Law and the Workplace

Category Archives: Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation

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

Seal of the District of ColumbiaEffective 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

New York City’s Pay Transparency Law Takes Effect in One Month – Are You Ready?

Paying WagesNew York City’s pay transparency law, which will require most New York City employers to disclose salary ranges in their job postings, takes effect 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 Massachusetts Law Creates Expanded Definition of Racial Discrimination in Employment and Other Areas to Encompass “Natural or Protective Hairstyles”

On July 26, 2022, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair Act (“CROWN Act”) into law, making Massachusetts the 18th state to enact legislation aimed at protecting against discrimination on the basis of hairstyles that are historically associated with race. The CROWN Act will go into effect … Continue Reading

New York State’s Workplace Sexual Harassment Complaint Hotline is Live

On July 19, 2022, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul announced the launch of the state’s confidential hotline for complaints of workplace sexual harassment. As we previously reported, S812A (enacted in March 2022) establishes a toll-free confidential hotline, administered by the New York State Department of Human Rights (NYSDHR), “to provide individuals with complaints of workplace … 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

Chicago City Council Expands Sexual Harassment Laws

On April 27, 2022, the Chicago City Council passed Ordinance 2022-665 (the “Ordinance”) amending the Municipal Code to enhance the City’s prohibitions on sexual harassment in the workplace. The amendments include, among other things, modified definitions of “sexual orientation” and “sexual harassment,” a new written policy requirement for employers, increased sexual harassment prevention training requirements, … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of ADEA Claim Lacking Evidence of Age-Bias

On March 11, 2022, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed summary judgment, dismissing a Texas city employee’s claim that he had been unlawfully terminated from his job because of his age. The Fifth Circuit held that age discrimination comments must contain age-specific references, and a factfinder cannot infer age discrimination … Continue Reading

Washington State to Require Employers to Provide Salary Ranges and Other Compensation Information in Job Postings

Paying WagesOn March 30, 2022, Washington Governor Inslee signed into law a bill that will require employers to include a salary or pay range, as well as information about other compensation and benefits, in each job posting. The bill revises the existing state law that requires only that employers provide the minimum wage or salary for … Continue Reading

New York District Court Permanently Enjoins Reproductive Health Notice of Rights Requirement for Employee Handbooks

employee handbookA Northern District of New York court has permanently enjoined the statewide requirement that employers include a notice of workers’ rights and remedies in their employee handbooks regarding the prohibition on discrimination based on reproductive health care choices. The requirement, which took effect in November 2019, was part of a broader bill amending the New … Continue Reading

NYC Commission on Human Rights Issues Guidance on Salary Disclosure Law

The New York City Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR) has released a fact sheet providing some additional details and guidance regarding the upcoming salary disclosure law. As we previously reported, the new law will make it an unlawful discriminatory practice under the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) for a covered employer or its … Continue Reading

Bill Introduced to Amend (and Delay Effective Date of) NYC Salary Disclosure Law

Paying Wages***UPDATE: A revised version of this bill has been approved by the NYC Council.  Read more here.*** A bill has been introduced before the NYC Council that would amend the recently enacted law requiring employers to include salary ranges in job postings. As we previously reported, the new law will make it an unlawful discriminatory … Continue Reading

Sweeping Expansion of Protections Relating to Workplace Discrimination on the Horizon in New York State

A suite of bills aimed at further enhancing protections for both employees and independent contractors regarding discrimination, harassment and retaliation in the workplace are on the horizon in New York State.  Several of these bills, if ultimately enacted, would potentially lead to a groundbreaking shift in how employers approach settlement of discrimination, harassment and retaliation … Continue Reading

EEOC Releases New Guidance on COVID-related Caregiver Discrimination

On March 14, 2022, the EEOC released new guidance regarding caregiver discrimination and the COVID-19 pandemic, in light of many workplaces returning to in-person work. The new guidance supplements earlier guidance regarding the treatment of workers with caregiving responsibilities. The new guidance reiterates that while the status of being a caregiver is not a protected … Continue Reading

New York City Council Approves Bill Requiring Including Salary Ranges in Job Postings

Paying Wages***UPDATE: The bill was enacted into law on January 15, 2022 upon no action by the Mayor.  The law takes effect on May 15, 2022.*** The New York City Council has approved a bill that would require NYC employers with four or more employees to include in job postings – including those for promotion or … 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

Louisiana Enacts Workplace Protections for Employees Disabled Due to Pregnancy and Limits the Use of Criminal Background Checks in Hiring

Louisiana employers should be aware of two new laws which went into effect on August 1, 2021.  The first, Act 393, provides for reasonable accommodations of employees who become temporarily disabled due to certain pregnancy-related medical conditions.  It amends Louisiana Revised Statutes §§ 23:341 and 23:342 and enacts § 23:341.1, which apply to employers who … Continue Reading

EEOC Issues Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccines

On December 16, the EEOC issued updated guidance for employers in light of the Food and Drug Administration’s (“FDA”) recent authorization of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use.  Widespread vaccinations are largely perceived as critical in returning all employees to the workplace safely and resuming normal business operations.  As such, many employers have been grappling … Continue Reading

December 31, 2020 Deadline Looms for Illinois Employers to Conduct Sexual Harassment Training

As we have previously noted, effective January 1, 2020, the Illinois Human Rights Act requires Illinois employers to provide employees with sexual harassment prevention training by December 31, 2020, and on at least an annual basis thereafter.  Such training must comport with the minimum requirements established by the Illinois Department of Human Rights’ (“IDHR”) model … Continue Reading

[Podcast]: OFCCP Opens Hotline for Complaints of Race and Sex Stereotyping in Workplace Training

In this episode of The Proskauer Brief, partners Harris Mufson and Guy Brenner discuss the Trump administration’s recent Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping, which restricts the concepts that government contractors can include in their employee diversity and awareness training programs.  It also imposes certain penalties and sanctions, including debarment for failure to comply. Tune … Continue Reading

EEOC Updates Its COVID-19 Guidance (Again)

EEOC sealOn 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

EEOC Releases Guidance on Employee Opioid Use and the ADA

Pill BottleThe 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

Maryland Employers: Deadline Approaching to Submit Sexual Harassment Settlement Information

Quick Hit:  Maryland employers with 50 or more employees must submit information regarding sexual harassment settlements on or before July 1, 2020.  This information must be submitted using a portal on the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights’ (“the Commission”) website, which is available here. More Detail:  Maryland’s Disclosing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Act of … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Holds That Title VII Prohibits Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

In a 6-3 decision authored by Justice Gorsuch on June 15, 2020, the United States Supreme Court held that Title VII’s prohibition on discrimination “because of…sex” includes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Bostock v. Clayton County, No. 17-1618 (590 U.S. ___ (2020). In doing so, the Court made clear that … Continue Reading

UPDATE: Chicago City Council Introduces COVID-19 Anti-Retaliation Ordinance, Reflecting Growing Trend

The proposed Chicago COVID-19 Anti-Retaliation Ordinance (the “Ordinance”) that was the subject of our post on April 27, 2020, has now become law. The Ordinance prohibits Chicago employers from retaliating against employees for obeying a public health order requiring an employee to remain at home as a consequence of COVID-19.  This reflects a growing trend among … Continue Reading
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