Category Archives: GT Alert

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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

California Adopts Emergency Regulation to Protect Outdoor Workers From Wildfire Smoke

Last year was the most destructive fire season in California’s history. Over 7,600 wildfires burned nearly two million acres. As a result, on July 18, the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) Occupational Safety Health Standards Board adopted an emergency regulation to protect workers from hazards associated with wildfire smoke. The regulation is now in … Continue Reading

Out-of-State Workers Can Assert Claims Under New Jersey Anti-Discrimination Law

On June 27, 2019, New Jersey’s Appellate Division ruled that New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) can extend “in appropriate circumstances” to plaintiffs who reside or work outside of the state where New Jersey has the “most significant relationship” to the claims. Calabotta v. Phibro Animal Health Corp., et al. In 2008, New Jersey-based Phibro … Continue Reading

Nevada Mandates Paid Time Off for Workers

On June 13, 2019, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak signed SB 312 into law to require Nevada employers to provide paid leave to workers. Specifically, the bill requires that employees receive 0.01923 hours of paid leave for each hour worked. Under this formula, a worker who works 40 hours per week for 52 weeks will be entitled to … Continue Reading

2019 Mexican Federal Labor Law Amendment

On May 1, 2019, Mexico’s Federal Official Gazette published a decree setting forth major amendments to Mexico’s Federal Labor Law (FLL) (Decree). The Decree follows and articulates the February 2017 amendment to the Federal Constitution that, among other things, (i) confirmed union freedom and confidential voting by union members, (ii) set forth the creation of … Continue Reading

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Reinstates Collection of EEO-1 Component 2 Data: Pay Data Collection for Calendar Years 2017 and 2018

September is coming, and a chilly wind is blowing for employers with more than 100 employees. By Sept. 30, 2019, employers must submit EEO-1 Component 2 data, employee wage and hour data organized by job category, gender, race, and ethnicity, for calendar years 2017 and 2018 to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). A 2017 … Continue Reading

July 1, 2019 Deadline Looms for Employers Under Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act

The Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFML) provides eligible workers with paid medical and family leave benefits effective Jan. 1, 2021. See July 2018 GT Alert here. Specifically, individuals will be entitled to up to 20 weeks of paid medical leave and 12 weeks of paid family leave per year. The maximum amount of combined family … Continue Reading

IRS Expands Retirement Plan Self-Correction Program

Our January 2019 GT Benefits and Compensation Alert addressed the unprecedented level of potential liability for compliance failures in 401(k) and other retirement plans and the importance of performing a plan compliance review and correcting plan document or operational failures before an IRS auditor knocks on the door. Doing nothing and playing the audit lottery … Continue Reading

Court of Appeals Upholds DOL’s Interpretation of NY’s Minimum Wage Order as Applied to Live-In Home Health Aides

On March 26, 2019, in a 5-2 ruling, the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of providers in a critical decision affecting home health care. Andryeyeva v. N.Y. Health Care, Inc. and Moreno v. Future Care Health Servs. et al. was a joint appeal in a case that threatened to eviscerate an important economic constraint … Continue Reading

New Jersey Passes Law Eroding Bedrock of Settlement – Confidentiality Provisions Relating to Discrimination, Retaliation, and Harassment Claims No Longer Enforceable

On March 18, 2019, landmark legislation was passed that could dramatically impact the resolution of discrimination, retaliation, and harassment claims. under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”), and “other” statutes – presently undefined. Employers: pay close attention. The bill takes effect immediately and applies “to all contracts and agreements entered into, renewed, modified, or … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Proposes Changes to Overtime Rules

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on March 7, 2019, issued a new proposed rule raising the annual minimum salary requirements for the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime exemptions for executive, administrative, and professional employees. Under the new rule, the salary level for these “white collar” exemptions will increase from $23,660 per year ($455 per week) … Continue Reading

House Zeros in on Workplace Violence in Health Care and Social Service Industries

House Democrats have set their sights on workplace violence in health care and social service industries. According to congressional findings, the health care and social service industries suffer the highest rates of injuries caused by workplace violence. Health care and social service workers made up 69 percent of all workplace violence injuries in 2017 and … Continue Reading

NYC Commission on Human Rights Issues Guidance on Race Discrimination on the Basis of Hair

Setting new precedent on Feb. 18, 2019, the New York City Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR) issued new guidance prohibiting race discrimination on the basis of hair. The new guidance provides legal recourse under the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) to individuals who are discriminated against, harassed, punished, not hired, or fired based … Continue Reading

Impact of New Massachusetts Noncompete Law on Emerging Tech Companies

The Massachusetts Noncompetition Agreement Act, M.G.L. c. 149, § 24L, has been the law of the Commonwealth for almost four months. The statute only applies to agreements entered into between employers and certain employees and independent contractors on or after Oct. 1, 2018, so the law’s ramifications are still largely yet to be determined. Nevertheless, … Continue Reading

Illinois Supreme Court Holds No Showing of Actual Harm Needed to State Claim Under Biometric Information Privacy Act

In a unanimous decision issued Jan. 25, 2019, the Illinois Supreme Court held that a plaintiff need not plead or prove actual harm to bring a claim under Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). The court’s decision in Rosenbach v. Six Flags Entertainment Corp. settles a split among Illinois’ appellate courts, which centered on what a plaintiff needs … Continue Reading

Top Massachusetts Court Rules in Favor of Employer in Wage Act Case of Calixto v. Coughlin

On Dec. 28, 2018, in Calixto v. Coughlin, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts (SJC) issued a unanimous opinion in favor of Greenberg Traurig’s clients, former officers of a defunct company. The SJC upheld the dismissal of Calixto’s claims alleging violation of the Massachusetts Wage Act, G. L. c. 149, § 148 (Wage Act), and … Continue Reading

OSHA Continues to Increase the Maximum Penalty Amounts for Citations

On Jan. 15, 2019, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a notice announcing another increase in the maximum penalty amounts for violations of federal Occupational Safety and Health standards and regulations. Under the new structure, the maximum penalty for “Willful” or “Repeated” violations is $132,598. Moreover, the maximum penalty for “Failure to Abate” violations is … Continue Reading

2018 Year in Review: California L&E

There are myriad special rules for employers operating in California, and even more were signed into law last term. 2018 was Jerry Brown’s last year of his second “two-term” round as governor. Both legislatively and judicially, 2018 was a busy year, with the legislature sending more than 1,000 bills to the governor. This GT Alert … Continue Reading

New Jersey Federal Court Declares State’s New Equal Pay Act Does Not Apply Retroactively – Will State Courts Agree?

On Jan. 15, 2019, U.S. District Judge William J. Martini ruled that New Jersey’s newly minted Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act (NJEPA), enacted April 24, 2018, and by its terms effective July 1, 2018, “is not retroactively applicable to conduct occurring prior to its effective date.” Perrotto v. Morgan Advanced Materials, PLC. While Judge … Continue Reading

The LAUSD Strike and Its Impact on Employers

Jan. 17, 2019, marks the fourth day of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) teachers’ strike. For now, the nation’s second largest school district is using substitute teachers to keep classrooms open on a regular schedule for the hundreds of thousands of elementary, middle, and high-school students LAUSD serves, though as discussed below, certain … Continue Reading

New Year’s Resolution: Prepare Yourself for an IRS or DOL Plan Audit

How confident are you that your company’s retirement plans are being run in accordance with all legal requirements under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code (IRC)? Are you comfortable with the integrity of the annual representations made to your plan auditor that key benefit-plan controls are in place to … Continue Reading
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