Law and the Workplace
Alex Downie

Alex Downie

Alex Downie is a law clerk in the Labor & Employment Law Department and a member of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration Group. He previously worked as a summer associate at Proskauer and as an intern at the Department of Justice.

Alex earned his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he served as the executive editor of the Virginia Law & Business Review. He also volunteered for the school’s employment law clinic, where he assisted with a variety of employment-related matters ranging from employment discrimination to wage and hour disputes.

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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

Top Three Takeaways from OSHA Chief’s Testimony Regarding OSHA Enforcement During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Amid growing criticism of the agency’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, OSHA’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Loren E. Sweatt (“Sweatt”), testified before the House Education and Labor Committee’s Workforce Protections Subcommittee last Wednesday during which she defended the agency’s actions to protect worker safety during the pandemic. Below, we discuss the top three takeaways from … 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 City Department of Health Issues Standing Isolation Order for Purposes of New York State Emergency Sick Leave Law

The New York City Department of Health has issued a standing Order that creates a process for those who live or work in the City to receive the documentation needed to claim leave in certain circumstances under the New York State COVID-19 Emergency Sick Leave Law. The State Emergency Sick Leave Law requires New York … 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 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

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

Coronavirus and the Workplace: What Employers Need To Know

*** Last Updated: March 13, 2020 *** News that cases of the newly-identified 2019 Novel Coronavirus (also referred to as COVID-19, 2019-nCoV, or SARS-CoV-2, but more commonly known simply as the “Coronavirus”) continue to spread has prompted employers to think about employee safety and ways to address prevention in the workplace, as well as planning … Continue Reading

New York State Department of Labor Publishes Guidance on Salary History Inquiry Law

The New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) has published guidance on the state’s salary history inquiry law, which went into effect on January 6, 2020. As we previously reported, the law prohibits employers from: Relying on the wage or salary history of an applicant in determining whether to offer employment to such individual or … Continue Reading
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