New Jersey Enacts New Annual and Remote Worker Poster Requirements

Earlier this year, the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) issued proposed regulations to allow employers to satisfy the state’s Law Against Discrimination (LAD) and Family Leave Act (NJFLA) poster requirements via an internet or intranet site rather than a conventional bulletin board in the workplace. The proposed regulations also imposed a new annual LAD and NJFLA notice distribution requirement. Those regulations became final on August 1, 2022.

Cal/OSHA Standards Board’s COVID-19 ETS Proposal Provisions

On September 15, 2022, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board will continue the long and arduous journey to establish COVID-19 safety measures in the workplace. Since the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s (Cal/OSHA) initial ETS took effect in November 2020, the Standards Board has addressed the evolving workplace safety challenges with a series of updates.

HHS, DOL, and Treasury Give Employer-Sponsored Health Plans Another Warning on Providing Contraceptive Coverage

For the second time in six months, frequently asked question (FAQ) guidance from federal regulators is calling attention to the requirement that employer-sponsored health plans provide coverage for women, without any cost sharing, for the full range of contraceptive methods approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

2022 Changes to Michigan’s Paid Medical Leave: ‘Back to the Future’? Well, Not So Fast!

Earlier today, the Michigan Court of Claims issued a stay of its July 19, 2022, decision in Mothering Justice v. Nessel that had reinstated ballot initiatives that would have drastically changed the state’s paid medical leave and minimum wage laws. The stay is in place until February 19, 2023. This means that the adopted and amended versions of these laws will remain in place for now.

Not Monkeying Around Anymore: Time for Employers to Pay Attention to Monkeypox

The World Health Organization (WHO) director general declared the current outbreak of monkeypox a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Similarly, San Francisco declared a public health emergency due to the increase in monkeypox cases and the state of New York declared the spread of the virus an “imminent threat to public health.”

Massachusetts Appeals Court Holds That Home Inspection Company’s Inspectors Were Independent Contractors Under ‘ABC’ Test

In a decision that further clarifies Massachusetts law with regard to employee classification, the Massachusetts Appeals Court recently held that home inspectors working on behalf of an inspectional services company were independent contractors (and not employees) under the ABC test for determining employment status, and, therefore, ineligible for unemployment benefits.

USCIS Updates O-1 Guidance With Focus on STEM-Related Government Grants

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently updated its policy guidance related to O-1A nonimmigrants of extraordinary ability in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Notably, the guidance states that evidence establishing that a beneficiary is named on a competitive government grant or stipend for STEM research may be “a positive factor indicating [the] beneficiary is among the small percentage at the top of the beneficiary’s field.”

New York State Launches Hotline for Reporting Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

On July 19, 2022, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced the launch of a statewide confidential hotline for complaints of workplace sexual harassment. The hotline was provided under Senate Bill No. S812B, which Governor Hochul signed into law on March 16, 2022, as part of a legislative package enacted to address sexual harassment in the workplace.

Canada’s Federal Government Proposes Changes to Privacy Act

On June 16, 2022, the government of Canada tabled a bill that would make significant changes to privacy laws impacting employers in the federal jurisdiction. The new legislation, the Digital Charter Implementation Act (Bill C-27) would replace Part 1 of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and would create three pieces of legislation in its place, the Consumer Privacy Protection Act (CPPA), the Personal Information and Data Protection Tribunal Act (PIDPTA), and the Artificial Intelligence and Data Act (AIDA).

California High Court to Decide Viability of PAGA: Will Arbitration Agreements Still Serve as a Protective Shield for Employers?

There is a new, but not entirely unexpected, front in the continuing war over California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claims. On July 20, 2022, the California Supreme Court granted review in Adolph v. Uber Technologies, Inc., opening the door for a ruling that potentially may complicate the relief provided to employers by the recent decision from the Supreme Court of the United States in Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana.

Maine’s Nondisclosure Agreements Law: New Limitations on Settlement, Separation, or Severance Agreements

Maine recently joined the list of states—including California, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Washington, and others—with laws restricting employers’ use of nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) and confidentiality terms in settlement, separation, and severance agreements.

2022 Changes to Michigan’s Paid Medical Leave: Back to the Future

On July 19, 2022, the Michigan Court of Claims reinstated Michigan’s original (2018) voter-initiated versions of the Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act (IWOWA) and the Earned Sick Time Act (ESTA). This reversion immediately increases Michigan’s minimum wage rate to $12 per hour and significantly expands the paid sick leave employers must provide to eligible employees.

Multi-Jurisdictional Compliance: 3 FAQs on State Wage and Hour

Compliance with state wage and hour laws is on the forefront of the mind of just about every employer, particularly as employees are looking for more flexibility in their work schedules since the pandemic. Ogletree Deakins’ recent survey report, Strategies and Benchmarks for the Workplace: Ogletree’s Survey of Key Decision-Makers, revealed that state wage and hour laws are the second most challenging area of multi-jurisdictional compliance.

Fifth Circuit Rules Sleepwalking Employee Who Crawled Into Bed With Coworker Cannot Prove Disability Discrimination

On July 15, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed a district court’s ruling that a female employee who crawled into a male coworker’s bed while “sleepwalking” and was subsequently discharged failed to establish disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act (TCHRA).