New Legislation Focused on Preventing Sexual Harassment Included in the 2019 New York State Budget

April 13, 2018

By Megan M. Collelo

The unveiling of New York State’s 2019 budget made it clear that the state has maintained its focus on curbing sexual harassment in the workplace.  Included in the legislation, which was delivered to the Governor on April 2, 2018, are numerous new requirements impacting both private and public employers.

Read More >> New Legislation Focused on Preventing Sexual Harassment Included in the 2019 New York State Budget

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Narrow Construction of FLSA Exemptions

April 6, 2018

By Subhash Viswanathan and Stephanie H. Fedorka

On April 2, the U.S. Supreme Court held, in Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro, that service advisors at automobile dealerships are exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act.  The Court was divided 5-4 on this issue, with Justice Thomas writing the opinion on behalf of the majority and Justice Ginsburg writing the opinion on behalf of the 4 dissenting Justices.  The Court reversed a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' decision, which found that service advisors were non-exempt employees who were eligible for overtime pay.

Read More >> U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Narrow Construction of FLSA Exemptions

VEVRAA Hiring Benchmark Lowered for Federal Contractors

April 5, 2018

By Larry P. Malfitano

On March 30, 2018, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs ("OFCCP") announced the new national hiring benchmark for protected veterans under the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act ("VEVRAA").  The new hiring benchmark is effective March 31, 2018, and lowers the benchmark to 6.4% from the previous benchmark of 6.7%.  The hiring benchmark is the percentage of total hires who are protected veterans that a federal contractor should seek to hire during the year.

Read More >> VEVRAA Hiring Benchmark Lowered for Federal Contractors

NLRB Vacates Recent Joint Employer Decision

March 2, 2018

By Subhash Viswanathan

On February 26, 2018, the National Labor Relations Board issued an order vacating its decision in Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors.  As we recently reported on this blog, the Board's Hy-Brand decision reversed its 2015 Browning-Ferris decision, which had significantly changed the legal standard for determining joint employer status under the National Labor Relations Act.

Read More >> NLRB Vacates Recent Joint Employer Decision

Second Circuit Court of Appeals Rules That Title VII Prohibits Sexual Orientation Discrimination

February 28, 2018

By Christa Richer Cook and Theresa E. Rusnak

Just this week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (which is the federal appeals court that covers cases that originate in the U.S. District Courts in New York) issued a decision holding that discrimination based on sexual orientation is prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.  On its face, Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on five protected categories:  race, color, religion, national origin, and sex.  This Second Circuit ruling now places sexual orientation on the same level of protection as those categories historically covered under Title VII.

Read More >> Second Circuit Court of Appeals Rules That Title VII Prohibits Sexual Orientation Discrimination

#MeToo Meets the Internal Revenue Code

February 20, 2018

By Lisa A. Christensen

The "Act to provide for reconciliation pursuant to titles II and V of the concurrent resolution on the budget for the fiscal year 2018" a.k.a. the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the "Tax Act") will, among other things, likely make negotiations in connection with sexual harassment or sexual abuse claims more difficult, and settlements for such claims more expensive for employers.

Read More >> #MeToo Meets the Internal Revenue Code

Late Start for Union Election Results in Rerun Election with Very Different Results

February 16, 2018

By Tyler T. Hendry and Louis P. DiLorenzo

Early in February 2017, a group of drivers at the Bronx Lobster Place, a wholesale seafood distributor, voted 14-12 in favor of union representation, with one challenged ballot.  Shortly after the election, the Lobster Place retained Louis P. DiLorenzo and Tyler Hendry in Bond's New York City office.  About one year later, after the National Labor Relations Board sustained the Lobster Place's objections to the conduct of the election, a rerun election was held.  This time, the drivers voted 22-3 against unionization.

Read More >> Late Start for Union Election Results in Rerun Election with Very Different Results

A Quick Summary of Recent NLRB Activity

February 9, 2018

By Subhash Viswanathan

In December 2017, the National Labor Relations Board issued some significant decisions reversing precedent that had been established by the NLRB under the Obama administration, and took other significant actions that may help balance the scales that had been tilted heavily in favor of union interests over the past eight years.  Here is a quick summary of those decisions and actions.

Read More >> A Quick Summary of Recent NLRB Activity

USDOL Reissues 17 Opinion Letters That Were Withdrawn in 2009

January 23, 2018

By Subhash Viswanathan

On January 5, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division reissued 17 opinion letters that were withdrawn in 2009, shortly after President Obama began his first term in office.  The USDOL under the Obama administration withdrew the 17 opinion letters on March 2, 2009, stating that they were being withdrawn “for further consideration” and that it would “provide a further response in the near future.”  However, it does not appear that the USDOL actually revisited any of the opinion letters that had been withdrawn, so the USDOL under the Trump administration has now reissued those opinion letters and has renumbered them as FLSA2018-1 through FLSA2018-17.

Read More >> USDOL Reissues 17 Opinion Letters That Were Withdrawn in 2009

Public Employees Will Soon Be Entitled to Paid Leave for All Types of Cancer Screenings

January 18, 2018

By Hilary L. Moreira

On December 18, 2017, Governor Cuomo signed legislation that amended Civil Service Law Sections 159-b and 159-c.  Currently, those sections entitle most public sector employees to take up to four hours of paid leave per year to be screened for breast cancer (159-b) and up to four hours of paid leave per year to be screened for prostate cancer (159-c), without deducting any leave time (e.g., sick, personal, or vacation) from the employee.

Effective March 18, 2018, Civil Service Law Section 159-b will be amended by broadening the scope of that provision so that it will apply to all cancer screenings.  Because Section 159-b will now apply to all types of cancer screenings (including screenings for prostate cancer), Civil Service Law Section 159-c (relating to prostate cancer screenings) will be repealed.

Public employers should review their policies to ensure that employees are permitted to take up to a maximum of four hours of paid leave per year for any type of cancer screening, without deducting any other leave time (e.g., sick, personal, or vacation) from the employee.