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

Court May Make Reasonable Inferences about Employee’s Exempt, Non-Exempt Activities

Jackson Lewis P.C. • April 24, 2017
A trier of fact can make reasonable inferences about employees’ duties to determine status for overtime pay under California labor law, the California Court of Appeal has ruled, affirming the trial court’s holding. Batze v. Safeway, Inc., No. B258732 (Cal. Ct. App. Apr. 4, 2017).

Philadelphia Pay Equity Ordinance Stayed . . . Temporarily

Ogletree Deakins • April 24, 2017
On April 6, 2017, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia filed suit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, seeking to block Philadelphia’s recently-enacted wage equity ordinance. The ordinance, which prohibits employers from inquiring about prospective employees’ wage histories, was set to go into effect on May 23, 2017. On April 19, 2017, however, Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg issued an order temporarily staying the May 23 effective date pending resolution of the chamber’s motion for preliminary injunction. Judge Goldberg further ordered the parties to address whether the chamber has standing to bring suit.

District of Columbia Enacts the Universal Paid Leave Act

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • April 24, 2017
In late 2016, after more than a year of debate, the District of Columbia Council voted to create one of the most generous paid leave laws in the country. After making it through the congressional review period, the Universal Paid Leave Act of 2015 (“the Act”) became effective on April 7, 2017. The Act provides covered employees with 8 weeks of paid parental leave, 6 weeks of paid family leave, and 2 weeks of paid personal medical leave. The paid leave will be funded by a 0.62% increase in DC employer payroll taxes.

Virginia Supreme Court Refuses to Expand Bowman Doctrine for Wrongful Termination of an At-Will Employee

FordHarrison LLP • April 21, 2017
Executive Summary: In Bowman v. State Bank of Keysville, the Virginia Supreme Court first recognized an exception to the employment at-will doctrine based upon an employer’s violation of public policy in the discharge of an employee. In subsequent cases dealing with the Bowman exception, the Court has consistently characterized such exceptions as “narrow.” In its recent opinion in Francis v. National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts & Sciences, Inc., a case handled by FordHarrison attorneys, the Court again limited the ability of plaintiffs to rely on Bowman to bring a wrongful discharge claim.

What Factors Determine Whether California Law Applies to Nonresidents?

Fisher Phillips • April 21, 2017
In deciding whether California's overtime laws apply to nonresident employees who spend full days or weeks working in the state, the California Supreme Court has previously held that the state's labor code applies to overtime work "performed in California." By focusing on the location of the work performed, the Supreme Court signaled the state's strong interest in enforcing its overtime laws for work performed within its borders without regard to either party's residence as controlling factors.

California OSHA Delays Enforcement of Construction Silica Standard

Jackson Lewis P.C. • April 21, 2017
On April 19, 2017, the Department of Industrial Relations for the State of California issued an important update to Cal/OSHA’s new Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for Construction. The standard is substantially similar to Federal OSHA’s new rules for silica. The new standard is found under Title 8 section 1532.3 of the California Code of Regulations and like the federal rule was set to go into effect on June 23, 2017.

The City of Philadelphia Has Agreed To Stay The Enforcement of The Philadelphia Wage Equity Ordinance Pending Resolution of Court Challenge

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • April 21, 2017
The City of Philadelphia has agreed to stay the enforcement of the Philadelphia Wage Equity Ordinance, which was to take effect on May 23, 2017, and be codified in the Philadelphia Code at Sections 9-1103((1)(i) and 9-1131. The Ordinance has generated controversy because it bans employers who do business in Philadelphia from asking prospective employees about their wage or benefits history.

Arizona Amends State Disabilities Act to Protect Businesses From Drive-by Lawsuits

Ogletree Deakins • April 21, 2017
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey just signed into law an amendment to the Arizonans with Disabilities Act (AzDA) designed to make it more difficult to bring lawsuits against businesses based on claims that they are not accessible to individuals with disabilities. The amendment requires potential plaintiffs to give business owners notice of alleged access violations and allows businesses 30-90 days to correct the issues before a lawsuit can be filed. It also excludes websites from the AzDA’s requirements and authorizes courts to impose sanctions on plaintiffs and their attorneys if the court finds that a lawsuit was brought for the primary purpose of obtaining a payment from the defendant business.

Wage Violations Are Now “Public Record” Under Colorado’s New Wage Theft Transparency Act

Ogletree Deakins • April 20, 2017
On April 13, 2017, Governor Hickenlooper signed the Wage Theft Transparency Act into law, which is effective immediately. The Act makes “wage theft” violations in Colorado, including nonpayment of wages or overtime compensation, public record and subject to records requests under the Colorado Open Records Act.

Employers Cannot Be Mandated to Provide Paid Sick Leave in Carolinas

Nexsen Pruet • April 20, 2017
The issue of paid time off for employees remains a debated issue throughout the nation. Currently, there is no federal law mandating private employers provide paid time off for employees. While many states and cities have legislation mandating paid time off under certain circumstances, there is no state law in North or South Carolina that requires private employers to provide paid time off or leave to employees.