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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

EEOC Opens Online Filing System: Are You Ready for the September 30, 2019 Pay Data Reporting Deadline? (US)

As we have reported previously (here, here, here and here), sweeping changes to employer obligations under the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) EEO-1 reporting requirements are under way. By September 30, 2019, employers must report 2017 and 2018 pay data for their workforce (referred to as “Component 2” data), broken down by race/ethnicity and sex. … 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

National Labor Relations Board Limits Another Union Tactic (US)

On June 14, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued another favorable decision for employers who might find themselves facing union organizing activities or other types of union solicitation.  This latest decision will make it significantly more difficult for unions to solicit employees, strategize with supporters, or engage in similar activities on an employer’s … 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

U.S. Supreme Court Relaxes Procedural Path for Title VII Litigants, Ruling EEOC Charge-Filing Process Not Jurisdictional

On January 23, 2019, we reported that the Supreme Court had agreed to review a decision from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, Ft. Bend County v. Davis, which would answer conclusively whether the pre-filing administrative exhaustion requirement is jurisdictional (meaning that failure to fully exhaust administrative remedies would bar litigation) or non-jurisdictional and thus … Continue Reading

NLRB Announces New Rulemaking Priorities (US)

As a part of the Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions (“Unified Agenda”) issued Wednesday, May 22, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) announced its regulatory road map, indicating three areas of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) under which the agency intends to develop new or modified rules: access to an employer’s … Continue Reading

NLRB Signals It May Claw Back Scabby The Rat (US)

One of labor unions’ key tactics relies prominently on balloon animals. Since the late 1980s, unions have used large inflatable animals – such as the infamous Scabby the Rat – to pressure employers and advertise labor disputes without running afoul of certain legal obligations. As we recently discussed on this blog, however, one recent court … 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

New York City and New Mexico Protect Employees Who Are Medical Marijuana Users (US)

New York City New York City has enacted a first-of-its kind law (Intro. No. 1445-A) prohibiting pre-employment drug testing for the presence of marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinols. The law makes it an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer, labor organization, employment agency, or agent thereof to require a prospective employee “to submit to testing for the … 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

Title VII And LGBT Discrimination: The Path To The High Court (US)

Expanding on her previous post on the subject, on May 1, 2019, Law360 published the following expert analysis authored by Squire Patton Boggs labor and employment attorney Melissa Legault. After 11 private conferences during which the U.S. Supreme Court justices debated whether to hear the cases, the Supreme Court granted certiorari[1] in three cases involving the extent of protection — if … Continue Reading

New York City and California Take Aim at Hairstyle-Based Discrimination (US)

Both New York City and California have recently taken steps to ban hairstyle-based discrimination.  On Monday, April 22, 2019, the California State Senate passed the CROWN Act (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair), which seeks to amend California’s anti-discrimination statute, the California Fair Housing and Employment Act (“FEHA”).   The CROWN Act, if … Continue Reading

Federal Court Confirms September 30, 2019 Deadline for Employers to Submit EEO-1 Pay Data (US)

As we previously reported here, on April 3, 2019, the White House Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) filed a brief with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia proposing a September 30, 2019 deadline for the EEOC to complete collection of the required 2018 EEO-1 pay data forms. The brief was filed … Continue Reading

US Supreme Court Rules That Agreement to Class-Based Arbitration Procedures Must Be Explicit  

The Court’s ruling in Lamps Plus, Inc., et al. v. Varela is the latest in the Court’s ongoing pro-employer, pro-arbitration jurisprudence As we first reported here, the United States Supreme Court’s docket this term includes three significant cases interpreting various aspects of the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”).  Earlier this year, the Court ruled in the … Continue Reading
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