On December 15, 2022, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board adopted the COVID-19 Prevention Non-Emergency Regulation to replace the Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS), which were set to end on December 31, 2022.
On February 2, 2023, the Supreme Court of the State of Illinois ruled that all claims under Section 15 of the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (Privacy Act or BIPA) have a five year statute of limitations. The decision partially overturns an appellate court ruling that had found claims under subsections 15(c) and 15(d) of the Privacy Act were governed by a one-year limitations period under Illinois law for defamation and privacy claims.
On February 1, 2023, Minnesota governor Tim Walz signed a law to prohibit discrimination based on hair texture and hair styles, adding Minnesota to the growing list of states to enact such legislation, commonly referred to as the “CROWN Act.”
On January 31, 2023, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) held a public hearing, titled, “Navigating Employment Discrimination in AI and Automated Systems: A New Civil Rights Frontier,” to receive panelist testimony concerning the use of automated systems, including artificial intelligence, by employers in employment decisions.
Workplace violence is a growing concern in California and across the country, as evidenced by numerous recent tragic incidents in the news. These recent incidents may highlight for employers the importance of taking steps to prevent and respond to workplace violence, and they may also leave employers wondering about their obligations under workplace safety laws with regard to workplace violence prevention.
On December 28, 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law an amendment to Section 2 of the New York Health and Essential Rights Act (NY HERO Act). The amendment, which took effect immediately upon signing, provides that “[a]n employer must recognize within five business days the establishment of a workplace safety committee.”
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) final rule on public charge inadmissibility has been in effect since December 23, 2022. Accordingly, USCIS released a revised Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, for applications submitted on or after December 23, 2022, for adjustment of status to comply with the newly codified rule.
The District of Columbia recently amended the D.C. Human Rights Act (DCHRA) by adding a new protective status, broadening who is covered under the act. The District also modified the DCRHA to redefine how plaintiffs may prove harassment claims within the District. The new law, which took effect on October 1, 2022, is entitled the Human Rights Enhancement Amendment Act of 2022 (DCHREAA).
The Louisiana Court of Appeal, First Circuit, in DiVittorio v. Seale & Ross, PLC, affirmed a trial court’s judgment in favor of associate attorneys, granting them certain bonus compensation but denying another bonus claim. The appellate court held that the trial court had correctly ruled that the former associate attorneys earned their production bonuses, which were improperly withheld in bad faith.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that the registration period for the fiscal year (FY) 2024 H-1B cap will open on Wednesday, March 1, 2023, at noon ET, and will end on Friday, March 17, 2023, at noon ET. It is only during this period that employers or their representatives can register potential H-1B beneficiaries through a myUSCIS online account.
The California Civil Rights Division (CRD) recently released updated guidance in the form of frequently asked questions (FAQs) for the 2022 California pay data reports, which covered employers must submit via the CRD’s pay data portal by May 10, 2023.
On January 19, 2023, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the national union membership rate declined from 10.3 percent in 2021 to 10.1 percent in 2022.
Late on January 26, 2023, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a press release concerning a significant change in long-standing policy related to instance-by-instance issuance of citations that will become effective in sixty days and radically alter the landscape of certain inspections. The stated purpose of the policy change is “to make [OSHA’s] penalties more effective in stopping employers from repeatedly exposing workers to life-threatening hazards or failing to comply with certain workplace safety and health requirements.”
On January 26, 2023, in the long-awaited opinion in Mothering Justice v. Attorney General, a three-judge panel of the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled, in a 3–0 opinion, that the Michigan Paid Medical Leave Act (PMLA) and Michigan Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act, as implemented in March 2019, will remain in place.
As we move deeper into the new year, the U.S. government continues to try to resolve the challenges facing the immigration system due to the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting processing backlogs. These challenges may still continue, but new changes and updates have already taken effect—and more will likely come in 2023, impacting employers and the decisions they make with regard to their foreign national employees.
On January 17, 2023, a New York trial court judge struck down the state’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers, ruling that the New York State Department of Health (DOH) acted outside its authority and noting that “the COVID-19 shots do not prevent transmission.”
Is the time during which employees were scheduled to be at work but could not be due to poor weather conditions compensable? That depends.
Included in the defense spending bill signed by President Biden in December 2022 is a section with key provisions for financial institutions that will ease restrictions on hiring candidates with criminal records. Section 5705 in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023, titled “Fair Hiring in Banking,” further narrows convictions that would constitute a bar to employment under Section 19 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (Section 19) absent a written waiver by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
On January 20, 2023, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) published a Corporate Scheduling Announcement List (CSAL) identifying 500 establishments of federal supply and service contractors and subcontractors for compliance reviews.
On January 23, 2023, the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection held a public hearing on updated proposed rules to implement the city’s automated employment decision tools law (Local Law 144).
After months of suspense and intrigue on whether SECURE 2.0 would make it to the finish line and become law, the U.S. Congress ended the suspense by attaching SECURE 2.0 to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 funding bill on December 23, 2022. President Biden made it official on December 29, 2022, by signing the appropriations bill into law (Public Law No. 117-328).
In accordance with its quadrennial obligation to evaluate the impact of New York State’s Model Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy in the workplace, on January 12, 2023, the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL), in consultation with the New York State Division of Human Rights, published a proposed updated model sexual harassment prevention policy.
On January 19, 2023, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reached a settlement in Edakunni v. Mayorkas, which restructures U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ adjudication policies for H-4 and L-2 dependents, including applicable employment authorization documents.
Employers that provide 401(k) plans on documents that have been “pre-approved” by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) beware: there is yet another annual notice requirement that may need to be added to your compliance list.
On January 20, 2023, San Francisco Mayor London Breed approved a city ordinance that will require large, private employers to provide differential paid leave for military reservists called up to active duty. The “Military Leave Pay Protection Act” adds Article 33Q to the city Police Code, and will make San Francisco the first major city in the United States to require that private employers provide differential paid leave to employees who are members of the military while they perform military service, the sponsor of the ordinance said when introducing it last year.
On January 10, 2023, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock approved an ordinance (File No. 22-1614) passed by the Denver City Council that will provide new avenues for workers in the City and County of Denver to pursue claims for wage theft.
Beginning January 30, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will accept Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, for Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers E-13 (EB-1C) multinational executive and manager petitions and E21 (EB-2) National Interest Waiver (NIW) petitions.
Employers in Albany County, New York, will soon be required to disclose expected pay ranges in job postings under a new pay transparency law. The law, which is expected to go into effect on March 9, 2023, adds Albany County to the growing list of jurisdictions across New York State with similar pay transparency requirements.