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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 poised 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

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court OK’s Attorneys’ Fees for Wage Act Settlements

As has been long anticipated, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently gave a green light to plaintiffs’ attorneys seeking a fee award under the Commonwealth’s Payment of Wages Act, even where an action ends in settlement.  The Wage Act (Mass. General Laws ch. 149 §§ 148, 150) awards costs and fees when an employee “prevails” … Continue Reading

Massachusetts SJC Holds Employers’ Denials of Lateral Transfers May Be Adverse Actions in Discrimination Cases

Massachusetts employers’ decision-making processes with regards to lateral, internal employee transfers are now subject to possible state law discrimination claims.  On January 29, 2019, the SJC issued its decision in Yee v. Massachusetts State Police, SCJ-12485, holding that when two jobs at the same level for the same employer offer “material differences” in compensation opportunity, … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Releases Draft Regulations For Paid Family and Medical Leave Law

Leave of absence formOn January 23, 2019, Massachusetts released draft regulations on the Paid Family and Medical Leave (“PFML”) Law, signed into law last summer (as previously discussed here) and set to begin taking effect this upcoming July.  The Department of Family and Medical Leave released these draft regulations for public comment only, with the deadline for publication … Continue Reading

Amended Rules Issued Under NYC Earned Safe and Sick Time Act

Leave of absence formIn follow up to recent amendments to the New York City Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (“ESSTA”), the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Labor Policy and Standards (“OLPS”) has amended its official rules, several of which expand upon currently existing rules regarding ESSTA. The OLPS has also issued an updated ESSTA FAQ … Continue Reading

Westchester County, New York Enacts Paid Sick Leave Law

Leave of absence formWestchester County, NY has become the latest jurisdiction to enact a law providing eligible employees with paid leave for their own medical needs, those of a family member, or other covered reasons. The Ordinance will take effect on March 30, 2019. Covered Employees and Accrual of Sick Leave Similar to the New York City Earned … Continue Reading

New York State Releases Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Videos

As we have previously reported, New York State has recently enacted several significant measures regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. Effective October 9, 2018, all New York State employers are required to adopt written sexual harassment prevention policies and institute annual anti-harassment training for employees. According to the final guidance issued by the State, all … Continue Reading

NYC Council Passes Bills Expanding Lactation Room Requirements for Employers

The New York City Council recently passed two bills that would amend the NYC Human Rights Law to expand the requirements of employers with four or more employees to provide lactation space for breastfeeding employees.  The bills have been sent to Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is expected to sign them, for consideration.  If enacted, … Continue Reading

Mandatory Employee Notice Issued for New Jersey Earned Sick Leave Law

Leave of absence formThe New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (the “Department”) has issued a mandatory employee notice regarding the NJ Earned Sick Leave Law, which goes into effect on October 29, 2018.  As we have previously reported, the Law will require employers to provide eligible employees with paid leave for their own medical needs, those … Continue Reading

New York City “Cooperative Dialogue” Law for Employees Seeking Reasonable Accommodation Takes Effect October 15

Supervisor and colleague discussionNew York City’s new law requiring employers to engage in a “cooperative dialogue” with employees requesting reasonable accommodation and provide a written determination at the end of the cooperative dialogue process takes effect on October 15, 2018. As we have previously reported, while the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) has long required that … Continue Reading

[Podcast]: New York State Anti-Harassment Law

In this episode of The Proskauer Brief, partner Evandro Gigante and associate Laura Fant discuss recent amendments to New York State law prohibiting sexual harassment.  The law will require employers to distribute policies prohibiting sexual harassment in the work place and implement annual training on sexual harassment.  These policies, which much be distributed by October 9, 2018, … Continue Reading

New York State Issues Final Guidance on Sexual Harassment Policy and Training Requirements In Advance of October 9 Effective Date

As we have previously reported,  New York State has enacted several significant measures regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. Effective October 9, 2018, all New York State employers are required to adopt written sexual harassment prevention policies and institute annual anti-harassment training for employees (see below for more details on specific requirements and deadlines).  After … Continue Reading

Proposed Rules Issued for New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development has issued proposed rules for the recently enacted New Jersey paid sick leave act (the “Act”), which will take effect on October 29, 2018. The proposed rules will be subject to a 60-day public comment period. As we have previously reported, the Act will require employers … Continue Reading
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