Law and the Workplace

Category Archives: Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation

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Time to Act For Massachusetts Employers: Are You Prepared for the Amended Equal Pay Act?

Massachusetts is soon to join the mounting crusade against the gender pay gap as the effective date of Massachusetts’ amended Equal Pay Act – July 1, 2018 – draws near.  In August 2016, Governor Charlie Baker passed an amendment to the state’s equal pay law, aimed at strengthening prohibitions on gender discrimination in the payment … Continue Reading

Chicago Passes Ordinance Requiring Hotels to Provide “Panic Buttons” To Certain Employees

On October 11, 2017, the Chicago City Council passed the Hotel Workers Sexual Harassment Ordinance (the “Ordinance”), which requires Chicago hotels to develop anti-sexual harassment policies and provide employees who work alone in hotel rooms with panic buttons. Employers who fail to comply with these requirements or retaliate against employees for invoking the Ordinance’s protections … Continue Reading

California Enacts Statewide Law Restricting Inquiries into Applicants’ Salary History

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a statewide salary history inquiry law that will largely restrict employers in the state from seeking and relying upon salary history information from applicants during the hiring process. The law, which will go into effect on January 1, 2018 and will apply to all private and public … Continue Reading

UPDATED: New York City Commission on Human Rights Publishes FAQ Guidance on NYC Salary History Law

NYC Commission on Human RightsOn the heels of its recently issued fact sheets, the NYC Commission on Human Rights (the “Commission”) has published a frequently asked questions page on the New York City salary history inquiry law, which goes into effect on October 31, 2017. The FAQs address a number of details about the law, which restricts the ability … Continue Reading

Fact Sheets for Employers and Applicants Issued on NYC Salary History Inquiry Law

NYC Commission on Human RightsAs the October 31, 2017 effective date for the New York City salary history inquiry law fast approaches, the NYC Commission on Human Rights (the “Commission”) has issued two new fact sheets addressing applicants’ rights, and employer responsibilities, under the new law.  The first fact sheet is addressed to job applicants, while the second fact … Continue Reading

7th Circuit Holds Long-Term Leave Is Not a Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA

Leave of absence formIn a recent decision in Severson v. Heartland Woodcraft, Inc. (Sept. 20, 2017), the Seventh Circuit affirmed a district court’s ruling that an employer did not violate the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to provide an employee with a long-term medical leave of absence.  Indeed, the court found that “a long-term leave of absence … Continue Reading

Illinois Governor Vetoes Bill That Would Prohibit Employer Inquiry Into Wage History

On August 25, 2017, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed a bill that would prohibit employers from asking applicants about their wage histories. The bill, known as the Illinois No Salary History Law, previously had been passed by the Illinois House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support (91-24 in the House and 35-18 in the Senate).  The … Continue Reading

New EEO-1 Form Put On Hold: Employers Have Until March 31, 2018 To Submit Prior Version Of EEO-1 Form

EEOC sealKey Points: The OMB has stayed the implementation of the new EEO-1 Form, which added compensation and hours worked components to the annual EEO-1 submission OMB’s decision was based in part on concerns about burdens the new form would place on employers and the questionable utility of the new information requirements Employers who must submit … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit: EEOC May Continue Investigation After Dismissal of Private Lawsuit

The Seventh Circuit recently concluded that the EEOC’s investigative powers do not end when a lawsuit related to the originating charge ends.  EEOC v. Union Pacific, No. 15-cv-3452 (Aug. 15, 2017). Background.  Two former railroad employees alleged race discrimination and retaliation in EEOC charges, asserting that they were not permitted to take an advancement test … Continue Reading

NYC Human Rights Law Amended to Prohibit Discrimination Against Uniformed Servicemembers and Veterans

Military Servicemember and American FlagNYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has signed into law an amendment to the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) adding current or prior service in the uniformed services as a protected class under the law.  The amendment will take effect on November 19, 2017. As we previously reported, the bill gives veterans and active … Continue Reading

Top Five Proactive Ways for Start-Ups to Avoid HR Nightmares

Unless you’ve been under a rock, the fact that many start-ups have recently found themselves on the wrong side of the litigation or threatened litigation “v.” should not surprise you. In fact, it is often the very things that make start-ups so appealing – their laid back culture, open floor plans, no dress code, lack … Continue Reading

What Is Going On With The Revised EEO-1 Form?  Acting EEOC Chair Provides Insight Into Its Status

