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ten most recent state employment law articles Ten Most Recent State Law Articles

Pot Pourri of Recent Cases I missed

Shaw Valenza LLP • July 24, 2014
There have been so many recent employment law decisions that I can't long-form blog them all. So, here's a quick roundup of three recent, significant rulings -

Illinois Embraces "Ban The Box"

Fisher & Phillips LLP • July 24, 2014
On July 19, 2014, Illinois joined a growing number of states prohibiting employers from asking about applicants’ criminal histories early in the hiring process.

Court of Appeal: OK to Deduct from Exempt Employees' PTO/Vacation for Partial Day Absences of Any Length

Shaw Valenza LLP • July 23, 2014
Basic wage-hour principle: With some exceptions, an employee classified as "exempt" under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act is entitled to a full salary for any week in which she / he performs any work. There are some exceptions allowing for salary deductions. For example, an employer can deduct from an exempt employee's salary for full-day absences for personal pursuits, or full day absences for illness if the employer has a bona fide paid sick leave plan.

Illinois Passes Ban-the-Box Legislation Limiting Employers’ Criminal Background Checks on Applicants

Jackson Lewis P.C. • July 23, 2014
The “Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act” (House Bill 5701), signed by Governor Pat Quinn on July 19, 2014, prohibits employers, or any agent of an employer, from considering or inquiring into a job applicant’s criminal record or history until the individual has been determined qualified for the position and notified of an impending interview, or, if the applicant will not be interviewed, until after a conditional offer of employment is made. The Act explicitly excludes three categories of job applicants from this restriction. Applicants for all other positions will be entitled to the protections of the Act.

California Supreme Court Holds Independent Contractor Misclassification Claims Can Be Determined by Common Proof – But Only in Certain Circumstances

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • July 22, 2014
In its first employment-related class certification decision since its seminal ruling in Duran v. U.S. Bank,1 the California Supreme Court, in a fragmented opinion, reversed the denial of class certification for a group of newspaper delivery carriers who alleged they were employees misclassified as independent contractors. In Ayala v. Antelope Valley Newspapers, Inc.,2 the California high court held that the trial court improperly focused its analysis on variations in how the carriers did their jobs rather than whether the newspaper retained the right to control the method and manner of how they performed their duties through its standard written contracts with the carriers.

San Francisco Bay Area Employers Must Provide Commuter Benefits by September 30th

Jackson Lewis P.C. • July 22, 2014
Employers with at least 50 full-time employees in the San Francisco Bay Area must offer commuter benefits, such as payments for commuter transit passes made with employees’ pre-tax earnings, to any employee who works at least 20 hours per week no later than September 30, 2014.

Are NYC Employers Ready for an Onslaught of Sick Time Requests?

Brody and Associates, LLC • July 22, 2014
Eligible employees in New York City (“City”) will be able to start requesting sick time in less than two weeks under the New York City Earned Sick Time Act (“Act”).

Illinois “Bans the Box” with New Legislation

Franczek Radelet P.C • July 22, 2014
On Saturday, July 19, 2014, Governor Quinn signed the Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act (the “Act”), which limits private sector employers with 15 or more employees from inquiring into the criminal history of job applicants. Specifically, covered employers are prohibited from inquiring into or requiring applicants to disclose their criminal history early in the pre-employment process. Instead, the Act now requires that applicants be notified of their selection for an interview, or given a conditional offer if there is no interview, before any such inquiry or disclosure. This is similar to Illinois’ prohibition against inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history on State employment applications.

Illinois Enacts New Law Impacting Inquiries on Criminal Background Checks

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • July 22, 2014
On July 19, 2014, 2014, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law the Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act, which will go into effect on January 1, 2015. The new law will restrict the timing of pre-employment inquiries by Illinois employers about a job applicant’s criminal past. The Act reflects the ongoing trend, at both the state and local level, toward so-called “Ban-the-Box” laws that have been enacted across the nation.1 The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) also has endorsed this limitation in its updated guidance regarding consideration of arrest and conviction records under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Illinois’s New “Ban the Box” Law Prohibits Asking About Criminal Histories on Job Applications

Ogletree Deakins • July 22, 2014
On July 19, 2014, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed the Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act, making Illinois the fifth state to bar private employers from asking job applicants about their criminal backgrounds until the applicants are deemed “qualified” for the positions. This law expands to private employers the “ban the box” rules that have applied to public sector jobs in Illinois since October, 2013.