Posts in Hospitality.
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On May 14, 2024, New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (“DCR”) released Guidance on Discrimination and Out-of-State Remote Workers (“the Guidance”), explaining the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination’s (NJLAD) application to remote employees. Noting the rise of telework following the COVID-19 pandemic, the Guidance states that the NJLAD is not limited to protecting only New Jersey-based employees but takes the position that it protects aggrieved employees of New Jersey employers “regardless of their ...

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In 2019, in response to the “#MeToo” movement, the New Jersey Legislature enacted a law that made any “non-disclosure provision” in an employment contract or settlement agreement unenforceable against the employee, if the provision had “the purpose or effect of concealing the details relating to a claim of discrimination, retaliation, or harassment.”  N.J.S.A. § 10:5-12.8(a) (the “Law”).  The Law left unanswered whether it applied to “non-disparagement” provisions that are common in agreements settling employment disputes. 

On May 7, 2024, the New Jersey ...

Blogs
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New York City’s salary transparency law, which officially took effect in November 2022, requires “an employment agency, employer, or employee or agent thereof” to include a “good faith” salary or hourly wage range for every job, promotion, or transfer opportunity advertised for positions within New York City or involving work to be performed within its jurisdiction. Employers beware: New York City is now actively enforcing this salary transparency law through enforcement actions. 

Between October and December 2023, the New York City Commission on Human Rights ...

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The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) has issued its anticipated model Workplace Violence Prevention Plan (for non-health care settings). As we previously noted here, SB 553 added  California Labor Code Section 6401.9, which requires virtually all California employers to have a written Workplace Violence Prevention Plan (WVPP) in place by July 1, 2024, either as a stand-alone section in their Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) or as a separate document.

Among other things, Cal/OSHA’s model WVPP provides some concrete examples of ...

Blogs
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This springtime, Washington, D.C. employers may want to spruce up their compliance checklists to stay ahead of new pay transparency obligations. On January 12, 2024, Mayor Bowser signed the Wage Transparency Omnibus Amendment Act of 2023 (the “Act”), which modifies the Wage Transparency Act of 2014. The Act imposes new pay disclosure requirements for job postings, prohibits employer inquiries into an applicant’s wage history, and directs employers to post a new notice in their workplaces. Like most legislation in D.C., the Act was subject to review for a period of 30 ...

Blogs
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With the potential “tendency of many to ‘overshare,’ documenting everything from their breakfast to their favorite Marvel villain” on social media, as recognized in at least one court opinion[1], perhaps unsurprisingly, some employers might consider social media to be a valuable source for insight about applicants or employees.  Assembly Bill A836/Senate Bill S2518A (the “Personal Accounts Law”), signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul on September 14, 2023, however, will soon place new limits on New York employers that seek access to an employee’s or ...

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On November 17, 2023, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed Senate Bill 3255 (the “Act”) into law. The Act amends Section 297-5 of the New York Executive Law (“Section 297-5”) by extending the statute of limitations for filing unlawful discrimination complaints with the New York State Division of Human Rights (the “Division”) from one to three years. According to the Act’s Sponsor Memo, the Legislature recognized that the prior time frame for victims of unlawful discriminatory practices to file administrative complaints with the Division was insufficient ...

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As we reported in the first installment of our series on pay transparency, pay equity legislation continues to trend nationwide. While Part I focused on salary range disclosure legislation, in Part II, we highlight mandatory pay data reporting requirements that are being considered in Massachusetts.

What is Mandatory Pay Data Reporting?

Pay data reporting laws require covered employers to submit detailed compensation data reports, often broken down by race and gender, to state-designated agencies. To date, California and Illinois have adopted such laws. Under California law ...

Blogs
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On November 7, 2023, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts’ dismissal of a teacher’s suit against her former employer, Austin Preparatory School (“Austin Prep”), in which she claimed the school fired her for requesting extended leave as an accommodation following multiple surgeries. In Der Sarkisian v. Austin Preparatory School, the First Circuit held that Nancy Der Sarkisian’s request for extended leave, with no end date, was unreasonable considering the circumstances ...

Blogs
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With the holidays right around the corner, and local governments grinding to a halt during the holiday season, the City of Evanston, Illinois recently announced that it will postpone enforcement of its Fair Workweek Ordinance (the “Ordinance”) from September 1, 2023 until January 1, 2024. Although directly affecting just a relatively small number of employers that have a presence in Chicago’s neighboring municipality, the Ordinance is complex and notable for a novel hazard pay mandate.

The Ordinance Untangled

In May of 2023, Evanston’s City Council approved ...

Blogs
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As we previously reported, this summer, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced significant updates to enhance the employment verification process. In addition to an alternative procedure for qualified E-Verify employers to virtually inspect employee documents,  the USCIS and DHS released a new Form I-9. Employers have been able to voluntarily use the new Form I-9 since August 1, 2023, but as of November 1, 2023, such use is now mandatory.  Failure to use the correct edition of the Form I-9 at the time of hire is a ...

