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Category Archives: State Law

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GT Alert — Student-Athletes or Statutory Employees?

Posted in Employee Policies, State Law, Unions

In a closely-watched decision, a Regional Director for the National Labor Relations Board ruled on March 26, 2014 that football players receiving scholarships at Northwestern University are “employees” and eligible to unionize. This landmark decision marks a potential change in Board law that could possibly alter the landscape of union organizing; at least regarding private… Continue Reading

GT Alert — Join the Party. Another California-based Former Employee Challenges Out-of-State Company’s Non-Compete Provisions as Unfair Business Practice

Posted in Employee Policies, State Law

If your client has California operations and isn’t aware, it could end up like the employer did in Shomit James v. Globus Medical, Inc. James demonstrates that the competition in California for talent remains high, that competitors are increasingly aggressive about hiring employees your client may think are “locked up,” and will offensively challenge standard… Continue Reading

Philadelphia Law Creates New Employee Rights, Employer Obligations Concerning Pregnancy and Related Medical Conditions

Posted in State Law

On January 20, 2014, the Philadelphia Mayor enacted an amendment to the City Code that requires the city employers “to provide reasonable accommodations to an employee for needs related to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.”  The provisions of the new City amendment are triggered if the employee requests such accommodations, and if it… Continue Reading

New Jersey Gender Equity Notice Requirements

Posted in State Law

Employers operating in New Jersey must now “conspicuously post” the attached gender equity poster in a place accessible to their New Jersey employees.  Employers can satisfy this requirement by posting the notice on a company internet/intranet site for exclusive use by employees and accessible to all employees. In addition, employers must provide their employees with… Continue Reading

2013 California Employment Law Legislative Update: Things You Need to Know for 2014

Posted in Disability, Harassment, Labor, Legislation, State Law, Wage & Hour

The GT Alert — 2013 California Employment Law Legislative Update: Things You Need to Know for 2014 was prepared by James M. Nelson, Angela Diesch and Jennifer Holly. This Alert discusses how California’s legislative changes will affect management of employment in California for 2014 and beyond. The authors offer insight on the more significant employment-related… Continue Reading

Illinois Legislature Passes Major Changes to Illinois Employment Laws

Posted in State Law, Uncategorized

With Adam Braun When the Illinois General Assembly adjourned the 2013 Spring Session on May 31st, it set the stage for substantial changes to Illinois employment law. The General Assembly sent six employment law related bills to Governor Pat Quinn while leaving one major piece of unfinished business on its agenda. Illinois employers should be… Continue Reading

What Does the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Act Mean for Employers?

Posted in State Law

Massachusetts recently became one of a number of states to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Regulations issued by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health are effective on May 24, 2013,  enabling  individuals  to  register  to  use  medical  marijuana. Massachusetts  employers  should consider this new law in administering their personnel policies with respect… Continue Reading

Annie Get Your Gun and Bring It to Work: The Impact of Georgia’s “Parking Lot Law” on Employers

Posted in Legislation, State Law

In response to the growing number of tragic mass shootings, most recently in Newtown, Connecticut, federal, state and local governments continue grappling with how to address issues of gun control.  Given these arising issues, employers must also be cognizant of their duty to protect employees, clients and customers while still being mindful of individual employee… Continue Reading

Good News From the California Supreme Court on Mixed Motive Discrimination Cases…at Least for Now

Posted in Discrimination, Litigation, State Law

It is an age old litigation problem.  The employee engaged in conduct the employer found sufficient for termination.  The employee claims that was not the real reason and points to alleged discriminatory acts. How does one decide the issue?  As importantly, from an HR perspective, how does the employer assess risk as no workplace is… Continue Reading

Rocky Mountain High: Colorado Voters Legalize Non-Medical Use of Marijuana

Posted in State Law

On November 6, Colorado voters passed Amendment 64, the controversial initiative legalizing the non-medical use of marijuana by adults, making Colorado the first state in the nation to decriminalize the possession, cultivation and sale of marijuana. Our recent Alert, “Rocky Mountain High: Colorado Voters Legalize Non-Medical Use of Marijuana,” discusses the impact of Amendment 64 on employers and workplace policies.

