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California Becomes More Expensive for Employers: Meal and Rest Break Premiums Now Track Overtime and Must be Paid at the Regular Rate of Pay, Retroactively (US)

Issuing the California Supreme Court’s decision in a much anticipated case, Justice Liu on behalf of a unanimous court explained in Ferra v. Loews Hollywood Hotel, LLC that “[t]he calculation of premium pay for a noncompliant meal, rest, or recovery period, like the calculation of overtime pay, must account for not only hourly wages but … Continue Reading

Illinois Legislature Passes Bill Impacting Non-Competition and Non-Solicitation Covenants: What Employers Need to Know (US)

Squire Patton Boggs Summer Associate Gabrielle Martin summarizes substantial changes to Illinois’ Freedom to Work Act included in recently-passed legislation which will impose significant new requirements and limitations on the use of non-competition and non-solicitation covenants in Illinois. Joining an emerging trend among the states to place statutory limits on the ability of employers to … Continue Reading

California Agency Says Masks Stay On At Work – At Least for Now (US)

On June 3, 2021, California’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Cal/OSHA) took the first step towards adopting revised regulations relating to COVID-19 in the workplace. These revisions include updates to requirements for face coverings, physical distancing, and other preventive measures for both vaccinated and unvaccinated workers. The rules will apply in almost every workplace … Continue Reading

Arizona and Many Other States Begin Legislative Process to Protect Employees Against Discrimination Based on COVID-19 Vaccine Choices (US)

Currently pending before the Arizona legislature, Senate Bill 1648 would prohibit discrimination in the workplace (and elsewhere) against individuals who have not received or who refuse to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. As proposed, the bill would prohibit any employer from requiring a person to receive or disclose whether they have received a COVID-19 vaccine as … Continue Reading

Spring State Law Round-Up (CT, IL, OH, NY, PA, DC)

State legislatures have been busy in 2021 passing new employment-related laws. Here we look at some of the highlights of new laws in Connecticut, Illinois, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. Connecticut is the latest state to prohibit discrimination based upon traits historically associated with race, including hair texture, protective hairstyles such as wigs … Continue Reading

Arizona Expands State Law Employment Protections for Pregnant Workers (US)

Arizona employers are now expressly prohibited by state law from discriminating against employees on the basis of pregnancy or childbirth. On January 28, 2021, the Arizona Legislature passed, and on Thursday, February 4, 2021, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed into law, HB 2045, which amends the state civil rights statute to clarify that existing statutory … Continue Reading

Dynamex is Retroactive Says the California Supreme Court  – The Independent Contractor Law Now Looks Back and Forward (US)

The range of employers who may be liable for the misclassification of workers just got bigger. On January 14, 2021, the California Supreme Court decided that the decision in  Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court (2018) 4 Cal.5th 903 (Dynamex) applies retroactively to all non-final cases that predate the April 2018 Dynamex decision. Dynamex … Continue Reading

State Law Round-Up: Year End Edition – PART TWO (Illinois – Washington, D.C.) (US)

In Part One of our year-end State Law Roundup, we covered national minimum wage developments and developments in states at the beginning of the alphabet: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, and Hawaii.  In Part Two below, we look at developments in the rest of the states (and localities), from Illinois to Washington D.C. Illinois: Illinois employers … Continue Reading

State Law Round-Up: Year End Edition – PART ONE (California – Hawaii) (US)

As we (thankfully) reach the end of 2020, we wanted to provide a year-end update on recent and upcoming state law developments.  Despite the fact that state and local governments had their hands full with the COVID-19 pandemic (and passed many laws relating to that topic, which we will not cover here), they managed to … Continue Reading

A Timely Redux: Walking The Tightrope: Dealing With Employees’ Different Viewpoints On COVID-19, Racial Justice, and Partisan Politics (US)

In June 2020, we added a post to Employment Law Worldview addressing the complicated situation employers are in when employees express – sometime respectfully, sometimes not – different, and indeed, opposite views on COVID-19 issues (e.g., legitimate public health emergency versus hoax or “plandemic”), racial justice (“Black Lives Matter” versus “All Lives Matter”), and politics … Continue Reading

Voting Leave: What US Employers Need To Know As Election Day 2020 Approaches

With Election Day just a few weeks away, it’s an appropriate time to refresh our understanding of state voting leave laws and the obligations imposed on private sector employers by those laws. Although absentee voting by mail and universal mail voting have become more common since the last presidential election in 2016, many voters undoubtedly … Continue Reading

School’s Out For….Ever?? Preparing for COVID-19-Related Attendance Challenges (US)

It seems like just yesterday that spring school terms were cancelled thanks to the coronavirus. Employees left the workplace en masse, sometimes without choice thanks to government shutdown orders, while others left suddenly to begin involuntary tours of duty as homeschool teachers with no training whatsoever, myself included. (My daughter’s strident request for a substitute … Continue Reading

Employer’s Guide to Return-to-Work Issues: COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (US)

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency has changed life as we know it, including by severely disrupting business on a nationwide scale.  In some cases, employers have been forced to temporarily close their doors and cease operations, while others have had to make radical changes to the workplace in order to maintain operations. … Continue Reading

OSHA State Plan Agencies Issue COVID-19 Guidance (US)

Over the past several months, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has steadily issued guidance to both employers and agency officials on strategies to navigate regulatory matters related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as we have discussed here, here, here, here, and here. However, federal OSHA is not the only government agency addressing the crisis at hand. Below is an … Continue Reading

Key Provisions of “Colorado Overtime and Minimum Pay Standards Order (COMPS Order) # 36” (US)

COMPS Order 36 (“Order 36”) is scheduled to go into effect March 16, 2020 and makes major changes to wage regulations affecting Colorado employers. Order 36 applies both to hourly and salaried employees and requires significant compliance adjustments for employers. The key changes of Order 36 are summarized below. Colorado employers should carefully review Order … Continue Reading

Spoiler Alert! It’s Going to Be a Roaring 2020 With Many Impactful Laws On The Horizon (US)

Who will be cheering and who will be jeering in this new decade may depend on the outcome of several key cases, pending regulations, and potential state and local law reforms. Below, we provide you with a brief overview of some key issues that may dominate the legal landscape in 2020 and beyond.… Continue Reading

Year-End State Law Roundup: Get Ready for 2020! (US)

Minimum Wage, Paid Leave Law Developments, California Compliance, Illinois Update, and More…   Minimum Wage With federal minimum wage stuck at $7.25, state and local governments continue to raise minimum wages. Our current state and local minimum wage chart, showing changes that will be going into effect for the new year, is available here.… 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

State Law Round-Up: Wage Theft Laws (MN, NJ) and Restrictions on Non-Compete Agreements (ME, MD, NH, OR, RI, WA) (US)

Wage Theft Laws In response to Minnesota’s wage theft law, which we previously reported about here, the city of Minneapolis has passed its own wage theft law, Ordinance No. 2019-031, which will go into effect on January 1, 2020. The law applies to any employee that works for an employer for at least 80 hours … Continue Reading

State Law Round-Up: Minnesota Criminal Penalties for Wage Law Violations; New York Wage Gap and Hairstyle Discrimination; Pregnancy and Nursing Protections in Maine (US)

Minnesota Enacts Criminal Penalties for Wage Law Violations Minnesota governor Tim Waltz recently signed legislation that imposes criminal penalties (including felony charges) on employers who engage in “wage theft.” Effective August 1, 2019, employers will be guilty of a felony if they wrongfully withhold an employee’s pay by virtue of underpayment, misclassification, or refusing to … Continue Reading
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