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On October 26, 2023, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or “Board”) issued its Final Rule (the “Rule”) on Joint-Employer status under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Slated to take effect on December 26, 2023, the Rule returns to and expands on the Obama era Browning-Ferris test, scrapping the NLRB’s 2020 Joint Employer test and setting up a potential showdown with the Supreme Court over the “major questions” doctrine and the scope of the NLRB’s administrative authority.

The Final Rule Summarized

 Under the new Rule, any entity that shares or ...

Blogs
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Important changes are coming to the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave law (PFML),  which requires covered employers to provide eligible employees with paid time off for certain qualifying absences. First, the Massachusetts legislature recently adopted PFML amendments (HB 4053), which, effective November 1, 2023, permit employees to supplement their weekly PFML benefits with accrued paid leave, including vacation, sick time, and other paid time off (PTO). Second, the Massachusetts Department of Paid Family and Medical Leave (DFML) has released the new contribution ...

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On October 7, 2023, California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed Senate Bill 403 (“SB-403”), legislation that would have been the first state-wide ban on caste discrimination in the United States.  We previously reported on SB-403 here.

Governor Newsom released a veto message calling SB-403 “unnecessary.”  The message further explained his rationale that “discrimination based on caste is already prohibited” under California law, which “already prohibits discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, gender identity ...

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The start of autumn means cooler weather, falling leaves, and, for employers with New York employees, updates to the New York Paid Family Leave (“Paid Family Leave”) program.

The Paid Family Leave program provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of job-protected, partially-paid time off within a 52-week period to care for a family member with a serious health condition, bond with a newborn, or assist when a family member is deployed abroad on active military service. Since Paid Family Leave took effect in 2018, New York employers have seen several changes to the program ...

Blogs
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As employers throughout New York State are now determining how to comply with the newest State-wide pay transparency law, which took effect on September 17, 2023, the New York State Department of Labor (DOL) released proposed regulations to facilitate the legislative goal of increasing pay transparency. As discussed in depth here and here, the law requires employers to disclose the pay range and job description (if existing) in job postings. Should these proposed regulations pass the 60-day comment period unchanged, there are several highlights worth ...

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Section 603 of the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 (“Section 603”) implements changes to catch-up contributions and is applicable to employers who maintain a 401(k), 403(b), or 457(b) plan with participants who are age 50 and older and whose income from the prior year exceeded $145,000. Section 603 requires that catch-up contributions must be made as Roth contributions (i.e., after tax basis) for those earning more than $145,000. Originally, Section 603 was set to become effective starting in 2024. However, on August 25th, 2023, in response to many industry groups urging for an ...

Blogs
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As a result of a recent Fifth Circuit decision, some employers in Texas will now face a tougher hurdle when defending against Title VII disparate treatment discrimination claims in federal court. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently held that in order to establish an actionable claim for disparate treatment discrimination under Title VII, plaintiffs need not plead an “ultimate employment decision” related to hiring, granting leave, terminations, promotions, or pay. In a significant departure from decades-old precedent, the Fifth Circuit held ...

Blogs
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When the pandemic abruptly shifted many employment relationships from offices and other physical workplaces to remote environments, many governmental and regulatory authorities responded by modifying existing protocols to accommodate new realities. Among those were temporary adaptations to long-standing federal requirements for inspecting identification and verifying employment eligibility, whereby employers were permitted to forego standard document inspection procedures while completing Form I-9.

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As we previously reported, on May 8, 2023, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (“NJDOL”) published a web page providing guidance in the form of Frequently Asked Questions (the “FAQs”) to assist employers in complying  with the provisions of the Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights (the “Law”). Recently the NJDOL released proposed regulations to implement the Law (the “Proposed Regulations”) that elaborate on many of the Law’s provisions, including its pay equity requirement.  Public comment on the Proposed Regulations will be accepted until October 20, 2023.

In addition to the Proposed Regulations, the NJDOL has also updated its FAQs.

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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.

Blogs
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On June 30, 2023, the Supreme Court of the United States declined to weigh in on whether gender dysphoria can qualify as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), allowing to stand the Fourth Circuit’s decision in Williams v. Kincaid, which extended ADA protection to transgender people experiencing gender dysphoria.  

As the first federal appellate decision of its kind, Williams had — and will continue to have — a significant impact on employers (covered by Title I of the ADA), and places of public accommodations (covered by Title III of the ADA).

Blogs
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As we previously reported, on July 5, 2023, the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) began enforcing Local Law 144 of 2021 (the “Law”) regulating the use of automated employment decision tools (AEDT).  In preparation for the July 5 enforcement date, last week, the DCWP published Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) concerning the use of AEDTs on its fact page for the Law.  The FAQ contain an overview of the Law and general information and guidance regarding bias audit requirements, data requirements, independent auditors, responsibility for bias audits, notice requirements, and complaints.

As explained in the FAQ, the Law applies to employers and employment agencies that use AEDT:

Blogs
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The Supreme Court delivered its highly anticipated consolidated decision yesterday in the two affirmative action cases on its docket, Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. University of North Carolina and Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College (collectively, the “SFFA” cases). At issue in the SFFA cases is whether Harvard and the University of North Carolina (“UNC”) violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (and, in turn, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) in their consideration of race in their admissions processes. In answering this question in the affirmative, the Court’s majority opinion significantly restricts – and, some would argue, eliminates – affirmative action programs in higher education.

