Law and the Workplace
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Laura Fant

Special Employment Law Counsel

Laura Fant is a special employment law counsel in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-administrative leader of the Counseling, Training & Pay Equity Practice Group. Her practice is dedicated to providing clients with practical solutions to common (and uncommon) employment concerns, with a focus on legal compliance, risk management and mitigation strategies, and workplace culture considerations.

Laura regularly counsels clients across numerous industries on a wide variety of employment matters involving recruitment and hiring, employee leave and reasonable accommodation issues, performance management, and termination of employment . She also advises on preparing, implementing and enforcing employment and separation agreements, employee handbooks and company policies, as well as provides training on topics including discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Laura is a frequent contributor to Proskauer’s Law and the Workplace blog and The Proskauer Brief podcast.

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New York City Council Establishes Private Right of Action for NYC Earned Safe and Sick Time Act Violations

The New York City Council has passed a bill that creates a private right of action for individuals claiming violations of the NYC Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (“ESSTA”). The Council presented the bill to Mayor Eric Adams on December 20, 2023, after which he had 30 days to either sign the bill into … Continue Reading

New York Governor Zeroes in on Employee Leave and Benefits, Wage Payment Violations, and More in Proposed FY25 Executive Budget

On January 17, 2024, New York Governor Kathy Hochul released the proposed Executive Budget for fiscal year 2025. The Budget includes appropriation bills and other legislation required to carry out budgetary recommendations for the coming fiscal year.  This includes a number of proposals that would impact New York employers and employees alike, outlined below. Paid … Continue Reading

New York State Employers Must Provide Updated Record of Employment to Separating Employees (and Beyond)

New York State employers are reminded that, under an expansion of the law that took effect in late 2023, they are required to provide all separating employees with an updated Record of Employment (Form IA 12.3) for purposes of state Unemployment Insurance benefits. Specifically, NY employers are required to provide the updated form to all … Continue Reading

New York State Issues Updated Minimum Wage Poster

The New York State Department of Labor has issued the updated minimum wage poster for “Miscellaneous Industry” employees for 2024.  The update covers all industries other than hospitality, farmworkers, and building service.  The poster outlines the regional minimum hourly rates based on an employee’s work location.  NY employers are required to display the poster in … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Deepens Circuit Split Over Causation Standard for FMLA Retaliation Claims

On December 13, 2023, an Eleventh Circuit panel firmly established “but-for” causation as the Circuit’s causation standard for Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) retaliation claims. Courts across the nation have adopted different standards, with the Eleventh Circuit decision only further deepening the circuit split on the topic. Background In Lapham v. Walgreen Co., No. … Continue Reading

“Workers’ Bill of Rights” Notice and Posting Requirement on the Horizon for New York City Employers

Beginning in July 2024, New York City employers will be required to distribute information regarding a “workers’ bill of rights” that will be created via collaboration across a number of City agencies. The NYC Council approved a bill (which was returned unsigned by the Mayor, resulting in the bill automatically becoming law) that will require … Continue Reading

Reminder for NYC Employers: Prohibition on Discrimination Based on Height and Weight Is Now In Effect

Effective November 26, 2023, the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) is amended to extend anti-discrimination protection based on height and weight. As previously reported, the amendment prohibits discrimination in employment, housing and access based on an individual’s height or weight. For employers covered by the NYCHRL, the law now prohibits, among other things, … Continue Reading

Texas Bans COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates for Employees and Contractors

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has signed into law SB 7, which bans private employers of any size from imposing or enforcing COVID-19 vaccine mandates as a condition of employment.  The law will take effect on February 6, 2024. Specifically, under the law, a covered employer will not be permitted to: adopt or enforce a mandate … Continue Reading

EEOC Releases Proposed Workplace Harassment Guidelines After Six Year Delay

On October 2, 2023, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) published long-anticipated proposed guidance related to workplace harassment. If adopted by the EEOC, the enforcement guidance would supersede four existing EEOC guidance documents issued during the 1990s, as well as a section of the EEOC Compliance Manual on harassment. Members of the public have … Continue Reading

New York Issues Updates to Paid Family Leave Benefit and Contribution Rates for 2024

New York State has issued updates to the NY Paid Family Leave Law (“NYPFL”) for 2024.  The updates increase the maximum weekly benefit available to employees, as well as reduce the overall contribution employees make toward NYPFL benefits. As a reminder, the NYPFL provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of partially paid leave … Continue Reading

New York City Adopts Final Rule Regarding Amendments to the Earned Safe and Sick Time Act

