New York City's Accommodation Law and Work Schedule Change Law Go Into Effect July 18th

Two of New York City's recently enacted laws governing the employment relationship become effective this week, on July 18, 2018. The first law expands employer obligations under the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL), concerning employee requests for reasonable accommodations. The second law grants eligible employees in New York City the right to make a limited number of work schedule changes for personal reasons each year.

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New Jersey Employers Need to Prepare for Mandatory Paid Sick Leave

Following the enactment of a sweeping Equal Pay Law, on May 2, 2018, Governor Murphy signed the Earned Sick and Safe Days Act, which mandates that employers in New Jersey provide paid sick leave to their employees. The Act takes effect on October 29, 2018 and will preempt all existing local sick leave ordinances when it takes effect.

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New Jersey Enacts Broad Expansion of its Equal Pay Laws Bringing With It Significant Liabilities for Employers

New Jersey's Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act (the "Equal Pay Act" or "Act") will become effective on July 1, 2018 and significantly expands New Jersey's equal pay laws. Violations of the Equal Pay Act will carry substantial liabilities, so New Jersey employers will need to act quickly to ensure compliance with the new law.

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New York Significantly Expands Its Sexual Harassment Laws: Five Takeaways for Employers

On March 31, 2018, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a sweeping expansion of New York's sexual harassment laws. The new legislation contains a number of provisions that will require most New York employers to update their policies and procedures for preventing and dealing with sexual harassment issues. Of particular note for employers are the following provisions:

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Changes to Tip Pooling Rules - Congress Amends the FLSA and DOL Issues Field Guidance on Tip Pooling

In a prior post I discussed the Department of Labor's (DOL) proposed changes to the tip sharing rules of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which would allow employers to require mandatory tip pooling if the employer did not take a tip credit for minimum wage compliance purposes. The proposed rule change quickly received negative criticism from restaurant workers and labor advocates due to the fear that the proposed rule would result in employers paying tipped employees minimum wage in order to retain employee tips.

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Supreme Court Rejects Principle That FLSA Exemptions Must Be Narrowly Construed, Granting A Victory To Employers

On April 2, 2018, in Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro, the United States Supreme Court rejected the longstanding principle that exemptions from the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) overtime pay requirements should be construed narrowly, granting a victory to employers.

 In Encino, a majority of the Court held that service advisors at car dealerships are exempt from the FLSA's overtime pay requirements. While this holding directly applies only to a particular segment of workers in one industry, the Court's overall decision has much broader implications.

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New York City Employers Must Permit Employees to Make Temporary Work Schedule Changes

As readers of this blog know, New York City has been very active in enacting laws that govern the employment relationship. New York City's latest law will require employers to grant employees the right to make a limited number of temporary schedule changes for personal reasons. This law becomes effective July 18, 2018.

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New York City Expands Employee Protections Under the NYC Human Rights Law

New York City recently enacted two amendments to the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL), which will go into effect later this year and expand employee rights under the law.

 Amendment to Definitions of Sexual Orientation and Gender

 The first amendment expands the definitions of "sexual orientation" and "gender" under the NYCHRL and will take effect May 11, 2018.

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New Jersey Employers Must Accommodate Breastfeeding Mothers

The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) was recently amended to prohibit discrimination against breastfeeding employees. Not only does the amendment prohibit discrimination against such employees, but it also requires employers to provide breastfeeding employees with a reasonable accommodation to express breastmilk. 

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Are You Leaving Your Business Exposed to a Sexual Harassment Lawsuit?

Sexual harassment claims continue to dominate headlines and remain at the forefront of social awareness. As is apparent from the news, social media, and the #MeToo movement, many women have been exposed to sexual harassment at work.

Sexual (or any unlawful) harassment can be devastating to a business. It erodes employee morale and productivity, negatively impacts employee retention, and  exposes a business to significant liability and legal costs.

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NYC Releases Updated Pregnancy Accommodation Notice and Fact Sheet

The New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) requires employers in New York City, with four or more employees, to provide employees with reasonable accommodations relating to pregnancy and childbirth.  The NYCHRL also requires employers to provide employees with notice of their rights to pregnancy related accommodations at the time of hire and by posting a notice of such rights in the workplace.

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What Employers Need to Know About the Proposed Changes to the FLSA Tip Sharing Rules

On December 5, 2017, the Department of Labor (DOL) published a Proposed Rule rescinding its 2011 regulations concerning mandatory tip pooling.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers may, in certain situations, take a "tip credit" for some of the tips a tipped employee receives to satisfy the employer's minimum wage obligations. 

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'Tis the Season: Is Your Business Ready to Comply with its Year-End Employment Obligations?

As we enter the Holiday Season, business owners need to remain mindful of upcoming changes in employment laws and the year-end human resources compliance obligations that might effect their businesses.

Minimum Wage Increases

 The minimum wage in both New York and New Jersey is set to increase shortly. 

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Employees Must be Paid for Breaks Shorter than 20 Minutes, Third Circuit Holds

Does your business have an employee break policy? Do you pay employees during their coffee, bathroom, and other short breaks? According to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals (which has jurisdiction over New Jersey), if those breaks last less than 20 minutes, employees must be paid for that time under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

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NYC Issues Fact Sheets On Salary History Inquiry Ban

As I previously posted, beginning October 31, 2017, it will be unlawful in New York City for an employer to inquiry about a job applicant's salary history during the hiring process or rely upon an applicant's prior salary history when setting compensation.  The New York Commission on Human Rights, which enforces the law, has issued an Employer Fact Sheet and a Job Applicant Fact Sheet providing guidance on the law.

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Five Steps to Protect Your Business When Terminating Employees

Terminating an employee is something most, if not all, business owners will need to do at some point. While employment in the United States is "at-will," anti-discrimination and other similar laws do make some reasons for termination unlawful. Employers that do not properly plan for terminations expose themselves to needless claims. Fortunately, there are steps that employers can take to minimize the risk of facing a wrongful termination claim.

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