Blogs
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On June 29, 2023, the Supreme Court of the United States issued three opinions. Of them, Groff v. DeJoy ("Groff”),in which the Court unanimously revised the standard for determining whether accommodating an employee’s religious beliefs would constitute an “undue hardship” under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), will have the most immediate impact on employers. In Groff, the Court held that employers cannot deny a religious accommodation by demonstrating that it would result in only more than a de minimis cost, but rather must demonstrate that it would result in a substantial cost.

Blogs
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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:

Blogs
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In recent years, there has been a growing movement to ban discrimination against natural hairstyles. This movement was cultivated by the introduction of the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (“CROWN”) Act, which seeks to prohibit discrimination in the workplace based on hair texture and protective hairstyles commonly associated with an individual’s race, such as afros, braids, twists, cornrows, tight coils, bantu knots, and locs.

Blogs
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On May 17, 2023, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed SB 147 into law, amending the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act (“ELCRA”) to expand its protections from workplace discrimination to those who have abortions.  The law is expected take effect on March 31, 2024, ninety-one days after final adjournment of the Michigan Legislature’s 2023 Regular Session and will apply to any Michigan employer with one or more employees. This is the second time this year that the Michigan Legislature has amended ELCRA, joining SB 4 in early March 2023, which amended ELCRA to add protections for individuals based on their sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression.

Blogs
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It’s time for covered employers to update their Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) posters.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued an updated FLSA Minimum Wage Poster to reflect covered employers’ new lactation accommodation obligations under the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers (PUMP) Act.

Blogs
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Chicago has amended its “Ban the Box” Ordinance (the “Ordinance”) to further align with Illinois law. The Ordinance, which originally took effect in 2015, provides protections for both prospective and current employees. Historically, the Ordinance restricted when Chicago employers with fewer than 15 employees and certain public employers could inquire about or consider an individual’s criminal record or criminal history. The new amendments, which took immediate effect, expand application of the Ordinance to almost all Chicago employers and impose significant new assessment and notice requirements thereon. The amendments also expressly incorporate into the Ordinance provisions from the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) that prohibit employers from inquiring about or considering an individual’s arrest record. The amendments did not modify the Ordinance’s penalties, however, so employers are still liable for fines of up to $1,000 per violation, license-related disciplinary actions, and potential discrimination charges before the Chicago Commission on Human Relations.

Blogs
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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.

Blogs
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When the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, employers found themselves in uncharted territory – a new virus, public health emergency declarations, and legislation. Against this onslaught of emerging circumstances, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published guidance on the application of existing federal equal employment opportunity laws to COVID-19 workplace issues. Since first releasing “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act and Other EEO Laws” in March 2020, the agency has followed up with several revisions. The EEOC published its latest version of the guidance on May 15, 2023, just ten days after the World Health Organization declared an end to the COVID-19 global public health emergency and six days after the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) technically concluded. Below, are the most significant updates in what the agency has called its “capstone” guidance (the “Revised Guidance”). 

Blogs
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*UPDATE: Mayor Adams signed Int. 0209-2022 into law on May 26, 2023. It will take effect on November 22, 2023.

Mayor Eric Adams finds on his desk this week a New York City Council bill that would provide New York City based employees, visitors, and residents protection from discrimination based on their height or weight.  The proposed local law would amend Section 8-101 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York, also known as the NYC Human Rights Law (NYCHRL).

On May 11, 2023, an overwhelming majority of the New York City Council (44 out of 51 members) voted to amend the Administrative Code to add two more characteristics, height and weight, to this list. The bill will take effect 180 days after Mayor Adams signs it into law. If he does so, New York City will join a small cohort of places (including Michigan, Washington State and Washington, D.C., to name a few) that have legislated on this issue. 

Blogs
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Columbus has joined Toledo, Cincinnati, and a number of states and locales around the country, in banning employers from asking job applicants about their salary history.

Effective March 1, 2024, covered employers in Ohio’s capital will be prohibited from:

  • inquiring about an applicant’s salary history,
  • screening applicants based on their salary history,
  • relying solely on salary history when deciding whether to offer an applicant employment or determining their compensation, and
  • retaliating against applicants for not disclosing their salary history.

Salary History

Currently, neither the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) nor the Equal Pay Act (EPA) prohibit employers from screening applicants based on prior salary, requesting an applicant’s salary history, or conditioning an applicant’s employment on providing their salary history. However, salary history bans, which are intended to eliminate the perpetuation of discriminatory pay disparities, have become increasingly common both at the state and local level. As of April 2023, more than 40 states and localities have adopted some form a salary history ban.

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Amendments to the pending New York State law requiring employers to advertise salary ranges were signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul on March 3, 2023.  The salary transparency law with the amendments (which we previously summarized here) will become effective on September 17, 2023.

