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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Mandatory Severance Pay for Mass Layoffs Looms in New Jersey

UPDATE – on January 21, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy signed the bill into law.  It will take effect in 180 days (i.e., on July 19, 2020). The New Jersey Senate has passed a bill (S.3170) that would amend the New Jersey Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Loss Job Notification Act, more commonly referred to as the … Continue Reading

New York City Extends Human Rights Law Protections and Training Requirements to Freelancers and Independent Contractors

Effective January 11, 2020, the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) has been amended to expand protections under the law to freelancers and independent contractors.  Significantly, this includes the requirement that certain contractors now complete annual sexual harassment prevention training in the same manner as covered employees.  Contractors also are now eligible for reasonable … Continue Reading

Sweeping Changes Coming to Colorado Wage and Hour and Vacation Pay Rules

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (the “Department”) has published proposed regulations that would make significant changes to the state’s wage and hour laws. The proposed provisions, collectively termed the Colorado Overtime & Minimum Pay Standards Order (“COMPS Order”), would impact a broad range of subjects, including coverage under the wage and hour laws, … Continue Reading

Emerging Trend: ADA Does Not Cover Potential Future Disabilities

Heeding the adage “no one knows what the future may hold,” the Seventh, Eighth and Eleventh Circuits have uniformly refused to extend protections of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to employees with a perceived risk of a potential impairment. In each case, an employer either declined to hire an applicant or terminated an employee … Continue Reading

Westchester County, New York Issues Guidance and Mandatory Notices for Safe Time Leave Law

As we previously reported, effective October 30, 2019, Westchester County, NY employers are required to provide paid leave to employees who are victims of domestic violence or human trafficking (“safe time”). Leave under the new ordinance will be in addition to paid time off already required to be provided to employees under the Westchester County … Continue Reading

New York State Issues Additional Guidance Following Recent Expansion of Workplace Anti-Discrimination Protections

As we previously reported, on August 12, 2019, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law significant legislation to expand workplace anti-discrimination protections. The State has now updated its FAQs to provide additional guidance on these new requirements. There are several key points now included in the guidance that provide some clarity on employers’ … Continue Reading

Voting and Other Political Activities: Is Your Workplace Ready for Election Day?

Another Election Day is just around the corner. And with nearly every state having at least one law addressing voting leave and/or other political-related activities, it can be easy to get tripped up in the details. In addition, some states, including New York, have recently updated their employee voting laws. The following is an overview … Continue Reading

NYC Commission on Human Rights Issues Enforcement Guidance on National Origin and Immigration Status Discrimination

The New York City Commission on Human Rights has issued new enforcement guidance on discrimination based on actual or perceived national origin or immigration status in employment, as well as in housing and public accommodations.  While enforcement guidance does not have the same force of law as a statute or formal regulations, it provides significant … Continue Reading

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

UPDATE – On December 31, 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed the bill; however, he indicated that he intends to propose replacement legislation in 2020 to allow victims of wage theft to use “any and all assets, even personal assets, of the bad actor” to satisfy a judgement. The New York state legislature has passed a bill … 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

**UPDATE: Governor Cuomo signed both S.6577 and S.6594 into law on August 12, 2019. 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 … 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
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