Law and the Workplace

Category Archives: Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation

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Eighth Circuit Holds Law Firm Partner Not “Employee” Covered by ADEA

On December 3, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed the decision of the District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri holding that a former equity partner at a law firm was not an “employee” covered by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”). Joseph S. von Kaenel was an … Continue Reading

[Podcast]: California’s Legislative Response to the #MeToo Movement

In this episode of The Proskauer Brief, partners Tony Oncidi and Kate Gold discuss California’s most recent legislative response to the #MeToo movement.  These developments include new restrictions on confidentiality and arbitration as well as the extension of the statute of limitations applicable to harassment, discrimination and retaliation claims.  So be sure to tune in as Tony and Kate … Continue Reading

New York State Enacts Law to Protect Employees’ Reproductive Health Decisions

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed into law a bill which, effective immediately, prohibits employers from accessing information on employees’ or dependents’ reproductive health without prior consent. Specifically, the new law prohibits an employer from “accessing an employee’s personal information regarding the employee’s or the employee’s dependent’s reproductive health decision making, including but not … 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

Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities Issues Guidance on Sexual Harassment Training and Notice Requirements

As we previously reported, Connecticut has enacted the Time’s Up Act (the “Act”), which expanded existing sexual harassment training and notice requirements on employers. Under the new law, employers with three or more employees must provide two hours of interactive sexual harassment training to all existing employees by October 1, 2020, and to all new … 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?

Hand dropping ballot into boxAnother 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

NYC Commission on Human RightsThe 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

[Podcast]: U.K. Law for U.S. Employers

In this episode of The Proskauer Brief, New York partner Howard Robbins and London partner Dan Ornstein discuss how U.K. laws affect U.S. employers. As if dealing with U.S. employment laws are not difficult enough, international businesses also have to face several challenges of local requirements.  Tune in as we discuss many U.K. laws on discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, … Continue Reading

[Podcast]: New York State Expanded Protections Against Workplace Harassment

In this episode of The Proskauer Brief, partner Evandro Gigante and associate Arielle Kobetz discuss the recent developments out of New York State, that will significantly expand workplace anti-discrimination protections.  Among other things, recent amendments to New York law will lower the burden on plaintiffs seeking to prove claims of workplace harassment under the Human … Continue Reading

New York State to Require Reasonable Accommodation for Victims of Domestic Violence

Leave of absence formNew 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

Substantial Changes Ahead for Illinois Employers in 2020 Relating to Sexual Harassment Training, Mandatory Arbitration Agreements, and More

Seal of the State of IllinoisOn August 9, 2019, Governor Pritzker signed into law Public Act 101-0221 (the “Act”), which enhances protections against workplace sexual harassment and discrimination.  The Act creates new laws and amends several existing ones, including the Illinois Human Rights Act (“IHRA”), as summarized below: NEW LAWS The Workplace Transparency Act (“WTA”).  The Workplace Transparency Act will … Continue Reading

New York State Enacts Law Prohibiting Religious Discrimination Based on Appearance

On the heels of enacting a law to prohibit hairstyle discrimination, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed into law a bill that amends the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) to expressly prohibit employment discrimination based on attire, clothing, or facial hair worn as a form of religious observance. Specifically, the new law … 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 Expands Medical Marijuana Protections

On July 2, 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law the Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act (the “Act”), which amends the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act (“CUMMA”) to provide greater clarity on the legal protections for both employers and employees. CUMMA, which was signed into law on January 18th, … 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

Rock Beats Scissor: Federal Law Cuts Through New York State’s Attempt to Prohibit Mandatory Arbitration of Sexual Harassment Claims

Proponents of mandatory arbitration in New York can collectively let out a sigh of relief as a federal court judge has weighed in on the question of whether New York State’s law prohibiting mandatory arbitration of sexual harassment claims (CPLR § 7515), effective July 11, 2018, is preempted by federal law. The short answer, as … 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

The Clock Is Ticking: Less Than Three Months Until the NYS Deadline for Mandatory Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

As we find ourselves in the midst of summer, employers in New York should keep an eye on the upcoming October 9th deadline for providing anti-harassment training to all employees. As we previously reported, effective October 9, 2018, all New York State employers are required to adopt written sexual harassment prevention policies and institute annual … Continue Reading

Colorado Enacts Laws Regarding Pay Equity, Salary History and Criminal Background Inquiries

The Colorado legislature has been quite active in recent weeks, passing several new employment laws, many of which reflect nationwide trends. Among other things, the new laws address discriminatory pay disparities, salary history inquiries and criminal background checks. Pay Disparity Effective January 1, 2021, the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (the “Act”) will prohibit … Continue Reading

Connecticut Expands Sexual Harassment Training and Notice Requirements

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont recently signed into law the Time’s Up Act (the “Act”), which amends existing state law to impose greater sexual harassment training and notice requirements on employers. Training Requirements Currently, Connecticut law requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide two hours of sexual harassment training to all supervisory employees. While … 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
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