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On February 21, 2023, the Seattle City Council passed a first of its kind ordinance that amends Seattle’s existing anti-discrimination laws to prohibit caste discrimination. The ordinance, CB 120511, prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals based on caste with respect to “hiring, tenure, promotion, terms, conditions, wages or privileges of employment, or with respect to any matter related to employment.” The amendment also bans discrimination based on caste with respect to public accommodations. Seattle employers should take note of the new amendment and update their policies to include caste as a protected category.

Blogs
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On February 13, 2023, the New York State Legislature approved an amendment, S1326 (the “Amendment”), to the upcoming New York State Pay Transparency Law S9427A (the “Law”), clarifying that the Law’s requirement that employers to disclose a minimum and maximum salary range in advertisements and postings for job opportunities applies, with limited exception, to remote positions. In addition, the Amendment would also eliminate one of the Law’s recordkeeping obligations and define the term “advertisement.” If signed by the Governor, as is expected, the Amendment will be part of the Law when it takes effect this Fall.

Blogs
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On January 26, 2023, a Michigan appellate court panel in Mothering Justice v. Attorney General issued a ruling to halt changes to the State’s paid sick leave law and an increase to the State’s minimum wage for hourly workers that were set to go into effect on February 19, 2023. The ruling is the latest development in a saga that has been ongoing for more than four years.

Blogs
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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.

Blogs
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California is one of a growing list of states requiring employers to make certain pay transparency disclosures to employees and applicants. California employers already had an obligation to provide pay scales to job applicants upon request; however, as we previously reported, under SB 1162, employers must now disclose pay scales to current employees upon request, and employers with 15 or more employees must include pay scales in job postings.

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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.

Blogs
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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.

Blogs
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It is time to update your workplace signage. On October 19, 2022, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a new workers’ rights poster, which it quickly revised and re-issued on October 20, 2022. The new “Know Your Rights” poster replaces the EEOC’s “Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law” poster, which had been in place for more than a decade, and it features several substantive changes.

Blogs
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Employers with employees in the District of Columbia have until Monday, October 31, 2022, to comply with a specific notice provision contained in the D.C. Non-Compete Clarification Amendment Act of 2022 (B24-0256) (the “Amendment”).

Blogs
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For more than two and a half years, employers across the country have navigated a nuanced web of legal requirements and guidance to safely operate during the global COVID-19 pandemic.  Recent updates to the legal landscape at the federal, state, and local level, however, have left many employers asking: is the COVID-19 pandemic finally over? For now, the answer remains “no.” This post discusses three key reasons why employers should continue to operate with the pandemic in mind.

Blogs
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On Tuesday October 4, 2022, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (“OSTP”) released a document entitled “Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights: Making Automated Systems Work for the American People” (the “Blueprint”) together with a companion document “From Principles to Practice: A Technical Companion to the Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights” (the “Technical Companion”).

Blogs
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On Friday, September 23, 2022, the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (“DCWP”) released a Notice of Public Hearing and Opportunity to Comment on Proposed Rules related to its Automated Employment Decision Tool law (the “AEDT Law”), which goes into effect on January 1, 2023. As we previously wrote, the City passed the AEDT Law to regulate employers’ use of automated employment decision tools, with the aim of curbing bias in hiring and promotions; as written, however, it contains many ambiguities, which has left covered employers with open questions about compliance.

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On September 20, 2022, Mayor Eric Adams announced that New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private employers is ending.  The City’s mandate for municipal employees, however, will remain in effect.

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With the final quarter of 2022 approaching, New York employers should be aware of the changes to the New York Paid Family Leave (“Paid Family Leave”) program set to take effect in 2023. Employers can expect an increase on the weekly benefits cap, as well as a decrease in the employee contribution rate.

Beginning in 2018 and increasing in benefits over the past few years, the Paid Family Leave program provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of job-protected, partially-paid time off to bond with a new child, care for a family member with a serious health condition, or to provide assistance when a family member is deployed abroad on active military service. As we previously reported, New York expanded the program’s definition of “family member” to include “siblings,” which will take effect on January 1, 2023. “Sibling” includes biological or adopted siblings, half-siblings, and step-siblings.

Blogs
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The California legislature has presented S.B. 1162 (“the Bill”) to Governor Gavin Newsom. If the Governor signs the Bill into law, California will follow the lead of jurisdictions like Colorado and New York City by requiring many employers to include pay scales in job postings. The Bill would also impose pay equity reporting requirements, not just on large employers obligated to do so under federal law, but on any private employer with 100 or more employees, including those whose “employees” are hired through labor contractors. Those reports will also have to include breakdowns of aggregate data not previously collected.

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As featured in #WorkforceWednesday:  This week, we look at labor law and pay developments from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and in California.

Blogs
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On August 16, 2022, in Williams v. Kincaid, the Fourth Circuit held that gender dysphoria can qualify as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (the “ADA”).  This is the first federal appellate decision which extends the ADA’s protections to transgender people experiencing gender dysphoria and it will have a significant impact on all entities covered by the ADA, including employers (covered by Title I of the ADA), and public accommodations (covered by Title III of the ADA). Prior to this holding, several of the district courts have come down both ways on the issue.

