Missouri voters approved Amendment 2 on Election Day 2018, one of the three medical marijuana measures appearing on the state’s ballot. Amendment 2 adds an article to the Missouri Constitution legalizing medical use of marijuana for qualifying patients and allowing people who qualify to grow their own plants. With a new law comes new questions about how this development will affect workplaces across the state. Here are a series of the most common questions Missouri employers may have while adjusting to this new reality.
As predicted, Missouri voters turned out in record numbers for the 2018 general election yesterday and overwhelmingly voted to pass Proposition B: The $12 Minimum Wage Initiative. As a result, beginning January 1, 2019, the hourly minimum wage in Missouri will increase from $7.85 to $8.60, and will gradually increase by 85 cents per year until it reaches $12.00 per hour in 2023.
As many predicted, Democrats recaptured the House for the first time in eight years in yesterday’s midterm elections, while Republicans retained and strengthened their grip on the Senate. That will lead to a dynamic in Washington, D.C. that the Trump administration has yet to face: a fractured legislature and a tug-of-war at the federal level. What does this development mean for employers? Here are the top 10 things to expect in the labor and employment law arena given the results in yesterday’s historic elections.
- Is This A Prelude To Individual Liability?11.6.18
In a unanimous 8-0 decision, the United States Supreme Court issued its first ruling of the new term today and delivered a blow to small public-sector employers fending off age discrimination lawsuits.
Just a few short days before the New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act will become law, requiring New Jersey employers of all sizes to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year to covered employees, the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOL) published a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document aimed at addressing unanswered questions about the law. This comes on the heels of the agency publishing a mandatory workplace poster and a set of proposed regulations.
As if things aren’t spooky enough this time of year, employers have a new concern: getting “ghosted” by an applicant, a new hire, or even an existing employee. But this modern phenomenon isn’t just something to worry about during the Halloween season—it can happen at any time, to just about any employer. The good news is that there are some techniques you can employ to reduce the chances of it happening to you.
Westchester County has just enacted an Earned Sick Leave Law which will soon require Westchester employers to provide sick leave to its employees. All Westchester employees—both full-time and part-time—who work more than 80 hours per year are eligible to earn sick time. The law, which was passed on October 1, will take effect 180 days from its adoption: March 30, 2019. What do employers need to know about this new law?
- Employers Will Soon Face Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training, However10.23.18
When D.C. voters passed Initiative 77 in June, employers began to prepare for a steady increase in the minimum wage they would need to pay their tipped workers. The tipped minimum wage was set to slowly, but significantly, accelerate until it matched the city’s general minimum wage in the year 2026—which would be at least $15 per hour.
New York City employers will almost certainly need to provide lactation rooms to breastfeeding employees in the near future thanks to a slate of new laws passed by city lawmakers. On October 17, 2018, the City Council passed a package of bills—dubbed the Mother’s Day bills—aimed at helping mothers and children. Included among the legislation is a requirement that employers with 15 or more employees provide a lactation room to any employee needing to express breast milk, and provide employees with written information on the room’s availability. The newly passed legislation awaits the mayor’s signature, and he is expected to sign the suite of bills. If signed, the lactation room laws will take effect 120 days from the date of signature. What do New York City employers need to know about these new requirements?
In a significant victory for employers, a federal appeals court recently limited OSHA’s ability to expand accident investigations beyond their original and intended scope. The 11th Circuit’s decision in United States v. Mar-Jac Poultry, Inc. will immediately aid those employers with operations in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama, but could also be of benefit to employers across the country. What do you need to know about the October 9 decision?
Right after the clock struck midnight this morning, the U.S. Department of Labor unveiled its new regulatory agenda for Fall 2018 and announced its intention to soon tackle two of the hottest topics in the labor and employment world: joint employment and overtime pay. But employers can be forgiven if they approach this announcement with some degree of skepticism, as the USDOL has missed previous target dates—at least when it comes to the long-delayed overtime rule. What does this latest development mean for employers, and when can you expect to see some tangible results?
- State DOL Publishes Poster And Proposed Regulations In Advance Of Looming Effective Date10.15.18
In just a few short weeks, New Jersey employers will be required to comply with the state’s new Paid Sick Leave Act. Once October 29 is upon us, New Jersey employers of all sizes will need to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year to covered employees. In advance of the impending effective date, the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOL) has just published both a mandatory workplace poster and a set of sweeping regulations covering the new law—and you’ll want to familiarize yourself with both.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) just released its preliminary findings examining sexual harassment in the workplace over the past year, and, in wake of the #MeToo movement, no one should be surprised to see the figures rise dramatically. The numbers demonstrate that employers need to be more vigilant than ever when it comes to addressing issues of harassment and discrimination in the workplace.
