Law and the Workplace

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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

New York State Advances Bill That Would Allow Liens Against Employers For Unpaid Wage Claims

Paying WagesThe New York state legislature has passed a bill that would allow employees making certain claims for unpaid wages to obtain a lien against their employers’ property for the value of the claim, inclusive of liquidated damages. If signed by Governor Cuomo, the bill would take effect 30 days after becoming law. The bill would … Continue Reading

New York State to Expand Protections Against Discriminatory Pay Practices

UPDATE: Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law on July 10, 2019.  The law will take effect on October 8, 2019. The New York State legislature has passed a bill that, if signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, will expand pay protections by requiring employers to provide employees with equal pay for “substantially similar” work … Continue Reading

New York State to Enact Ban on Salary History Inquiries

UPDATE: Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law on July 10, 2019.  The law will take effect on January 6, 2020. In a continuation of its recent legislative push to expand the reach of anti-discrimination laws, New York State is set to be the latest jurisdiction to prohibit employers from asking job applicants and … Continue Reading

New York State Set to Further Expand Protections Against Workplace Harassment

New York State lawmakers have approved broad legislation that will lower the burden on plaintiffs seeking to prove claims of workplace harassment under the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL), as well as extend the statute of limitations and expand potential damages for such claims. The bill also expands coverage under the NYSHRL and broadens existing limitations on nondisclosure agreements and mandatory arbitration clauses. This sweeping bill represents the latest effort by the State legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo—who is … Continue Reading

Final Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Regulations Published and Other PFML Updates

Leave of absence formThe Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (“DFML”) has posted the much-anticipated final regulations regarding Massachusetts’ Paid Family and Medical Leave law (“PFML”). The final regulations come on the heels of Massachusetts lawmakers’ recent extension of key PFML compliance dates. While the final regulations are materially unchanged from the previous draft issued March 29th, … Continue Reading

Connecticut to Enact Generous Paid Family and Medical Leave Law

Leave of absence formConnecticut is set to become the latest state to join the paid family and medical leave bandwagon, enacting what is set to be one of the most generous laws in the country.  The Act Concerning Paid Family and Medical Leave (the “Act”) was passed by both houses of the state legislature and is presently before Governor … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Deadlines Extended

With the original July 1, 2019 deadline for numerous provisions of the Commonwealth’s Paid Family and Medical Leave (“PFML”) legislation approaching in mere weeks, Massachusetts lawmakers have now issued a much-welcomed enforcement extension. The extensions comes as employers in the Commonwealth worked to comply with the new law.  The amended legislation, announced earlier this week … Continue Reading

Maine Becomes First State to Require Paid Leave for Any Reason

Leave of absence formMaine’s Governor Janet Mills has signed into law an Act Authorizing Earned Employee Leave (the “Act”), which will require covered employers to provide employees with up to 40 hours of paid personal leave per calendar year. Unlike other paid family and sick leave laws that have been enacted around the country, Maine’s law would be … Continue Reading

New York City Council to Consider Expanding Earned Safe and Sick Time Act to Require “Personal Time”

The New York City Council is considering a bill that would expand the NYC Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (ESSTA) to provide eligible employees with “personal time” that could be used for any reason.  The bill would also expand protections and remedies applicable to all leave under the law, including sick and safe time. … Continue Reading

Westchester County, New York to Require Paid Leave for Victims of Domestic Violence

Leave of absence formEffective October 30, 2019, Westchester County, NY employers will be required to provide paid leave to employees who are victims of domestic violence or human trafficking.  Leave under the new ordinance will be in addition to paid time off already required to be provided to employees under the Westchester County paid sick leave law, which … Continue Reading

New Jersey Employees to Be Entitled to Pre-Tax Transportation Fringe Benefits

New Jersey will soon become the first state to require certain employers to offer employees tax-favored transportation benefits. S.B. 1567, also known as An Act Concerning Pre-Tax Transportation Fringe Benefits (the “Act”), will require New Jersey employers with 20 or more employees to offer employees the opportunity to make pre-tax elections from their gross pay … Continue Reading

Retail Salespeople Paid on Commission Are Entitled to Overtime and Sunday Pay, Massachusetts SJC Says

On May 8, 2019, Massachusetts’ highest court held that retail salespersons who are paid entirely on a commission or draw basis, may nevertheless be entitled to additional overtime or pay for work on Sundays. The Supreme Judicial Court considered these questions in Sullivan v. Sleepy’s LLC, SJC-12542. The narrow questions the Court considered were whether … Continue Reading

Updated: Massachusetts Employers Must Distribute Paid Leave Notice By June 30, 2019

[UPDATE: On June 11, 2019, state officials, including Governor Charlie Baker, issued a joint statement noting that the state has agreed to a three month postponement before companies will be assessed fees pursuant to the PFML, meaning the taxes will begin in October, 2019 rather than on July 1, 2019 as previously anticipated. We will continue … Continue Reading

Massachusetts SJC Weighs in on Wage Act Class Actions and Offers of Judgment

On Friday April 12, 2019, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court confirmed that plaintiffs seeking to bring class actions asserting Massachusetts Wage Act (“Wage Act”) violations must meet the certification standards set by Massachusetts Rule of Civil Procedure 23 (“Rule 23”), and cannot avail themselves of a lower bar to class certification. In Gammella v. P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, … Continue Reading

New Updates to Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave

Clock and calendar[UPDATE: On June 11, 2019, state officials issued a joint statement noting that the state has agreed to a three month postponement before companies will be assessed fees pursuant to the PFML, meaning the taxes will begin in October, 2019 rather than on July 1, 2019 as previously anticipated. In May, 2019, the Department of … Continue Reading
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