Zakrzewska v. New School, 2010 WL 1791091 (Court of Appeals, May 6, 2010) – The New York Court of Appeals recently held that the longstanding Faragher-Ellerth defense is not available to defendants under the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL). First enunciated in 1988 as a defense to Title VII claims, the Faragher-Ellerth defense provides a shield to employers for harassment committed by a supervisory employee when the employer can prove that: (1) a tangible adverse employment action was not involved; (2) the employer exercised reasonable care to prevent and promptly correct the harassing behavior; and (3) the employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of the preventive or corrective opportunities provided by the employer, or otherwise failed to avoid harm. The state’s high court explained that, unlike Title VII and the New York State Human Rights Law, the NYCHRL imposes strict liability for an employer sued for harassment by a supervisor, and thus the defense is not applicable. An employer may, however, still rely upon Faragher-Ellerth-type evidence to mitigate civil penalties and punitive damages.
In the manufacturing industry, a workplace drug and alcohol policy can be a key feature of an employer’s health and safety program. Many manufacturers rely on testing to detect and deter employee impairment that might otherwise lead to accidents and injuries.
In his first State of the Union address on Tuesday January 30, 2018, President Donald Trump highlighted his plan for immigration reform, which consists of four pillars: (1) creating a path to citizenship for DREAMers, (2) securing the border, (3) eliminating the diversity visa lottery, and (4) limiting family-based immigration. The immigration debate has become a prominent component of the broader budget negotiations playing out in Congress, with relief for DREAMers under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program being pitted against funding for a wall and other border security measures. The president’s aims to eliminate the diversity visa lottery and restrict the family members who would be eligible for family-based immigration are consistent with the themes previously espoused by the administration. However, such changes would require legislation to be enacted. Until and unless such legislation is passed, those visa categories remain in effect under U.S. law.
The New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Law (PSLL) goes into effect on October 29, 2018. We have received hundreds of questions in the last few weeks from employers seeking guidance on what they must do to comply with the law in advance of its looming effective date. This is part three in a three-part series answering some of these frequently asked questions.