Blogs
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After two and a half years of promoting protocols aimed at reducing transmission of coronavirus, on August 11, 2022, the CDC eliminated its recommendation that people quarantine after exposure to COVID-19 and updated other recommendations. In recognition of how vaccination, boosters, and improved treatments have the reduced risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death, the CDC has “streamlined”  its guidance regarding what actions people should take to protect themselves and others if they are exposed to COVID-19, become sick, or test positive for the virus.  The CDC now recommends that instead of needing to quarantine, someone who has been exposed to COVID-19 only needs to wear a high-quality mask for 10 days.  During the 10-day masking period, individuals (regardless of vaccination status) should monitor their symptoms and get tested after five days, regardless of symptoms.

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Back in March 2021, when it wasn’t easy for many people to get an appointment for an inoculation against COVID-19, New York State created an incentive for employees to get vaccinated.  A new provision was added to the Labor Law, requiring employers to provide paid leave time to employees to obtain each dose. As we previously noted, this statute was intended to sunset on December 31, 2022. However, as this year’s busy legislative session wound down, a bill extending the provision was delivered to Governor Kathy Hochul, who signed off on a 12-month extension of the law’s effective date, through December 31, 2023. Thus, New York employers will be required to provide their employees up to four hours of paid time off for each COVID-19 shot through (at least) the end of next year.

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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.

Blogs
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On June 15, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that COVID-19 does not qualify as a “natural disaster” under the federal Workers’ Adjustment and Retraining Notification (“WARN”) Act, effectively foreclosing one important argument used by employers in defense of COVID-19-related WARN lawsuits.  As this is the only appellate court to affirmatively interpret WARN’s “natural disaster” exception, barring a split by other circuits, this case sets an important precedent in ongoing COVID-19-related WARN litigation, as well as WARN suits related to future pandemics.

Blogs
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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.

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On Thursday, May 12, 2022, New York City Mayor Adams signed the bill (previously described here) amending New York City’s new law that requires employers to list wage or salary ranges on job advertisements. Most significantly, among other changes, the amendment pushes the effective date of the law from May 15, 2022, to November 1, 2022.

Blogs
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Where is the impact of alleged employment discrimination? That is the question when evaluating whether a remote worker can assert claims under the New York State Human Rights Law (“NYSHRL”) and New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”), according to a recent decision by U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos. Relying on state law, Judge Ramos concluded that the basis for subject matter jurisdiction has not changed during the COVID-19 pandemic and remains grounded in New York’s “Impact Test,” meaning courts will look to where the impact of alleged discriminatory conduct was felt. Thus, regardless of whether an employer is located in New York, the anti-discrimination laws are intended to protect employees who live or work in New York.

Blogs
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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.

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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.

Blogs
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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.

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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.

Blogs
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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.

Blogs
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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 again. An order by the New York State Commissioner of Health continues the designation, made pursuant to the New York HERO Act, through March 17, 2022. This means that New York employers must continue to implement their safety plans ...

Blogs
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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.

Blogs
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In connection with the new Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) that went into effect on January 14, 2022, the California Division of Occupational Health and Safety (Cal/OSHA) has released the following COVID-19-related resources for employers:

Blogs
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As we have previously explained, pursuant to Section 1 of the NY HERO Act, employers were required to prepare an airborne infectious disease exposure plan, and implement such plans when the New York State Commissioner of Health has made a designation that a highly contagious communicable disease presents a serious risk of harm to public health. Currently, such a designation is in effect until February 15, 2022. The New York State Department of Labor (“NYSDOL”) prepared model plans based on their published Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Standard (“Standard”). On August 25, 2021, the NYSDOL published a set of emergency regulations, identical to the Standard, in the New York State Register. Although they had not been formally adopted, most businesses have been following the Standard.

Blogs
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The  New York State Acting Commissioner of Health has extended the designation of COVID-19 as a highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to public health under the NY HERO Act until February 15, 2022. Accordingly, the airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plans required under Section 1 of the Act must be kept in place through that date, at which point the Commissioner will review whether the designation should be continued.

Blogs
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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.

Blogs
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Ready for the “new normal”? Starting January 15, 2022, Boston’s “B-Together” Vaccine Mandate (“the mandate”) will require certain indoor establishments to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for entry from employees, contractors, and customers.

  1. The mandate applies only to indoor portions of certain commercial food services, gym and fitness settings, and entertainment/recreation facilities in Boston

“Indoor food services” means indoor portions of food service establishments offering food and drink including restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. Fully enclosed “outdoor” areas are considered “indoor” under the policy. The mandate does not apply to open-air, outdoor areas, food service establishments offering food and/or drink exclusively for off-premises or outdoor consumption, or to food service establishments providing charitable food services, such as soup kitchens.

Blogs
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As we previously reported, in December New York Governor Kathy Hochul issued a mandate requiring that masks be worn in all indoor public places, unless the business or venue requires proof of vaccination for entry.  As part of the state’s “Winter Surge Plan 2.0”, the mandate, which was initially set to expire on January 15, has now been extended for an additional two weeks, through February 1, 2022.

Blogs
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New York recently updated two significant aspects of its Paid Family Leave program: (1) expanding the definition of “family member” to include siblings and (2) increasing the cap on weekly benefits available.

