Reasonable Expansion? New York Passes Additional Whistleblower Retaliation Law

On October 28, 2021, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law Senate Bill S4394A, which amends section 740 of the New York Labor Law (NYLL) to enhance protections for private-sector employees who allege retaliation for reporting violations of and “law, rule or regulation.” While cases alleging whistleblowing and the reporting of unsafe working conditions have been on the rise since March 2020, Governor Hochul indicated a need to ensure employees’ ability to speak out, stating that “protecting workers must be part of our overall economic recovery efforts.”

NYC Proposes Rules Implementing Fair Workweek Law: Spelling More Concerns for Retail and Fast Food Employers

As we previously reported, New York City retail and fast food employers must prepare for the Fair Workweek Law set to go into effect on November 26, 2017. On October 16, 2017 the Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Labor Policy and Standards (DCA) published much anticipated proposed rules to implement the Fair Workweek Law and provide needed guidance to covered employers.

New York State Industrial Board of Appeals Revokes Regulations on Methods of Wage Payments Set to Take Effect on March 7

On February 16, 2017, the New York State Industrial Board of Appeals (IBA) issued a Resolution of Decision invalidating and revoking the regulations regarding methods of payment of wages. The IBA decided that the regulations exceeded the Commissioner of Labor’s rulemaking authority by seeking to regulate and place restrictions on financial institutions and banking services.

New York City Passes Bill Prohibiting Employers From Requesting or Using Credit History in Employment Decisions

On April 16, 2015, the New York City Council passed a bill to amend the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) to prohibit employers from requesting or using an individual’s credit history in making employment decisions. The bill (Intro. No. 261-A, 2014) would make it an unlawful discriminatory practice under the NYCHRL for any employer, labor organization, or employment agency to request or use the consumer credit history of an employee or an applicant for the purpose of making any employment decisions, including those related to hiring, compensation, or any other terms of employment.

Second Circuit Affirms Rulings in Long-Standing Suit Involving Title VII Class Claims Brought by New York City Teachers

A recent decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a ruling by the lower court that the New York City Board of Education (BOE) violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act through its use of a discriminatory teacher certification exam that was not “job related” under the statute. With its decision, the Second Circuit added another chapter to long-running litigation involving efforts by a group of minority teachers to challenge the use of teacher certification tests that have allegedly had a detrimental effect on their careers.

Second Circuit Emphasizes That Inconsistent Reasons for Employee Termination Can Be Sufficient to Overcome Summary Judgment

A recent decision by the Second Circuit not only revived a former employee’s retaliation claims but further highlighted the litigation risk when an employer’s explanation for an employee’s firing evolves over time. In Kwan, the Second Circuit held that an employer’s shifting explanations for why it discharged an employee, along with the very close temporal proximity between the employee’s protected conduct and termination, were sufficient to create a triable issue of fact with regard to whether the employee’s protected conduct was a but-for cause of her termination.

New York Court of Appeals Creates Negligent Drug Testing Claim

A recent decision by the New York Court of Appeals has far-ranging implications in the area of employee drug testing. In Landon, New York’s highest court held that an individual may sue a drug-testing laboratory for damages caused by incorrect results. The Court’s creation of a new cause of action against drug-testing laboratories—negligent testing—is likely to significantly alter the landscape of employee drug testing in New York State.

Second Circuit Enhances Employers’ Ability to Avoid FLSA Collective Actions Through Arbitration Agreements

In a significant victory for employers, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals endorsed class waivers of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) claims even if such waiver removes the financial incentive to pursue individual wage and hour claims. The holding reversed the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and was consistent with the recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court