Illinois Supreme Court Rules Privacy Act Claims Have Five Year Statute of Limitations

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.

EEOC Hears Testimony Concerning Employment Discrimination in Artificial Intelligence and Automated Systems

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.

Cal/OSHA and Workplace Violence Prevention: What Is an Employer’s Duty Under Current Standards and Guidelines?

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.

New York HERO Act Amendment Establishes a Five-Day Deadline to Recognize Workplace Safety Committees

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.”

USCIS Implements Final Rule on Public Charge Ground of Admissibility

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.

District of Columbia’s New Human Rights Enhancement Amendment Act Changes Definitions of ‘Harassment’ and ‘Employee’

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).

Louisiana Appellate Court Finds Nondiscretionary Production Bonus Based on Employee Work Is a “Wage” Payable at Termination

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.

USCIS Announces Registration Period for the FY 2024 H-1B Cap

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.

OSHA Announces Significant Expansion of ‘Instance-by-Instance’ Citation Policy

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.”

Michigan Court of Appeals Maintains Status Quo Regarding Paid Medical Leave

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.

Employment-Based Immigration Updates for 2023

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.

New York Judge Blocks COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate for Healthcare Facilities

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.”

Congress Eases Criminal Offense Restrictions for Employment With Financial Institutions

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).

SECURE 2.0 Retirement Legislation Has Arrived in Style and Is Here to Stay: Top 10 Contribution-Related Provisions

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).

New York State Publishes Proposed Updated Model Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy

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.

San Francisco Passes Ordinance Requiring Private Employers to Provide Paid Military Leave

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.

USCIS Expands Premium Processing to All EB-1 and EB-2 Classifications, Including New Petitions

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.

Albany County, New York’s New Law Requiring Disclosure of Pay Ranges in Job Postings

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.