Since its inception in 2018, Paid Family Leave has offered eligible employees the ability to take  job protected, partially-paid time off to bond with a new child, care for a family member with a serious illness, or provide assistance when a family member is deployed abroad on active military duty. In 2020, after years of gradual increases in the maximum amount of leave and benefits, eligible employees may use up to 12 weeks of Paid Family Leave per rolling 52-week period.

Blogs
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On December 22, 2021, the New York State Department of Labor (NY DOL) issued the long-awaited proposed rule (Proposed Rule) regarding the workplace safety committees that are required by the New York HERO Act (HERO Act). While there is no current effective date for the Proposed Rule (which is first subject to a public comment period and a February 9, 2022 hearing), employers should become familiar with, and consider taking actions to timely comply with the Proposed Rule should it be adopted as currently drafted.

The HERO Act

In May of 2021, New York responded to workplace safety and health issues presented by the COVID-19 pandemic by enacting the HERO Act.  Since that time, the State has amended the HERO Act to allow the NY DOL additional time to create model safety standards for infectious disease exposure plans (“safety plans”) mandated by the HERO Act and to allow employers additional time for compliance.

Blogs
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Earlier this year, the New York State Workers' Compensation Board adopted amendments to the regulations for the New York Paid Family Leave Benefits Law clarifying that when Paid Family Leave (PFL) is taken intermittently, the maximum number of intermittent leave days an employee may take is based on the average number of days the employee works per week.

Blogs
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On December 27, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced an update to its isolation and quarantine guidance. Although the CDC’s update shortens both the isolation and quarantine periods, as described more fully below, the changes largely affect only asymptomatic individuals. Moreover, because local guidance may differ from the CDC’s recommendations, employers should keep in mind all applicable state and local requirements when deciding whether to amend their own rules.

Blogs
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On December 22, 2021, the New York Department of Labor (“DOL”) adopted rules (“Rules”) implementing the state’s sick leave law (NY Labor Law §196-b, or the “Sick Leave Law”), providing long-awaited clarification of the Sick Leave Law, which went into effect over a year ago on September 30, 2020. The Rules, codified as Section 196 to Title 12 of the NYCRR, were proposed on December 9, 2020, and adopted without change. In addition to providing definitions of terms used in the Sick Leave Law, the Rules address three topics: (i) documentation an employer may require to verify an employee’s eligibility to use sick leave; (ii) how to count the number of employees an employer has for the purposes of determining employees’ sick leave entitlement; and (iii) how to calculate an employee’s accrual of sick leave. In addition, the DOL’s response to public comments it received after the Rule was proposed, explain how carryover of accrued unused sick leave works.

Blogs
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On the evening of Wednesday, December 22, 2021, the Supreme Court of the United States announced that it will hold a special session on January 7, 2022, to hear oral argument in cases concerning whether two Biden administration vaccine mandates should be stayed. One is an interim final rule promulgated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”); the other is an Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”) issued by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”).  The CMS interim final rule, presently stayed in 24 states, would require COVID-19 vaccination for staff employed at Medicare and Medicaid certified providers and suppliers. The OSHA ETS, which requires businesses with 100 or more employees to ensure that workers are vaccinated against the coronavirus or otherwise to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing, was allowed to take effect when a divided panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, to which the consolidated challenges had been assigned by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, issued a ruling on December 17, 2021, lifting a stay that had been previously entered by the Fifth Circuit. Multiple private sector litigants and states immediately challenged the decision.

Blogs
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New York City’s private employer vaccine mandate became effective Monday. December 27, 2021 and, the City has updated its FAQs document and the Accommodations Guidance document (“Guidance”).

Guidance Updates: The Guidance was amended to reflect that the New York City Human Rights Law provides for accommodations for pregnancy and for victims of domestic violence, sex offenses, or stalking in addition to medical and religious reasons. The Guidance also clarifies that the examples for medical exemptions for vaccination were those that had been found worthy by the CDC and New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Further, the Guidance modifies some language on the religious accommodation checklist around the types of information needed to support religious accommodation requests. As we previously shared, the checklist the City recommends that employers maintain and complete in connection with each religious accommodation request does not alleviate an employer’s need to analyze such requests on a case-by-case basis.

Blogs
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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.

Expanded Testing

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.

Blogs
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Recent data thefts and systems intrusions, particularly with respect to ransomware, have assured that cybersecurity is top of mind for corporate executives and compliance officials. We at EBG have tried to keep you up to date with respect to legislative, regulatory and litigation developments and recommended best practices and procedures.

As we close out the year, we all should remain mindful that cyber criminals, especially those who are supported or protected by foreign adversaries, have little incentive to rest up during the holidays.

Blogs
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On December 13, 2021, the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) announced new Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings (“CDPH Guidance”), implementing a mandatory mask mandate for individuals (employees and patrons) in all indoor public settings, irrespective of vaccination status, beginning on December 15, 2021 through at least January 15, 2022.  The CDPH Guidance requires that masks be worn by all individuals over the age of two, unless exempt for disability-related or medical condition-based reasons, and recommends the use of surgical masks or higher-level respirators.

