On November 17, 2023, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a new law that further limits the terms employers may include in release agreements relating to claims of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. The law took effect immediately and further broadens the restrictions on release agreements already contained in New York General Obligations Law Section 5-336 (“Section 5-336”).Continue Reading New York Amends Its Release Agreement Law for the Third Time
On December 7, 2022, President Biden signed the Speak Out Act (the “Act”) into law. The Act limits the enforceability of pre-dispute non-disclosure and non-disparagement clauses relating to sexual assault and sexual harassment claims, but does not prohibit such provisions in settlement agreements or severance agreements. Continue Reading President Biden Signs “Speak Out Act” Limiting the Enforceability of Non-Disclosure and Non-Disparagement Provisions in Sexual Harassment Cases
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
As anticipated, on March 3, 2022, President Biden signed The Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021 (H.R. 4445). The law takes effect immediately.
As explained in our prior blog, in a rare display of bipartisanship, on February 7, 2022, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved H.R. 4445 by a vote of 335 to 97. A few days later, on February 10, 2022, the Senate passed H.R. 4445, without amendment, by voice vote.Continue Reading UPDATE: President Biden Signs Bipartisan Bill to End Mandatory Arbitration of Sexual Harassment and Assault Claims in the Workplace
In a rare display of bipartisanship, Congress recently passed a new law that is poised to eliminate pre-dispute mandatory arbitration of sexual harassment and sexual assault disputes.
Continue Reading Congress Passes Bipartisan Bill to End Mandatory Arbitration of Sexual Harassment and Assault Claims in the Workplace
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
Total Planetary Alignment. Halley’s Comet. A Full Solar Eclipse. Texas Enacting Heightened Employee Protections Beyond Federal Law.
What are “things that rarely happen in your lifetime?”
In Texas, the general rule is that employee-facing legal protections overlap with—and extend no further than—its federal counterparts. But newly-enacted state legislation concerning workplace sexual harassment has bucked that trend.Continue Reading New Texas Law Expands Employee Rights and Employer Liability for Sexual Harassment Claims
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
Since 2005, California employers with 50 or more employees were required to provide at least 2 hours of sexual harassment training every 2 years to each supervisory employee, and to new supervisory employees within 6 months of their assumption of a supervisory position. However, all employers may not yet know that the California anti-harassment training requirements were significantly expanded by the California legislature (SB 1343 and SB 788 – to read the prior article, click here). Now, California employers with 5 or more employees must provide sexual harassment training and education by January 1, 2021 to not just supervisory employees, but non-supervisory employees as well. This new law requires many California employers to provide anti-harassment training, for the first time, in both English and Spanish. Specifically,
Continue Reading California’s Deadline is Fast Approaching: Employers Must Complete Harassment Prevention Training for English and Spanish-Speaking Workforces by Year’s End
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
As we wrote earlier this year, every employer with employees working in Illinois is required to provide employees with sexual harassment prevention training that complies with the Illinois Human Rights Act (“IHRA”). The Illinois Department of Human Rights (“IDHR”) recently released a model sexual harassment prevention training program that meets the IHRA’s requirements.
Continue Reading Employers: Do Not Forget Your Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Requirement