EEOC sealAs loyal readers of our blog are aware, in February 2016, the EEOC released a rule to amend the Form EEO-1.  The new rule requires private employers (including federal contractors) with 100 or more employees to submit pay data with their EEO-1 reports.  Employers with fewer than 100 employees will still not need to file … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Becomes Law

On July 27, 2017 Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (“MPWFA”), a bill which had unanimously passed in both the House and Senate. As discussed previously, the MPWFA (formerly H. 3816) ensures that pregnant workers or workers with pregnancy-related conditions (such as nursing) receive reasonable accommodations and protection … Continue Reading

U.S. House Committee on Appropriations Votes to Defund Revised Form EEO-1 Requiring Disclosure of Pay Data

EEOC sealOn July 13, 2017, the House Committee on Appropriations signaled what could be a devastating blow to the future of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (“EEOC”) revised Form EEO-1.  As you may recall, in February 2016, the EEOC released a rule – which was later revised – to amend the Form EEO-1.  The new rule … Continue Reading

Oregon Expands Pay Equity Protections

Oregon recently enacted the Oregon Equal Pay Act of 2017 (H.B. 2005) (the “Act”). The Act broadly expands Oregon’s existing equal pay protections and imposes new restrictions on Oregon employers’ use of salary histories in recruiting employees and setting compensation. Key Elements of the Act: Currently, Oregon requires only equal pay between “the sexes.” Under … Continue Reading

[Podcast] The Proskauer Brief: Congressional Legislation Update

Which federal bills will become law? Proskauer partner Allan Bloom and associate Rachel Philion run through some of the key proposed congressional legislation in the pipeline that we are keeping our eyes on, and provide insight into the potential implications for employers if they pass. We also provide an update on developments from the U.S. Department of … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Permits Disability Discrimination Claims Based on Medical Marijuana Use

On July 17, 2017, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in Barbuto v. Advantage Sales & Marketing, LLC, that an employee using medical marijuana in treatment of a chronic illness may qualify for protection against disability discrimination under state law, even though the use of marijuana remains illegal under federal law. While the decision addresses … Continue Reading

Connecticut Expands Anti-Discrimination and Accommodation Protections for Pregnant Employees and Applicants

Earlier this month, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has signed into law “An Act Concerning Pregnant Women in the Workplace” (the “Act”), which enhances employment protections for pregnant employees and applicants under the state’s existing anti-discrimination law. The expanded protections amend the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (“CFEPA”) and will go into effect October 1, 2017. … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Senate Passes Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

The Massachusetts Senate has unanimously voted to pass “An Act Establishing the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act” (“MPWFA”) in an effort to make sure that pregnant and nursing employees receive the same protections under Mass. Gen. Laws Chapter 151B as do other protected classes of employees. The bill, which had previously unanimously passed in the … Continue Reading

New York Court of Appeals Clarifies Application of New York’s Criminal History Discrimination and “Aiding and Abetting” Provisions

In Griffin v. Sirva, Inc., the New York Court of Appeals held that while only “employers” may be liable for criminal conviction history discrimination under Section 296(15) of the New York State Human Rights Law (“NYSHRL”), a covered employer may extend beyond a worker’s direct employer to also include entities that exercise “order and control” … Continue Reading

Mayor Signs Into Law New York City Bill Restricting Employer Inquiries Into Applicants’ Salary History

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has signed into law a bill that will make it unlawful for employers to inquire into or rely upon job applicants’ wage history during the hiring process, with limited exception.  The law will take effect on October 31, 2017. As we previously reported, the law prohibits employers, employment … Continue Reading

Philadelphia Delays Implementation of Ordinance Restricting Employer Inquiries Into Applicants’ Salary History Following Legal Challenge

Philadelphia has indefinitely delayed implementation of its new ordinance that that will make it unlawful for employers to inquire into an applicant’s wage history during the hiring process. As we previously reported, the law was scheduled to take effect on May 23, 2017.  However, on April 6, 2017, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia … Continue Reading

New York City Council Approves Bill Restricting Employer Inquiries Into Applicants’ Salary History

The New York City Council has approved a bill that would make it unlawful for employers to inquire into or rely upon job applicants’ wage history during the hiring process, with limited exception.  The bill now goes before Mayor Bill de Blasio and, if signed, will become effective 180 days following signature. As we previously … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Becomes First Federal Court of Appeals to Hold That Sexual Orientation Discrimination Is Prohibited Under Title VII

In an 8-3 en banc decision in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, the Seventh Circuit has held that discrimination based on sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination under Title VII.  In so holding, the Seventh Circuit has become the first federal appellate court to extend the protections of Title VII … Continue Reading
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