Category Archives: State Law

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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

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

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

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

Recapping the Many Legal Developments Affecting Private Employers in New York and New Jersey, So Far, in 2019

There have been many significant developments in the first half of 2019 impacting private employers in New York and New Jersey. Federal, state, and local legislatures and agencies have been particularly busy in the employment arena, promulgating sweeping laws and regulations affecting a broad range of well-entrenched employment practices. For instance, New Jersey adopted prohibitions … 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

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

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

California Employee Can Agree to Non-Compete Clause When Represented by Counsel

Many employers and attorneys assume that covenants not to compete found in employment agreements are not enforceable against California residents absent narrow exceptions, and that courts would reject any attempt to apply another state’s choice of law provision to draft around this issue. A recent case from the Delaware Chancery Court, NuVasive, Inc. v. Patrick Miles, … Continue Reading

California Appellate Court’s Expansive Opinion Creates Doubt Over Employee Non-Solicitation Agreements

Although California law generally prohibits non-competition agreements, some courts in a number of unpublished opinions have enforced non-solicitation clauses restricting former employees from pirating their former colleagues. A California appellate court, however, recently invalidated such a provision in a published opinion, calling into question an employer’s ability to rely upon such agreements. In AMN Healthcare Inc. … Continue Reading

Employers’ Obligations Under the California Consumer Privacy Act

Jan. 1, 2020, marks the effective date of the recently enacted California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), a new law that requires companies to comply with numerous requirements related to collecting and processing personal information of California employees and other individuals. Don’t let the “Consumer” language of the CCPA fool you – under the CCPA, the … Continue Reading

UPDATE: New Anti-Sexual Harassment Compliance Mandates for New York State and New York City in Full Swing

New York State and New York City have passed new legislation in an effort to strengthen prohibitions against sexual harassment in the workplace. Last month, we reported on those new developments (See GT Alert, “New Anti-Sexual Harassment Compliance Mandates for New York State and New York City in Full Swing,” September 2018). By Oct. 9, … Continue Reading

California Clarifies How Employers Can Use Salary History Information

On July 18, 2018, Governor Brown signed AB 2282, the Fair Pay Act Bill, into law to clarify Labor Code sections 432.3 and 1197.5 (also known as the California Equal Pay Act), which collectively dictate how employers can use salary history information of employees and applicants for employment. Existing law prohibits California employers from asking … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Creates New Worker Classification Test

On Monday, April 30, 2018, the California Supreme Court issued its long-awaited ruling in Dynamex Operations West v. Superior Court. The new ruling adopts a new worker classification test and makes it easier for independent contractors to be found to be employees under California Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) wage orders, which impose obligations relating to … Continue Reading

GT’s Labor & Employment Law Update 2017

The past year saw many significant developments in the area of labor and employment law at all levels of government. Simply by way of example, new legislation imposed additional obligations on employers that operate in New Jersey and New York; federal Courts of Appeals “clarified” standards applicable to workplace discrimination claims; and under the Trump … Continue Reading

New York Paid Family Leave Law Becomes Effective Jan. 1, 2018

The New York Paid Family Leave law (NYPFL), which becomes effective Jan. 1, 2018, mandates that private employers provide coverage for certain types of employee leave. The benefits will be administered and payments made by the employer’s disability carrier (or by the employer if self-insured), in the same manner as disability benefits. Funding of the … Continue Reading

Philadelphia Becomes the First City to Prohibit Employers from Asking Applicants About Salary History

Employers who just last year revised their application forms to eliminate initial questions about past arrests and convictions, now have to revise them again to remove questions regarding current and past salary. On Jan. 23, 2017, Philadelphia’s mayor signed a wage equity ordinance (the Ordinance) which prohibits, among other things, employers from asking job applicants … Continue Reading

D.C. Lawmakers Join California and New York Raising the Minimum Wage to $15

The District of Columbia Council recently passed a law to increase the minimum wage for employees to $15 by 2022. The District of Columbia joins other states in raising its minimum wage to rates higher than the current federal minimum wage of $7.25. The current minimum wage in the District ($10.50) is scheduled to rise … Continue Reading

Virginia Letter Ruling Finds Nexus Based on Employee Working From Home

The Virginia Department of Taxation recently issued a letter ruling which determined that an employee working from home within the state creates corporate income tax nexus. Letter Ruling The Virginia Department of Taxation (the Department) recently responded to a request for a letter ruling regarding the issue of whether a single employee working from a … Continue Reading

2015 California Employment Law Legislative Update

At Greenberg Traurig, we live our motto “built for change” and apply it for the benefit of the businesses we serve. Our California Labor and Employment Practice appreciates that although California presents opportunity, it also presents an often unique set of employment risk propositions, and these risks are often just one set among a constellation … Continue Reading

Individual Manager Liability for Wage and Hour Violations Comes to California

California is not known as the most employer-friendly state from a wage and hour perspective. However, unlike federal courts, California courts have thus far been reluctant to allow claims to proceed against individual managers, officers and directors. Effective January 1, 2016, those high-level employees may refer to that reluctance as “how it was in the … Continue Reading
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