Law and the Workplace
Laura Fant

Laura Fant

Associate

As an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-chair of the Disability, Accommodations & Leave Management Practice Group, Laura Fant frequently counsels on employee leave and accommodation matters involving the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act and related state and local laws. She also provides general employment counseling and has experience reviewing and updating employee handbooks and company policies, as well as providing training on topics such as discrimination and harassment in the workplace, social media, and the accommodation of physical and mental disabilities. Laura is a frequent contributor to Proskauer’s Law and the Workplace blog.

Before joining the Firm, Laura was assistant general counsel to the City of New York's Office of Labor Relations. Prior to that, she was law clerk to Judge Jose L. Fuentes of the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, and a judicial intern to Judge Laura Taylor Swain of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

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San Antonio, Texas Approves Revisions to Paid Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance

The San Antonio, Texas City Council has approved revisions to the city’s sick and safe leave ordinance, which is now scheduled take effect on December 1, 2019. As we previously reported, in the face of legal challenges to the law, the City Council had agreed to delay the effective date of the ordinance (previously slated … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Labor Proposes Revisions to Model FMLA Forms

The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division is proposing revisions to its model notice of rights, certification, and designation forms under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  Employers may, but are not required to, utilize the model forms to satisfy their notice requirements under the law and to obtain necessary information … Continue Reading

New York State to Require Reasonable Accommodation for Victims of Domestic Violence

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed into law amendments to the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) that expand protections for employees who are victims of domestic violence.  The amendments will take effect on November 18, 2019. While the NYSHRL has long prohibited discrimination against victims of domestic violence, the amendments expressly state … 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

[Podcast]: New York State Enacts Law Prohibiting Hairstyle Discrimination

In this episode of The Proskauer Brief, partner Evandro Gigante and associate Laura Fant discuss the recent New York law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of certain hairstyles.  This law expands the definition of race under the New York State Human Rights Law to now expressly include “traits historically associated with race,” which include but are not limited to hair … Continue Reading

New Jersey Becomes the Latest Jurisdiction to Enact Ban on Salary History Inquiries

The push to eliminate inquiries into job applicants’ salary history continues, as New Jersey has enacted a statewide law that will restrict employers from obtaining and utilizing applicants’ salary history information during the hiring process. The new law, which will take effect on January 1, 2020, will make it an unlawful employment practice for any … Continue Reading

Oregon Enacts Expansive Paid Family and Medical Leave Law

UPDATE: Governor Kate Brown signed the bill into law on August 9, 2019. 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 … 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

Toledo, Ohio Passes Ban on Salary History Inquiries

Toledo, Ohio is the latest jurisdiction (and the second city in Ohio) to enact a law that will prohibit employers from asking job applicants about salary history. The ordinance, which is scheduled to take effect on June 25, 2020, will apply to employers with fifteen or more employees in Toledo, and will prohibit such employers and their … Continue Reading

California Enacts Law Prohibiting Hairstyle Discrimination … with New York and New Jersey Close Behind

UPDATE: Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the New York bill into law on July 12, 2019 (effective immediately). As we have reported before, California is set to become the first state to prohibit employers from discriminating based upon hairstyle. Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law the “CROWN Act” (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace … Continue Reading

Nevada Enacts Laws Regarding Paid Personal Leave, Drug Testing, and Minimum Wage

Continuing the trend of states passing increasingly progressive employment regulations, Nevada recently enacted three new laws addressing paid leave, workplace drug testing, and minimum wage. Paid Personal Leave Following in the footsteps of Maine, which recently became the first state to enact a personal leave law, SB 312 will require private employers with 50 or … Continue Reading

New York State Advances Bill That Would Allow Liens Against Employers For Unpaid Wage Claims

The New York state legislature has passed a bill that would allow employees making certain claims for unpaid wages to obtain a lien against their employers’ property for the value of the claim, inclusive of liquidated damages. If signed by Governor Cuomo, the bill would take effect 30 days after becoming law. The bill would … 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 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

Connecticut to Enact Generous Paid Family and Medical Leave Law

Connecticut is set to become the latest state to join the paid family and medical leave bandwagon, enacting what is set to be one of the most generous laws in the country.  The Act Concerning Paid Family and Medical Leave (the “Act”) was passed by both houses of the state legislature and is presently before Governor … 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

Kansas City, Missouri Passes Ban on Salary History Inquiries

Kansas City, Missouri is the latest jurisdiction (and the second Midwestern city in recent weeks) to enact a law that will prohibit employers from asking job applicants about salary history. The ordinance, which takes effect on October 31, 2019, will apply to employers in Kansas City with six or more employees, and will prohibit such … 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

New York City Council to Consider Expanding Earned Safe and Sick Time Act to Require “Personal Time”

The New York City Council is considering a bill that would expand the NYC Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (ESSTA) to provide eligible employees with “personal time” that could be used for any reason.  The bill would also expand protections and remedies applicable to all leave under the law, including sick and safe time. … 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

Westchester County, New York to Require Paid Leave for Victims of Domestic Violence

Effective October 30, 2019, Westchester County, NY employers will be required to provide paid leave to employees who are victims of domestic violence or human trafficking.  Leave under the new ordinance will be in addition to paid time off already required to be provided to employees under the Westchester County paid sick leave law, which … 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

Washington State Legislature Passes Ban on Salary History Inquiries

Washington is poised to become the ninth state to pass a law that would prohibit employers from asking job applicants about their salary history. The state legislature recently passed HB 1696, which would, among other things, prohibit employers from inquiring into the prior “wage or salary history” of an applicant for employment. The bill has … Continue Reading

Amended Rules Issued Under NYC Earned Safe and Sick Time Act

In follow up to recent amendments to the New York City Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (“ESSTA”), the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Labor Policy and Standards (“OLPS”) has amended its official rules, several of which expand upon currently existing rules regarding ESSTA. The OLPS has also issued an updated ESSTA FAQ … Continue Reading
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