On March 29, 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2954, entitled “Securing a Strong Retirement Act” (“Secure 2.0”), which would, among other things, impose additional requirements on employers that sponsor 401(k) and 403(b) plans. Secure 2.0 has not yet been passed by the Senate, and is likely to undergo changes, if passed by the Senate.  Nevertheless, the following overview of some of the provisions included in the House version of Secure 2.0 provides a preview of the types of changes that retirement plans sponsors may be required (or permitted) to implement, as early as this year or in 2023:

Continue Reading A First Look at Secure 2.0—New Requirements for Plan Sponsors

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.

Continue Reading UPDATE: Washington, D.C. Ban on Non-Competes Postponed Until October 2022

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.

Continue Reading New York City’s Upcoming Salary Range Disclosure Law Guidance Issues and Proposed Amendments Are Introduced

On March 14, 2022, the EEOC issued a technical assistance document, The COVID-19 Pandemic and Caregiver Discrimination Under Federal Employment Discrimination Laws, which provides guidance as to ways equal employment opportunity laws enforced by the EEOC (“EEO laws”) may apply to caregivers. In conjunction with this, the EEOC added a Section I (“Caregivers/Family Responsibilities”)  to “What You Should Know About COVID-19,” its primary COVID-19 related guidance document. Enforcement guidance issued by the EEOC in 2007, previously addressed circumstances in which discrimination against caregivers might constitute unlawful disparate treatment. The EEOC has issued this new guidance in response to how the COVID-19 pandemic has particularly affected employees with caregiver responsibilities.

Continue Reading A New Protected Class? Not Quite, but the EEOC Is Looking Out for Workers with Caregiving Obligations

The New York HERO Act website was quietly updated on the afternoon of March 18, 2022 to confirm that the designation of COVID-19 as an airborne infectious disease that presents a serious risk of harm to the public health has ended. This means the “activation” of HERO Act safety plans is over.

On March 17, 2022, the designation of COVID-19 as an airborne infectious disease that presents a serious risk of harm to the public health under the HERO Act ended. Private sector employers are no longer required to implement their workforce safety plans.

Continue Reading New York HERO Act Designation Over, Six Months Later

Next month, New Jersey private employers will need to start informing drivers before using GPS tracking devices in the vehicles they operate. A new state law that becomes effective April 18, 2022, requires employers to provide written notice to employees before using “electronic or mechanical devices” that are “designed or intended to be used for the sole purpose of tracking the movement of a vehicle, person, or device.” The notification requirement applies to both employer-owned or -leased and personal vehicles.

Continue Reading Considering Tracking Employees in Vehicles? New Jersey Now Requires Employers to Provide Notice

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.

Continue Reading Washington, D.C. Ban on Non-Competes Postponed Until October 2022

The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) has urged a “Shields Up” defense in depth approach, as Russian use of wiper malware in the Ukrainian war escalates. The Russian malware “HermeticWiper” and “Whispergate” are destructive attacks that corrupt the infected computers’ master boot record rendering the device inoperable. The wipers effectuate a denial of service attack designed to render the device’s data permanently unavailable or destroyed. Although the malware to date appears to be manually targeted at selected Ukrainian systems, the risks now escalate of a spillover effect to Europe and the United States particularly as to: (i) targeted cyber attacks including on critical infrastructure and financial organizations; and (ii) use of a rapidly spreading indiscriminate wiper like the devastating “NotPetya” that quickly moves across trusted networks. Indeed, Talos researchers have found functional similarities between the current malware and “NotPetya” which was attributed to the Russian military to target Ukranian organizations in 2017, but then quickly spread around the world reportedly resulting in over $10 billion dollars in damage.[1] The researchers added that the current wiper has included even further components designed to inflict damage.

Continue Reading CISA Encourages “Shields Up” to Protect Operations and Workers as Cyber War Ramps Up

New York employers seeking further relaxation of COVID-19 mitigation protocols after the recent lifting of a statewide mask mandate will have to wait. The designation of the virus as a “highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to public health” that had been extended through February 15, 2022 was extended yet

On February 9, 2022, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced that she would let the New York mask mandate lapse on its Thursday, February 10, 2022 expiration date. The Governor’s lifting of the statewide rule, which required businesses to either require proof of vaccination or universal masking indoors, does not yet include an end to mandatory masking in schools, despite a slew of action to that effect in neighboring states, including New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. California is also allowing statewide masking requirements for businesses and many other indoor public spaces to expire on February 15, 2022.

Continue Reading Mask Off: New York Governor Drops Mask Mandate, for Now