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Viewpoint General
With just days to go before the 2018 midterm elections, candidates are sending out their final pleas for voters’ endorsements and employers are taking steps to ensure that their employees have the ability to voice their choice. According to electionday.org, nearly 60% of voting-eligible Americans did not vote in the last midterm elections, with 35% of those nonvoters reporting that “scheduling conflicts with work or school” kept them from getting to the polls.
Viewpoint General

NYC Employers Must Engage in "Cooperative Dialogue" on Accommodation Requests

October 25, 2018 | Blog | By Brie Kluytenaar, Don Davis

As of October 15, 2018, New York City employers are now required to engage in a “cooperative dialogue” when an employee requests a workplace accommodation. In a development that may have been overshadowed by the New York State sexual harassment prevention law, the New York City Council amended the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) in December 2017 to institute this requirement. Similar to, but more demanding than the “interactive process” contemplated by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, this requirement imposes significant new duties on employers in New York City.
The Bubbler

The Bubbler - October 2018

October 22, 2018 | Blog | By Natalie Young

This month’s Bubbler highlights our upcoming Boston Employment Law Summit. On November 7, 2018, Mintz will bring together thought leaders to discuss a wide spectrum of timely issues impacting employers.
Viewpoint General

Association Health Plans: Benefits & Challenges

October 15, 2018 | Video | By Alden Bianchi

Alden Bianchi explains the benefits Association Health Plans (AHPs) provide to small employers as well as the concerns they raise for states regarding their impact on the markets.
AHP Blog Button
In a summary of the recently issued Association Health Plan (AHP) final regulations, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) rightly observed that AHPs are a species of multi-employer welfare arrangements, or MEWAs, that are subject to regulation under both federal and state laws. The insurance regulators in a handful of states have recently issued guidance that, in most cases, purports to prohibit AHPs from operating as “large group” plans. (The attached table summarizes and provides links to the guidance, state-by-state.) A common, though not universal, theme is that in no case may a collection of small employers be combined to form a large group. Certain states address collateral issues. Pennsylvania, for example, makes the further claim that in no case may a self-employed individual with no employees participate in an AHP. We think that the states have overreached. This post explains why.
Viewpoint General
The wait is over.  The New York State Department of Labor (DOL) just released its final guidance with respect to New York State’s new anti-sexual harassment law.  The release includes final templates for the model sexual harassment prevention policy, complaint form, and harassment prevention training program.
Viewpoint General
Responding to widespread resistance—principally on the part of small businesses—to the increase in the Employer Medical Assistance Contribution (“EMAC”) contributions and the addition of an EMAC supplemental contribution, Massachusetts lawmakers amended the EMAC rules in 2017 to add hardship waiver provisions. (Click here for a summary of the EMAC rules.) The Massachusetts Division of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) recently issued a proposed regulation implementing the hardship waiver rules. This post examines those proposed regulations.
Viewpoint General
Until a few cases over the last year, courts appeared to be just fine maintaining the paradox that while individuals could lawfully treat their disabilities with licensed medical marijuana use, employers could choose to pass on employing medical marijuana users by relying on the illegality of marijuana under federal law. Before last year, courts in Oregon, California, Colorado, Michigan, and New Mexico all rejected employment claims brought by plaintiffs under state marijuana legalization and lawful off-duty conduct laws. Last year in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, state courts challenged that paradox, and this month, in Connecticut, a federal court did the same.
Viewpoint General

NEW FCRA NOTICE REQUIREMENTS NOW IN EFFECT

September 24, 2018 | Blog | By Emma Follansbee

Earlier this month, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued updated model disclosure forms required under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The updated “Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act” form, which became effective on September 21, 2018, is one of many notices employers must provide under the FCRA when using a consumer reporting agency (CRA) to run a background check during the hiring process. The revised form is located here along with a revised Summary of Consumer Identity Theft Rights form.
Viewpoint General
Adherence to the COBRA health care continuation rules is not always high on an employer’s list of priorities. Compliance is often “outsourced,” and even when handled “in-house,” it rarely consumes much attention. A recent case, Hager v. DBG Partners, Inc., illustrates that inattention can be costly for employers. This post explains why.
Viewpoint General

The Bubbler – September 2018

September 12, 2018 | Blog | By Paul Huston

Welcome to this month’s edition of the Bubbler! Now that fall is fast approaching we’re refreshing your memory of some key recent developments as we head into the new season:
Viewpoint General
Now that Labor Day is behind us, we are looking ahead to the various compliance deadlines facing New York State and New York City employers this fall.
In our sister blog, ADR: Advice from the Trenches, Gil Samberg explains the Sixth Circuit’s ruling, applying the Supreme Court’s reasoning in the recent Epic Systemscase, that the “collective action” provision of the FLSA does not render a collective action waiver in an arbitration agreement unenforceable.
Viewpoint General

#MeToo Movement – Key Takeaways for Employees

August 27, 2018 | Video | By Jennifer Rubin

Jen Rubin discusses the key things employees need to understand in the wake of the #MeToo movement including reasonable expectations for the handling of a complaint of harassment or other misconduct and any subsequent punishment.

Viewpoint General
Jen Rubin explains the need for employers to ensure that their interviewers are properly trained to avoid running afoul of state and municipal legislation regarding salary history as well as what a candidate should do if they are asked about their salary history in a jurisdiction in which such an inquiry is prohibited.
Viewpoint General

Bullying in the Workplace

August 27, 2018 | Video | By Jennifer Rubin

Jen Rubin explains that while bullying in the work place isn’t illegal unless the bullying is related to a protected category, employers should consider instituting anti-bullying training as a best practice.
Viewpoint General

Post-Employment Restrictions

August 27, 2018 | Video | By Jennifer Rubin

Jen Rubin discusses the different types of post-employment restrictions, including non-competition agreements and non-solicitation agreements, as well as the need for employers to carefully consider what they are trying to protect before drafting and enforcing these policies. 
Viewpoint General

Classifying Independent Contractors

August 27, 2018 | Video | By Jennifer Rubin

Jen Rubin discusses the need for employers to comply with applicable state laws that govern how an individual is properly classified as an independent contractor and the associated penalties should an employer fail to do so.

New York State Department of Labor Releases Draft Sexual Harassment Prevention Materials

August 27, 2018 | Blog | By Brie Kluytenaar, Michael Arnold

Viewpoint General

#MeToo Movement – Key Takeaways for Employers

August 27, 2018 | Video | By Jennifer Rubin

Jen Rubin explains the need for employers to build trust in the workplace in the wake of the #MeToo movement by properly training HR professionals and regularly communicating policies.

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