Law and the Workplace
Arielle E. Kobetz

Arielle E. Kobetz

Associate

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 Enacts Law Prohibiting Religious Discrimination Based on Appearance

On the heels of enacting a law to prohibit hairstyle discrimination, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed into law a bill that amends the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) to expressly prohibit employment discrimination based on attire, clothing, or facial hair worn as a form of religious observance. Specifically, the new law … Continue Reading

New York State Significantly Expands Workplace Anti-Discrimination Protections

On August 12, 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law significant expansions to workplace anti-discrimination protections in New York State. As we previously reported in detail, the new legislation includes numerous measures regarding discrimination and harassment in all forms (not just sexual harassment) in the workplace.  The signing of the bill triggers the countdown to … Continue Reading

New Jersey Expands Medical Marijuana Protections

On July 2, 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law the Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act (the “Act”), which amends the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act (“CUMMA”) to provide greater clarity on the legal protections for both employers and employees. CUMMA, which was signed into law on January 18th, … Continue Reading

Oregon Enacts Expansive Paid Family and Medical Leave Law

Oregon is the latest state to enact a paid family and medical leave law. The law, which will cover all employers with one or more employees working in Oregon, establishes a state-managed insurance program with employers and employees paying into a paid leave insurance fund. While the law will take effect on September 29, 2019, … Continue Reading

San Antonio, Texas Paid Sick Leave Law Put on Hold Pending Legal Challenge

Implementation of the City of San Antonio’s paid sick leave ordinance has been delayed pending a legal challenge, less than two weeks before the ordinance’s scheduled effective date of August 1, 2019. On July 15, 2019, the Texas Attorney General and about a dozen business groups filed suit against the City, alleging that the paid … Continue Reading

Rock Beats Scissor: Federal Law Cuts Through New York State’s Attempt to Prohibit Mandatory Arbitration of Sexual Harassment Claims

Proponents of mandatory arbitration in New York can collectively let out a sigh of relief as a federal court judge has weighed in on the question of whether New York State’s law prohibiting mandatory arbitration of sexual harassment claims (CPLR § 7515), effective July 11, 2018, is preempted by federal law. The short answer, as … Continue Reading

The Clock Is Ticking: Less Than Three Months Until the NYS Deadline for Mandatory Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

As we find ourselves in the midst of summer, employers in New York should keep an eye on the upcoming October 9th deadline for providing anti-harassment training to all employees. As we previously reported, effective October 9, 2018, all New York State employers are required to adopt written sexual harassment prevention policies and institute annual … Continue Reading

Colorado Enacts Laws Regarding Pay Equity, Salary History and Criminal Background Inquiries

The Colorado legislature has been quite active in recent weeks, passing several new employment laws, many of which reflect nationwide trends. Among other things, the new laws address discriminatory pay disparities, salary history inquiries and criminal background checks. Pay Disparity Effective January 1, 2021, the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (the “Act”) will prohibit … Continue Reading

Connecticut Expands Sexual Harassment Training and Notice Requirements

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont recently signed into law the Time’s Up Act (the “Act”), which amends existing state law to impose greater sexual harassment training and notice requirements on employers. Training Requirements Currently, Connecticut law requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide two hours of sexual harassment training to all supervisory employees. While … Continue Reading

New York State to Expand Protections Against Discriminatory Pay Practices

UPDATE: Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law on July 10, 2019.  The law will take effect on October 8, 2019. The New York State legislature has passed a bill that, if signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, will expand pay protections by requiring employers to provide employees with equal pay for “substantially similar” work … Continue Reading

New York State to Enact Ban on Salary History Inquiries

UPDATE: Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law on July 10, 2019.  The law will take effect on January 6, 2020. In a continuation of its recent legislative push to expand the reach of anti-discrimination laws, New York State is set to be the latest jurisdiction to prohibit employers from asking job applicants and … Continue Reading

