across the country.

Continue Reading Video: Return-to-Work Behavior Policies, U.S. Soccer’s Landmark Agreement, and Board Diversity in California – Employment Law This Week

Over the past several years, workplace artificial intelligence (“AI”) tools have matured from novel to mainstream.  Whether facilitating attracting, screening, hiring, and onboarding job applicants or charting the career path or promotability of current employees, workplace AI tools will likely become more prevalent.  Legislators and administrative agencies have taken note and are in various stages of examining and regulating these tools, with the primary goal of ensuring that they do not violate federal and state laws prohibiting workplace discrimination.

Continue Reading EEOC Issues Guidance on the ADA & Employer Use of AI Screening Tools

As featured in #WorkforceWednesdayThis week, we focus on compliance and transparency when using artificial intelligence (AI) tools in employment decision-making.

Continue Reading Video: AI Technology Regulations, Transparency in AI, OSHA’s Permanent COVID-19 Standard – Employment Law This Week