Category Archives: GT Alert

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New York, New Jersey Employers Now Prohibited From Inquiring About Salary History

As noted in our 2019 legislative update, New Jersey and New York have joined a growing number of states in prohibiting employers from asking job applicants about their salary history. Both states’ legislation became effective earlier this month after being signed into law last year. As of January 2020, other states that prohibit all private employers … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit to Take on OSHA Authority to Regulate Workplace Violence

On Jan. 9, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia heard oral argument in BHC Nw. Psychiatric Hosp. LLC v. Sec’y of Labor, a case that asks the court to decide how far the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) can go when directing a hospital to put in place measures to … Continue Reading

OSHA Is Raising Its Maximum Penalty Amounts, Again!

On Jan. 10, 2020, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced another increase in the maximum civil monetary penalties for violations of federal Occupational Safety and Health standards and regulations. The new monetary penalties will be nearly 2% higher than the current maximum penalty amounts. Effective Jan. 15, 2020, the maximum penalty for … Continue Reading

First Circuit Concludes That Two Private Equity Funds Were Not Liable for Pension Fund Withdrawal Liability of Portfolio Company

In its recent decision in Sun Capital Partners III, LP v. New England Teamsters & Trucking Indus. Pension Fund, the First Circuit Court of Appeals decided that two investment funds established by a private equity firm to acquire and provide management services to various portfolio companies were not liable for the withdrawal liabilities for unfunded … Continue Reading

Amendments to Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act Clarify Limitations of Employer Liability

On December 4, 2019, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed into law Senate Bill 1557, which makes various changes to the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (the “Cannabis Act”), including providing much-needed clarity with respect to potential employer liability. The Cannabis Act, which legalizes (under Illinois state law) the adult recreational use of cannabis, goes … Continue Reading

New Jersey Joins Jurisdictions in Banning Salary History Inquiries for Applicants

On July 25, 2019, Acting Governor Sheila Oliver signed NJ A1094 (the “Law”), banning salary history requests in New Jersey. Consistent with the growing trend, New Jersey joins the ranks of many other cities and states that have enacted salary history bans to combat pay inequity. Effective Jan. 1, 2020, New Jersey employers will no … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Holds Judicial Approval Not Required When Settling FLSA Claim Pursuant to Rule 68(a) Offer of Judgment

On Dec. 6, 2019, the Second Circuit issued a decision in Yu v. Hasaki Restaurant, Inc. that will likely impact settlement of wage and hour actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In a split decision, the court reversed a district court ruling and held that judicial approval is not required when settling an FLSA claim … Continue Reading

New York Seasonal and Holiday Employees

The holidays are upon us, NYC is bustling with tourists, and, with the typical surge in business this time of year, employers may be thinking about adding a few employees to their December and January schedules. This GT Alert provides important considerations with respect to those seasonal employment offers, including minimum wage, sexual harassment training, … Continue Reading

Reminder: Jan. 1, 2020, Effective Date Quickly Approaching for New Overtime Rules

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) final rule raising the annual minimum salary requirements for the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime exemptions for executive, administrative, and professional employees is effective Jan. 1, 2020. Employers who have not yet begun or completed their audit and review of their employee classifications should immediately start the process … Continue Reading

2019 Employment Law Snapshot: New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania

In 2019, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania each enacted substantial legislation affecting companies that employ individuals in those states. This GT Alert provides a summary of the most significant of these legislative changes and will help employers stay abreast of the changes relevant to their businesses. Please note that the laws described extend protections to … Continue Reading

Employment and Pension Law Update 2019: The Netherlands

This GT Alert provides an update on employment and pension law in the Netherlands for 2019. Topics covered include diversity in boards of larger companies; the Balanced Labour Market Act (Wab), effective 1 January 2020; amendments to restructuring rules applied by the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV), effective 1 October 2019; Dutch pension system reforms; and … Continue Reading

We May Not Have Until January to Sort Out AB5: Update on Dynamex Retroactivity

After the California Second District Court of Appeal’s Oct. 8, 2019, decision in Gonzales v. San Gabriel Transit, Inc., brought as a garden variety wage and hour class action claiming various classifications of drivers who agreed to be and were treated as independent contractors were in fact employees, the California Supreme Court will have the final say … Continue Reading

