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

Time to Reset Your Anti-Harassment Training Schedule for Supervisory Employees in California

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • January 17, 2019
As California employers lay out their plans for compliance training in the coming year, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has clarified how to handle training supervisory employees who may have received AB 1825-compliant training sometime in 2018. The DFEH has taken the position that both supervisory and nonsupervisory employees who received sexual harassment prevention training in 2018 should receive it again in 2019.

We Have to Provide California Anti-Harassment Training Again?

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • January 17, 2019
Effective January 1, 2019, California SB 1343 greatly expanded Golden State employers' anti-harassment training requirements. The law not only extends coverage to employers with more than five employees, but it also mandates that employers provide anti-harassment training to all employees – not just supervisors – every two years. But what if an employer provided this training in 2018? Can the next training cycle wait until 2020? No, according to recent guidance from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). In this podcast, Marissa Dragoo from the Littler Learning Group discusses potential SB 1343 compliance challenges with Littler Workplace Policy Institute members Bruce Sarchet and Corinn Jackson.

New York Bans Transgender Discrimination

Fisher Phillips • January 17, 2019
The New Year has brought long-awaited and historic change to the legal rights of the LBGTQ community in the Empire State. On January 15, the State Assembly and State Senate voted to pass the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA). The statute, which had languished in the New York State legislature for the past 16 years, will protect transgender individuals from discrimination. Governor Andrew Cuomo applauded the legislation and has pledged to sign GENDA into law.

New York Passes Bill Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Gender Identity or Expression

XpertHR • January 17, 2019
New York's legislature has passed a bill that would prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression and also categorize criminal offenses involving gender identity or expression as hate crimes subject to enhanced penalties.

New Year, New Laws: Further Guidance on Complying With New York’s Anti–Sexual Harassment Laws

Ogletree Deakins • January 17, 2019
As we previously reported here, here, here, and here, New York State and New York City passed sweeping laws aimed at combating sexual harassment in the workplace last year. While many requirements of these laws already went into effect in 2018, the annual anti–sexual harassment training requirement under the Stop Sexual Harassment in New York City Act goes into effect on April 1, 2019. The New York City Commission on Human Rights has published a page of answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) to provide some clarity about the law and the new training requirements. Below are some highlights from this guidance and discussion of other aspects of the New York City law and the New York State law.

Fashion Industry Impacted by New York's Amended Sexual Harassment Law

FordHarrison LLP • January 15, 2019
Executive Summary. In groundbreaking legislation last year, New York State amended its Human Rights Law ("NYSHRL") to prohibit sexual harassment against non-employees of all types, including models, stylists, and artists in the fashion industry who are classified (correctly or not) as independent contractors. Because of this amendment, “IRS Form 1099” workers throughout NYS will have the same sexual harassment and retaliation protections as “IRS Form W-2” employees. They can file internal sexual harassment claims with the talent agencies that assign them or the companies that actually engage them or file legal complaints with the NYS Division of Human Rights or in court. Businesses referring or engaging even one independent contractor are covered. For independent contractors who work in NYC, this amendment adds statewide protections to existing NYC sexual harassment protection under the NYC Human Rights law. (“NYCHRL”)

A Roadmap for the Future of Work: California’s Little Hoover Commission Issues Report Highlighting the Importance of Building a "Human Infrastructure" to Ride Out the TIDE

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • January 15, 2019
The opportunities and challenges that artificial intelligence (AI) and automation are creating for the labor market are gaining increasing attention in both policy circles and society at large. The creation of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, whose members are expected to be announced early this year, is intended to “prepare Americans for the 21st century economy and the emerging industries of the future” in light of the rapid changes that “technology, automation, and artificial intelligence” are generating. These changes are expected to arrive soon. Kai-Fu Lee, a Chinese venture capitalist, recently predicted on 60 Minutes that AI could displace up to 40% of the world’s jobs within the next 15 years.

California Legislature Considers Two Bills Related to Independent Contractor Misclassification

Ogletree Deakins • January 15, 2019
Two competing bills related to the classification of workers are in play in the California legislature.

Washington State Set to Substantially Increase the Salary Required for Exempt Status and Make Other Changes to White Collar Exemptions

Ogletree Deakins • January 15, 2019
Although the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) has yet to finalize the new annual salary required for exempt status, it intends to propose a new salary basis test that would more than double the current federal salary threshold. This would increase the required annual salary for an exempt employee in Washington from $23,660 to between $56,160 and $70,200. This proposed salary requirement for exempt status is even more than what the Obama administration’s Department of Labor (DOL) finalized to take effect on December 1, 2016 ($47,476 per year), which a U.S. district court later struck down.

Massachusetts’s New Requirements for Calculating Tipped Employees’ Wages

Ogletree Deakins • January 15, 2019
In June 2018, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law An Act Relative to Minimum Wage, Paid Family Medical Leave and the Sales Tax Holiday. As one part of the so-called “grand bargain” legislation, effective January 1, 2019, Massachusetts employers with tipped employees are now required to calculate tipped employees’ wages at the end of each shift instead of at the end of each pay period. This change not only presents an additional administrative challenge but also makes it more likely that employers will be required to pay employees additional amounts to ensure that they receive at least minimum wage during slow shifts.