On April 15, 2014, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio expanded protection under the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) to include unpaid interns. The amendment effectively overturns the U.S. Southern District of New York’s October 2013 decision in Wang v. Phoenix Satellite Television US, Inc., which was previously discussed on the Ogletree Deakins blog. The Wang decision held that unpaid interns do not qualify as employees under the NYCHRL and thus could not file discrimination and harassment claims against companies for which they performed work. The new law protects interns under the NYCHRL “without regard” to salary or wages, defining “intern” as “an individual who performs work for an employer on a temporary basis whose work: (a) provides training or supplements training given in an educational environment such that the employability of the individual performing the work may be enhanced; (b) provides experience for the benefit of the individual performing the work; and (c) is performed under the close supervision of existing staff.” As described by one New York City Council member, the new law “closes the loophole” that prevented the NYCHRL from protecting uncompensated interns. There is similar legislation to amend the New York State Human Rights Law currently pending in Albany. As a result of the amended NYCHRL, New York City employers should ensure that their anti-harassment and equal opportunity policies apply to any unpaid interns.
Judge Issues Temporary Injunction Blocking Implementation of San Antonio’s Sick and Safety Leave Law
The City of San Antonio’s Sick and Safe Leave ordinance has been enjoined. The ordinance was originally scheduled to go into effect on August 1, 2019, but on July 24, 2019, a Texas state court delayed implementation until December 1, 2019, pending a ruling on a motion for temporary injunction filed by business groups and the state.
The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed President Obama’s nomination of Richard F. Griffin, Jr. to serve as general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The vote was 55-to-44 and fell along party lines; Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) joined Senate Democrats and independents in approving the nomination. With Griffin’s…..
Missouri joined the growing list of states that have passed immigration measures impacting employers. Governor Matt Blunt signed House Bill 1549 which will require (as of January 1, 2009) the following entities to participate in a federal work authorization program (currently known as “E-Verify”): any public (government entity) employer and any business entity that applies for a contract or grant in excess of $5,000 with the state of Missouri or one of its political subdivisions or applies for a tax credit, tax abatement, or loan from the state of Missouri.