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US District Courts Start Applying Kisor v. Wilkie; Is Auer Deference Now a “Paper Tiger”?

Our colleague Brent Owen at the FrESH Law Blog (which covers perspectives on Environmental, Safety, and Health law) recently provided an update to his prior post addressing the US Supreme Court’s then-pending decision in Kisor v. Wilkie.  In that case, decided in late June 2019, the Court addressed the Auer standard of deference that is applied by courts to administrative agencies’ interpretations … Continue Reading

California Passes Slew Of Worker-Friendly Laws, Most Notably Banning Mandatory Arbitration of Employment Claims

California Governor Gavin Newsom just signed a new batch of worker-friendly laws sponsored by Democrats in the California Assembly and Senate.  These laws cover a range of topics from arbitration agreements to workplace safety. AB 51 will garner particular attention because not only does it substantially prohibit arbitration agreements, it criminalizes them.  The new law … Continue Reading

A Divided U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments on Trio of LGBT Employment Discrimination Cases (US)

On October 8, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in three employment discrimination cases involving what protection, if any, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – which prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of, among other things, sex – affords against sexual orientation and gender identity-based discrimination.  As we previously discussed … Continue Reading

U.S. District Court Decision Upholds “Race-Conscious” College Admissions Policy at Harvard University, Affirming Affirmative Action Plan (US)

On October 1, 2019, a U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Massachusetts ruled in favor of Harvard University in a closely watched case examining whether the college’s admissions process, which takes candidates’ race and economic circumstances into account, results in race-based animus against Asian-Americans. The suit, filed by an anti-affirmative action advocacy group, … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Eliminates Contractual Limitations Periods For Title VII Claims (US)

Our colleagues Colter Paulson and Justin DiCharia at the Sixth Circuit Appellate Blog (which covers, as you may have guessed, developments in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit) authored the post below discussing the Sixth Circuit’s recent decision in a case in which the Court was tasked with deciding whether an employer … Continue Reading

Summer Vacation Is Definitely Over At The NLRB (US)

Between August 29 and September 10, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) issued four decisions that resolve important issues that have been the subject of long-running disputes.  It also issued an invitation to submit briefs in a case that provides an opportunity for the current Board majority members to revise the standard for … Continue Reading

California Passes Sweeping New Law Limiting Employer Use Of Independent Contractors (US)

AB 5, and its “ABC test,” expected to have greatest impact in “gig economy” jobs, but impact certain to be even more widely felt After a summer of lobbying and debating, the California Assembly adopted AB 5, a headline-grabbing law purporting to transform the status of gig-economy workers at companies like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash.  … Continue Reading

Illinois Enacts New Law In Response To #MeToo Movement (US)

On August 9, 2019, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed into law the Illinois Workplace Transparency Act (“WTA”), imposing new requirements and modifying existing laws in ways that will impact nearly all Illinois employers – and may be a signal of things to come in other US states.  The WTA aims to address concerns raised through … Continue Reading

NLRB Issues First Decision Addressing Mandatory Arbitration Agreements Since Epic Systems (US)

If you’ve been following our blog, you already know that the topic of employer-mandated arbitration agreements has been a hot issue in recent years for government agencies and in the state and federal courts.  Most notably, in May of last year, the United States Supreme Court issued its highly-anticipated decision in Epic Systems v. Lewis, … Continue Reading

Obesity Continues to Divide Courts: Washington’s High Court Says Obesity Qualifies as an Impairment (US)

As we previously discussed here and here, courts are split regarding the extent to which obesity qualifies as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The Second, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Circuit Courts of Appeal have held that obesity must be accompanied by an underlying physiological disorder for it to constitute a disability, … Continue Reading

Employers Prepare: New York Continues to Revamp Workplace Harassment Law (US)

Riding on the 2018 wave of workplace sexual harassment legislation, on June 19, 2019, the New York state assembly and senate voted to toughen the state’s anti-discrimination and anti-harassment law (S. 6577/A. 8421 and related amendment S. 6594/A. 8424). Governor Cuomo, a proponent of the bill, is expected to sign the bill into law.  … Continue Reading

California Passes CROWN Act, Becomes First State to Ban Natural Hairstyle Discrimination (US)

