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California Prohibits Mandatory Employment Arbitration

October 25, 2019 | Blog | By Audrey Nguyen, Jennifer Rubin

California Governor Gavin Newsom just signed AB 51 into law, which means that effective January 1, 2020, employers will (purportedly) be prohibited from requiring employees to consent to mandatory arbitration of employment claims. Here is what your business needs to do now:
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New York recently extended its protections of the New York City Human Rights Law to non-employees, including contractors and freelancers, following in the footsteps of New York State, which recently amended its Human Rights Law in a similar manner.  The new law will go into effect in January 2020.  We wanted to highlight an important development that arises out of the change in this law. 
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Calculating overtime pay for tipped employees working in multiple positions at different rates in a single workweek can be confusing. So confusing, in fact, that we discovered that even the District of Columbia’s Department of Employment Services (“DOES”) was getting it wrong in guidance published on its website. Before reviewing what DOES did wrong, let’s briefly review the key principles to keep in mind when calculating overtime pay for tipped and non-tipped employees in Washington, D.C.
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This week, Law360 published an article by our colleague and thought leader Jen Rubin that reflects on progress toward gender parity arising out of the #MeToo movement.
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EEOC Extends Collection Period for EEO-1 Component 2 Data

October 1, 2019 | Blog | By Morgan G. Tanafon

On September 27, the EEOC announced in a court filing that collection of Component 2 data is continuing as long as “the Court’s order is in effect stating that collection will not be complete until it reaches what the Court has determined to be the target response rate. . .”
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The Long-Awaited Final Overtime Rule Has Landed

September 26, 2019 | Blog | By Morgan G. Tanafon

The Department of Labor (DOL) released the final version of its long-anticipated update to the rule calculating overtime eligibility under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  As you might recall, the DOL attempted to update the overtime rule back in 2016, but some states and business groups who opposed the rule successfully challenged it in court. The Final Rule increases the “standard salary level” to qualify for an exemption from overtime, but not as drastically as the attempted 2016 update.  The final rule is effective January 1, 2020, and we highlight its key provisions and provide next-step guidance below:
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Important EEO-1 Component 2 Deadline Approaching This Month

September 13, 2019 | Blog | By Morgan G. Tanafon

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California Supreme Court Delivers PAGA Win for Employers

September 13, 2019 | Blog | By Paul Huston

In a significant victory for California employers who use arbitration agreements, the California Supreme Court ruled (ZB, N.A. et al. v. Superior Court of San Diego County, S246711 (September 12, 2019)) that the recovery of underpaid wages was not a civil penalty recoverable under the Private Attorney General Act, Labor Code section 2699 et seq. (“PAGA”), and that claims seeking such recovery were indeed subject to individual arbitration in accordance with Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles LLC (2014) 59 Cal.4th 348.
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Read about the AB 5, a bill passed by the California legislature that effectively bans nearly all categories of independent contractors, not just gig economy workers.
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We know August was exhausting for employers – New York, New Jersey, Maine, Colorado, and yes, even Alabama – all kept you on your toes with new and updated employment legislation that represents an array of new compliance obligations.  These new restrictions on employers run the gamut from prohibitions on certain non-competes in New Hampshire to equal pay legislation in Alabama to a Maine ban on salary history questions to medical marijuana protections in New Jersey to a Colorado ban-the-box law.
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Artificial Intelligence in the Employment Relationship: Friend or Foe?

August 21, 2019 | Blog | By O'Kelly E. McWilliams, III, Jennifer Budoff

Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) is no longer the stuff of sci-fi movies or alien invasions.  The technology has permeated everyday life from Siri and Alexa to Facebook and Google.  While marketing teams have been relying on AI for years to help streamline business efforts and target consumers, employers have finally joined in on the hype. 
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Governor Cuomo Signs Bill Updating the New York State Human Rights Law

August 13, 2019 | Blog | By Michael Arnold, Brie Kluytenaar

On Monday, Governor Cuomo signed into the law the last of four bills aimed at strengthening workplace protections for employees.  In mid-July, the Governor signed pay equity, salary history disclosure and hair discrimination laws into effect.  Now, the Governor has completed this effort by signing into the law a bill that makes significant changes to the New York Human Rights Law.
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Federal law nowadays certainly favors enforcement of agreements to arbitrate.  But generally applicable state contract law determines contract formation – i.e., whether such an agreement has been made.
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On June 18, 2019, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed into law Public Act 19-16, “An Act Combatting Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment,” also known as the “Time’s Up Act” (the “Act”). The Act involves several significant changes to Connecticut’s employment laws, with a particular focus on expanding sexual harassment prevention laws.
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Update on New York State's Pay Equity Legislation

July 16, 2019 | Blog | By Brie Kluytenaar

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On June 13, 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Labor (DOL), the Department of the Treasury (Treasury Department) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) (collectively, the “Departments”) issued a coordinated set of final regulations (“final rules”). Entitled, “Health Reimbursement Arrangements and Other Account-Based Group Health Plans,” the final rules expand employers’ ability to offer health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) to their employees to be used in conjunction with individual market coverage and recognize a new type of excepted benefit HRA that allows employees to pay for HIPAA excepted benefits and short-term coverage. This post summarizes the final rules.
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The Bubbler

July 3, 2019 | Blog | By Natalie Young

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