On March 18, 2022, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed nineteen bills into law, including, most notably for nursing home and assisted living facility employers, Senate Bill (SB) 1242, which strengthens employee background checks.
On April 1, 2021, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed into law House Bill (H.B.) 2067, which amends Arizona Revised Statute (A.R.S.) Section 13-905 to allow the courts to issue an order for a “Certificate of Second Chance” for individuals “whose judgment of guilt is set aside” after a criminal conviction. H.B. 2067 allows individuals who receive a Certificate of Second Chance the opportunity to apply for and obtain occupational licenses in Arizona, and provides some additional protections to employers, among other things.
During his January 2021 State of the State address, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey called for “COVID liability protection, so that a statewide emergency doesn’t line the pockets of trial attorneys with frivolous lawsuits.” On March 30, 2021, the Arizona State Legislature answered Governor Ducey’s call and passed Arizona’s pandemic-related liability shield legislation. Senate Bill (SB) 1377 establishes civil immunity for employers and health care providers for actions (or omissions to act) related to “a public health pandemic that is the subject of the state of emergency declared by the Governor.”
On February 18, 2021, U.S. Representative David Cicilline (D-RI) reintroduced the Equality Act (H.R. 5), a bill that would amend federal law (including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Although the U.S. House of Representatives passed a nearly identical version of the Equality Act in 2019, the bill never gained traction in the U.S. Senate and died in committee.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the global economy, and employers are increasingly considering which are the most and least employer-friendly places new offices, distribution centers, and operational locations, both during the pandemic and after emerging from it. The Arizona State University Center for the Study of Economic Liberty recently released Doing Business North America 2020 (DBNA), a report analyzing and comparing data indicative of the regulatory context for business activity in a number of metropolitan areas. The report ranked 130 cities across Canada, Mexico, and the United States, based on 111 variables for determining where the best places to do business are currently (although given the ever-changing local, state, and federal landscapes, the assessment may change frequently). The variables underlying the rankings fall into six broad categories: starting a business; employing workers; obtaining electricity, land and space use; and paying taxes and resolving insolvency.
On February 4, 2021, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed into law House Bill (H.B.) 2045, which expands protections for pregnant workers under Arizona law. The measure amends the Arizona Civil Rights Act (ACRA) to mirror existing protections under the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, which amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, inconsistent reports claimed everything from children being immune to COVID-19 to children being more vulnerable to the virus to children acting as asymptomatic carriers. More recently, the CDC has reported that “[w]hereas most COVID-19 cases in children are not severe, serious COVID-19 illness resulting in hospitalization still occurs in this age group.” The CDC’s latest guidance states that not only can children contract the virus, but the “prevalence of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection and duration of pre-symptomatic infection in children are not well understood.” It seems clear that like asymptomatic adults, asymptomatic children have not, at this time, undergone mass testing.
Only one day before Arizona’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected” order was set to expire, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey issued Executive Order (EO) 2020-33. Governor Ducey announced the modified extension of the stay-at-home order at a press conference on the afternoon of April 29, 2020. Consistent with the previous order, Arizonans must continue limiting their time away from their homes, except for participating in “Essential Activities,” employment in “Essential Functions,” and utilizing services or products of “Essential Businesses.”
As government officials at all levels continue issuing guidance on best practices for employers to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, some jurisdictions are taking the first steps to “reopen” their local economies. Before the coronavirus, employers were increasingly facing issues of religious accommodation requests to avoid influenza vaccines. As employees return to work undergoing temperature checks and possibly COVID-19 testing via swabs and blood draws, and healthcare professionals work to potentially develop a COVID-19 vaccine, employee religious accommodation requests will likely continue if not increase during this time of change.
On March 30, 2020, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey issued the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected” order. The order, which went into effect on March 31, 2020, is set to expire on April 30, 2020. While he has not officially released a return to work plan, Governor Ducey previously stated that he would act in Arizona’s best interest, and is considering three options: (1) allow the order to expire; (2) extend the order; or (3) extend the order with modifications.
What’s old is new again at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as numerous district offices have recently expanded their use of fact-finding conferences.