On September 15, 2023, the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (“DCWP”) published a Final Rule adopting amendments to portions of the city’s Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (“ESSTA”).  Employers will have until October 15, 2023 to update their safe and sick leave policies and come into compliance with the Final … Continue Reading

New York State Department of Labor Issues Proposed Regulations on Salary Transparency Law

On September 13, 2023, the New York State Department of Labor published proposed regulations on the state’s salary transparency statute that took effect on September 17, 2023. As we previously reported, the statute applies to covered employers who post a job, promotion, or transfer opportunity that can or will be performed, at least in part, … Continue Reading

EEOC Releases 2022-26 Strategic Plan Highlighting Agency Priorities Regarding Employment Discrimination

On August 22, 2023, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) unveiled its four-year Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2022-2026 that it will use as a framework to advance its goals of preventing and remedying employment discrimination. Under the Government Performance and Results Act Modernization Act, agencies like the EEOC must develop and post a strategic … Continue Reading

EEOC Releases New Guidance on Accommodating Visually-Impaired Employees under the Americans with Disabilities Act

On July 26, 2023, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a technical assistance document titled “Visual Disabilities in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act.” This guidance explains how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to job applicants and employees with visual disabilities. The new guidance is part of a Q & … Continue Reading

Maine Enacts Expansive Paid Family and Medical Leave Law

Maine has become the latest state to enact a paid family and medical leave law. The law (as amended prior to enactment), which will cover all employers with one or more employees working in Maine, establishes a state-managed program whereby employers and employees will contribute to a paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Fund (the … Continue Reading

Proposed Regulations Issued for New Jersey Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights Law

As previously reported, the New Jersey Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights Law (the “Law”) took full effect on August 5, 2023. In light of this, the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development (the “Department”) has proposed new rules to implement the Law. Below are some highlights of the proposed regulations that temporary help … Continue Reading

Court Rejects Attempt to Enjoin New Jersey Temporary Worker Law From Taking Effect

A District of New Jersey court has rejected an attempt by staffing agency industry groups to enjoin the majority of the provisions of the New Jersey Temporary Workers’ Bill Of Rights Law from taking effect.  The denial by the court means that the bulk of the law’s provisions are set to take effect as scheduled … Continue Reading

DHS Rule Will Permit Remote I-9 Authorizations on a Permanent Basis

***UPDATE: The new edition of the Form I-9 has been released and can be found here.*** The United States Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) has issued a final rule that will permit certain employers to remotely verify I-9 employment authorization documents on a permanent basis beginning August 1, 2023. Historically, employers, or their “authorized representatives,” … Continue Reading

Four Things You May Not Know About … the Family and Medical Leave Act

Welcome to the first in a series of blogs examining often overlooked or misunderstood provisions of common employment law topics.  Today we will be covering four pitfalls that employers may inadvertently encounter when navigating the federal Family & Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). The FMLA applies, with limited exception, to employers with 50 or more employees … Continue Reading

Colorado Amends Job Posting Notice Requirements Under Equal Pay for Equal Work Act

On June 5, 2023, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed the Ensure Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (the “Amended Act”) amending the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act. The Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, which took effect on January 1, 2021, requires employers to make reasonable efforts to provide covered employees with certain notice … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Issues Updated FLSA and FMLA Posters

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has released updated posters regarding the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  Employers covered by these laws are required to display copies of the posters in a conspicuous place where employees and applicants for employment can see them. The FLSA Minimum Wage … Continue Reading

EEOC Issues Updated “Capstone” Guidance on COVID-19 After Declaration of End of Public Health Emergency

On May 15, 2023, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) released updates to its “technical assistance” on COVID-19-related discrimination concerns in the workplace. The updated guidelines come in response to President Biden recently signing legislation that ended the COVID-19 National Emergency. EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows called this installment of “the capstone to our comprehensive … Continue Reading

UPDATED: New York City Council Approves Ordinance Prohibiting Discrimination Based on a Person’s Height or Weight

***UPDATED: Mayor Adams signed the ordinance into law on May 26, 2023.  The law takes effect on November 22, 2023.*** The New York City Council has approved an ordinance that, if enacted, would amend the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) to prohibit discrimination in employment, housing and access to public accommodation based on … Continue Reading

Employers Face New Reporting Obligations and Other Changes Under New Jersey Unemployment Compensation Law

Effective July 31, 2023, pursuant to amendments signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy, several changes will impact employer compliance with the New Jersey Unemployment Compensation law.  The increased penalties associated with these changes highlights the importance of ensuring compliance. First, there will be new reporting obligations upon the separation of an NJ employee. Existing … Continue Reading
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