On August 30, Governor David Paterson signed a bill (A. 2563A) into law that amends the New York state civil rights law by prohibiting employers from discriminating against committed same-sex partners in the granting of funeral or bereavement leave. Under the new law, employers that extend to their employees funeral or bereavement leave for the death of an employee’s spouse, or the child, parent or other relative of the spouse, are prohibited from denying the same leave to an employee for the death of the employee’s same-sex committed partner, or the child, parent or other relative of the committed partner. The law defines same-sex committed partners as “those who are financially and emotionally interdependent in a manner commonly presumed of spouses.” The bill is effective October 29, 2010, and New York employers should revise their bereavement policies accordingly.
2017 has been quite a year, with ever-changing regulations, trends, and employee expectations at the local, state, and federal levels. In this environment of constant flux, an outdated employee handbook can leave an employer unnecessarily susceptible to potential claims. Reviewing and updating handbook policies to reflect the latest legal developments and best practices, however, can help your company avoid unnecessary exposure.
On June 22, 2016, in Labnet, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota issued the first decision arising out of three separate lawsuits seeking preliminary injunctions blocking the DOL from implementing its revised “persuader activity” rule. The court found that the rule’s challengers had a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of their claim but declined to enter a preliminary injunction at such an early stage of litigation.
A recent court filing by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reaffirms the agency’s commitment to rescinding the H-4 rule, which provides work authorization to eligible spouses of certain H-1B visa holders who are in the process of becoming lawful permanent residents.