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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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

Texas Appellate Court Rules Austin City Paid Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance Unconstitutional

As we previously reported, in February 2018, the city of Austin, Texas passed a paid sick and safe leave ordinance (the “Ordinance”) that would have required companies to provide paid sick and safe leave to their employees. The Ordinance obligated companies with 15 or more employees to provide eight days of paid leave, and companies … Continue Reading

Westchester County, New York Enacts Paid Sick Leave Law

Westchester County, NY has become the latest jurisdiction to enact a law providing eligible employees with paid leave for their own medical needs, those of a family member, or other covered reasons. The Ordinance will take effect on March 30, 2019. Covered Employees and Accrual of Sick Leave Similar to the New York City Earned … Continue Reading

New York State Releases Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Videos

As we have previously reported, New York State has recently enacted several significant measures regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. Effective October 9, 2018, all New York State employers are required to adopt written sexual harassment prevention policies and institute annual anti-harassment training for employees. According to the final guidance issued by the State, all … Continue Reading

New York State Issues Final Guidance on Sexual Harassment Policy and Training Requirements In Advance of October 9 Effective Date

As we have previously reported,  New York State has enacted several significant measures regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. Effective October 9, 2018, all New York State employers are required to adopt written sexual harassment prevention policies and institute annual anti-harassment training for employees (see below for more details on specific requirements and deadlines).  After … Continue Reading

Austin, Texas Enacts Paid Sick and Safe Leave Law

The Austin, Texas City Council has enacted a paid sick and safe leave ordinance, becoming the first southern city to pass such a law for private sector employees.  The ordinance will take effect on October 1, 2018 for employers with five or more employees; coverage for smaller employers begins on October 1, 2020. Employees who work … Continue Reading

Model Leave Request, Certification and Waiver Forms Issued for the New York Paid Family Leave Law

With the January 1, 2018 effective date for the New York Paid Family Leave Law fast approaching, the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board (“WCB”) has issued model paid family leave (“PFL”) request and certification forms, as well as a model waiver form. The forms are available on the WCB’s New York Paid Family Leave … Continue Reading

Guidance Issued on Taxability of Contributions and Benefits under New York Paid Family Leave Law

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance has issued official guidance on several taxability issues relating to the New York Paid Family Leave Law (“PFLL”), which goes into effect on January 1, 2018.  Among other details addressed, employee contributions under the PFLL shall be made on an after-tax basis, and benefits paid to … Continue Reading

Wage and Hour Considerations During Weather-Related Emergencies

As Tropical Storm Harvey continues wreak havoc across Texas and beyond, it’s the right time to revisit employer rights and responsibilities during a weather-related emergency or other major disruption.  Here are some typical scenarios that employers face during weather-related or other emergencies, and the consequences under the wage and hour laws. “Our office was closed … Continue Reading

New York City Council Approves Bill Restricting Employer Inquiries Into Applicants’ Salary History

The New York City Council has approved a bill that would make it unlawful for employers to inquire into or rely upon job applicants’ wage history during the hiring process, with limited exception.  The bill now goes before Mayor Bill de Blasio and, if signed, will become effective 180 days following signature. As we previously … Continue Reading

Winter Is Coming—Wage and Hour Considerations During Weather-Related Emergencies

With winter storms around the corner, it’s the right time to revisit employer rights and responsibilities during a weather-related emergency or other major disruption.  We discuss below some typical scenarios that you are likely to face during weather-related or other emergencies, and the consequences under the wage and hour laws. “Our office was closed for … Continue Reading
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