Recent events have employers once again wondering if they do enough to address the risk of workplace violence. After a mass shooting, for example, businesses and other organizations sometimes look back with 20/20 hindsight and notice warning signs that they might have overlooked. A durable workplace violence prevention plan may help employers identify the hard-to-detect signs of potentially problematic behavior.
Employers in Finland have a deadline of December 31, 2022, to double-check their pre-2022 employment contracts for noncompetition clauses and to waive them before the end of the transition year, if necessary.
Earlier this year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2022-23, which extended the deadline to make certain amendments pursuant to the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019, the Bipartisan American Miners Act of 2019 (Miners Act), and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to December 31, 2025.
On November 29, 2022, the U.S. Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act, which would guarantee marriage equality, including for interracial and same-sex couples, under federal law. The bill, H.R. 8404, passed the Senate in a 61-36 vote with bipartisan support. The bill must still be voted on by the U.S. House of Representatives, which passed a similar version in July, before it goes to President Biden’s desk for approval.
On November 7. 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States declined to review a case by a Georgia fire chief alleging she was discharged for being transgender in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza cases are surging across the United States while COVID-19 continues to spread. Faced with hospital beds filling up and experts warning that this could be one of the most severe respiratory illness seasons in recent years, two states—Oregon and Colorado—have declared public health emergencies that will impact state sick and family leave requirements as workers struggle with the illnesses or to care for sick children.
The latest idea for attracting and retaining employees in this post-COVID-19–pandemic era of the Great Resignation and “quiet quitting” is one that was usually limited to professors in higher education: the sabbatical.
On December 1, 2022, Mexican President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador announced that, unanimously, the business and labor sectors, as well as the government, had agreed to increase the minimum wage by 20 percent for 2023, which will be applicable in the Free Zone of the Northern Border (Zona Libre de la Frontera Norte or ZLFN), as well as the wage applicable in the rest of the country.
On October 25, 2022, U.S. professional basketball player Brittney Griner lost her bid in a Russian appeals court to overturn a nine-year sentence for attempting to smuggle illegal drugs into Russia. According to reports, Griner, a Women’s National Basketball Association star and two-time Olympic gold medalist, was arrested at a Russian airport in February 2022 while attempting to enter the country to play professional basketball with vaporizer cartridges containing less than one gram of hashish oil, a product derived from marijuana. Griner reportedly has a prescription for medical marijuana in Arizona, but marijuana, including medical marijuana, remains illegal in Russia.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) bloodborne pathogens standard, 29 C.F.R. § 1910.1030, requires employers having employees with “occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials” to develop written exposure control plans designed to eliminate or minimize employee exposure.
Two recent developments out of Annapolis pose new challenges for Maryland employers confronted with claims of harassment. Effective October 1, 2022, Maryland’s employee-friendly Senate Bill (S.B.) 450 and S.B. 451 lowered the applicable legal standard required to establish a harassment claim and extended the period within which a person may bring a civil action alleging an unlawful employment practice.
Every year, the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry announces the inflation-adjusted minimum wage rate.
Though the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s judgment in its entirety in Golden Glow Tanning Salon, Inc. v. City of Columbus, Mississippi, Judge James C. Ho’s concurrence raised an interesting issue of whether there is an unenumerated constitutional right to work that could limit the government’s ability to regulate business.
We recently reported on a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request covering government contractors’ 2016–2020 Type 2 EEO-1 reports announced in the Federal Register, pursuant to which contractors had until October 19, 2022, to object to the disclosure of their data. The requesting investigative reporter and nonprofit news organization subsequently sued the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) under FOIA, alleging that the DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) violated FOIA in response to the FOIA requests. OFCCP began contacting companies for which it claims to have no record of objections to the FOIA request, via email on November 22, 2022.
A basketball player from the Dominican Republic could be the first prospective National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) athlete to secure an O-1 temporary work visa for those with “extraordinary ability” in athletics to allow him to profit from his name, image, and likeness (NIL) while in school. The move comes as brands are looking to sign college athletes under the NCAA’s interim NIL policy, though international athletes have limited ability to do so under student visas.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently announced that it is expanding a pilot program to eliminate admission stamps in passports. The record being eliminated is the ink stamp and not the “visa stamp” that a U.S. embassy or consulate affixes to passports.
On November 21, 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law Senate Bill S1958A, which amends section 215 of the New York Labor Law (NYLL) to enhance protections for employees who take legally protected absences. The law takes effect on February 19, 2023.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar kicked off on November 20, 2022, in a special late fall edition of the quadrennial tournament—highlighting the dangers of high-heat work environments. Typically held in June and July, the 2022 World Cup is being held in November and December this time to avoid the high summer temperatures in the Persian Gulf country—which average more than 100°F during the summer months—that can make it dangerous or difficult for players.
On June 23, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a 6–3 decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen that expanded the right of Americans to bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. More accurately, the Court significantly curtailed a state’s ability to restrict citizens’ right to carry firearms publicly for their self-defense.
On November 8, 2022, voters in Maryland and Missouri overwhelmingly approved ballot measures to legalize recreational marijuana, becoming the 20th and 21st states to do so. And, as part of the ballot initiative in Missouri, the existing medical marijuana law was amended to include express employment protections for medical marijuana cardholders.
On November 16, 2022, the U.S. Congress passed a bill that would limit enforceability of nondisclosure and nondisparagement provisions in pre-dispute agreements with employees and independent contractors relating to sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations. The bill, S. 4524, or the “Speak Out Act,” passed the U.S. House of Representatives with a vote of 315–109, the vote coming after the U.S. Senate passed the bill on September 29, 2022.
A collision between the Ontario government and unionized education workers escalated into one of the most significant moments in recent Canadian labour relations history.
On September 9, 2015, then U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates issued a memo, “Individual Accountability for Corporate Wrongdoing,” that sent shivers down the spines of those in the workplace safety community.
On November 10, 2022, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued proposed revisions to its Employer Information Report (EEO-1) Component 1 data collection to streamline the process for large employers with multiple establishments.
On November 15, 2022, an investigative reporter and a nonprofit news organization sued the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The investigative reporter previously submitted multiple FOIA requests for federal contractors’ and first-tier subcontractors’ Type 2 Consolidated EEO-1 Report data to the DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).
On November 8, 2022, voters in Colorado passed a ballot initiative to decriminalize possession of and legalize limited use of psychedelic mushrooms and other plant- and fungi-derived psychedelic drugs by those 21 years of age or older.
Canada is considering implementing new laws regarding supply-chain due diligence and other obligations relating to forced labour and child labour. In late 2021, Canadian Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne introduced Bill S-211, An Act to enact the Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act and to amend the Customs Tariff. It has since passed the Senate, and moved to the House of Commons where it is likely to pass and receive Royal Assent, becoming law.
The New Hampshire Paid Family and Medical Leave (NH PFML) Plan, otherwise known as the Granite State Paid Family Leave Plan, is the nation’s first and only voluntary, state-sponsored paid leave plan.