On April 30, 2019, we reported that the California State Senate had taken steps toward enacting the CROWN Act (Creating a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair) to prohibit discrimination on the basis of “traits historically associated with one’s race, such as hair texture and protective hairstyles.” The bill passed the Assembly on June … Continue Reading

Illinois Legalizes Recreational Marijuana – Cutting Through The Haze To Understand The Workplace Implications (US)

On June 25, 2019, Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker signed HB 1438, the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act (“CRTA”), which, as of January 1, 2020, legalizes recreational use and possession of marijuana by adults aged 21 or older.  Illinois is now the eleventh US state to adopt a general law authorizing adult recreational use of … Continue Reading

Minneapolis Employers — Heads Up! City gives two days’ notice to comply with new sick leave rules (US)

From July 1, 2017 until last Friday night (June 28, 2019), the city of Minneapolis had a paid sick leave law that, per the city’s own rules and FAQs, only applied to employers with a physical location in the city of Minneapolis. As we previously reported, the city had been taking public comment on whether … Continue Reading

Growing Trend Towards Unlimited Paid Time Off: Best Practices (US)

Unlimited paid time off (“PTO”) is one of the new “it” workplace policies.  Adopted as both a means to attract and retain employees as well as to avoid having to coordinating and track specific grants of paid PTO or vacation– a task which can be arduous, particularly for smaller businesses – some employers have done … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit: Obesity Alone Is Not A Disability Under the ADA (US)

As we previously reported here, the issue of whether obesity is a legally-protected impairment is complex, and jurisdictions differ on the extent to which they consider obesity to be a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  On June 12, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit joined the Second, … Continue Reading

State Law Round-Up: Paid Leave Proliferation (CT, ME, MA, NV, DC) and Minimum Wage Update! (US)

July 1 Minimum Wage Increases A number of jurisdictions will see a minimum wage increase effective July 1, 2019; please find our updated minimum wage chart here.  In addition to those listed, Nevada just (on June 12, 2019) passed a law to raise the minimum wage to $12/hour by 2024.… Continue Reading

Illinois and City of Chicago Poised to Implement New Laws Addressing Changes in the Workplace – Signs of Things to Come? (US)

Illinois Restricts Use of Artificial Intelligence in Hiring On May 29, 2019, the Illinois Legislature unanimously passed the Artificial Intelligence Video Interview Act, which, not surprisingly, addresses how employers use artificial intelligence to analyze job applicant video interviews to determine the applicant’s fitness for the position.  Under the new law (assuming it is signed by … Continue Reading

State Law Round-Up: Developments in Wage and Hour (CO, MA, ME, WA), Non-Compete (WA), Commuter Benefits (NJ), Sexual Harassment (DE), and Sick Leave (Dallas and Minneapolis) Laws. (US)

It’s been an active few weeks since our last State Law Round-Up in mid-April 2019, with a number of bills being signed into new laws and case developments impacting employers in many US states over the past few weeks. Colorado Failure to Pay Wages as Theft Effective January 1, 2020, an employer’s failure to pay … Continue Reading

NLRB General Counsel Advice Memorandum Is “Uber” Favorable For Gig Economy Companies Utilizing Independent Contractors (US)

In a recently-released Advice Memorandum dated April 16, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB”) Office of the General Counsel (“GC”) determined that drivers utilizing Uber Technologies’ smartphone application-based rideshare platform are independent contractors, not employees, under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).  In arriving at this conclusion, the GC utilized the independent contractor test … Continue Reading

EEOC Will Begin Collecting 2017 and 2018 Pay Data from Employers in Mid-July 2019 (US)

A federal judge recently ordered that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) collect two years of Component 2 EEO-1 data, including employees’ hours worked and W-2 compensation information, from employers with 100 or more employees (and federal contractors with 50 or more employees) by September 30, 2019 (see our post here).  The agency was given … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Labor Says “Gig Economy” Workers Are Independent Contractors, Not Employees (US)

On Monday, April 29, 2019, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) Wage and Hour Division issued an opinion letter in response to an inquiry from an anonymous “virtual marketplace company” (“VMC”) concerning whether individuals who provide services through the VMC (“service providers”) are employees or are independent contractors for purposes of federal wage and … Continue Reading
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