New York State Set to Further Expand Protections Against Workplace Harassment

New York State lawmakers have approved broad legislation that will lower the burden on plaintiffs seeking to prove claims of workplace harassment under the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL), as well as extend the statute of limitations and expand potential damages for such claims. The bill also expands coverage under the NYSHRL and broadens existing limitations on nondisclosure agreements and mandatory arbitration clauses. This sweeping bill represents the latest effort by the State legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo—who is … Continue Reading

Oregon Aims to Prevent Harassment with the Workplace Protection Act

Employees in Oregon have greater protections against workplace harassment thanks to the recently-passed Workplace Protection Act (the “Act”), which would prohibit requiring nondisclosure agreements for employees or applicants that prohibits them from revealing sexual assault, harassment or discrimination. The new law also requires employers to implement a written anti-harassment policy and it extends the statute … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Holds That Filing an EEOC Charge Is Not a Jurisdictional Requirement for Title VII Suits

In a unanimous decision in Fort Bend County, Texas v. Davis, the United States Supreme Court held that while an employee has a mandatory obligation to file a charge with the EEOC prior to bringing a discrimination suit under Title VII, such obligation is a procedural, rather than jurisdictional, requirement.  The key takeaway for employers … Continue Reading

Maine Becomes First State to Require Paid Leave for Any Reason

Maine’s Governor Janet Mills has signed into law an Act Authorizing Earned Employee Leave (the “Act”), which will require covered employers to provide employees with up to 40 hours of paid personal leave per calendar year. Unlike other paid family and sick leave laws that have been enacted around the country, Maine’s law would be … Continue Reading

Dallas, Texas Enacts Paid Sick Leave Law, But Its Future Remains in Question

The Dallas, Texas City Council has enacted a sick leave ordinance that would require employers to provide eligible employees with paid leave for certain medical and safety-related needs. It remains to be seen, however, whether the ordinance will ultimately take effect. As we have previously reported, in late 2018, a Texas appellate court ruled that … Continue Reading

New Jersey Employees to Be Entitled to Pre-Tax Transportation Fringe Benefits

New Jersey will soon become the first state to require certain employers to offer employees tax-favored transportation benefits. S.B. 1567, also known as An Act Concerning Pre-Tax Transportation Fringe Benefits (the “Act”), will require New Jersey employers with 20 or more employees to offer employees the opportunity to make pre-tax elections from their gross pay … Continue Reading

Westchester County Issues Guidance on its Earned Sick Leave Law

As we previously reported, Westchester County, NY recently enacted an Earned Sick Leave Law (the “ESSL”), which provides eligible employees with up to 40 hours of paid leave for their own medical needs, those of a family member, or other covered reasons. The Westchester County Human Rights Commission has established a dedicated webpage regarding the … Continue Reading

SCOTUS to Decide Whether Title VII Protects Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

On April 22, 2019, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in three cases that raise the question of whether Title VII prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  In two of the cases, Altitude Express v. Zarda and Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, the Court will consider whether Title VII’s prohibition on … Continue Reading

New York City Issues Final Guidance on Sexual Harassment Training Requirements

As we previously reported, New York City has enacted the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act, which is a package of bills aimed at addressing and preventing sexual harassment in the workplace. Effective April 1, 2019, all New York City employers with 15 or more employees (including interns) are required to conduct annual anti-sexual harassment … Continue Reading

Cincinnati, Ohio Passes Ban on Salary History Inquiries

Cincinnati, Ohio recently became the latest jurisdiction to pass a law that prohibits employers from asking job applicants for their salary history. Under the Prohibited Salary History Inquiry and Use Ordinance (the “Ordinance”), employers with 15 or more employees located within the City of Cincinnati may not ask about or rely on the prior salary … Continue Reading

[Podcast]: The NYCCHR Issues New Enforcement Guidance on Appearance & Grooming Policies

In this episode of The Proskauer Brief, partner Harris Mufson and associate Arielle Kobetz discuss the New York City Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR) enforcement guidance on appearance and grooming policies that ban or restrict naturally curly hair, dreadlocks, braids, cornrows and other hairstyles. While the guidance, which was issued on February 19, 2019, specifically details protections for Black people … Continue Reading
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