FAQs issued by the CDPH specify that the CDPH Guidance applies to workplaces, and clarify that local public health regulations remain in effect for localities that have previously adopted face covering measures prior to issuance of the CDPH Guidance that apply regardless of vaccination status. That is, the CDPH Guidance only applies to local health jurisdictions that do not have existing indoor masking requirements.  Notably, the San Francisco Department of Public Health (“SFDPH”) has taken the position, in its updated Order and FAQs, that its own masking rules remain in place—including exemptions for “stable cohorts” with 100% vaccination rates, among other criteria.  Marin County and Contra Costa County have taken similar positions regarding the applicability of local health order mask exceptions.  It remains unclear whether local mask exceptions apply given the CDPH Guidance masking rules.

Blogs
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On December 14, 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its guidance entitled “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws,” Technical Assistance Questions & Answers (the “Guidance”). The most significant change is the addition of a long-awaited discussion of “long COVID,” which other federal agencies had identified as a disability in joint guidance issued back in July.

The Guidance now contains a new Section N, which addresses when COVID-19 can be considered a disability under each of the three standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), i.e., “actual disability,” “record of disability,” or “regarded as an individual with a disability.”  Regardless of which definition may apply, the Guidance stresses the usual ADA rubric—that employers must conduct a fact intensive, case-by-case analysis to determine if an applicant or employee with COVID-19 or “long COVID” has a covered disability under the ADA.

Blogs
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The Commissioner of the New York Department of Health has extended the designation of COVID-19 as a highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to public health under the NY HERO Act until January 15, 2022, at which point the designation will be reviewed. Accordingly, the airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plans required under Section 1 of the Act must be kept in place through that date.

Although the New York State Department of Labor has published guidance stating that it would provide additional guidance by November 1, 2021 on Section 2 of ...

Blogs
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Important guidance regarding COVID-19 testing in the workplace was recently issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) in the form of Frequently Asked Questions regarding Over the Counter (“OTC”) Home Testing and CLIA Applicability.

CMS regulates clinical laboratory testing pursuant to the federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (“CLIA”). Generally, a laboratory or clinical setting (such as a physician’s office) must obtain CLIA certification to perform laboratory testing. Some OTC tests, however, are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) for home use and the new FAQs address the use of OTC home tests in the workplace.

Blogs
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Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed HB 1-B, Ch. 2021-272, Laws of Fla. (the “Vaccination Exemption Law”), which prohibits every private employer from issuing COVID-19 vaccination mandates for its Florida employees without allowing employees to opt out for five specific exemptions: (i) medical reasons, including pregnancy or expectation of pregnancy, as determined by a physician, advanced practice registered nurse, or physician assistant; (ii) religious reasons, based on a sincerely held belief; (iii) COVID-19 immunity, based on prior COVID-19 infection, as documented by a lab test; (iv) periodic testing, agreed to by the employee and at no cost to the employee; or (v) based on compliant use of employer-provided personal protective equipment (“PPE”), agreed to by the employee.  Employers that receive a “completed exemption statement” must allow the requesting employee to “opt out” of the employer’s vaccination requirements.[1]  Employers will be found to have violated the Vaccination Exemption Law by failing to provide for exemptions in their COVID-19 vaccination mandate and terminating the employee—which includes “the functional equivalent of termination,” as defined below.

On December 2, 2021, the Florida Department of Legal Affairs issued a Notice of Emergency Rule (the “Rule”), further defining key provisions of the Vaccination Exemption Law.  Moreover, this Department (headed by the Attorney General) has issued guidance in the form of FAQs (the “Guidance”), outlining the employee complaint procedure for potential employer violations of the Vaccination Exemption Law.

The Rule

Blogs
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On November 19, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act (BBBA or the Act), [1] which, if enacted, would be the first federal enhancement of family and medical leave for private sector workers since the enactment of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in 1993. While the BBBA does not go as far as initially proposed (12 weeks of paid leave), it would expand upon the FMLA’s current unpaid protections by providing up to four weeks of paid caregiving leave. Further, the BBBA would allow paid leave benefits for a broader group of eligible workers and for additional qualifying family members beyond those covered by the FMLA. If enacted, the paid family leave program would become effective January 2024.

Blogs
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As we previously reported, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) interim final rule (“the Rule”) requiring full COVID-19 vaccination for staff and others at Medicare- and Medicaid-certified providers and suppliers (i.e., the “vaccine mandate”) has been challenged in the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern District of Missouri (“the Missouri Court”) and the Western District of Louisiana, Monroe Division (“the Louisiana Court”).  As of the date of this writing, both Courts have granted preliminary injunctions placing the Rule on hold.

On November 29, 2021, the Missouri Court granted a preliminary injunction of the Rule, which applies to the coalition of ten states [1] that filed the challenge there. The following day, the Louisiana Court entered a similar injunction, which applies to the remaining forty states.

The Decisions

Blogs
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As of December 11, 2021, the Bill regulating employers’ use of automated employment decision tools has been enacted.  Compliance with the Bill’s requirements begins January 1, 2023.