As Arizona employers prepare for 2020, key minimum wages and exempt salary levels under city, state, and federal law will go into effect. Additionally, employers will want to remain aware of potential legislation and/or voter propositions on recreational marijuana and raises in the healthcare industry in Arizona.
Employment litigation settlement agreements often include a mutually negotiated “no-rehire” provision by which the departing employee agrees not to seek employment with the company in the future. A recently enacted California law will require companies to refrain from including such provisions in most instances.
The Beltway Buzz is a weekly update summarizing labor and employment news from inside the Beltway and clarifying how what’s happening in Washington, D.C. could impact your business.
On October 8, 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral argument on one core question: does the prohibition on discrimination “because of . . . sex” in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 include discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity?
On April 3, 2019, New Mexico governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law two bills related to criminal background checks that may affect employers operating in the state. The first is a ban-the-box law that prohibits private employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history on an employment application. The second allows certain individuals to petition the court for expungement of criminal records.
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, a bill that would amend federal law (including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
In recent months, the New Mexico Legislature enacted legislation expanding employment protections for medical marijuana users. Recent changes to the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, New Mexico’s medical marijuana law, expand the range of medical conditions for which medical marijuana may be prescribed and create new employment protections for employees who legally use medical marijuana.
On March 22, 2019, Governor Doug Ducey signed Arizona House Bill (HB) 2230 into law. As described in detail in our recent article, HB 2230 allows judgment creditors to serve writs of garnishment by certified mail, return receipt requested, in addition to traditional methods of service.
In recent months, the New Mexico legislature enacted legislation expanding employment protections for nurses. The Safe Harbor for Nurses Act allows registered and licensed practical nurses to refuse assignments under certain conditions without fear of retaliation or other adverse action by their employers.
The Arizona legislature recently passed a bill that would amend Arizona Revised Statutes Section 12-1574 to change how writs of garnishments can be issued and served on garnishees, including employers. House Bill (HB) 2230 went to Governor Doug Ducey for signature on March 19, 2019, and he is expected to sign it soon.
Given the litigious environment in California, employers operating in the state are in great need of enforceable general release terms in severance and settlement agreements. California employers entering into severance or settlement agreements will want to be aware of the amendment to California Civil Code Section 1542.
Winslow, Arizona, is well known to every fan of the Eagles based on the band’s hit debut single, “Take it Easy,” released in 1972. Winslow again hit the radio and news media when its city council passed Ordinance No. 1327 on November 13, 2018.
An estimated 9 million adults in the United States are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Eighty-seven percent of U.S. residents report knowing someone who is lesbian or gay, and half report having a close lesbian or gay friend.
On June 4, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States settled a controversy stemming from a bakery’s refusal to make a cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding reception.
Navigating employee leave issues can be a daunting feat for in-house counsel and human resources departments. One challenging and oft-overlooked situation rife with the potential for legal issues involves contact between employers and employees who are out on leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
And the biggest employment case of 2017 . . . is not here yet. The reality: Everyone will be eagerly waiting another four to six months for the biggest and most-anticipated employment case of 2017: class action waivers. While the Supreme Court of the United States’ taking certiorari in January 2017 and likely issuing its decision in late 2017/early 2018—unequivocally the biggest thing 2017 will see, several other cases and developments so far in 2017 are worthy of discussion.
On June 30, 2017—the day before Arizona’s new paid sick leave law went into effect—the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) issued 18 pages of new frequently asked questions (FAQs). Some of the FAQs merely restate the draft regulations, while others provide useful examples helping to give color to draft supplemental regulations recently issued.
On June 27, 2017, the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) issued supplemental draft regulations. The supplemental regulations tweak some of the draft regulations the ICA issued on May 5, 2017. Some supplemental regulations are entirely new and help clarify several important yet unanswered questions lingering in employers’ minds.
Arizona’s new paid sick leave law—Proposition 206 or The Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act—will go into effect on July 1, 2017. Since the law passed, the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) has crafted proposed regulations and a number of frequently asked questions (FAQs). This three-part blog series examines the intricacies of the ICA’s current proposed regulations and FAQs.