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.
On September 9, 2020, Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued Executive Order No. 20-41 invoking the Emergency Conflagration Act Statewide in light of extreme fire danger. Governor Brown’s invocation of the Emergency Conflagration Act remains in effect until at least November 1, 2020, as wildfires continue to rage. More than 1 million acres of land have burned across Oregon since September 7, 2020. To put things in perspective the area burned is nearly five times the size of New York City. According to Governor Brown, Oregon is facing an unprecedented level of uncontained fire. To put the flames out, Oregon will need all the help that it can get from its courageous firefighters and first responders.
Single Act of Disobedience Does Not Disqualify Employee From Unemployment Benefits, California High Court Rules
On July 3, 2014, the California Supreme Court decided whether a single act of disobedience by an employee constitutes misconduct within the meaning of section 1256 of California’s Unemployment Insurance Code, thereby disqualifying the employee from receiving unemployment insurance benefits. The court held that the employee’s refusal to sign a…..
A recent decision issued by the Supreme Court of the United States in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association could allow the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to revise longstanding interpretations of regulations without formal rulemaking. On March 9, 2015, a unanimous Court struck down the Paralyzed Veterans doctrine requiring agencies to utilize notice-and-comment rulemaking for new rule interpretations varying significantly from previous interpretations.