Category Archives: Legislation

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IRS Releases Initial 162(m) Guidance

IRC §162(m) limits a publicly held corporation’s ability to take a tax deduction for compensation paid to covered employees in excess of $1 million. As mentioned in our January 2018 Client Advisory, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“Act”) repealed the exception to §162(m) for qualified performance-based compensation and expanded the applicability of §162(m) by … Continue Reading

Altered State: Navigating the Haze Around Medical Marijuana in the Workplace

Medical marijuana occupies a gray space within the United States. Marijuana is an illegal drug under federal law and is included on the Drug Enforcement Administrations’ Schedule I, along with heroin and LSD. The drugs on this schedule are considered to have “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” In spite … Continue Reading

NYC Employers Take Notice: Notice Requirements Pursuant to the “Stop Sexual Harassment Act” Take Effect September 6, 2018

While a slew of laws relating to sexual harassment are set to take effect in New York City and New York State this fall, the most imminent provision-applicable to all New York City employers-is set to take effect on September 6, 2018. The provision requires all employers with employees working in New York City (regardless … Continue Reading

The First “Me Too” Verdict in New York Should Send A Strong Message to Managers and Employers

On Friday, July 27, after a 3 week trial in Manhattan, a jury awarded $1.25 million in damages to Enrichetta Ravina, a former professor at Columbia University Business School, who claimed that she was denied tenure and forced to resign in retaliation for complaining that a senior professor, Geert Bekaert, had sexually harassed her.  Professor … Continue Reading

When Arbitration is in Play, Class Action is off the Table

In the decision rendered by the Supreme Court in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, employers are able to enforce individual arbitration proceedings if arbitration was agreed to in an employment contract. Settling a Circuit split on the issue, the Supreme Court decision affirmed the Fifth Circuit holding in Murphy Oil, and remanded the Ninth and … Continue Reading

Arbitration Face Off between California and the Federal Government leaves California employers in Limbo

AB 3080, a bill inspired by the #MeToo movement that would bar employers from inserting binding arbitration clauses into contracts as a condition of employment, passed the California State Assembly on May 31, 2018. The bill is not the law yet – it still must get through the Senate and be signed by Governor Brown, … Continue Reading

Technology Ahead of Laws and Regulations – Or Is It?

For decades, technological innovation has changed our world at a rapid pace. Across industries and departments, businesses have a plethora of new and exciting technology and tools they can utilize to deliver products and services more effectively and efficiently to their customers. This is especially true of today’s human resources department and function. Recent trends … Continue Reading

“Times Up” for New York Employers – Governor Cuomo Signs Historic Anti-Harassment Legislation

On April 12, 2018, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the New York State budget bill, which makes some big changes in the obligations of New York employers relative to sexual harassment. The new law has both immediate and rolling implications for all New York employers. EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY (I.E., RIGHT NOW) The New … Continue Reading

Predictive Scheduling: New York (State) of Mind

Retail employers beware: New York City’s predictive scheduling law went into effect on November 26, 2017, and now New York State is now getting in the mix. The New York State Department of Labor (“NYSDOL”) recently released draft regulations that would amend the rules for scheduling employees covered by the Minimum Wage Order for Miscellaneous … Continue Reading

The Rising Cost of “Hush Money” – Congress Strips Tax Incentives for Sexual Harassment Nondisclosure Agreements

You can count Congress among the institutions caught in the ground swell of the #MeToo movement, and they’re using the tax code to prove it. Buried in the various changes of the new tax bill, Congress included Section 13307, titled “Denial of Deduction for Settlements Subject to Nondisclosure Agreements Paid in Connection with Sexual Harassment … Continue Reading

The New Year Brings New Rules to New York

As January draws to a close, New York employers are confronting the reality of many new laws and regulations that govern the employment relationship – from the new Paid Family Leave law, to the new federal tax law. We are also tracking several newly-signed and proposed pieces of legislation, which could further complicate the employment … Continue Reading

“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
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