Law and the Workplace

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Hearing Scheduled On Proposed Amendments to Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Law

On June 11, 2020, the Department of Family and Medical Leave (“DFML”) will hold a virtual public hearing on its recent proposed amendments to the final regulations pertaining to the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Law (“PFML”) issued in June 2019.  (Instructions for registering for the virtual hearing are available at this link).  A … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Announces Four Phase Plan to Reopen

On Monday May 18, 2020, Governor Baker announced the first phase of his administration’s much-anticipated plan to reopen Massachusetts (the “Plan”), nearly eight weeks after first ordering non-essential businesses to close and advising residents to stay home in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. In describing the phased reopening, the Governor repeatedly emphasized that the coronavirus … Continue Reading

New York State Issues Guidance for Re-Opening of Businesses

*** Last Updated: June 25, 2020 *** New York State has issued detailed guidance on Governor Cuomo’s “New York Forward” Plan, under which the State will re-open in four phases on a regional basis. The guidance includes additional information regarding: (1) when regions will be permitted to begin re-opening; (2) which businesses are included in … Continue Reading

New York City Department of Health Issues Standing Isolation Order for Purposes of New York State Emergency Sick Leave Law

NYC HealthThe New York City Department of Health has issued a standing Order that creates a process for those who live or work in the City to receive the documentation needed to claim leave in certain circumstances under the New York State COVID-19 Emergency Sick Leave Law. The State Emergency Sick Leave Law requires New York … Continue Reading

New York’s Governor Outlines Plan to Re-Open Businesses

***Updated May 5, 2020 to account for new information released by the Governor’s Office.*** In his daily press conference on April 26, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a plan to re-open the state in phases on a regional basis. Under the plan, businesses will re-open on a business-by-business level within each region, with … Continue Reading

New York City Council Introduces COVID-19 Bills Addressing Essential Workers and Paid Sick Leave Coverage

As previously announced, the New York City Council has introduced an expansive package of COVID-19 bills that, among other things, propose sweeping protections for “essential” workers. The significance of this proposed legislation cannot be understated as the City Council is proposing a mandated exception to the “at will” employment doctrine, which has served as the … Continue Reading

New York City Council Announces Proposed COVID-19 Relief Package For Small Businesses, Essential Workers

***UPDATE: The NYC Council has introduced the relief package.  More details on the bills can be found here.*** As reported by the New York Times, the New York City Council announced that it will introduce a COVID-19 relief package aimed at protecting small businesses, essential workers, tenants and the homeless. The proposed legislation includes a … Continue Reading

New York State Issues Updated Guidance on Essential (And Non-Essential) Businesses

***Last Updated: May 18, 2020*** On April 9, 2020, Empire State Development (“ESD”) released guidance for determining whether a business or service is “essential” under a series of executive orders issued by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. These orders, which we addressed in a previous post, require that only businesses and not-for-profit entities deemed essential … Continue Reading

New York State Issues Guidance on COVID-19 Quarantine Leave Law

***Updated April 16, 2020*** On March 25, 2020, New York State published Frequently Asked Questions and other guidance regarding the state’s recently enacted Covid-19 Paid Sick Leave Law and expansions to New York’s Paid Family Leave Law (PFL) and Disability Benefit Law. This bill was signed into law on March 18 and became effective immediately … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Orders All Non-Essential Workers to Stay Home

Seal of MassachusettsUPDATE:  Governor Baker announced that Massachusetts’ order closing non-essential businesses and the Commonwealth’s stay at home advisory will remain in effect until May 18, 2020. *  *  * Beginning Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at 12:00 PM, Massachusetts will join a growing number of states in closing non-essential businesses and organizations to employees, customers, and the … Continue Reading

New York State Mandates That Non-Essential Workers Must Stay Home

*** IMPORTANT NOTE: On April 9, 2020, the State of New York released updated guidance that modifies some of the content discussed below.  Read more on our updated blog post here. *** Beginning Sunday, March 22, 2020, in accordance with Executive Order 202.8 issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo, only essential businesses and not-for-profit entities in … Continue Reading

New York State Enacts Coronavirus Response Bill Including Paid Sick Time and Other Statutory Benefits

*** New York State has issued additional guidance on the statewide Coronavirus leave law.  More information about this guidance can be found on our blog post here. *** On March 18, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a statewide Coronavirus response bill that immediately provides employees with sick leave and job protection in … Continue Reading

SJC Finds Commissions Lost Due to Retaliation Are Subject to Trebling

In a February 12, 2020 decision, Parker v. EnerNOC, Inc., SJC-12703, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that the full commission which would have been due to an employee had she not been retaliated against and terminated is a “lost wage” eligible to be trebled under the Wage Act. While employed by EnerNOC, the plaintiff … Continue Reading

New Jersey to Consider Mandatory Anti-Harassment Training and Other Significant Expansions of the NJ Law Against Discrimination

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has unveiled a sweeping legislative proposal regarding harassment in the workplace, as well as in housing, public accommodations, and business relationships. The proposal would amend the NJ Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”) in numerous significant ways. The proposed legislation to a large extent mirrors that which has been introduced in several … Continue Reading

New York City Extends Human Rights Law Protections and Training Requirements to Freelancers and Independent Contractors

NYC Commission on Human RightsEffective January 11, 2020, the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) has been amended to expand protections under the law to freelancers and independent contractors.  Significantly, this includes the requirement that certain contractors now complete annual sexual harassment prevention training in the same manner as covered employees.  Contractors also are now eligible for reasonable … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Supreme Court: Fluctuating Workweek Method of Overtime Pay is Unlawful

On November 20, 2019, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the fluctuating workweek (“FWW”) method of calculating overtime pay owed to salaried workers is prohibited by state law. Chevalier v. General Nutrition Centers Inc., Pennsylvania Supreme Court, No. 22-WAP-2018. Under the FWW method of pay, an overtime-eligible employee receives a fixed salary for all hours … 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

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

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

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

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

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
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