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Sean Kirby is a partner in the Labor and Employment Practice Group in the firm's New York Office.

On April 9, 2019, New York’s City Council passed legislation, available here, which will prohibit employers from requiring prospective employees to submit to testing for tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana, as a condition of employment. If, as expected, Mayor Bill de Blasio signs the law into effect, the New York City Human Rights Law will be amended to make it a discriminatory practice to require pre-employment marijuana testing of employees in New York City.
Continue Reading New York City Council Passes Legislation Banning Marijuana Testing of Job Applicants

On February 4, 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law legislation, available here, which gradually raises the minimum wage in New Jersey to $15 per hour by the year 2024 for many workers in New Jersey. Under this law, for employers with more than six employees, the current New Jersey statewide minimum wage of $8.85 will incrementally rise to $15 per hour as follows:

Date of Increase Minimum Wage Amount
July 1, 2019 $10 per hour
January 1, 2020 $11 per hour
January 1, 2021 $12 per hour
January 1, 2022 $13 per hour
January 1, 2023 $14 per hour
January 1, 2024 $15 per hour

Continue Reading New Jersey Minimum Wage Set to Increase to $15 Per Hour by 2024

As detailed previously here, the New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act (the “Act”), goes into effect October 29, 2018. In general, the Act allows New Jersey employees to accrue one (1) hour of sick leave time per thirty (30) hours worked, and allows New Jersey employees to use earned sick leave time for: (i) diagnosis, care, treatment of, or recovery from the employee’s mental or physical illness, injury or other adverse health condition, or for the employee’s preventive medical care; (ii) time to aid or care for a family member in one of the situations described in (i); (iii) time needed due to an employee’s or family member’s status as a victim of domestic or sexual violence; (iv) closure of the workplace, school, or childcare facility issued by a public health authority due to a public health emergency; and (v) a school-related conference or meeting. A detailed summary of the Act’s other requirements can be found here.
Continue Reading New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development Issues Proposed Regulations For the New Jersey Sick Leave Act

As previously reported in a prior article, in May 2018, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act (the “Act”). The Act provides, among other things, starting September 6, 2018, all New York City employers must display the New York City Commission on Human Right’s (“NYCCHR”) new anti-sexual harassment poster in a conspicuous place in the workplace and provide the information to employees at the time of hire. On August 10, 2018, the NYCCHR published an English-language version of the required poster, which can be found here. While the Act also requires the poster to be displayed in Spanish, the NYCCHR has yet to issue a Spanish-language version of the poster.  
Continue Reading Upcoming Deadlines For New York City Employers: New York City Commission on Human Rights Publishes Poster and Fact Sheet on Sexual Harassment

On Wednesday, May 2, 2018, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law the New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act (the “Act”). The Act, which goes into effect on October 29, 2018, preempts all existing New Jersey municipal earned sick leave laws and, like the New York City Earned Sick Time Act, allows employees to accrue one (1) hour of sick leave time per thirty (30) hours worked.
Continue Reading New Jersey Enacts Paid Sick Leave Act

On Tuesday, April 24, 2018, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act (the “Act”), which amends the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”) to provide enhanced equal pay protections for New Jersey employees. The Act, which becomes effective on July 1, 2018, prohibits pay disparities based upon characteristics protected by the NJLAD, such as race, creed, color, national origin, nationality, ancestry, age, sex, etc. Specifically, the Act makes it an unlawful employment practice “[f]or an employer to pay any of its employees who is a member of a protected class at a rate of compensation, including benefits, which is less than the rate paid by the employer to employees who are not members of the protected class for substantially similar work, when viewed as a composite of skill, effort and responsibility.”
Continue Reading New Jersey Equal Pay Act Signed Into Law

New York City Councilman Rafael Espinal has proposed a bill which would prohibit private-sector employers from requiring their employees to access work-related electronic communications outside of their usual work hours. This bill is modeled after a similar law in France. If passed, the bill would make New York City the first American city to enact such a law. A copy of the complete bill can be found here.
Continue Reading The Right to Unplug: New York City Council Proposes Bill Which Would Allow Employees to Disconnect From Work After Normal Work Hours

Last month, the New Jersey State Senate introduced Senate Bill 3518 (the “Bill”), which, if passed, will severely restrict the use and enforceability of employee non-compete agreements in the state of New Jersey. Most significantly, the Bill would: (1) prohibit entering or enforcing non-compete agreements with certain groups of employees; (2) require employers to pay full wages, salary, and benefits to employees during their non-compete period: (3) prohibit applying an arbitration provision or other such restriction to non-compete provisions; and (4) allow employees a private right of action for any statutory violation. The passage of the Bill would be a significant departure from current New Jersey law which generally enforces non-compete agreements and other restrictive covenants provided that they are reasonable in scope, protect legitimate business interests, and are not unduly burdensome on the employee or against public policy.
Continue Reading New Jersey Proposes to Drastically Restrict the Use of Non-Compete Agreements

On May 26, 2016, in the matter of Lewis v. Epic Systems Corporation, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that an arbitration agreement, which required employees to submit to individual arbitration for any wage and hour claims against the company, violates the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) and is unenforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”).  In issuing this decision, the Seventh Circuit gave credence to the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB”) decision in D. R. Horton and, in doing so, has created a split amongst U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal regarding the enforceability of arbitration agreements that preclude class actions.
Continue Reading Seventh Circuit Holds Class Action Waivers are Unlawful and Unenforceable Creating a Circuit Split