Law and the Workplace
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Laura Fant

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 Enacts Phone, Email, and Internet Monitoring Notice Law for Private Employers

New York Governor Kathy Hocul has signed into law a bill that will require employers to provide notice to employees of electronic monitoring of telephone, email, and internet access and usage. The law, which takes effect on May 7, 2022, will require all private employers, regardless of size, with a place of business in New … Continue Reading

Designation of COVID-19 Under New York HERO Act Extended Once Again

On October 31, 2021, the New York State Commissioner of Health continued the designation of COVID-19 as a “highly contagious communicable disease” pursuant to the HERO Act until December 15, 2021.  This means that New York employers must continue to keep in effect the airborne infectious disease prevention plans that they have adopted related to … Continue Reading

New York State to Require Certain Private Employers to Automatically Enroll Employees in State Retirement Program

New York Governor Kathy Hochul has signed into law a bill that will require certain private employers in the state to automatically enroll their employees in a state-administered retirement savings plan if the employer does not offer its own qualified retirement plan.  The law took effect immediately upon signing on October 21, 2021, though employers … Continue Reading

New York Department of Labor Issues Guidance on Cannabis and the Workplace

The New York State Department of Labor (“NYDOL”) has issued FAQ guidance addressing common questions regarding recreational cannabis use by employees in and outside of the workplace in light of the enactment earlier this year of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (“MRTA”). The MRTA legalized the use of recreational marijuana for individuals ages 21 … Continue Reading

Texas Governor Issues Executive Order Aimed at Prohibiting Vaccine Mandates for Private Employers

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has issued an Executive Order (GA-40) prohibiting the enforcement of COVID-19 vaccine mandates in Texas against employees and customers of private businesses who object on certain bases, including “personal conscience.” Effective immediately, GA-40 states: “No entity in Texas can compel receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine by any individual, including an employee … Continue Reading

D.C. Paid Leave Program Amended to Expand Benefits

Significant changes have arrived for paid medical, parental, and family care leave in Washington, D.C following the recent enactment of the Universal Paid Leave Emergency Amendment Act of 2021 (“PLEAA”).  Effective October 1, 2021 (with a minor exception for expanded personal medical leave, discussed below), the PLEAA amends the D.C. Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of … Continue Reading

New York State Issues Updated Model Workplace Safety Plans and FAQ Guidance Under the HERO Act

***UPDATE: On September 30, 2021, the New York State Department of Labor released updated FAQs regarding the HERO Act. Our blog post on this development is available here.*** On September 23, 2021, New York State issued updated model airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plans for employer use pursuant to the HERO Act. As we previously … Continue Reading

New York State Announces COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate for Healthcare Workers

***UPDATE: On September 14, 2021, a New York district court issued an order temporarily blocking New York State from enforcing the COVID-19 vaccine mandate “to the extent it categorically requires health care employers to deny or revoke religious exemptions from COVID-19 vaccination mandates.”  The temporary restraining order is currently in effect through October 12, 2021.  … Continue Reading

Additional Guidance Issued on NYC COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate for Workers and Patrons of Indoor Dining, Fitness and Entertainment Venues

As we previously reported, New York City is now mandating COVID-19 vaccination for workers and patrons of indoor dining, indoor fitness, and indoor entertainment venues and performances.  Mayor Bill de Blasio has issued an Executive Order and additional guidance has been released on the mandate – termed the “Key to NYC” – which takes effect … Continue Reading

NYC Commission on Human Rights Issues Updated Enforcement Guidance on Consideration of Criminal History in Hiring and Employment

The New York City Commission on Human Rights (the “Commission”) has issued updated legal enforcement guidance on the NYC Fair Chance Act (“FCA”) and employers’ consideration of criminal history in hiring and during employment. The updated guidance, which does not have the force of law but which provides significant insight into the Commission’s interpretation of … Continue Reading

New York City to Mandate COVID-19 Vaccination for Workers and Patrons of Indoor Dining, Fitness and Entertainment Venues

UPDATE: An Executive Order and additional guidance on this mandate has been released by the City of New York.  More information can be found in our post here. Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that New York City will become the first major city in the United States to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for workers and … Continue Reading

