Law and the Workplace
Katharine Parker

Katharine Parker

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Zika Virus and the Workplace: What Employers Should Know

News that the Zika virus has reached the United States may be prompting employers to think more closely about employee safety and what steps should be taken to address disease prevention and management in the workplace. What Is Zika? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Zika is a virus that is … Continue Reading

Connecticut and Vermont to Ban the Box in 2017

Beginning in 2017, Connecticut and Vermont will become the eight and ninth states to “ban the box” for private employers: Connecticut Effective January 1, 2017, Connecticut employers will be prohibited from requesting criminal history information on an initial application form.  Exceptions apply if: the employer is required by federal or state law to inquire about criminal … Continue Reading

Proskauer Releases Survey Results on Value Insights: Delivering Value in Labor and Employment Law

Proskauer’s Labor and Employment Law Department is pleased to announce the release of its inaugural Value Insights: Delivering Value in Labor and Employment Law survey, a resource that includes input from in-house decision makers on labor and employment matters and provides in-house counsel with tools to both more effectively help their business partners achieve their objectives … Continue Reading

Mayor de Blasio Signs New Laws Strengthening NYC’s Human Rights Law

On Monday, March 28, 2016, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed several bills (Intros 814-A, 818-A, and 819) amending the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”). The amendments strengthen employee protections by changing existing laws to provide for 1) a more liberal construction of the NYCHRL for plaintiffs; 2) attorneys’ fees, expert fees, and other … Continue Reading

Overview of Proposed Fair Chance Act Rules

As mentioned in our recent post, the New York City Commission on Human Rights is proposing to amend its rules to establish various definitions and clarify certain requirements under the Fair Chance Act.  Key aspects of the proposed rules include the following: Applicability of the Fair Chance Act Post-Hire:  “Applicants” are defined to include both … Continue Reading

NYC Commission on Human Rights Proposes Fair Chance Act Rules

The New York City Commission on Human Rights (the “Commission”) published today a Notice of Public Hearing and Opportunity to Comment on its proposal to amend its rules to establish certain definitions and procedures in connection with the Fair Chance Act.  (See our prior blog posts on the Fair Chance Act here, here and here.)  … Continue Reading

New Guidance on “Use It or Lose It” Vacation Policies in Colorado: What Is “Earned” Cannot Be Forfeited

The Colorado Wage Protection Act, which amended the existing Colorado Wage Act, § 8-4-101, et seq., governs payment of wages for work performed in Colorado. The Act became effective on January 1, 2015, and is enforced by the Colorado Division of Labor (“Division”). Under the Act, vacation pay, earned in accordance with the terms of … Continue Reading

Ban the Box Update Round Up: Portland, Philadelphia and New Jersey

The past several weeks have seen a flurry of “ban the box” developments, including: The passage of a law in Portland, Oregon banning the box for private employers; The page of amendments expanding the ban the box law in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and The publication of regulations regarding New Jersey’s ban the box law. These developments … Continue Reading

Federal Court Decision Highlights Complexities of Laws Applicable to Pregnant Employees

As the laws governing the treatment of pregnant employees and new mothers continues to evolve, one recent decision from the United States District Court for the Northern District Alabama highlights the complexities that arise from the patchwork of federal laws that apply to employees during and after pregnancy. Facts The plaintiff in Hicks v. City … Continue Reading

Jersey City, New Jersey Expands Paid Sick Leave

The Jersey City Council voted to expand the scope of the City’s existing sick leave ordinance yesterday.  Under the Ordinance as amended, employers with less than 10 employees now will be required to provide employees with up to 24 hours of paid sick leave and up to 16 hours of unpaid sick leave per year.  … Continue Reading

NYCCHR Publishes Pre-Adverse Action Form

New York City’s new Fair Chance Act goes into effect this Tuesday (October 27, 2015).  As discussed in our prior posts (here and here), New York employers have long been required – prior to taking adverse action on the basis of an applicant’s criminal record – to engage in a multi-factor analysis under Article 23-A … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Holds That FMLA Limitations Period Begins To Run At Time Of Each Leave Denial

