On January 23, 2013, New York’s City Council passed a bill that would modify the New York City Human Rights Law and prohibit discrimination based on unemployment status. The bill would also prohibit advertising requiring current employment as a condition of employment. However, the bill contains several notable exceptions, including that employers may (1) consider an applicant’s unemployment if a substantially job-related reason exists for doing so, and (2) ask applicants about the circumstances related to “separation from prior employment.” If enacted, Bill 814-A would create a private cause of action, as well as grant the New York City Human Rights Commission the authority to enforce the law. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has expressed his intention to veto the bill. Ogletree Deakins will continue to monitor the status of this bill.
This year has been challenging for a number of reasons, not least of which is the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the workplace. After months of isolation and remote operations, many employers and employees are eagerly looking forward to opportunities during the approaching holiday season to come together (in person or virtually) to share festive spirit and reflect on the good times from this past year despite the setbacks. Nevertheless, we remain in the midst of a global pandemic, and many communities are experiencing an increase in the number of cases. While employers may welcome the opportunity to celebrate and strengthen employee morale this holiday season, they may want to assess the state of the pandemic in their respective communities and consider practical strategies for making holiday gatherings and celebrations as safe as possible.
Minnesota Governor Slows the Planned Reopening of Bars, Restaurants, and Places of Public Accommodation
In his Emergency Executive Order 20-56 issued on May 13, 2020, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signaled plans for a broad reopening of Minnesota businesses. Governor Walz expanded on earlier Executive Orders 20-40 and 20-48 (which reopened some non-critical businesses) by allowing additional non-critical businesses (such as malls and retail stores) to open on May 18, 2020, provided that these businesses have a “preparedness plan” in place.
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently created a circuit split when it disagreed with prior decisions from the Second, Sixth, and Eighth Circuits regarding the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA). In Karlo v. Pittsburgh Glass Works, LLC, No. 15-3435 (January 10, 2017), the Third Circuit held that “subgroup” disparate impact claims are cognizable under the ADEA.