An employer could be held liable for its employee’s off-duty accident as long as the proximate cause of the injury (here, alcohol consumption) occurred within the scope of employment, the California Court of Appeal has held, reversing summary judgment in favor of the employer. Purton v. Marriott Int’l, Inc., No. D060475 (Cal. Ct. App. Jul. 31, 2013). The Court further ruled it was irrelevant that the effect of the employee’s negligence occurred after he had arrived home from the employer-sponsored party.
Massachusetts has repealed both the Fair Share Contribution (FSC) provisions and the employee Health Insurance Responsibility Disclosure (HIRD) form collection requirement that were part of the Commonwealth’s 2006 health care reform efforts. The repeal was included in the state’s 2014 fiscal year budget bill, and is effective as of July 1, 2013, despite the delayed implementation of the employer mandate provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) until January 2015.
Tennessee law previously required that a disabled person operating a guide dog first present for inspection credentials issued by an accredited school for training dog guides before admittance to a place of public accommodation and that a guide dog wear a harness and be held on a leash. The Tennessee General Assembly has eliminated these requirements, effective July 1, 2013, to make the law more consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act’s directive on how a place of public accommodation must address the use of service animals by an individual with a disability. Tennessee Attorney General Robert E. Cooper, Jr., on July 26, 2013, confirmed that Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-7-112 does not conflict with the ADA. Opinion No. 13-59, “Admission of Service Dogs in Places of Public Accommodation.”
Earlier this year, Jackson Lewis opened a new office in San Juan, Puerto Rico serving clients throughout the Commonwealth. We thought we would take the opportunity to discuss the enforceability of non-competes under Puerto Rico law. As in many other jurisdictions, the validity and enforceability of non-competition agreements in Puerto Rico depends on the reasonableness of the restrictions imposed. Employers must also strictly follow the requirements set forth by the Puerto Rico Supreme Court in Arthur Young & Co. v. Vega, 136 D.P.R. 157 (1994), to wit:
A unanimous New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that individuals seeking punitive damages under the state Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) must present clear and convincing evidence of upper management’s actual participation in the wrongful conduct or willful indifference to the wrongful conduct. Longo v. Pleasure Productions, Inc., et al., No. A-37-11-069257 (July 24, 2013).
A revision to the Tennessee Workplace Violence Act has seen an unexpected use — to seek a temporary restraining order to prohibit a co-employee’s access to the workplace. The Tennessee Workplace Violence Act (Tenn. Code Ann. § 20-14-101) was amended in 2011 to allow any employer or employee who has suffered unlawful violence, or a credible threat of violence, which can reasonably be construed to have been carried out at the workplace, to seek a temporary restraining order or injunction prohibiting further unlawful violence, or threats of violence, by that individual, or the organization that individual is affiliated with, at the workplace.
Effective October 1, 2013, New Jersey employers will be required to provide up to 20 days of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for an eligible employee who is the victim of domestic violence or sexual assault or whose child, parent, spouse, domestic partner or civil union partner was the victim of such act. Leave may be taken for each incident of domestic violence and/or sexual violence. The new law, the New Jersey Security and Financial Empowerment Act (“NJ SAFE” Act), applies to employers with at least 25 employees.
Effective January 1, 2014, Oregon’s domestic violence leave law (Or. Rev. Stat. § 659A.270) will apply to all employees who are victims of domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault or stalking, regardless of the number of hours worked per week or length of time worked for the employer. Previously, the law did not cover employees who worked 25 hours or fewer or had not been employed at least 180 days prior to seeking to take leave.
Minnesota employers that offer employees sick leave benefits have long been required to allow their employees to use such benefits to care for not only themselves, but also for their sick or injured children.
The deadline for training under AB 1825, the California law designed to instruct supervisory employees and managers in the prevention of sexual harassment at the worksite, is December 31, 2013.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy has signed legislation to increase Connecticut’s hourly minimum wage over two years by $.75 to $9.00 by January 1, 2015.
Nevada has become the latest state to enact legislation restricting an employer’s access to employee and prospective employee personal social media accounts. The new law (Assembly Bill No. 181) prohibits Nevada employers from conditioning employment on disclosure of an applicant’s or employee’s personal social media account information, including user names and passwords. The legislation takes effect on October 1, 2013.
A bulletin on employment, labor, benefits and immigration law.
Effective October 1, 2013, Maryland employers must provide employees with one day of unpaid leave to be used on the day the employee’s “immediate family member” is leaving for or returning from active military duty outside the United States as a member of the armed forces. “Immediate family member” is defined as the employee’s spouse (including a same-sex spouse), parent, stepparent, child, stepchild or sibling.
Illinois has become the final state to authorize the carrying of concealed firearms by properly licensed private persons. The Illinois Legislature overrode Governor Pat Quinn’s amendatory veto of the state Firearm Concealed Carry Act on July 9, 2013. Although the Act became effective immediately, the Illinois State Police have been given 180 days to make applications for a license available and 90 days to process applications. While the State Police do not have to take the full amount of time provided by the Act, it is unlikely that any Illinois residents will receive a license for concealed carry until early in 2014. Employers should take this opportunity to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Act that may affect their workplace policies or practices.