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

California Attempts to Weed Out Unfair Labor Practices at the State Level by Enacting Union-Friendly Regulation on Employers in the Cannabis Industry

FordHarrison LLP • November 18, 2019
As the cannabis industry has rapidly progressed over the years, states such as New York, New Jersey and Illinois have begun to implement legislation that encourages employers to engage in labor peace agreements with unions. On October 12, 2019, California went even further than encouragement when Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 1291, which amended California’s Medicinal and Adult Use of Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA). Distinct from other state legislation, California’s new law mandates that employers with 20 or more employees maintain a labor peace agreement as a condition of obtaining a state cannabis license. For this reason, California’s new bill has raised constitutional concerns.

Truckers Seek To Toss California’s New Gig Economy Law

Fisher Phillips • November 18, 2019
We’re now just a few weeks away from the nation’s most stringent independent contractor misclassification law taking effect in California. But if a group of truck drivers have their way, the law will stall out before it ever gets on the road. The California Trucking Association filed an amended lawsuit in federal court on November 12 asking the court to block the new statute from taking effect, claiming that it violates federal law and would harm over 70,000 independent truckers who have chosen to be independent workers. It appears to be the first legal challenge to California’s AB 5, and all eyes will be on this litigation over the next month.

New York State Prohibits Discrimination Based on Reproductive Health Decisions

XpertHR • November 17, 2019
New York has enacted a law that prohibits employers from discriminating against an employee based on the employee's or the employee's dependent's reproductive health choices. The bill became effective immediately upon signing November 8.

New York State Bans Discrimination Based on Reproductive Health Decision Making

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • November 17, 2019
As of November 8, 2019, New York State prohibits employment discrimination based on an employee’s or a dependent’s “reproductive health decision making.” The New York State Legislature passed the bill in January 2019, and Governor Cuomo signed it into law this month. This move comes less than one year after the New York City Council added “sexual and other reproductive health decisions” to the list of protected categories under the New York City Human Rights Law. This statewide measure is likely a response to the federal government’s efforts to increasingly regulate this area.

Oregon Court of Appeals Requires Employers to Pay Wages for Hourly Employees’ Failure to Take Full 30-Minute Meal Periods

Ogletree Deakins • November 17, 2019
On November 14, 2019, the Oregon Court of Appeals in Maza v. Waterford Operations, LLC, 300 Or. App. 471 (2019), addressed the question of whether an employer can be found strictly liable under Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) 839-020-0050(2) when an hourly employee takes less than the entire duty-free, 30-minute lunch break to which the employee is otherwise entitled, regardless of the circumstances.

New Jersey Bill Creating Presumption of Employment for Independent Contractors Could Decimate the State's Gig Economy

FordHarrison LLP • November 15, 2019
Executive Summary: Recently, New Jersey took several steps to severely restrict the use of independent contractors or gig workers in the Garden state. The latest effort is Bill S4204, which creates a presumption of employment status for contractors.

Massachusetts Governor Announces Cybersecurity Program

Jackson Lewis P.C. • November 15, 2019
State and local governments have increasingly become targets of cybersecurity attacks. This year cybersecurity attacks on Baltimore and Lincoln County, North Carolina reportedly will cost those government entities $18.2 million and as much as $400,000, respectively to recover from the attacks. Last year, Atlanta spent more than $7 million to recover from a ransomware attack. A report by cybersecurity firm Coveware shows that governments paid almost 10 times as much money on average in ransom as their private-sector counterparts over the second quarter of 2019.

Disclosure of State Employees’ Birthdates Not Protected Per Washington Supreme Court

Jackson Lewis P.C. • November 13, 2019
The Washington State Supreme Court ruled recently that state employees’ birthdates associated with their names are not exempt from disclosure pursuant to a freedom of information records request. In so holding, the Court strictly construed the applicable statute that did not expressly exempt birthdates from disclosure. Wash. Pub. Emps. Assn. v. State Ctr for Childhood Deafness & Hearing Loss. Private and public entities across the country that respond to countless requests for information may want to rethink their approach.

Is “Fair Pay to Play” Fair in College Sports? What California’s New Law Means for the Future of Amateur Athletics

Ogletree Deakins • November 11, 2019
On September 30, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed California legislation—Senate Bill (SB) 206—that would permit college student athletes to benefit financially (for example, from endorsement deals) from their names, images, and likenesses while still in school. Governor Newsom signed the Fair Pay to Play Act, which Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) and Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) sponsored, with much fanfare, alongside a high-profile professional basketball player and several former college student athletes. The new law is scheduled to take effect in January 2023.

New Puerto Rico Law Limits Employers’ Use of Credit Reports in Employment Decisions

Jackson Lewis P.C. • November 11, 2019
Puerto Rico has enacted legislation to limit the use of credit reports in making employment decisions.
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