Law and the Workplace
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Laura Fant

Special Employment Law Counsel

As a special employment law counsel in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-administrative leader of the Counseling, Training & Pay Equity Practice Group, Laura Fant frequently counsels on a wide variety of employment matters, including 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 regularly drafts and advises on implementation and enforcement of employment and separation agreements, employee handbooks and company policies, as well as provides training on topics such as discrimination and harassment in the workplace, performance management, 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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EEOC Releases Updated Guidance on ADA Requirements for Individuals with Hearing Disabilities in the Workplace

Key Takeaways Individuals with a variety of hearing conditions may have disabilities covered by the ADA. Pre-job offer disability-related questions can violate the ADA, but certain questions regarding the ability of a candidate to perform the essential functions of the role may be permissible. Employers have a duty to provide accommodations for job applicants and … Continue Reading

New York State Releases Proposed Changes to Model Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy

On January 12, 2023 the New York State Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued an updated Proposed Sexual Harassment Prevention Model Policy which, among other things, addresses remote work, gender identity and bystander intervention methods.  The public has 30 days (until February 11) to comment on the proposed revisions prior to a final version being adopted. … Continue Reading

Employers, Are Your Leave Policies Ready to Ring in 2023?

With the arrival of the new year comes the effective date of many new leave laws (and expansion of existing leave laws) across the United States. Below we summarize family and sick leave laws that will take effect across various states in 2023. California California employers will see two main changes to leave laws in … Continue Reading

NYC Council Considering Proposal To Significantly Limit At-Will Employment and Electronic Monitoring of Employees

A proposed ordinance has been introduced before the New York City Council to generally prohibit private employers from terminating employees without “just cause” or a “bona fide economic reason.”  If enacted, this proposal effectively eliminates the longstanding principle of at-will employment in New York City. The proposed ordinance also would limit the use of electronic … Continue Reading

Looking Ahead to 2023: Pay Transparency Developments

As we previously reported, as of November 1, 2022, New York City’s salary transparency law requires covered employers who advertise or post a job, promotion, or transfer opportunity for a role that can or will be performed, at least in part, in NYC to disclose in such advertisement of posting the minimum and maximum annual … Continue Reading

Federal Law Prohibiting Pre-Dispute Arbitration of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Claims Not Retroactive, New Jersey Court Confirms

A new federal law invalidating pre-dispute arbitration agreements for sexual harassment and sexual assault claims does not apply retroactively, a New Jersey appeals court recently confirmed. In Zuluaga v. Altice USA (N.J. App. Div. Nov. 29, 2022), the plaintiff had signed an arbitration agreement waiving her right to bring employment-related disputes in court when she … Continue Reading

UPDATED: President Biden Signs Bill Limiting Pre-dispute Nondisclosure Agreements in Sexual Harassment and Assault Disputes

***UPDATE: On December 7, 2022, President Biden signed the Speak Out Act into law.  The law takes effect immediately.*** In a bipartisan 315-109 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives has approved a bill that would render pre-dispute nondisclosure and nondisparagement clauses judicially unenforceable with respect to sexual assault or sexual harassment disputes.  The bill previously … Continue Reading

Westchester County, NY Pay Transparency Law Takes Effect

Effective November 6, 2022, the Westchester County (NY) Human Rights Law is amended to require that employers with at least four employees that are posting job, transfer or promotion opportunities which “are required to be performed, in whole or in part, in Westchester County, whether from an office, in the field, or remotely”** state the … Continue Reading

EEOC Releases Updated Workplace Discrimination Poster

On October 19, 2022, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released an updated “Know Your Rights: Workplace Discrimination is Illegal” poster that covered employers under federal law are required to prominently display in the workplace.  The poster summarizes protections under various anti-discrimination laws that the EEOC enforces, such as Title VII, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and … Continue Reading

Texas District Court Holds EEOC Guidance on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination Unlawful

On October 1, 2022, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas held that Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) guidance addressing sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in the workplace is unlawful. The case is State of Texas v. EEOC, Case No. 2:21-cv-00194-Z. Background As we previously reported, on June 15, 2020, … Continue Reading

Washington, D.C. to Expand Antidiscrimination Protections to Include Independent Contractors and Homeless Individuals

Effective October 1, 2022, an amendment to the District of Columbia’s Human Rights Act (“the Act”) will expand the universe of workers protected under the Act, as well as codify workplace harassment as an unlawful discriminatory practice. First, the amendment expands the Act’s definition of a protected “employee” to now also include individuals “working or … Continue Reading

UPDATE: New York City’s Pay Transparency Law Is Here – Are You Ready?

