Big Changes in the Big Apple: NYC Bans Salary History Questions and Imposes New Requirements for Independent Contractors

New York City made waves this month by imposing new requirements on independent contractor agreements and by passing a law that prohibits employers from asking about or considering an applicant’s prior salary. Although New York City is just the third jurisdiction to adopt a law prohibiting inquiries into an applicant’s salary history (Massachusetts and Philadelphia have already passed similar measures), employers everywhere should take note as it is widely anticipated that other local and state governments will follow suit. Continue Reading

Make the Days Count: New California Guidance on Workweek Schedules

Employers in California now have long-overdue clarity about when their employee schedules comply with California law.

The California Supreme Court last Monday handed down a unanimous opinion, Mendoza v. Nordstrom, Inc., that clarifies the meaning of California’s “day of rest” statutes. These statutes make it illegal for an employer to “cause” an employee to work “more than six days in seven,” unless “the total hours of employment do not exceed . . . six hours in any one day thereof.” Continue Reading

New Laws and Lessons for Employers After Trump’s First 100 Days (Podcast)

In this 20-minute podcast, Hank Sledz and Lauren Novak discuss Congress’ push to allow private companies to offer comp time in lieu of paying time-and-a-half for overtime under the Working Families Flexibility Act, how employer-friendly the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and Department of Labor will be under new leadership, and other important changes during the Trump Administration’s first 100 days that could hurt or help employers.

(Also, tune in to find out if Hank and Lauren’s labor and employment predictions about the new administration from last December were right.)

You can listen to the podcast here.

Seventh Circuit Breaks New Ground: Sexual Orientation Discrimination Prohibited by Title VII

In a landmark decision reflecting a potential turning of the tide for the LGBT community, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has become the first federal appeals court in the nation to hold that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title VII. Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, No. 3:14-cv-1791 (7th Cir. April 4, 2017). Continue Reading

11th Circuit Joins Others in Holding Sexual Orientation Discrimination Not Covered by Title VII

Joining nearly all other federal circuit courts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has held that Title VII does not cover discrimination based on sexual orientation. Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital, 2017 WL 943925 (11th Cir. March 10, 2017). While closing the door on Title VII sexual orientation discrimination claims, the court re-affirmed that other theories of sex discrimination, such as gender non-conformity and same-sex discrimination, remain actionable. Continue Reading

EEOC Giving More Thought to Mental Health Conditions

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEOC) this week issued a publication addressing the rights of employees and applicants with mental health conditions under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The publication, entitled “Depression, PTSD, & Other Mental Health Conditions in the Workplace: Your Legal Rights,” can be found here. Continue Reading

I’m Dreaming of a Risk-Free Holiday—Tips for Reducing Holiday Party Employment Claims

According to a recent survey, the number one reason employers have their tinsel in a tangle about office holiday parties is how much they cost.[1] But the cost of tinsel and treats is nothing compared to the expense of defending an employment lawsuit. The best way to keep holiday parties within budget—and a business out of the courtroom—is to follow these steps to minimize liability. Continue Reading

DOL Overtime Rule Blocked by Federal Court

On Tuesday, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a decision enjoining the Department of Labor (DOL) from enforcing its new overtime rule. State of Nevada et al. v. U.S. Department of Labor et al., case number 16-cv-00731. The new rule, which was announced in May 2016 and was set to become effective on December 1, 2016, sent employers scrambling to comply with a substantial increase to the minimum salary requirements for the white collar exemptions. In his decision, the judge held that the DOL had exceeded its authority in issuing the rule. Continue Reading

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