For many years, an oft-litigated question concerned whether a former employee was owed the commissions on sales made prior to the employee’s discharge from employment. Sometimes employment agreements were clear on the issue, such as by providing unambiguously that commissions would be paid when the employer received payment for a completed sale. Frequently, however, employment agreements were less than clear as to when commissions would be paid to former employees. Over the years, courts ruled in different ways and applied different standards when determining whether a former employee was entitled to commissions on sales made prior to an employment termination. On May 20, 2022, in Perthuis v. Baylor Miraca Genetics Laboratories, LLC, the Supreme Court of Texas clarified the standard to be applied in those situations.
Several cases of monkeypox has now been found in the United States. We do not yet know whether employers will need to worry about monkeypox in the context of their workforces and workplace, but it may be wise to be informed.
On July 1, 2022, amendments to Chicago’s Human Rights Ordinance will go into effect. In April 2022, Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Commission on Human Relations amended the Chicago Human Rights Ordinance, adding additional protections for those subjected to sexual harassment. The amendments also modified definitions of “sexual harassment” and “sexual orientation,” added new written policy and training requirements for all employers in the city, and increased penalties for violations of the ordinance.
It feels like a lifetime has passed since the #MeToo movement gained significant traction in October 2017 and began reshaping the workplace. The movement helped sexual harassment victims speak out and be heard and resulted in a marked uptick in filed sexual harassment claims.
With more employees returning to the office and physical workplaces as pandemic restrictions are eased and with an increasingly competitive labor market, it is especially important that employers be vigilant in responding to the mental health needs of their employees.
On May 23, 2022, the Supreme Court of California held that premium pay for missed meal and rest periods constitutes “wages” under California labor law and that employers may be held liable for the failure to properly report and timely pay out such wages.
The Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) has, at long last, issued proposed rules implementing its equal pay registration certificate requirements. As a reminder, Illinois is setting deadlines for covered employers to apply for certification on a rolling basis. The deadline for the first round of employers to file for certification is just days away.
On May 17, 2022, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) released a revised discussion draft of proposed regulations for workplace violence prevention in the general industry standards.
On May 13, 2022, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 3146, an amendment to the One Day Rest In Seven Act (ODRISA). ODRISA provides meal breaks to all employees and a consecutive twenty-four hour rest period to most employees.
The Supreme Court of the United States, on April 28, 2022, held that emotional distress damages are not available for private discrimination claims under the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
On May 9 and 10, 2022, the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Oregon OSHA) adopted final rules on heat illness and wildfire smoke.
Employers in Ontario have been waiting for clarification on the interpretation of COVID-19 leave provisions throughout much of the pandemic. Employers had hoped that the Court of Appeal’s decision in Taylor v Hanley Hospitality Inc. would provide clarity on the implications of Employment Standards Act, 2000 infectious disease emergency leave (IDEL) on an employee’s employment status.
Colorado has enacted the most significant change to its legal landscape concerning restrictive covenants in the employment context in the state’s history.
California is considering new regulations on the use of technology or artificial intelligence (AI) to screen job candidates or make other employment decisions. If the regulations become law, California would be the first state to adopt substantive restrictions specifically addressing this emerging, and often misunderstood, technology.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), on May 12, 2022, issued guidance advising employers that the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithmic decision-making processes to make employment decisions could result in unlawful discrimination against applicants and employees with disabilities.
On May 12, 2022, New York City Mayor Eric Adams signed Introduction Number (Int. No.) 134-A into law, just days before the current salary disclosure law was set to take effect. New York City’s salary disclosure law will now take effect on November 1, 2022.
Recently, the Connecticut General Assembly sent Public Act No. 22-24 (Substitute Senate Bill No. 163), “An Act Protecting Employee Freedom of Speech and Conscience,” to Governor Ned Lamont’s desk for signature. If enacted, the law will amend Connecticut’s employee free speech statute, Conn. Gen. Stat. Section 31-51q, significantly limiting an employer’s ability to speak directly with its employees.
Mexico’s federal government will soon cease updating its COVID-19 pandemic monitoring system on a biweekly basis, Dr. Hugo López-Gatell, Mexico’s undersecretary of prevention and health promotion, said in a recent press conference. The announcement comes on the heels of the four-tiered system showing all thirty-two states in green status—the only status without restrictions on business and social activities—for the second period in a row.
On May 12, 2022, New York City Mayor Eric Adams will hold a hearing on New York City’s salary disclosure bill, Introduction Number 134-A. The bill, which the New York City Council passed on April 28, 2022, would revise Local Law 32, New York City’s previously enacted salary disclosure law.
In 2019, the Oregon Legislative Assembly passed the Paid Family Medical Leave Act, which established a paid family and medical leave insurance (PFMLI) program for Oregon employees. On April 27, 2022, the Oregon Employment Department (OED) filed proposed administrative rules with the Oregon Office of the Secretary of State to detail the specifics of the program.
On May 7, 2022, the day after the latest revision to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s (Cal/OSHA) COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) went into effect, Cal/OSHA issued updated answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) and a fact sheet. The FAQs continue to evolve and change with each revision and readoption of the ETS. The FAQs now reflect the updated definitions, processes, and changes to the quarantine requirements for close contacts.
On April 29, 2022, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed Senate File (S.F.) No. 2677 into law, replenishing the state unemployment coffers and authorizing payments to various frontline workers. This new law requires Minnesota employers to provide notice to eligible frontline workers regarding potential additional benefits available to them.
On May 3, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a temporary final rule (TFR) that increases the automatic extension period for expiring employment authorization documents (EAD) for renewal applicants in certain categories for up to 540 days.
On April 25, 2022, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency announced an extension of compliance flexibility related to Form I-9 employment eligibility verification requirements until October 31, 2022.
Employers in Ontario and Manitoba have important compliance deadlines in May and June 2022.
Starting in 2025, Maryland workers may have an easier time making ends meet when they take otherwise unpaid leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Thanks to Maryland’s newly enacted Time to Care Act of 2022 (TTCA), Maryland workers will be able to apply for paid leave benefits from a state fund beginning on January 1, 2025.
The last few years have provided numerous reasons for employers to reevaluate drug testing practices—from the rapid development of job protections for medical and recreational marijuana use, to the increase in drug testing-based litigation, to pandemic-related remote work, to staffing challenges. Ogletree Deakins’ April 2022 report, Strategies and Benchmarks for the Workplace: Ogletree’s Survey of Key Decision-Makers, provides a sense of how many employers are changing their drug testing practices and the kinds of changes they are making.
On April 28, 2022, the New York City Council passed Int. No. 134-A, which revises Local Law 32, New York City’s previously enacted salary disclosure law. In order to become law, the bill must be signed by New York City Mayor Eric Adams. While the mayor has thirty days to consider the bill, timing is key as the current salary disclosure law is set to take effect on May 15, 2022.