On May 13, 2022, a law requiring publicly held corporations headquartered in California to have women on the board of directors was enjoined from being enforced and declared unconstitutional after a bench trial in Los Angeles Superior Court. In Crest v. Padilla, a judge ruled that the law violated the Equal Protection Clause of the California Constitution because it created a suspect gender classification without a compelling state interest, and the law was not necessary or narrowly tailored to achieve the State’s goals of remedying gender discrimination or benefiting the economy.
On March 16, 2022, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law two amendments to the State’s workplace anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws.
Continue Reading New York State Amends Its Workplace Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Laws
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) recently announced a new effort to identify and correct violations of the Fair Chance Act. The Fair Chance Act, which was enacted in January 2018 and is commonly known as California’s “ban-the-box” law, amended the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) to prohibit employers with five or more employees from directly or indirectly inquiring into, seeking the disclosure of, or considering an applicant’s conviction history (including questions on a job application) until after the applicant receives a conditional offer of employment. We previously summarized employers’ obligations under the Fair Chance Act here. …
Continue Reading The Department of Fair Employment and Housing Ramps Up Enforcement of California’s “Ban-the-Box” Law
In 2018, California passed Senate Bill 820, the STAND Act (Stand Together Against Non-Disclosure Act), in response to the #MeToo movement. SB 820 prohibited the use of confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements where the underlying claims were based upon sexual assault, sexual harassment, and workplace harassment or discrimination based on sex. The law did not extend to claims based upon other protected characteristics. Therefore, a confidentiality provision in a settlement agreement could not prevent an individual from discussing the factual information related to sexual harassment or sex discrimination allegedly experienced in the workplace, but could preclude an individual from discussing factual information related to harassment or discrimination based upon any other protected characteristic (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.). You can read our prior blog article here.
Continue Reading California’s SB 331 Extends Sweeping Changes to Workplace Settlement and Separation Agreements
On March 4, 2021, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) updated its COVID-19 related guidance. In addition to addressing whether an employer may ask about symptoms, take employees’ temperatures, and require the use of personal protective equipment among other things, the DFEH addresses a question that has been top of mind for many California employers:
Continue Reading DFEH Issues Guidance to Employers Regarding Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policies
On International Women’s Day, March 8, 2021, President Joseph Biden signed two executive orders to promote gender equity and equality through the creation of a Gender Policy Council and through a policy that guarantees an education free from discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
Continue Reading Two Executive Orders Signed on International Women’s Day Promoting Gender Equity and Equality
The end of 2020 was not the end of the California Legislature’s focus on employment-related legislation. Just two months into the new year, the Legislature has already introduced several bills addressing the workplace that could impact employers who still may be implementing coronavirus-related legislation. This article discusses two such bills on the horizon that employers will want to follow as they work their way through the Legislature.
Continue Reading California Legislative Update: Employment-Related Bills on the Horizon
On January 1, 2021, various new and amended employment laws will go into effect in California. Below is a summary of some of these laws that employers should make themselves aware of heading into the new year. All laws discussed in this post go into effect on January 1, 2021, unless otherwise noted.
Continue Reading New Employment Laws to Look Out for in 2021
On July 8, 2020, the Supreme Court gave religious employers wide leeway to hire and fire employees whose duties include religious instruction without having to worry about employment discrimination suits. In a 7-to-2 decision, the Supreme Court ruled in Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru that the “ministerial exception” – a legal doctrine that shields religious employers from anti-discrimination lawsuits – foreclosed the adjudication of two discrimination lawsuits brought by Catholic school teachers.
Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court Backs Broad Interpretation of the “Ministerial Exception,” Shielding Religious Employers From Employment Discrimination Claims
Illinois’ first-of-its-kind legislation aimed at regulating the use of artificial intelligence in video interviews for Illinois-based positions goes into effect on January 1, 2020. The Artificial Intelligence Video Interview Act will make employers’ use of artificial intelligence to analyze applicant-submitted video interviews more complicated at a time when employers are increasingly relying on the technology to streamline the hiring process and support diversity initiatives. Despite the benefits of facial recognition technology, proponents of the law claim these technologies perpetuate gender, racial, age and other biases that can led to employment discrimination.
Continue Reading Stop the Camera! New Limits on Facial Recognition Technology for Interviews Take Effect in Illinois on January 1, 2020
On September 18 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law AB-5, which codified the California Supreme Court’s Dynamex v. Superior Court decision. In Dynamex, the California Supreme Court adopted the so-called “ABC” test to determine coverage under the Industrial Welfare Commission (“IWC”) Wage Orders. AB-5 expands the application of the ABC test to the entire California Labor Code and will take effect on January 1, 2020.
Continue Reading It’s Official: Newsom Expands The Definition of “Employee” Under California Law