The Kentucky Supreme Court just outlawed mandatory arbitration agreements that require applicants or employees to sign if they want to be hired or remain employed, making the Bluegrass State the first in the nation to do so. The ruling in Northern Kentucky Area Development Dist. v. Snyder will send shockwaves through the state and cause many employers to immediately change a very common business practice—but will the decision stand? What do employers need to know about this decision and what do they need to do about it?
The Supreme Court term that wrapped up in June was one of the most exciting sessions for workplace law in recent memory, with several blockbuster decisions impacting a wide range of labor and employment law issues. From wage-and-hour exemptions to same-sex wedding cakes, class action waivers to agency shop fees, retaliation standards to travel bans—the past term had it all. So employers might be eagerly anticipating the current term, hoping for a repeat performance.
Employee walkouts and protests are likely to occur on a large scale starting today and lasting through Thursday, spurred on by the union-supported “Fight for $15” movement and in anticipation of the upcoming midterm elections. Employees working at fast-food establishments, janitors, caregivers, and even some higher education adjunct professors are expected to be the primary participants, but it would not be surprising to see other workers seeking higher pay and possible union status join in as well. What do you need to know about the expected protests?
Wrapping up a whirlwind weekend, California Governor Jerry Brown just signed several pieces of legislation that will create new employer obligations in the areas of sexual harassment and gender discrimination. Specifically, you will no longer be able to enter into non-disclosure agreements involving claims of sexual assault, sexual harassment, or sex discrimination; will be required to significantly increase your sexual harassment prevention training initiatives; and will be restricted in your ability to enter into certain settlement agreements related to harassment and discrimination claims.
There is a little-known provision from a new federal law that will most likely impact your hiring practices and your standard hiring documents—and it kicks in today. As of September 21, all employers must update their background check forms to advise applicants and employees of the ability of a “national security freeze,” allowing them additional protections from identity theft. This change could require you to make an immediate change to your standard hiring methods: what do you need to do in order to comply?
Summer might be coming to a close, but labor unions continue to feel a rise in temperature. Unions can expect to face a change in how the National Labor Relations Board’s Regional Offices will handle duty of fair representation (DFR) charges brought by individual employees, and it doesn’t appear as if unions will be happy with the change.
In a move that has been anticipated for several months, the National Labor Relations Board today published a proposed rule that would fundamentally alter the definition of joint employment, making it more difficult for businesses to be held legally responsible for alleged labor and employment law violations by staffing companies, franchisees, and other related organizations. The rule, if eventually adopted, would also limit the ability of employees from affiliated companies to join together to form unions.
This article addresses many employment-related issues facing employers in the wake of hurricane-related disasters; consequently, in addition to federal laws, we also focus on certain state laws, especially those in the areas most impacted by the storms. Nevertheless, the information here is of more widespread applicability than just the 2018 hurricanes, and may be helpful following any unexpected natural catastrophe.
The scope of New York City’s marital status discrimination law was just expanded by a state appeals court, meaning that employers need to be even more wary when it comes to any workplace decisions taken on the basis of who someone is married to. On September 6, the Appellate Division for New York’s First Department answered for the first time the following question under the New York City Human Rights Law (HRL): may an employer dismiss an employee simply because the employee’s spouse, also a former employee, had taken a job with the employer’s competitor?
The agency overseeing federal contractors issued a revised pay bias directive on Friday that somewhat loosens the standards by which it will evaluate employer compensation practices during compliance investigations. The Office of Federal Contractor Compliance (OFCCP) released DIR 2018–05, also known as “Analysis of Contractor Compensation Practices During a Compliance Evaluation,” to replace a 2013 directive which had ratcheted up the heat on contractors and scrutinized their compensation practices to identify and root out pay bias.
Employers in New York have been eagerly awaiting the state’s anticipated model sexual harassment training and policies ever since the state passed significant new sexual harassment laws back in April. That day has finally arrived.
Overturning 40 years of precedent, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has just ruled that an employee’s failure to file an EEOC charge does not necessarily bar consideration of a private discrimination lawsuit. By concluding that an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charge is not a jurisdictional prerequisite to suit, the federal appeals court’s August 17 decision provides a new lifeline for disgruntled employees and former employees to bring suit against their employers (Lincoln v. BNSF Railway Company, Inc.).
A focus on equal employment opportunity and the protection of religious freedom will become part of future reviews for federal supply and service contractors’ compliance with regulations under two policy directives issued by the Office of Federal Compliance Programs (OFCCP) on August 10. One directive adds to the agency’s enforcement activity reviews, focusing on federal contractors’ compliance with workforce antidiscrimination laws. The other requires OFCCP personnel to follow, in all their activities, recent court rulings and White House executive orders protecting the rights of organizations in the exercise of religion.
A New York judge recently rejected an employer’s attempt to force an employment claim into arbitration due to a poor choice of wording in the written agreement. The August 7 decision might draw attention because of the identity of the employer—the Trump for President campaign organization—but it should be on your radar screen solely because it provides a lesson about the value of carefully drafted employment agreements.