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 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

New York City Releases Model Lactation Room Policies

As we previously reported, pursuant to a recent amendment to the New York City Human Rights Law, covered employers must now develop and implement a written policy regarding the provision of a lactation room, to be distributed to all new employees upon hire.  Among other requirements, the policy must include a statement that employees have … Continue Reading

Don’t Delay: DOL Issues New Opinion Letter on FMLA Leave

On March 14, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued an opinion letter, FMLA 2019-1-A, addressing compliance issues under the Family and Medical leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA provides eligible employees with up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period for certain family and medical reasons or to address certain qualifying … Continue Reading

New Jersey Enacts Law Limiting Non-Disclosure Obligations in Settlement Agreements

On March 18, 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law Senate Bill 121, which prohibits nondisclosure clauses in settlement agreements relating to workplace discrimination, retaliation or harassment. Effective immediately, the law renders unenforceable any provision in an employment contract that waives “any substantive or procedural right or remedy relating to a claim of … Continue Reading

[Podcast]: The Employment Law Landscape in 2019

In this episode of The Proskauer Brief, partner Evandro Gigante and associate Arielle Kobetz discuss the labor and employment landscape in 2019, including some significant laws set to go into effect this year, as well as other legislative developments. They will highlight cases pending before the Supreme Court and what we can expect from the National Labor Relations Board … Continue Reading

The NYCCHR Issues New Enforcement Guidance on Appearance and Grooming Policies

On February 19, 2019, the New York City Commission on Human Rights (“NYCCHR”) issued new enforcement guidance on appearance and grooming policies that ban or restrict naturally curly hair, dreadlocks, braids, cornrows and other hairstyles. Such policies constitute a violation of the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) because, according to the City Commission, … Continue Reading

New Jersey’s New Paid Family Leave Law Provides Greater Benefits for Employees

A new bill seeking to expand paid family leave in New Jersey passed the Senate and Assembly on January 31, 2019, and was signed by Governor Phil Murphy today. The bill makes sweeping changes to the New Jersey Family Leave Act that provides greater benefits for more employees. Following are some highlights of the bill: … Continue Reading

Update: New York Governor Signs Gender Identity Discrimination Ban Into Law

On January 25, 2019, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA). As we previously reported, GENDA amends the New York State Human Rights Law to expressly prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression. The Act also expands New York’s hate crime laws to include crimes … Continue Reading

New York State Passes the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act

After 16 years of debate and discussion, the New York State Legislature recently passed the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (“GENDA”), which would amend the New York State Human Rights Law to expressly prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression. Under the Act, gender identity or expression is defined as “a person’s actual … Continue Reading

The Employment Law Landscape in 2019

States across the country have passed new laws addressing sexual harassment, paid family leave, and other labor and employment law issues. As many of these laws will soon become effective, employers should be prepared for the following changes in the legal landscape. Sexual Harassment Laws New York City’s Stop Sexual Harassment Act, effective April 1, … Continue Reading

Philadelphia Enacts Fair Workweek Ordinance

The Philadelphia City Council recently passed the Fair Workweek Employment Standards Ordinance (the “Ordinance”), which will impose new restrictions on retail, fast food and hospitality employers with regard to employee scheduling and pay practices. The Ordinance was signed by Mayor Jim Kenney on December 20, 2018, and will take effect on January 1, 2020. The … Continue Reading

New York Paid Family Leave Law: Are You Prepared for 2019?

As we approach the New Year, it is important to keep in mind several updates to the New York Paid Family Leave Law (“NYPFLL”) that will become effective January 1, 2019. As we have previously reported, the NYPFLL provides a phased-in system of paid, job protected leave for eligible employees: (i) to care for a … Continue Reading

Suffolk County, New York Enacts Salary History Ban

The Suffolk County, NY Legislature has unanimously enacted a bill that will prohibit employers and their agents from inquiring about job applicants’ wage or salary history during the hiring process. The Restricting Information on Salaries and Earnings Act (the “RISE Act”) goes into effect on June 30, 2019. The RISE Act amends the Suffolk County … Continue Reading
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