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On June 18, 2020, the First Department issued Hosking v. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Ctr., 2020 N.Y. Slip Op. 03484 (1st Dept. June 18, 2020), a decision analyzing the more stringent requirements under the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) for employers to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities, compared to the requirements under the New York State Human Rights Law (“NYSHRL”) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). In Hosking, the First Department determined that plaintiff’s disability discrimination claims under the NYSHRL and NYCHRL properly survived summary judgment as issues of fact were raised about whether the defendant sufficiently engaged in a cooperative dialogue to accommodate plaintiff’s disability prior to terminating her employment.
Continue Reading New York’s First Department Appellate Division Highlights the Stringent Requirements for Reasonably Accommodating Individuals with Disabilities Under New York City Human Rights Law

On Wednesday, May 27, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) issued new guidance (available here) detailing how employers can safely reopen offices following months of closure amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC guidance provides a step-by-step checklist for employers to follow to ensure that their office spaces are physically prepared for workers to return to work as they proceed with life beyond the pandemic.

When employees do return, offices are going to look a lot different from when they left. The CDC recommendations range from technical advice on ventilation systems to the abolition of the traditional handshake to employee temperature testing protocols. Key provisions are summarized below.
Continue Reading Drastic Changes Coming to U.S. Offices as the CDC Recommends An Office Makeover

Last month, New York’s highest court took the unprecedented step of construing the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) more narrowly than its state and federal counterparts to bar plaintiffs’ city law disability discrimination claims. Answering a certified question from the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the New York Court of Appeals in Makinen v. City of New York, Nos. 16-973-cv(L), 16-1080-cv(XAP), 2017 WL 4621717 (N.Y. Oct. 17, 2017) held that two former New York City Police Department (“NYPD”) officers could not sustain disability discrimination claims on the basis of “perceived untreated alcoholism,” even though such claims would be recognized under the New York State Human Rights Law (“NYSHRL”) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).
Continue Reading New York’s Highest Court Narrowly Construes New York City Human Rights Law To Bar Disability Discrimination Claims Based on Perceived Alcoholism

In our prior post, we reported that the New York City Council had approved an amendment to the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) prohibiting New York City employers from inquiring about a prospective employee’s salary history during the hiring process. At the time, it was awaiting Mayor de Blasio’s signature. On May 4, 2017, Mayor de Blasio signed the proposed amendment into law. It is now scheduled to take effect on October 31, 2017.
Continue Reading Update to NYC Salary History Inquiry Ban

On Wednesday, April 5, 2017, the New York City Council approved an amendment to the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) prohibiting New York City employers from inquiring about a prospective employee’s salary history during the hiring process.  If signed by Mayor Bill DiBlasio – which is expected – the law will become effective sometime in October 2017, depending on the date the law is signed.
Continue Reading NYC Council Approves Salary History Inquiry Ban

Last year the New York legislature and New York Department of Labor amended several employment laws implementing changes that took effect at the end of 2016 or are set to take effect early this year.  This post summarizes the new and updated legal requirements included in those amendments to help New York employers comply in 2017.
Continue Reading New Year, New Rules for Employers Doing Business in New York

On August 1, 2016, Massachusetts Governor Charles Barker signed the Act to Establish Pay Equity.  The Act, which makes several important changes to Massachusetts wage laws, will go into effect on July 1, 2018.
Continue Reading Massachusetts – The Latest Jurisdiction to Update Its Pay Equity Laws

On January 20, 2016, the United States Supreme Court rejected a strategy recently used by some defendants to defeat class actions in their infancy. In Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, No. 14-857 (2016), a majority of the Court held that an unaccepted Rule 68[1] offer of judgment to a representative class action plaintiff does not moot the class action because the “case or controversy” still exists for a federal court to maintain jurisdiction over the lawsuit.  
Continue Reading Supreme Court Holds that Rejected Rule 68 Offer of Judgment Does Not Moot Class Action

The New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) forbids employment discrimination on the basis of a number of protected characteristics, such as age, race, creed, color, national origin, gender (including gender identity and sexual harassment), disability, marital status, partnership status, sexual orientation, alienage, and citizenship status. The NYCHRL applies to employers with four or more employees.  On January 5, 2016, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation expanding the NYCHRL to add “caregiver status” as an additional protected category for which employment discrimination is prohibited.  The new law goes into effect beginning May 4, 2016, to prohibit employment discrimination against employees caring for a minor child or an individual with a disability. 
Continue Reading New York City Human Rights Law Expanded To Protect Caregivers

In late April, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”) General Counsel’s office issued an Advice Memorandum (“Advice Memo”) (No. 177-1650-0100, available here) addressing whether a franchisor (Freshii Development, LLC) was a joint employer with one of its franchisees (Nutritionality, Inc.).  The General Counsel’s office determined that the franchisor was not a joint employer with its franchisee, using both the current Board standard for joint employer analysis and a recently-proposed, even-more-inclusive standard.  This decision has given franchisors hope that the presumption of joint employment between franchisors and franchisees that has been circulating in a number of recent court and Board decisions is finally starting to weaken.  
Continue Reading NLRB Weighs-In on Franchise Joint Employers

On April 20, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed a long-standing precedent when it held in Greathouse v. JHS Security Inc., that an internal oral complaint could be sufficient to demonstrate protected activity and form the basis for a retaliation claim under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  While this change altered over 20 years of precedent in the Second Circuit, it is consistent with how most other Circuits already interpret the FLSA retaliation provision.
Continue Reading What is Retaliation in the Second Circuit Under the FLSA?