California Revises its New Commission Contract Requirement

Posted in Compensation, Contracts, State Law, Wage & Hour

In 2011, the California Legislature passed AB 1396 to amend Labor Code section 2751, and require that employers provide employees with a contract detailing the method by which commission, when applicable, would be computed and paid to employees.  The contract requirement is set to go into effect on January 1, 2013, and applies to in-state… Continue Reading

Employers Can be Held Liable for Failing to Protect Employees From Sexual Harassment Based on Sexual Orientation

Posted in Discrimination, Harassment, Litigation, State Law

In a unanimous decision due to be published on May 15, the Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that employers can be held liable for failing to protect employees from harassment based upon sexual orientation.  In Patino v. Birken Manufacturing Company, a former employee of the jet engine component maker Birken Manufacturing, Co. accused the company of… Continue Reading

California Supreme Court’s Kirby Decision: If Money Talks, is This Another Post-Brinker Blow to Meal and Rest Period Claims?

Posted in Litigation, State Law

On April 30, 2012, the California Supreme Court issued a decision holding that the fee shifting provisions of California Labor Code sections 128.5 and 1194 do not apply to claims for wages made pursuant California Labor Code section 226.7 for failure to authorize meal and/or rest periods. Kirby v. Immoos Fire Protection, Inc., ____ Cal. 4th ___ (2012).

Are Restrictive Covenants Enforceable in California? It Depends.

Posted in Restrictive Covenants, State Law, Trade Secrets

In California, it is well established that non-compete provisions are unenforceable, subject to certain statutory exceptions. But what about non-compete provisions that are ambiguous as to their protection of confidential information or trade secrets? Recently, when faced with such a provision, one California federal court narrowly construed the provision to find it enforceable.

Supreme Court Vacates California Ruling on Arbitration Agreements

Posted in Arbitration, Contracts, State Law

Does an employee have the right to proceed before the California Labor Commission after signing an agreement to arbitrate all claims? That is a question the California Supreme Court will have to decide after the U.S. Supreme Court vacated its decision in Sonic-Calabasas A, Inc. v. Moreno and remanded the case for further consideration in light of AT&T Mobility v…. Continue Reading

California Enacts Two Trans Rights Bills

Posted in Discrimination, Legislation, State Law

Last week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the Gender Non-Discrimination Act (AB 887), which changes the language of the state anti-discrimination law to specifically include gender, gender identity and gender expression as enumerated protected categories. The governor also signed into law the Vital Statistics Modernization Act (AB 433), which streamlines the process by which transgender individuals may correct the gender marker on their birth certificates.

Arizona Must Continue Offering Benefits to Same-Sex Partners of State Employees

Posted in Benefits, Constitution, Discrimination, Legislation, State Law

Last Tuesday, the Ninth Circuit upheld an injunction that blocked an Arizona law that would have eliminated health care benefits for same-sex partners of state employees. Before 2008, health insurance benefits for dependents of Arizona state employees were available only to the spouses and children of those employees. In April of 2008, then-Governor Janet Napolitano implemented… Continue Reading

The Unemployed: A New Protected Group? New Jersey Bans Hiring Bias Against The Unemployed In Employer Want-Ads And The EEOC Is Watching

Posted in Discrimination, State Law

Beginning June 1, 2011, New Jersey employers will be prohibited from publishing job advertisements that reflect bias against unemployed individuals. The new law, N.J.S.A §§ 34:8B-1, -2, prohibits employers, directly or through an agent, from knowingly or purposefully publishing (in print or on the Internet) job advertisements stating that:  (i) current employment is a qualification for the job;… Continue Reading

CHANGES IN THE LABOR LAW – Wage Theft Prevention Act (WTPA) Notice of Rates of Pay and Regular Payday

Posted in State Law, Wage & Hour

The NY State Department of Labor is requiring all private sector employers to provide notices to employees effective April 9 (this Saturday) relating to wage rates and other payroll information. The information which must be included is listed below. The Department of Labor has created a template notice, which may be used. In addition, the… Continue Reading

New York Employers: Are You Ready For The New Wage Theft Prevention Act?

Posted in State Law, Wage & Hour

On December 13, 2010, Governor Patterson signed the New York State Wage Theft Prevention Act (the "WTPA"), a new law that amends New York Labor Law and purports to offer workers greater protection from wage law violations by (i) requiring employers to give employees more detailed wage payment information in writing, and (ii) increasing the… Continue Reading

Will Recent New York Court of Appeals Decision Temper State Agency Fervor Over Worker Misclassification?

Posted in State Law

Worker misclassification issues in New York are in the spotlight again, thanks to a recent decision from the state’s highest court in Matter of Empire State Towing and Recovery Association, No. 160 (N.Y. Oct 26, 2010). This unemployment insurance case grew out of an audit of Empire by the New York Department of Labor ("DOL"),… Continue Reading