Law and the Workplace
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Arielle E. Kobetz

Arielle Kobetz is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department. She assists employers in a wide range of areas, including discrimination, wage and hour, and traditional labor.

Prior to joining Proskauer, Arielle served as a law clerk at the New York City Human Resources Administration, Employment Law Unit, where she worked on a variety of employment discrimination and internal employee disciplinary issues.

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New York State Passes Bill to Mandate COVID-19 Safety Standards in the Workplace

The New York state legislature passed the Hero Act, which would require all employers in New York to implement certain safety standards and adopt a prevention plan to protect against further spread of COVID-19 and other airborne infectious diseases in the workplace. The Act would require the state Department of Labor, in consultation with the … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Guidance on Employer Recording Obligations Regarding Mandatory Vaccination Programs

On April 20, 2021, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued guidance regarding employers’ obligation to record adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine.  The guidance, which is in the form of answers to three frequently asked questions, clarifies that if an employer adopts a mandatory vaccination policy, an adverse reaction to … Continue Reading

New York State Legalizes Recreational Adult Use of Marijuana

On March 31, 2021, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the New York State Cannabis/Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act, which legalized the use of recreational marijuana for individuals ages 21 and older. Among other things, the Act establishes a Cannabis Control Board and Office of Cannabis Management that will be responsible for regulating … Continue Reading

New York State Issues Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccine Leave Law

The New York State Department of Labor (“NYSDOL”) has issued guidance on the State’s recently enacted COVID-19 vaccine leave law, which went into effect on March 12, 2021.  As we previously reported, the law requires employers to provide employees with “a sufficient period of time, not to exceed four hours” per dose to be vaccinated … Continue Reading

New York State Passes Bill Granting Employees Paid Time Off for COVID-19 Vaccinations

***UPDATE: Governor Cuomo signed this bill into law on Friday, March 12. The law takes effect immediately.*** The New York state legislature passed Bill S2588A/A3354B, which would amend the New York Labor Law to grant employees paid leave time for the COVID-19 vaccination.  Below is a brief summary of what New York employers need to … Continue Reading

New York Court Dismisses Amazon Workers’ COVID-19 Health and Safety Claims

*** UPDATE: On November 24, 2020, the Plaintiffs in Palmer, et al. v. Amazon.Com, Inc., et al. filed a notice of appeal. The Plaintiffs appealed Judge Cogan’s order dismissing the case to the Second Circuit. We will continue to monitor this case and provide updates. *** On November 2, 2020, the Eastern District of New … Continue Reading

Reminder: New York State Paid Sick Leave Law Takes Effect September 30

As we previously reported, the New York State paid sick leave law will take effect, and covered employees will begin accruing leave time, on September 30, 2020. However, employees may be restricted from utilizing accrued sick leave until January 1, 2021. As set forth in our previous blog: Employers with 4 or fewer employees and … Continue Reading

DOL Releases Additional COVID-19 Guidance Related to FFCRA, FMLA and FLSA

As we have previously reported, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) continues to update its COVID-19 guidance. Most recently, on July 20, 2020, the DOL issued additional Q and A guidance related to COVID-19 and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Families First Coronavirus Response … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Holds That Title VII Prohibits Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

In a 6-3 decision authored by Justice Gorsuch on June 15, 2020, the United States Supreme Court held that Title VII’s prohibition on discrimination “because of…sex” includes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Bostock v. Clayton County, No. 17-1618 (590 U.S. ___ (2020). In doing so, the Court made clear that … Continue Reading

EEOC and OSHA Issue New COVID-19 Guidance

As the nation continues to move toward reopening, the EEOC and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued additional guidance for employers to consider as they plan employees’ return to the workplace. These updates supplement earlier guidance issued by both agencies, which we discuss in our previous posts. EEOC Guidance On June 11, 2020, … Continue Reading

OSHA Updates Guidance Regarding COVID-19 Recordkeeping Requirements

On May 19, 2020, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued a memorandum updating previous guidance regarding employers’ obligation to record cases of COVID-19 in the workplace. On May 26, 2020, the previous guidance will be rescinded and OSHA’s updated guidance will go into effect, the key provisions of which are … Continue Reading

New Voting Leave Laws in New York State and Washington D.C.

