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U.S. District Court Highlights Job Reinstatement Obligations After FMLA Leave

Ogletree Deakins • May 21, 2019
On May 6, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York denied summary judgment on a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) retaliatory transfer claim. The court found that the employer’s explanation for eliminating the plaintiff’s position while she was on leave, the timing of the decision, and remarks made during the plaintiff’s FMLA absence raised a triable issue of fact as to whether the plaintiff’s transfer was in retaliation for her exercise of FMLA rights. Ottley-Cousin v. MMC Holdings, Inc., No. 16-CV-00577 (MKB).

Employers, Politics, and Free Speech

Jackson Lewis P.C. • May 21, 2019
With political campaigns well underway, the protection of “free speech” and concerns that regular political discourse could create potential liability are mounting.

OSHA Requests Information on Potential Changes to Lockout/Tagout Standard Including Addressing Robotic Technology

Jackson Lewis P.C. • May 21, 2019
OSHA’s Lockout/Tagout Standard at 29 C.F.R. 1910.147 regulates the control of exposure to unexpected energization during service and maintenance on machines or equipment. On May 18, 2019, OSHA issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking “information regarding two areas where modernizing the Lockout/Tagout standard might better promote worker safety without additional burdens to employers: control circuit type devices and robotics.”

New York’s Highest Court Upholds 13-Hour Rule for Payment of Live-in Home Health Aides

Ogletree Deakins • May 21, 2019
In two recent companion cases, Andryeyeva v. New York Health Care, Inc. and Moreno v. Future Care Health Services, Inc., the New York Court of Appeals upheld the New York State Department of Labor’s (NYSDOL) 13-hour rule for the payment of home health aides working 24-hour shifts. Under this rule, an employer may pay home health aides for only 13 hours of a 24-hour shift if the aides receive at least 3 hours of meal break time and at least 8 hours of sleep (at least 5 of which must be uninterrupted).

Westchester County Adopts Safe Time Law

Jackson Lewis P.C. • May 21, 2019
On May 3, 2019, Westchester County Executive George Latimer formally signed into law the County’s Safe Time Leave for Victims of Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking Law (“Safe Time Law”), which provides eligible employees who are victims of domestic violence or human trafficking with up to 40 hours of paid leave in a calendar year to attend criminal and civil court proceedings and/or relocate to a safe location. The Safe Time Law becomes effective in 180 days from adoption, which is in late October 2019.

Connecticut to Join the Increasing Number of States Enacting a $15 Minimum Wage Law

Jackson Lewis P.C. • May 21, 2019
With Governor Ed Lamont pledging to sign it into law, Connecticut will become the latest state to pass a $15.00 per hour minimum wage bill joining, among other states, its Northeast neighbors New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts, in doing so.

Non-Minneapolis Employers Must Comply With Minneapolis Paid Sick Leave Law, Appeals Court Rules

Jackson Lewis P.C. • May 21, 2019
Minneapolis’ Sick and Safe Ordinance extends to any employee who performs at least 80 hours of work per benefit year in the City of Minneapolis, even if his or her employer is not located within the city’s limits, the Minnesota Court of Appeals has held. Minnesota Chamber of Commerce v. Minneapolis, No. A18-0771 (Apr. 29, 2019). This significant ruling stretches Minneapolis-imposed requirements to non-Minneapolis employers, including — in some instances — requiring them to provide paid time off to their employees.
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