On October 20, the Seventh Circuit held, in Barrett v. Illinois Department of Corrections, that a former state employee’s Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) denial of leave claim was untimely because suit was not filed until the employee was fired for her poor attendance record and not within two years of each alleged leave … Continue Reading

Transgender Individuals to Gain Protection under New York State Law

Tonight, at the Pride Agenda Dinner, Governor Cuomo announced that he plans to extend protections against discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations to transgender individuals.  The New York City Human Rights Law has long protected transgender individuals, but bills to amend the New York State Human Rights Laws have not secured the necessary votes to pass.  The governor intends to bypass … Continue Reading

Pittsburgh’s New Sick Leave Ordinance Challenged in State Court

In August, the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania passed an ordinance that will require most employers to provide workers with paid or unpaid sick time. Pittsburgh follows the lead of Philadelphia, which approved a similar measure earlier this year. Shortly thereafter, the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association and a group of Pittsburgh businesses filed a challenge … Continue Reading

Women in the Workplace

Employers interested in attracting and retaining women and promoting greater gender diversity in their executive ranks will be interested in the Wall Street Journal’s Special Report on Women in the Workplace.  The Report contains a number of interesting articles including: An article summarizing the results of a new study conducted by LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & … Continue Reading

NYC Commission on Human Rights Explains New NYC Background Check Laws

We were pleased to host a program this morning on New York City’s two new background check laws, the Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act and the Fair Chance Act.  Paul Keefe, Supervising Attorney at the NYC Commission on Human Rights gave a detailed presentation on the new laws and clarified the Commission’s interpretation of … Continue Reading

NYCCHR Issues Guidance on Credit Check Law

The New York City Commission on Human Rights (the “Commission”) has just issued guidance in respect of the Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act (the “SCDEA”), which goes into effect today and modified the New York City Human Rights Law to place limitations on employers’ ability to conduct credit checks on employees and applicants for employment.  See our previous … Continue Reading

Addressing and Preventing Workplace Violence

The subject of workplace violence has unfortunately made headlines once again after a news anchor and cameraman were killed by a former co-worker in Virginia last week. Employers are understandably concerned and have questions about what they can do to help prevent workplace violence. The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) requires employers to maintain … Continue Reading

Maine Enacts Social Media Protections for Applicants and Employees

Effective as of October 15, 2015, employers in Maine will be restricted in their ability to access the personal social media accounts of applicants and employees. Specifically, under the new law, an employer may not: Require, coerce or request that an employee or applicant disclose the password for a private social media account; Require, coerce … Continue Reading

Delaware Adds to Growing Patchwork of Social Media Laws

On August 7, Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed a law to prohibit employers from interfering with the personal social media accounts of their prospective and current employees.  The new law, which also took effect on August 7, defines “personal social media” to encompass any account on a social networking site created and operated by a … Continue Reading

Latest EEOC Discrimination Suit Targets Employment Exam

For years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has taken the position that certain employment tests and screening procedures can serve to discriminate against racial and ethnic minorities in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) when not “properly validated” as “job-related” and “consistent with business necessity” under the … Continue Reading

Connecticut Takes Next Steps Toward Implementing Paid Family and Medical Leave

In a recently enacted budget measure, Connecticut has moved one step closer to implementing statewide paid family and medical leave for employees. However, details about funding and the extent of coverage that any ultimately adopted measures would provide remain to be seen. In Section 413 of a special session bill, Public Act No. 15-5, passed … Continue Reading

Georgia Enacts “Mini”-FCRA

For more than four decades, the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) has regulated consumer reporting agencies (“CRAs”) that furnish consumer reports (i.e., background checks) to third parties such as employers. Over the years, several states have adopted so-called “mini”-FCRAs, including Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, and Washington. Last week, … Continue Reading
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