New York State and Washington D.C. have enacted legislation regarding paid time off to vote. The details of these new laws are summarized below. New York Nestled into the FY 2020-21 NY state budget is a revision to the statewide time off to vote law, which was revised in April 2019 to increase paid voting … Continue Reading

New York State Issues Guidance for Re-Opening of Businesses

*** Last Updated: July 17, 2020 *** New York State has issued detailed guidance on Governor Cuomo’s “New York Forward” Plan, under which the State will re-open in four phases on a regional basis. The guidance includes additional information regarding: (1) when regions will be permitted to begin re-opening; (2) which businesses are included in … Continue Reading

New York’s Governor Outlines Plan to Re-Open Businesses

***Updated May 5, 2020 to account for new information released by the Governor’s Office.*** In his daily press conference on April 26, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a plan to re-open the state in phases on a regional basis. Under the plan, businesses will re-open on a business-by-business level within each region, with … Continue Reading

New York State Issues Updated Guidance on Essential (And Non-Essential) Businesses

***Last Updated: May 18, 2020*** On April 9, 2020, Empire State Development (“ESD”) released guidance for determining whether a business or service is “essential” under a series of executive orders issued by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. These orders, which we addressed in a previous post, require that only businesses and not-for-profit entities deemed essential … Continue Reading

New York Enacts Statewide Paid Sick Leave Law as Part of FY 2021 Budget

On April 3, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the fiscal year 2021 New York State budget, which, notably for employers, includes a new statewide paid sick leave requirement.  As described below, the new leave provisions, which amend the NY Labor Law, will require New York employers of all sizes to provide … Continue Reading

New York State Issues Guidance on COVID-19 Quarantine Leave Law

***Updated April 16, 2020*** On March 25, 2020, New York State published Frequently Asked Questions and other guidance regarding the state’s recently enacted Covid-19 Paid Sick Leave Law and expansions to New York’s Paid Family Leave Law (PFL) and Disability Benefit Law. This bill was signed into law on March 18 and became effective immediately … Continue Reading

District of Columbia Orders Closure of All Non-Essential Businesses

D.C. Governor Muriel Bower has issued an emergency order, Mayor’s Order 2020-053, (“the Order”) requiring that all non-essential businesses cease on-site operations beginning at 10:00 p.m. on March 25, 2020. The Order also prohibits gatherings of 10 or more people. The Order, as of now, will remain in effect through April 24, 2020. The Order … Continue Reading

New York State Mandates That Non-Essential Workers Must Stay Home

*** IMPORTANT NOTE: On April 9, 2020, the State of New York released updated guidance that modifies some of the content discussed below.  Read more on our updated blog post here. *** Beginning Sunday, March 22, 2020, in accordance with Executive Order 202.8 issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo, only essential businesses and not-for-profit entities in … Continue Reading

Federal Family First Coronavirus Response Act Signed Into Law

*** UPDATE: The Department of Labor has issued guidance stating that the law will take effect on April 1, 2020.  More information on the guidance can be found on our blog post here.*** On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed into the law the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (the “Family First Act” or the … Continue Reading

New York State Enacts Coronavirus Response Bill Including Paid Sick Time and Other Statutory Benefits

*** New York State has issued additional guidance on the statewide Coronavirus leave law.  More information about this guidance can be found on our blog post here. *** On March 18, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a statewide Coronavirus response bill that immediately provides employees with sick leave and job protection in … Continue Reading

Family First Coronavirus Response Act: What Employers Need to Know

*** IMPORTANT NOTE: On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed an amended version of the Family First Coronavirus Response Act into law that modifies some of the provisions discussed below.  Read more on our updated blog post here. ***   On March 14, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed H.R. 6201, also known … Continue Reading

Final Regulations Issued for New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (the “Department”) has issued its final regulations regarding the state’s Paid Sick Leave Act (the “Act”), which took effect on October 29, 2018. The Department also published its responses to over one hundred comments submitted by members of the public regarding the proposed regulations. As we … Continue Reading

Pittsburgh Paid Sick Leave Ordinance To Take Effect March 15, 2020

Following a prolonged legal challenge brought by a group of Pittsburgh businesses, Pittsburgh’s paid sick leave ordinance will finally take effect on March 15, 2020. As we previously reported, in August 2015, the City of Pittsburgh passed the Paid Sick Days Act (the “Act”) which would have required most employers to provide their employees with … Continue Reading
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