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.

Continue Reading New York State Tacks on an Extra Year to Its Paid Vaccination Leave Law

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

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.

Continue Reading Fifth Circuit Holds COVID Is Not a “Natural Disaster” Under the WARN Act

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

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.

Continue Reading NYC Mayor Signs Off: Amended NYC Pay Range Disclosure Law Will Take Effect November 1, 2022

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.

Continue Reading New York’s Anti-Discrimination Laws Do Not Protect Out-of-State Remote Workers

A California Superior Court judge has invalidated state legislation that required boards of publicly held corporations headquartered in California to include a minimum number of directors from underrepresented communities.  The court’s decision effectively strikes down Assembly Bill No. 979 (“AB 979”), a law enacted with the goal of increasing diversity on boards of directors, paving the way for a parallel outcome to a similar challenge of a statutory mandate for increased gender diversity on boards of directors.

Promotion of “Underrepresented Communities” Struck Down

Continue Reading Board Diversification by Legislative Mandate? One California Court Says No.

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:

Continue Reading Washington, D.C. Announces FY 22 Universal Paid Leave Amounts

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