Category Archives: Legislation

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“Hiring Hazard” – NY City Employers May Soon Be Prohibited From Asking Applicants About Salary Histories

On April 5, 2017, the New York City Council approved a bill which – once signed by the Mayor (a virtual certainty) – will prohibit private employers in the City from asking about, relying on, or verifying a job applicant’s salary history. Proponents of the bill argue that this will help to close the wage … Continue Reading

In Order to Avoid Liability, Employers Need to Reevaluate Employee Cell Phone Usage Policies

Employers have long understood that what their employees do on company time is directly linked to the company’s own potential liabilities. When employees using mobile electronic devices cause harm, their carelessness isn’t only a problem for them—on company time, it can become a major problem for employers, as courts across the country have made clear … Continue Reading

Whistleblowing as a Private Right of Action in New York?

The venerable New York Whistleblower Protection Act has long allowed employees to report misconduct by their employer, at which point the public interest could be vindicated by the state Attorney General. But does an employee have a right to bring a personal claim under New York’s whistleblower law against alleged wrongdoers? The answer now appears … Continue Reading

New California Law Prevents Employers from Imposing Non-California Forum Selection or Choice of Law Provisions upon California Employees

As part of our efforts to update employers regarding the newly-enacted statutes that will affect employers in the coming year, this post addresses a bill recently signed into by California Governor Jerry Brown that prohibits employers from requiring most employees who live and work in California to agree to a forum selection or choice of … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Stays Fourth Circuit’s Ruling Affirming Transgender Students’ Bathroom Rights

The Supreme Court stayed a Fourth Circuit ruling that requires schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom of the gender they identify as. We are monitoring the case for its impact on employers going forward. For our past analysis on this issue, please refer to the following posts: Supreme Court Poised to Weigh … Continue Reading

Workplace Video Monitoring: What Employers Need To Know

The omnipresence of video cameras is a fact of life. The average American, aware or not, is caught on surveillance camera more than 75 times a day. Given the availability and effectiveness of inexpensive video equipment, many companies use video to monitor their entire operations for safety, security and quality control. But video surveillance can … Continue Reading

NY Attorney General Sends a Message: Re-Think Non-Compete Agreements

New York employers be warned – your non-compete agreements may be under attack. The office of the New York Attorney General (AG), Eric Schneiderman, has recently reached settlements with two different companies that require each one to suspend their practice of requiring incoming employees to sign non-compete agreements.  The settlements clearly send a signal that … Continue Reading

Third Circuit Affirms Employer’s Right To Provide Truthful Information In Response To Reference Request Without Liability To Former Employee

In a recent unpublished decision by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, the Court affirmed the lower court and held that a former employee could not maintain legal claims against his former employer, based on truthful statements regarding his employment provided to two prospective employers.   In its ruling, the Court emphasized that an employer has … Continue Reading

“Cooperation is Key” – Second Circuit Affirms Employer’s Ability to Fire an Employee for Refusal to Cooperate In an Internal Investigation

In 2004, as then NY Attorney General Elliot Spitzer focused his efforts to root out fraud in an insurance brokerage giant, Marsh & McLennan, two Marsh executives, William Gilman and Edward McNenney, were caught in his crosshairs.  When asked by Marsh to cooperate with its internal investigation of the AG’s claims of ‘fixed’ or illegal … Continue Reading

The Defend Trade Secrets Act Signed into Law

On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), which overwhelmingly passed the U.S. Congress last month. The DTSA provides, for the first time, a federal civil private right of action for trade secret misappropriation, placing trade secrets on par with patents, copyrights, and trademarks, which are already protected … Continue Reading

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Sets Precedent, Undermining Rationale For Anti-Transgender Legislation and Policies

On Tuesday, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a 2-1 ruling in Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board, No. 15-2056, finding that a transgender student has the right to sue his school board under Title IX for discrimination after they barred him from using the restroom matching his gender identity. Title IX … Continue Reading

Illinois Medical Marijuana Law: What Employers Should Know

Currently, 23 states have enacted laws to legalize medical marijuana.  Medical marijuana laws are challenging for all employers, but particularly multistate employers, as employers must reconcile federal and varying state laws. In November 2015, medical marijuana dispensaries in Illinois began treating patients under Illinois’ Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act (“Compassionate Use Act”).  … Continue Reading

Spotlight on Business Courts

Colleagues in the firm’s ligation group, Bill Gyves, Nick Panarella and Damon Suden, prepared an advisory – Spotlight on Business Courts – addressing the uptick in proposed rule changes intended to promote increased efficiency in resolving the kinds of complex business disputes that are heard in New York’s commercial courts. They also note that in … Continue Reading

New York Employers – Looking Backward and Forward.

Last year was a ‘big year’ in New York in terms of new employment laws, and 2016 is shaping up to be just as big – as employers come into compliance with the many new laws, and brace for additional changes to come. Among the most significant new laws are the series of statutes signed … Continue Reading

UPS Settlement Signals That Pregnant Workers Are Expecting Job Accommodations

Last week, UPS settled its long-running case with Peggy Young, the employee whose case went up to the Supreme Court after she was denied light duty.  As many will recall from an earlier blog post, the high court found that UPS’s policy of refusing light duty to pregnant employees violated the “Pregnancy Discrimination Act” (“PDA”).  … Continue Reading

The Duty of Loyalty Lives on in New Jersey

In an interesting decision affirming the ‘old-but-not-forgotten’ principle that an employee owes his first duty of loyalty to her employer, the New Jersey Supreme Court recently affirmed a decision allowing an employer to recover the salary it had paid to a disloyal employee, who coincidentally was also an attorney.  In Bruce Kaye v. Alan P. … Continue Reading
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