***

Joining Illinois and Maryland, on November 10, 2021, the New York City Council approved a measure, Int. 1894-2020A (the “Bill”),  to regulate employers’ use of  “automated employment decision tools” with the aim of curbing bias in hiring and promotions.  The Bill, which is awaiting Mayor DeBlasio’s signature, is to take effect on January 1, 2023. Should the Mayor not sign the Bill within thirty days of the Council’s approval (i.e., by December 10), absent veto, it will become law.

Blogs
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November 17, 2021, the Department of Labor (“DOL”), National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”), and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) conducted a webinar on Ending Retaliation and Promoting Workers Rights.  The webinar is the first component of a “Joint Initiative” devoted to “vigorous enforcement” of laws against retaliation, through closer inter-agency cooperation.  The webinar was moderated by EEOC Regional Director Robert Canino and involved over 90 minutes of detailed remarks from Solicitor of Labor Seema Nanda, NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo, EEOC Chair Charlotte Burrows and Acting DOL Wage and Hour Division Director Jessica Looman.

Blogs
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As we previously reported, effective November 5, 2021, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) requiring employers with 100 or more employees to ensure that covered employees are fully vaccinated or provide a negative COVID-19 test at least weekly.

On November 6, 2021, just one day after the OSHA ETS became effective, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit temporarily stayed the regulation in a case captioned BST Holdings, LLC v. OSHA. Inasmuch as the OSHA rule’s first milestones are December 5, when most ...

Blogs
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*UPDATE, Nov. 11, 2021: Deadline for Compliance Extended to January 18, 2022, and Federal Guidance Updated. Stay tuned!

On November 1, 2021, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force (“Task Force”) issued new FAQs for federal contractors and subcontractors (“covered contractors”) that are subject to Executive Order 14042, Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors (the “Order”), and its “COVID-19 Workplace Safety: Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors” (“Guidance”).  The Guidance is intended to ensure that COVID-19 ...

Blogs
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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 ...

Blogs
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On Monday, October 25, 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued updates to its online technical assistance for employers, providing guidance for managing workplace issues arising from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in compliance with the panoply of federal anti-discrimination laws that it enforces.

The updated guidance now includes a new section “L” entitled Vaccinations – Title VII and Religious Objections to COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates. The new material includes links to federal regulations regarding religious discrimination as ...

Blogs
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On Monday, October 11, 2021, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued Executive Order GA-40 (the “Order”) prohibiting vaccine mandates by any entity. The Order, which was effective upon issuance, states: “No entity in Texas can compel receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine by any individual, including an employee or a consumer, who objects to such vaccination for any reason of personal conscience, based on a religious belief, or for medical reasons, including prior recovery from COVID-19.” It provides for a maximum fine of up to $1,000 per violation for any failure to comply with the order ...

Blogs
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Since President Biden issued Executive Order 14042 (the “Order”), and the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force (the “Task Force”) issued companion Guidance interpreting the Order (our summary of which can be found here), there have been additional developments providing further clarity on the implementation of the required COVID-19 safety protocols for federal contractors.

On September 30, 2021, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (“FAR”) Council issued a Memorandum on Issuance of Agency Deviations to Implement Executive Order 14042.  Since that date, a number of ...

Blogs
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On October 5, 2021, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed A681 (“Law”) into law, strengthening the state’s protections against age discrimination by amending the Law Against Discrimination (LAD) to:

  • delete the provision that had allowed employers not to hire or to promote employees over age 70 because of their age;
  • delete the provision that permitted higher education institutions to require tenured employees to retire at 70 years old; and
  • provide that an employee may seek all remedies permitted by the LAD if required to retire because of age, instead of being limited to ...
Blogs
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As we previously reported, as of September 6, 2021, all New York HERO Act (“HERO Act”) airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plans (“Safety Plans”) must be implemented due to COVID-19 being designated as a serious public health risk under the HERO Act. This designation was recently extended until at least October 31, 2021, per the New York Commissioner of Health’s announcement.

To help employers comply with the HERO Act’s requirements, the New York State Department of Labor (“NYSDOL”) has published a variety of guidance materials, such as model Safety ...

Blogs
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On Friday, October 1, 2021, the New York State Division of Human Rights (“the Division”), the agency responsible for enforcement of the New York State Human Rights Law (“NYSHRL”), issued a notice, partially reproduced on the Division’s website, announcing a significant change in policy regarding the agency’s processes for complaint resolution: after October 12, 2021, the Division will no longer grant requests for discontinuance of complaints due to confidential private settlements.

As stated in the Division’s notice, if a complainant seeks to discontinue an ...

Blogs
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Ohio’s minimum wage will increase to $9.30 per hour for non-tipped employees and $4.65 per hour for tipped employees, effective January 1, 2022.  This new minimum wage will apply to employees of businesses with annual gross receipts of more than $342,000 per year.

For employees at smaller companies with annual gross receipts of $342,000 or less per year, and for 14- and 15-year-olds, the minimum wage continues to be the federal rate of $7.25 per hour.

As a reminder, employers should update their minimum wage and overtime poster, which should be posted in a location that is easily ...

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