Reminder: Oct. 9, 2019, Deadline Approaches for New York Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

New York employers have until Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019, to train each of their employees on sexual harassment prevention. The training must be conducted annually thereafter, and must satisfy all of the statutory requirements for content and interaction. Employers who have not yet conducted training should do so as soon as possible. For more information, … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Announces Final Changes to Overtime Rules

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on Sept. 24, 2019, announced a final rule raising the annual minimum salary requirements for the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime exemptions for executive, administrative, and professional employees. The final rule, effective Jan. 1, 2020, will significantly impact businesses. Experts predict the rule could result in the reclassification … Continue Reading

AB5 Update: California Legislature Seeks Shake-Up of Gig Economy; Any Impact of CA Independent Contractor Laws on Franchisors Remains Unclear

On Sept. 18, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) into law. AB5, effective Jan. 1, 2020, seeks to codify and clarify a California Supreme Court case (Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles), which dramatically changed the standard for determining whether workers in California should be classified as employees … Continue Reading

2 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back: California Supreme Court Nixes Plaintiffs’ Ability to Recover Unpaid Wages Under PAGA, but Forecloses Defendants’ Path to Arbitration

On Sept. 12, 2019, the California Supreme Court in ZB, N.A. v. Superior Court of San Diego County (Lawson) delivered a victory for California employers, clarifying that a plaintiff bringing a Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) action may not recover as a “civil penalty” the “wages” referenced in Cal. Labor Code section 558, and thereby … Continue Reading

Violating OSHA’s Anti-Retaliation Provision Can Be Costly!

On Aug. 23, 2019, a federal judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania awarded over a million dollars in lost wages and punitive damages to two former employees of Lloyd Industries after a jury found the company and its owner fired them in retaliation for their participation in a … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Payroll Deductions Begin Oct. 1 2019

For those companies employing Massachusetts workers, payroll withholdings to fund the leave program established by the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFML) will begin Oct. 1, 2019. As reported in previous GT Alerts (see July 2018 and May 2019), the PFML provides eligible employees with paid medical and family leave benefits effective Jan. … Continue Reading

Changes to Illinois Law Prohibit Salary History Inquiries and Impact Employer Drug Policies

Several amendments to the Illinois Equal Pay Act will become effective Sept. 29, 2019. The most significant of these amendments is a ban that prohibits inquiry into and the use of a job applicant’s pay history in making hiring and employment decisions. Illinois has now joined with 13 states that have imposed such a ban. This … Continue Reading

A Non-Compete Law Roadmap for Tech Start-Ups in Key Jurisdictions

The enforceability of restrictive covenants, particularly non-compete agreements, can be very difficult for employers to navigate, especially for companies in their “start-up” phase. Technology companies in particular face challenges in structuring non-competes that balance their need to attract talent with their need to protect confidential and sensitive information, while preventing unfair competition by former employees. … Continue Reading

National Labor Relations Board Kicks Off Rulemaking for Election Procedures

The current National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) continues to take steps toward reversing union-friendly Obama-era NLRB rules and regulations. Previously, the Board sought public comment on whether it should change the NLRB rules and regulations established in 2015, also referred to by some as the “Ambush Election” Rules or “Quickie Election” Rules. On … Continue Reading

Attention New York Employers: When It Comes to Workplace Harassment, Times Are Changing

On August 12, 2019, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed new legislation amending the New York State Human Rights Law (the “NYSHRL”), changing the State law’s previous adherence to certain fundamental principles of federal law concerning employment harassment generally, including the standard for determining employer liability for “hostile work environment” discrimination claims and the availability … Continue Reading

NY State Bans Discrimination Based on Religious Attire, Clothing, and Facial Hair

On August 9, 2019, New York state amended its Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) to expressly include the workplace protection of religious attire, clothing, and facial hair. The law becomes effective in sixty (60) days, on October 8, 2019. While religious discrimination has long been outlawed under both state and federal law, this amendment makes clear … Continue Reading

New Jersey Implements Steep Sanctions for Wage Payment Violations

On Aug. 6, 2019, New Jersey Acting Gov. Sheila Oliver signed a new “wage theft” law that expands the fines, penalties, and damages to be imposed for violations of the state’s wage payment law for an extended six-year statute of limitations period. The law takes effect immediately. In this GT Alert we explore the new … Continue Reading
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