Tag Archives: employees

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

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

Chicago ‘Fair Workweek’ Ordinance Requires Employers to Provide Scheduling Notice to Covered Employees

On July 24, 2019, the city of Chicago enacted the Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance, intended to “enact and enforce fair and equitable employment scheduling practices in the City of Chicago…” Most provisions of the Ordinance go into effect on July 1, 2020. The Ordinance covers employers primarily engaged in building services, health care, hotel, manufacturing, … 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

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

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

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 Patient-Brokering Prohibitions Affect Treatment Facilities and Laboratories

Congress passed the Eliminating Kickbacks in Recovery Act (the Act) in 2018 to prevent “patient brokering” in treatment for substance abuse disorders. The Act imposes criminal penalties against anyone who knowingly and willfully “solicits or receives any remuneration . . . in return for referring a patient or patronage to a recovery home, clinical treatment … 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

VA Supreme Court Holds Employer Owes Duty to Employee’s Family

On Oct. 11, 2018, the Virginia Supreme Court extended the duty of care owed by an employer beyond just employees to any family members or third parties who may be affected by the employer’s action. In a 4-3 decision, the court ruled in Quisenberry v. Huntington Ingalls, Inc. that if an employer knew or should … Continue Reading

OSHA Clarifies Position on Workplace Safety Incentive Programs and Post-Incident Drug Testing

On Oct. 11, 2018, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a memorandum (the Memorandum) clarifying its position that 29 C.F.R. § 1904.35(b)(1)(iv) does not prohibit employers from instituting workplace safety incentive programs or post-incident drug testing. OSHA stated that to the extent any of their other OSHA interpretive documents conflicted with the Memorandum, … Continue Reading
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