Law and the Workplace

Tag Archives: retaliation

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

[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

New Jersey Governor Signs Sweeping Pay Equity Act Into Law

As anticipated, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has signed into law the Diane B. Allen Pay Equity Act (the “Act”).  The Act will take effect on July 1, 2018, giving employers approximately two months to review their policies to ensure compliance. As we previously reported, the Act will, among other things, make it an unlawful … Continue Reading

New Jersey Legislature Passes New Pay Equity Bill

The New Jersey state legislature has passed a new pay equity law which will, among other things, make it an unlawful employment practice to pay employees of any protected class under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”) at a lesser rate than other employees who perform “substantially similar work” unless the differential is based … 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

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

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

Fifth Circuit Joins Sister Circuits in Holding That Employees May Recover Emotional Distress Damages in FLSA Retaliation Suits

On December 19, 2016, the Fifth Circuit joined the Sixth and Seventh Circuits in holding that “employees” under the FLSA may recover emotional distress damages in FLSA retaliation actions, finding that the district court erred by refusing to instruct the jury on the availability of emotional distress damages for an employee’s retaliation claim. In so … Continue Reading

EEOC Issues Fiscal Year 2016 Performance Report

EEOC sealOn November 15, 2016, the EEOC published its Fiscal Year 2016 Performance and Accountability Report. The Performance Report details the EEOC’s efforts over the past fiscal year, which ran from October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016, toward achieving “equality and justice for all” as described by Chair Jenny Yang.  In 2012, the agency adopted … 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

New Connecticut Online Privacy Law Protects Prospective & Current Employees

Man using smartphoneEarlier this week, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed a law to protect prospective and current employees from employer interference with their “personal online accounts.” The new law, which will take effect on October 1, 2015, defines personal online accounts to include any online account used by a prospective or current employee exclusively for personal … 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

Maryland Passes Bill Protecting Interns From Employment Discrimination

On April 14, 2015, an act protecting interns in Maryland from employment discrimination officially became law. As of October 1, 2015, employers are prohibited from discriminating against interns with respect to the terms, conditions or privileges of their internships (including offering and terminating internships), on the basis of the individual’s race, color, religion, sex, age, … Continue Reading

Virginia’s Social Media Law Continues Growing Trend

Man using smartphoneVirginia is now the nineteenth state to provide increased social media protections to prospective and current employees, joining Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. Effective July 1, 2015, Virginia’s law will prohibit an employer from requiring a prospective … Continue Reading

Third Circuit Nixes EEOC Retaliation Suit

Last week, in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 2-01-cv-07402 (3d Cir. Feb. 13, 2015), the Third Circuit affirmed that the defendant did not violate federal anti-retaliation laws by offering thousands of terminated at-will employees the opportunity to continue working as independent contractors in exchange for signing a release. By way … 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

The Top 10 Trends in New Jersey Employment Law in 2014

2014 was another busy year for developments in New Jersey employment law, including in ten key areas—whistleblowing, pre-employment inquiries/background checks, amendments to the Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”), LAD litigation, wage and hour, the Family Medical Leave Act, sick leave, states of emergency, arbitration, and “unemployment discrimination.”  Read our Top 10 newsletter to learn more about … Continue Reading

Prince George’s County “Bans the Box”

Add another locality to the growing list that have “banned the box” for private employers.  Starting January 20, 2015, employers with at least twenty-five full-time employees in Prince George’s County (MD) can no longer ask applicants about their criminal records on employment applications (i.e., banning the box) or through another medium (such as a consumer … Continue Reading

In The Eleventh Circut, Employers Can Terminate “Protected” Employees For Poor Performance And Violation Of Company Policy

On December 4, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit upheld summary judgment in favor of an employer against a pregnant employee who had requested FMLA, who was told by her direct supervisor “that [her] pregnancy was affecting [her] effectiveness” and who had complained about this to the employer’s Ethics Hotline. In … 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

Montgomery County “Bans the Box”

Montgomery County, Maryland is the latest jurisdiction to “ban the box” by prohibiting private employers from making criminal inquiries on the initial employment application. Montgomery’s new law takes effect on January 1, 2015 and applies to employers with 15 or more full-time employees in the County.  The law covers applicants seeking paid employment or vocational … Continue Reading

D.C. Prepares a Holiday “Gift” for Employers – the Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act of 2014

Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray quietly signed an amendment to the Wage Theft Prevention Act which will likely take effect in mid-December 2014 – just in time for the holidays.  The amended Act will significantly expand D.C. employers’ obligations to employees, including comprehensive new pay notice requirements for all existing employees and new hires going … Continue Reading
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