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Coming Soon: No Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing in New York City

Following its usual approach of lifting employment restrictions in the five boroughs, on April 9, 2019 the New York City Council approved legislation that will prevent employers from conducting pre-employment screens for tetrahydrocannabinols, commonly known as THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. The bill was sent to Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is expected to … Continue Reading

Employers Should Look for Litigation Threats That Cross the Line Highlighted by Michael Avenatti’s Indictment

The fact-pattern is familiar to employers who have been on the receiving end of attorney litigation threats. A plaintiff’s lawyer calls, or writes a letter, outlining a potential claim by a client, makes a demand for damages, then perhaps throws in mention of the harm the company will suffer if the allegations become “public.” Just … Continue Reading

Fall is Coming! New York’s New Anti-Sexual Harassment Laws Just Around the Corner

As the summer reaches its peak, New York employers may be more concerned with juggling employee vacation schedules than drafting new policies. But with New York’s recent anti-sexual harassment legislation coming into effect this October, and continuing into the spring for New York City, employers need to begin rolling out new policies and ensuring that … Continue Reading

Relief for Taxpayers Affected by the Reduced 2018 HSA Deduction Limits

The IRS recently released guidance providing that taxpayers may, for 2018, treat $6,900 as the maximum deductible health savings account (“HSA”) contribution for family coverage under a high deductible health plan. This change is relevant to employers who sponsor a high deductible health plan and individuals who have contributed or have had contributions made on … Continue Reading

New Disability Claims Procedures

As we communicated in our previous advisory, the U.S. Department of Labor has issued new Disability Claims Procedures rules. The original effective date of these rules was extended with the result that the new rules are now effective April 1, 2018. The new rules are not limited to disability plans. They also apply to any … Continue Reading

Health Care Reform–Cadillac Tax and Other Updates

This Advisory supplements our previous advisories dated December 2016, December 2015 (as supplemented in January 2016), October 2014, October 2013, November 2012, November 2011, and October 2010, addressing certain requirements of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). Below is a summary of recent developments impacting some of those requirements. Cadillac Tax The budget deal recently struck … Continue Reading

Fiscal Year 2017 EEOC Statistics are Here (and So Is Retaliation!)

Last week the EEOC released its annual report breaking down charges received during the fiscal year. In fiscal year 2017, the agency received 84,254 charges and took in $398 million between voluntary resolutions and litigation. What’s striking is the number of retaliation charges – with 41,097 charges it is an overwhelming 48.8% of total charges … Continue Reading

New Tax Law Impact on Employee Benefits and Compensation

At the end of 2017, President Trump signed into law The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Act”) that includes significant changes in the employee benefits area, most of which became effective on January 1, 2018. The following is a brief description of some of the notable changes, and we expect additional guidance on many … Continue Reading

New Sexual Harassment Requirements for Illinois Lobbyists

Take action now to meet the new policy, training, and certification requirements. Beginning January 1, 2018, Illinois lobbyists and their employers must comply with new sexual harassment compliance rules. Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law Public Act 100-0554 (the Act) to combat sexual harassment in the state legislature. The Act imposes sweeping new requirements on … Continue Reading

Lessons From Equifax – Trends on Data Breach of Employee Information

The recent Equifax breach data and public missteps in handling the breach has companies revisiting their cybersecurity measures and refreshing their breach response plans.  Although not every company has consumer data likely to be targeted by hackers, employment files may be compromised, such as when breaches of U.S. government databases exposed the personally identifiable information … Continue Reading

Your Employee is Leaving…. How Do You Safeguard Your Company’s IP?

It is a fact: employees leave.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average worker currently holds ten different jobs before age forty.[1]  Because employee transitions are inevitable, businesses must prepare to secure their data when an employee exits the company.  Otherwise employers risk having their information (e.g., customer lists and related information, research … Continue Reading

It’s Not All “High” in the Rockies – Colorado Supreme Court Finds That Employees Can Be Fired For Use of Medical Marijuana

As more states legalize medical marijuana and consider legalization of “recreational” marijuana, many employers have wrestled with the question of whether they can still maintain a drug free workplace or must allow employees to use marijuana at work.  The Colorado Supreme Court just provided the common sense answer we’ve been waiting for:  YES,  employers can … Continue Reading

Clawback Provisions As An Alternative to Traditional Restrictive Covenants

Employers are increasingly using clawback provisions in their employment agreements in lieu of traditional restrictive covenant breach provisions to encourage employees to abide by their restrictive covenant obligations. Kelley Drye litigation partner Robert Steiner and Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation partner Pamela Kaplan authored an article for HR Advisor that discusses the use of clawback … Continue Reading

Germanwings Tragedy Highlights Important Mental Health Considerations for Employers

As more details emerge about the troubled past of First Officer Andreas Lubitz – the co-pilot at the controls of the Germanwings flight that crashed in the French Alps in March – employers worldwide are faced with pressing questions that should bring renewed focus toward their policies regarding identifying and managing mental illness in the … Continue Reading

Be Right The First Time – Employers Must Ensure That Their Policies Describe FMLA Rights Properly In The First Instance

The Sixth Circuit has recently taught us the old lesson that employer policies must be in line with the law on a given point, or else employers risk granting employees rights that they wouldn’t otherwise want to grant, or be required to grant. In Tilley v. Kalamazoo Cnty. Road Comm’n, No. 14-CV-1679, (6th Cir. Jan. … Continue Reading

Finding Employer Can Require Employees to Cooperate in Internal Investigation, Federal Court Tosses Executive Severance Suit

On January 26, the Southern District of New York dismissed claims for severance and stock benefits brought by two former executives of professional services firm Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., arising out of their termination for refusal to cooperate with an internal investigation. Marsh terminated the two former executives’ employment when they refused to be … Continue Reading