New York Releases Guidance and FAQs on Statewide Paid Sick Leave Law

New York State has released an informal guidance page, including frequently asked questions, regarding the newly enacted statewide paid sick leave law, which took effect on September 30, 2020. As we have previously reported, the law requires employers with New York employees to provide a certain amount of paid or unpaid sick leave to be … Continue Reading

Election Season and the Workplace, Part 2: Political Leave Laws

With Election Day just around the corner, we are highlighting some of the issues facing employers in a series of posts on election-related issues. In our first installment, we looked at employee protections around political speech and activity both in and outside the workplace. In this second installment, we’ll examine employees’ rights to take time … Continue Reading

Election Season and the Workplace, Part 1: Employee “Free Speech” and Political Activities

With Election Day just around the corner, we’ll be highlighting some of the issues facing employers in a two-part series on elections and the workplace. In this first installment, we’ll look at employee protections around political speech and activity both in and outside the workplace. In Part 2, we’ll address statutory leave entitlements for employees … Continue Reading

UPDATED: NYC Council Passes Bill to Align ESSTA with New York State Paid Sick Leave Law

*** UPDATE: Mayor de Blasio signed the bill into law on September 28, and it took effect on September 30, 2020, except as otherwise set forth below.  Additionally, the NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection has announced that employers now have until January 1, 2021 to comply with the pay statement reporting requirements discussed below … Continue Reading

DOL Updates FFCRA Regulations in Light of Recent SDNY Decision

On September 11, 2020 the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued revised Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) regulations in response to a federal court decision striking down certain portions of its previous regulations. The FFCRA is a federal law that requires certain employers to provide: (1) two weeks of paid sick leave to employees … Continue Reading

EEOC Updates Its COVID-19 Guidance (Again)

On September 8, 2020, the EEOC released an updated technical assistance document addressing COVID-19 and the federal anti-discrimination laws enforced by the agency, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Our previous posts about the EEOC’s prior COVID-19 guidance are available here and here. The updated guidance includes 18 new questions and answers, most of … Continue Reading

CDC Updates Guidance on Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic

On August 21, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) updated its guidance on Travel during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Previously, the guidance recommended that travelers self-quarantine for 14 days after: (1) all international travel, and (2) domestic travel to areas with a high concentration of COVID-19 cases. The guidance now recommends that travelers … Continue Reading

SDNY Decision Strikes Down Portions of DOL’s FFCRA Regulations

On August 3, Judge Paul Oetken of the Southern District of New York issued a decision invalidating various portions of the Department of Labor’s rules implementing the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The FFCRA is the federal law that provides emergency relief and support to employees who need to take leave from work … Continue Reading

EEOC Releases Guidance on Employee Opioid Use and the ADA

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has released new informal guidance directed at employees regarding use of opioids and employer obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The EEOC also released a companion document for health care providers on helping patients who have used opioids to remain employed. The guidance defines “opioids” to include … Continue Reading

DOL Releases Additional COVID-19 Guidance Related to FFCRA, FMLA and FLSA

As we have previously reported, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) continues to update its COVID-19 guidance. Most recently, on July 20, 2020, the DOL issued additional Q and A guidance related to COVID-19 and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Families First Coronavirus Response … Continue Reading

Colorado Governor Signs Paid Sick Leave Act into Law

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (“the Act”) into law. Beginning next year (or later for small employers), the Act will require employers in Colorado to provide employees with up to six paid sick days a year – and more if there is a public health … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Labor Releases New FMLA Forms and Requests Public Input on Existing Regulations

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) has released new and significantly revised versions of its model notice of rights, certification, and designation forms under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). According to a press release by the DOL, the new forms, which are now currently in effect and can be found on the … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Issues Bulletin on FFCRA Leave in Light of Summer Camp and Program Closures

On June 26, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) issued Field Assistance Bulletin (“FAB”) No. 2020-4, providing guidance on when an employee may take leave pursuant to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) to care for their child whose summer camp, summer enrichment program, or other summer program is … Continue Reading
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