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

Two More New Jersey Towns Pass Paid Sick Leave Ordinances

Ogletree Deakins • December 02, 2016
Citing the lack of paid sick time for private-sector workers and the goals of reducing health care expenditures and promoting a healthier and more productive workforce, the towns of Morristown and Plainfield, New Jersey, recently adopted ordinances that require private employers to provide paid sick time to employees. The Morristown ordinance (O-35-2016) took effect on October 4, 2016, and the Plainfield ordinance (MC 2016-08) took effect on July 15, 2016. Thirteen New Jersey municipalities have now enacted paid sick leave requirements: Bloomfield, East Orange, Elizabeth, Irvington, Jersey City, Montclair, Morristown, Newark, New Brunswick, Passaic, Paterson, Plainfield, and Trenton.

As Charter School Union Organizing Increases, Employers Must be Vigilant in Opposing Organizing Efforts

Jackson Lewis P.C. • December 02, 2016
In recent years, there has been an uptick in union organizing focusing on California charter schools. Traditionally, education related labor groups focused on organizing large public school districts, but with over 1,200 charter schools in California, groups like the California Teachers Association have shifted gears to try to bring unions into charter schools. Such organizing efforts often occur surreptitiously, and relatively quickly; if charter schools are not vigilant in their approach to labor groups, they can quickly be entangled in lengthy union negotiations which can divert attention from curriculum development and student growth.

Louisiana Supreme Court Bounces Out on Arbitration Clause

Ogletree Deakins • December 02, 2016
A recent Louisiana Supreme Court decision over the enforceability of an arbitration clause has the justices battling it out. Against well-established precedent favoring arbitration clauses, the court recently found that a provision in an indoor trampoline park’s participant agreement was unenforceable because it was adhesionary and lacked mutuality of consent. Duhon v. ACTIVELAF, LCC, d/b/a Sky Zone Lafayette et al., No. 2016-0810 (October 19, 2016). The case is important for Louisiana employers with arbitration agreements.

Federal Court in Missouri Holds At-Will Employment Is Not Consideration for Noncompete

Ogletree Deakins • December 02, 2016
The end of the year is an opportune time for employers to make sure their noncompete and arbitration agreements are still valid. A recent Missouri federal court decision underscores how difficult it can be to enforce those agreements against at-will employees in Missouri. Durrell v. Tech Electronics, Inc., No. 4:16-cv-1367-cdp (November 15, 2016).

CA Revives Former DJ’s Disability and Leave Claims Against Univision Radio

Jackson Lewis P.C. • November 29, 2016
What is a disability? And when are employers on notice to provide employees leave? These were some of the questions raised in the California Court of Appeals (Second Appellate District) November 15, 2016 decision, Soria v. Univision Radio Los Angeles, Inc.

California Statewide and Local Minimum Wage Rates to Increase in 2017

Ogletree Deakins • November 29, 2016
The California minimum wage is scheduled to increase on January 1, 2017 to $10.50 per hour for businesses employing 26 or more employees. Small employers with 25 or fewer employees will not see an increase until 2018. The increase is a result of SB-3, which was signed into law earlier this year. The law will increase California’s minimum wage to $15 per hour over 6 years, with cost of living increases scheduled thereafter.

New Pennsylvania Legislation Allows Payment of Wages by Payroll Debit Cards

Jackson Lewis P.C. • November 29, 2016
Employers in Pennsylvania will be able to pay employee wages using payroll debit cards under an amendment to the banking code signed by Governor Tom Wolf on November 4, 2016. The new legislation goes into effect 180 days following the signing, on May 4, 2017.

Connecticut Supreme Court Says You Can’t Smoke Marijuana at Work But it’s Not a Capital Offense

Brody and Associates, LLC • November 29, 2016
We previously wrote about Gregory Linhoff, an employee at the University of Connecticut Health Center, who was caught smoking marijuana in his employer issued van while at work. Not surprisingly, the Health Center terminated his employment. Mr. Linhoff was a member of the Union, and the Union filed a grievance to contest the discharge. Before the Supreme Court, the question presented was “whether the arbitrator’s award reinstating the grievant to employment after a lengthy unpaid suspension, with various conditions violates public policy.” The Court held it did not.

Marijuana and the Workplace

Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP • November 28, 2016
On November 8, 2016 voters answered “yes” to Question 4, approving the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act (the “Marijuana Act”). The Marijuana Act goes into effect on December 15, 2016. Massachusetts previously passed a law permitting use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. For more information on the impact of both of these laws on the workplace, including their impact on employer drug testing policies, read our full alert.

New York City Agencies Are Prohibited From Making Pay History Inquiries – At Least For Now

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • November 23, 2016
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is engaged in a flurry of pre-election actions.1 Most recently, he signed Executive Order 21, which prohibits New York City agencies from asking prospective employees about their salary history before making an offer of employment. The order will take effect on December 4, 2016. It is aimed at bridging the wage gap for women and people of color, groups who are often paid less than white males for substantially similar work. The Order prohibits inquiries about a job applicant’s prior wages, salaries, benefits, or other compensation. A prospective employer may only make inquiries about previous salaries after the employer has extended the applicant a job offer with pay information.