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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

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

Hawaii Enacts Salary History Inquiry Law

Hawaii Governor David Ige has signed into law a bill that will restrict employers from inquiring about applicants’ salary history during the hiring process. In addition, the law prohibits employers from retaliating or discriminating against employees for, or restricting employees from, disclosing their own wages or discussing and inquiring about the wages of other employees. … 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

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

New York and California Equal Pay Laws Set to Take Effect in New Year

New equal pay laws are coming into effect in 2016 in both New York and California. The New York law, passed as part of the Women’s Equality Agenda, will come into effect on January 19, 2016, and the California law will become effective on January 1, 2016. Both new laws enact broader prohibitions on wage … Continue Reading

Ban the Box Update Round Up: Portland, Philadelphia and New Jersey

The past several weeks have seen a flurry of “ban the box” developments, including: The passage of a law in Portland, Oregon banning the box for private employers; The page of amendments expanding the ban the box law in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and The publication of regulations regarding New Jersey’s ban the box law. These developments … Continue Reading

Latest EEOC Discrimination Suit Targets Employment Exam

For years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has taken the position that certain employment tests and screening procedures can serve to discriminate against racial and ethnic minorities in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) when not “properly validated” as “job-related” and “consistent with business necessity” under the … Continue Reading

Oregon “Bans the Box” for Private Employers

Oregon is the latest state to “ban the box” for private employers.  Starting January 1, 2016, an employer may not require an applicant to disclose a criminal conviction on an employment application or at any time prior to an initial interview.  If the employer does not conduct an interview, then the employer may not require … Continue Reading

New Nevada Law Expands Employer Access to Conviction Records

While Nevada law does not limit how far back employers can directly ask applicants or employees about their conviction history, for years it has generally prohibited consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) from providing employers with conviction records that are more than 7 years old. Earlier this month, however, Nevada’s governor signed a law (S.B. 409) that removes … Continue Reading

Oregon Becomes the Fourth State with a Paid Sick Leave Law

Oregon recently passed a new law that will require most employers with 10 or more employees to provide paid sick time. Oregon is the fourth state to adopt a paid sick leave law, following Connecticut, California, and Massachusetts.   Some Key Provisions of the Passed Bill: Effective January 1, 2016, employers with 10 or more … Continue Reading

Colorado Supreme Court Okays Discharge of Medical Marijuana-Using Employee

Colorado, like some other states including New York, has a law that generally prohibits an employer from discharging an employee for engaging in lawful activities outside of work.  Earlier this week, in Coats v. Dish Network, No. 13SC394, the Colorado Supreme Court affirmed a lower court ruling that the state’s “lawful activities” statute does not … Continue Reading

Oregon Amends Social Media Law

Man using smartphoneAbout two years ago, Oregon enacted a law restricting employers from accessing the personal social media accounts of their applicants and employees.  For more on the law, see our prior client alert. Last week, Oregon’s governor signed a bill to broaden the protections of the state’s social media law.  The amendment takes effect January 1, … Continue Reading

California Court Dismisses FCRA Class Action Against LinkedIn

Man using smartphoneIn recent years, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) has become the focus of increasing litigation.  By way of background, FCRA regulates consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) that assemble or evaluate “consumer reports” for employers on the “character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living” of prospective and current employees.  In the course of furnishing … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Concludes That EEOC Conciliation Efforts Are Reviewable by Courts

On April 29, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously concluded that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) efforts to conciliate a matter before filing suit—a statutory requirement of Title VII—can be reviewed by the courts. Mach Mining, LLC. v. EEOC, No. 13-1019 (April 29, 2015). The Court reversed a Seventh Circuit ruling that the EEOC … Continue Reading

New Montana Law Protects Employee Social Media Accounts

Man using smartphoneYesterday, Montana became the twentieth state to enact a law protecting employees from employer interference with personal social media accounts.  The law, which takes effect immediately, prohibits employers from requiring or requesting that a current or prospective employee: disclose a username or password to his or her personal social media account; access a personal social … Continue Reading

Utah Law Bars Discrimination Against Nursing Mothers

On March 23, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed a bill that prohibits discrimination against employees who breastfeed at work. The bill modified the Utah Antidiscrimination Act to make clear that discrimination based on “pregnancy, childbirth, or pregnancy-related conditions” also includes breastfeeding or medical conditions related to breastfeeding. According to the bill’s sponsor, the measure was … Continue Reading

Employee Gripe Apps: Should Companies Be Concerned?

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article by Lindsay Gellman on a new app by Collectively that allows users to post anonymous reviews of and complaints about their employers.  The app is cheekily called “getthememo.”  According to the article, Collectively’s mission is to create a space for workers “to speak freely about what’s happening … Continue Reading

No End In Sight For Wave of Paid Family and Sick Leave Laws

Employers have been scrambling to keep up with the multitude of paid sick leave laws that were passed in the last several years.  These laws vary by jurisdiction and often can’t be easily reconciled into a uniform policy — an issue for multi-state employers.  As reported in today’s New York Times, President Obama is asking … Continue Reading

San Francisco Issues Guidance for Employers and Contractors on Fair Chance Ordinance

San Francisco has posted FAQs explaining key provisions of the city’s so-called Fair Chance Ordinance (“Ordinance”), which took effect on August 13, 2014.  The Ordinance “bans the box,” prohibiting most private employers and contractors in the city from asking job applicants about their criminal histories until after the first interview or following a conditional offer … Continue Reading

EEOC Wellness Program Suits Highlight Need for Agency Guidance

The EEOC has been pursuing litigation against wellness programs of late, arguing that certain health plan penalties render participation in wellness program health screens “involuntary” and thus violate Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits medical exams unless they are  voluntary or  are job-related and consistent with business necessity.  (See recent blog post about this.)  Senate Republicans rightly criticized the EEOC general counsel … Continue Reading

Gender Pay Gap – What Are Companies Doing?

It is no secret to our readers that the EEOC and the OFCCP have prioritized compensation discrimination issues as an enforcement priority.  The general public, and hence employees, are also keenly aware of pay discrimination issues.  From Sheryl Sandberg’s and Nell Scovell’s “Lean In” book and “Lean In Circles” to the John Oliver skit on the … Continue Reading

Four States and Two Cities Hike Their Minimum Wage Rates

Four States and Two Cities Hike Their Minimum Wage Rates Somewhat overlooked in this week’s election were the minimum wage referenda on the ballots in a number of states.  Continuing a growing national trend, voters in Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota approved proposals to increase their states’ minimum wage rates on Tuesday.  In addition, … Continue Reading

Voters in Four Jurisdictions Pass Sick Leave Ballot Initiatives

The national sick leave trend continues to gain momentum as voters in Massachusetts, Trenton and Montclair, New Jersey, and Oakland, California approved ballot initiatives requiring employers within each jurisdiction to provide sick leave to their employees.  Similar laws already have taken effect in several jurisdictions across the country, including the States of Connecticut and California, … Continue Reading
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