New York City’s pay transparency law, which requires most New York City employers to disclose salary ranges in their job postings, took effect on November 1, 2022. As we previously reported, the new law amends the New York City Human Rights Law to require covered employers who post a job, promotion, or transfer opportunity for … Continue Reading

New York City to End Private Employee COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has announced that the City’s private employee COVID-19 vaccine mandate will be lifted effective November 1, 2022. As we previously reported, the NYC mandate requires all private workers in New York City who perform in-person work or interact with the public to show proof they have received at least … Continue Reading

D.C. Paid Leave Law Changes Go Into Effect October 1, 2022

This past July, the Council of the District of Columbia amended its statutory requirements for Universal Paid Leave through the Universal Paid Leave Emergency Amendment Act of 2022 (the “Act”). The amendments made to the D.C. paid leave program by the Act, among other things, increase the maximum duration of paid leave benefits, decrease the … Continue Reading

New York Extends Paid Leave for COVID Vaccinations for an Additional Year

New York Governor Kathy Hochul has signed into law a bill extending the State’s COVID vaccine paid leave law for an additional year, to December 31, 2023. As we previously reported, the law requires New York employers to provide employees with “a sufficient period of time, not to exceed four hours” of paid leave per … Continue Reading

EEOC Sanctions Employer for GINA Violations Relating to Collection of Employees’ Family Members’ COVID Test Results

On July 6, 2022, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced it has entered into a conciliation agreement with a Florida-based medical practice for violations of the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA) arising out of the practice’s collection of employees’ family members’ COVID-19 testing results. In a press release announcing the agreement, the EEOC stated … Continue Reading

New York State Legislature Approves Statutory Protections for Independent Contractors

In 2016, New York City enacted the Freelance Isn’t Free Act, a local law establishing protections for certain freelance workers providing services for entities located in the City. Earlier this month, the New York State Legislature approved a bill providing similar protections to freelance workers throughout the state. The New York State Freelance Isn’t Free … Continue Reading

Washington, D.C. Bill Would Limit Employers’ Ability to Discipline Based on Marijuana Testing

On June 7, 2022, the Council of the District of Columbia passed the Cannabis Employment Protections Act of 2022 (the “Bill”).  If signed into law by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, the Bill would prohibit employers, with certain exceptions, from  “refus[ing] to hire, terminat[ing] from employment, suspend[ing], fail[ing] to promote, demot[ing], or penalize[ing] an individual” due … Continue Reading

UPDATED: New York State Enacts Law Requiring Wage Ranges in Job Postings

***UPDATE: Governor Kathy Hochul signed the bill into law on December 21, 2022.  The law takes effect on September 17, 2023.*** The New York State Legislature has passed Senate Bill S9427, which will require employers with four or more employees to include in job postings – including those for promotion or transfer opportunities – the … Continue Reading

Delaware Becomes Latest State to Institute Paid Family and Medical Leave

On May 10, 2022, Delaware Governor John Carey signed into law a bill that will require private employers with ten or more employees in Delaware to provide up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave beginning in January 2026, one year after payroll tax deductions to fund the program begin on January 1, … Continue Reading

New York State to Fund Bonuses for Certain Healthcare Workers as Part of State Budget

As part of the Fiscal Year 2023 New York state Executive Budget legislation, $1.2 billion in funding has been allocated for the payment of bonuses for certain “frontline” healthcare workers. With the stated goals to “recruit, retain, and reward health care and mental hygiene workers,” the provision – located within Part D of the Health … Continue Reading

UPDATED: NYC Council Approves Salary Disclosure Law Amendment to Delay Effective Date

***UPDATE: Mayor Adams signed the bill into law on May 12, 2022.  It takes effect immediately.*** The NYC Council has approved a bill to amend the pending New York City pay transparency law that will require employers to disclose salary ranges in job postings.  The bill amends several aspects of the law, including, notably, extending … Continue Reading
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