Beginning July 27, 2020, Virginia will become one of the first states to implement comprehensive, mandatory safety regulations for employees returning to work during and post-COVID.  In a press release last week, Governor Ralph Northam announced that the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board had voted to adopt an emergency temporary standard, §16VAC25-220, which is designed to “control, prevent, and mitigate the spread of” COVID-19.
Continue Reading Safety Protocols in the Face of COVID: What New Virginia Safety Standards Require of Employers

On February 17, 2017, D.C. passed the Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016.  Beginning July 1, 2020, the law provides the following government-administered paid leave to D.C. employees:

  • Up to 8 weeks per year to bond with a new child.
  • Up to 6 weeks per year to care for a family member with a serious health condition.
  • Up to 2 weeks per year to care for the employee’s own serious health condition.

As the regulations continue to be finalized, several employer obligations have already started.  All D.C. employers should immediately ensure that they are in full compliance with this new law.
Continue Reading D.C. Paid Leave is Coming: Are you Ready?

On August 30, 2019, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed SB 778, which effectively delayed employer sexual harassment training requirements established in 2018. As we have covered in previous articles, in the wake of the #MeToo movement, California lawmakers passed legislation intended to curb sexual harassment in the workplace. One such example was SB 1343, signed into law on September 30, 2018 by then Governor Jerry Brown. SB 1343 required employers with 5 or more employees, including temporary or seasonable employees, to provide at least 2 hours of sexual harassment training to all supervisors and at least one hour of sexual harassment training to all nonsupervisory employees by January 1, 2020, and once every two years thereafter. The law specified that an employer who had provided this training to an employee after January 1, 2019 was not required to provide sexual harassment training and education by the January 1, 2020 deadline. However, as discussed in prior blog entries, this led to confusion among employers who were already providing anti-harassment training to their nonsupervisory employees. Under the letter of the current law, some of these employees would have to participate in the training twice in a 2-year period, at cost to the employer and providing little additional benefit to the employee.
Continue Reading One Year Reprieve: California Delays Employer Sexual Harassment Training Requirements to 2021

After years of uncertainty, on September 24, 2019, the Department of Labor released a Final Rule making changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) overtime regulations.

BACKGROUND

Since 2004, there had been no significant changes in the overtime salary thresholds under the FLSA. In 2016, the Obama administration attempted to make significant increases to the salary thresholds. Those proposed changes came to a halt when a federal judge in the Eastern District of Texas, granted a preliminary injunction, and ultimately invalidated the rule. Now, several years later, the DOL’s Final Rule provides employers with much more certainty as to their obligations under the FLSA.
Continue Reading It’s Here: The DOL’s Final Overtime Rule has Been Released

Baltimore County has petitioned the Supreme Court to decide whether backpay for violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) is mandatory.

Background

In 1999, two Baltimore County Correctional Officers initiated charges at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) claiming that they were being discriminated against based on their ages because they had to contribute more to the County’s pension plan than younger employees. After years of litigation and various appeals in the U.S. District Court of Maryland and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, in April 2016, Baltimore County and the EEOC entered into a Joint Consent Order to equalize pension member contribution rates.
Continue Reading Mandatory Backpay in ADEA Claims: What Will SCOTUS Decide?

A New York appeals court recently ruled in Edwards v. Nicolai (153 A.D.3d 440 (N.Y. App. Div. 1st Dep’t 2017)) that an employment termination motivated by the sexual jealousy of an employer’s spouse may support a claim for gender discrimination under the New York State Human Rights Law (“NYSHRL”) and the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”).
Continue Reading Yoga and Massage Therapist Fired for Being “Too Cute” Sees Gender Discrimination Claim Revived on Grounds of Unjustified Spousal Jealousy

Are you finally caught up on all of the new California laws taking effect in 2017?  Then begin preparing for 2018 because the California legislature has been busy drafting another set of employment related laws.  Here is a sneak peak of some of the more notable proposals that may be coming down the pike.  For now, these are only proposed laws that have neither passed the legislature nor been signed into law.  If they do become laws, their substance may ultimately change substantially.
Continue Reading 2018: California Employment Laws on the Horizon

As we previously reported here, the New York State Department of Labor (“NYSDOL”) issued final regulations in September 2016 imposing new notice and consent requirements on employers who pay wages via direct deposit and debit card.  The regulations, which were scheduled to take effect on March 7, 2017, have been invalidated and revoked by the New York State Industrial Board of Appeals (“IBA”) which recently issued a decision finding, among other things, that the NYSDOL’s regulations exceeded its rulemaking authority by imposing restrictions on financial institutions.
Continue Reading *UPDATE* New York State Department of Labor’s Direct Deposit and Debit Card Notice Regulations Held Invalid and Revoked

Effective March 7, 2017, employers who pay wages via direct deposit and/or payroll debit card will need to comply with more stringent requirements.  The New York State Department of Labor (the “NYSDOL”) recently issued final regulations governing the methods that New York employers may use to pay most “non-exempt” employees.  The regulations impose a number of new requirements on employers who remit wages via direct deposit and payroll debit card, including new notice and consent requirements that employers must comply with prior to utilizing such payment methods.
Continue Reading New York State Department of Labor Issues Final Wage Regulations Imposing New Notice and Consent Requirements on Direct Deposit and Debit Card Wage Payments

At the end August, the National Labor Relations Board released an advice memorandum, originally drafted in December 2015, concluding that a group of drivers who worked for a drayage company called Pacific 9 Transportation were misclassified as independent contractors and that this misclassification constituted a violation of the National Labor Relations Act. This advice memorandum comes on the heels of a handful of Board decisions, which have reached similar conclusions following the Board’s new and expansive definition of who constitutes a statutory employee under the Act, in FedEx Home Delivery & Teamsters, Local 671. 361 NLRB No. 55 (2014).
Continue Reading NLRB Releases Advice Memorandum Affirming Misclassification Constitutes Unfair Labor Practice