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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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 poised 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

Westchester County, New York Enacts Paid Sick Leave Law

Westchester County, NY has become the latest jurisdiction to enact a law providing eligible employees with paid leave for their own medical needs, those of a family member, or other covered reasons. The Ordinance will take effect on March 30, 2019. Covered Employees and Accrual of Sick Leave Similar to the New York City Earned … Continue Reading

New York State Releases Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Videos

As we have previously reported, New York State has recently enacted several significant measures regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. Effective October 9, 2018, all New York State employers are required to adopt written sexual harassment prevention policies and institute annual anti-harassment training for employees. According to the final guidance issued by the State, all … Continue Reading

NYC Council Passes Bills Expanding Lactation Room Requirements for Employers

The New York City Council recently passed two bills that would amend the NYC Human Rights Law to expand the requirements of employers with four or more employees to provide lactation space for breastfeeding employees.  The bills have been sent to Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is expected to sign them, for consideration.  If enacted, … Continue Reading

Mandatory Employee Notice Issued for New Jersey Earned Sick Leave Law

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (the “Department”) has issued a mandatory employee notice regarding the NJ Earned Sick Leave Law, which goes into effect on October 29, 2018.  As we have previously reported, the Law will require employers to provide eligible employees with paid leave for their own medical needs, those … Continue Reading

New York City “Cooperative Dialogue” Law for Employees Seeking Reasonable Accommodation Takes Effect October 15

New York City’s new law requiring employers to engage in a “cooperative dialogue” with employees requesting reasonable accommodation and provide a written determination at the end of the cooperative dialogue process takes effect on October 15, 2018. As we have previously reported, while the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) has long required that … Continue Reading

[Podcast]: New York State Anti-Harassment Law

In this episode of The Proskauer Brief, partner Evandro Gigante and associate Laura Fant discuss recent amendments to New York State law prohibiting sexual harassment.  The law will require employers to distribute policies prohibiting sexual harassment in the work place and implement annual training on sexual harassment.  These policies, which much be distributed by October 9, 2018, … Continue Reading

New York State Issues Final Guidance on Sexual Harassment Policy and Training Requirements In Advance of October 9 Effective Date

As we have previously reported,  New York State has enacted several significant measures regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. Effective October 9, 2018, all New York State employers are required to adopt written sexual harassment prevention policies and institute annual anti-harassment training for employees (see below for more details on specific requirements and deadlines).  After … Continue Reading

Proposed Rules Issued for New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development has issued proposed rules for the recently enacted New Jersey paid sick leave act (the “Act”), which will take effect on October 29, 2018. The proposed rules will be subject to a 60-day public comment period. As we have previously reported, the Act will require employers … Continue Reading

Illinois Expands Workplace Protections for Breastfeeding Employees

Governor Bruce Rauner has signed into law a bill that expands protections for employees needing to express breast milk in the workplace.  The law amends the preexisting Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act (the “Act”) in several significant ways—most notably that break time provided for the expression of milk “may not reduce an employee’s compensation” … Continue Reading

New York State Releases Draft Anti-Sexual Harassment Training and Policy Models for Public Comment

As we have previously reported, pursuant to provisions of the state budget signed into law this past April, effective October 9, 2018, all New York State employers will be required to adopt written sexual harassment prevention policies and institute annual anti-harassment training for employees. To that end, New York State has just launched a new … Continue Reading

San Antonio, Texas Enacts Paid Sick Leave Law … But Will It Live to Go Into Effect?

San Antonio, Texas has become the latest jurisdiction to enact a law providing eligible employees with paid leave for their own medical needs, those of family members, and for other covered reasons.  The new Ordinance is scheduled to take effect on August 1, 2019 for employers with more than five employees, and on August 1, … Continue Reading

NYC Commission on Human Rights Issues Proposed Rules Relating to Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Expression

The New York City Commission on Human Rights (the “Commission”) has issued a Notice of Public Hearing and Opportunity to Comment on proposed rules to establish certain definitions and clarify the scope of protections against discrimination with respect to gender identity or expression under the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”).  The proposed definitions … Continue Reading

NYC Commission on Human Rights Issues Mandatory Anti-Sexual Harassment Poster and Employee Information Sheet

The New York City Commission on Human Rights (the “Commission”) has issued a mandatory notice posting and information sheet for distribution to employees pursuant to the recently enacted Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act (the “Act”). As we have previously reported, the Act, which was signed into law by Mayor Bill de Blasio on May … Continue Reading
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