Today we continue with our Year in Review segment, which looks at the key labor & employment law developments from 2016 in New York, the DC Metro Area, Massachusetts, and California, while offering our thoughts about 2017.  Today we turn to the DC Metro Area.  In addition, please join us in NYC on April 6, 2017 for Mintz Levin’s Third Annual Employment Law Summit as we address some of the key labor & employment issues impacting employers in 2017.  Register here

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The District of Columbia, Maryland (including Montgomery County) witnessed an active 2016 with respect to new and amended workplace laws that impose additional responsibilities on employers, and expand employee rights and avenues of enforcement.  Employers should be aware of these new requirements and take immediate action to comply with them.  We highlight below the most significant updates in both D.C. and Maryland; there were no changes or additions of significance in Virginia.

Continue Reading 2016 DC Metro Area Employment Law Year In Review

New York City just finished off a strong year on the employment law front.  The City Council passed laws that banned the box and all but eliminated credit checks.  It also passed a law requiring employers to offer their employees pre-tax transit benefits and instituted a paired testing discrimination investigation program.  The Department of Consumer Affairs continued to provide guidance on the paid sick leave law, while the Commission on Human Rights welcomed a new commissioner and implemented new initiatives designed to enhance the Commission’s enforcement efforts.  It also released enforcement guidance on the ban the box and credit check laws.  We cover the flurry of year-end activity in this three-part series.  In our first installment, we looked at the Commission’s enforcement guidance on gender identity and expression.  In our second installment, we covered the ban on caregiver status discrimination.  In our final installment, we cover the City’s creation of an Office of Labor Standards and expected changes to the paid sick leave act rules. 

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New York City has established an Office of Labor Standards that will enforce the City’s paid sick leave and transit benefits laws, and create and promote programs on worker education, safety and protection.  The Council Speaker said the new Office would help workers better understand their rights and assist employers in complying with the law.  The move comes as New York City prepares to amend its rules clarifying, and establishing requirements to implement, the paid sick leave law.

Continue Reading New York City Establishes Office of Labor Standards; Will Enforce Paid Sick Leave Law (NYC Finale Part 3)

The New York Times reported yesterday that it received a draft executive order marked “pre-decisional and deliberative,” which contemplates granting a minimum of 56 hours of paid sick leave per year to employees of federal contractors and subcontractors.  The impact of such an order, were it to become legally binding, would be significant, affecting hundreds of thousands of workers across the U.S.

Continue Reading More Paid Sick Leave on the Horizon? Draft Executive Order Calls for Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors.

On June 19th, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office (AGO) issued final regulations for the Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Law, which goes into effect next week on July 1, 2015.   The final regulations, available here, differ in material ways from the proposed regulations and address a number of compliance issues that employers have raised in public hearings and by public comment.  A brief summary of some key differences in the final regulations are addressed below.

Continue Reading Attorney General’s Office Issues Final Regulations on Massachusetts Sick Time Law

Recently, Mintz Levin held a seminar in New York City that we designed to address some of the major challenges employers are facing in the New Year.  Our program contained segments on New York City’s paid sick leave law, effective management of HR Issues, the Affordable Care Act, employment practices liability insurance coverage, and workplace privacy.  Over the next few weeks we will be posting a series of entries following up on the critical workplace issues raised during these segments.

First up: New York City’s Paid Sick Leave Law

For this segment, we were fortunate enough to be joined by Julie Menin, the Commissioner of the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs, Marla Tepper, the Department’s General Counsel, and Jill Maxwell, an Agency Attorney in the Department’s Paid Sick Leave Division.  Ms. Menin presented on the Department’s enforcement efforts, while Ms. Tepper and Ms. Maxwell later answered attendee questions.  Here is a brief summary of our takeaways from their informative presentation.

Continue Reading Workplace Challenges in 2015, Part 1 of 5: New York City Paid Sick Leave Law Update

San Francisco Retail Workers Bill of RightsWritten by Michael Arnold and Brent Douglas

Just before the Thanksgiving break, as retailers were gearing up for “Black Friday,” “Cyber Monday,” and the newly-minted “Gray Thursday,” the San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors unanimously approved two new ordinances collectively known as the “Retail Workers Bill of Rights” – the first of its kind in the nation.

This controversial new law, which will go into effect next summer, is the latest in a series of laws enacted by the Board, including laws regarding the payment of a living wage, the provision of paid sick leave, flexible working arrangements and healthcare, and the curbing of background checks, all of which are designed to provide protections to the growing number of low-wage and part-time workers in San Francisco.  This time, the Board said it believed the Retail Workers Bill of Rights was necessary to limit a retailer’s ability to force individuals to work part-time, unpredictable, and often fluctuating hours.

Below, we discuss (i) the basis for the new law; (ii) the obligations it imposes on large retailers; (iii) its potential impact; and (iv) recommendations for compliance.

Continue Reading San Francisco Board of Supervisors Continues to Reshape Working Environment for Low-Wage and Part-Time Workers; Becomes First Jurisdiction in Nation to Approve So-Called “Retail Workers Bill of Rights”; Forces Large Retailers to Address Automated Scheduling Practices

Written by George Patterson

Massachusetts voters recently approved a ballot initiative amending the Commonwealth’s labor statute to require employers to provide workers with up to 40 hours of paid sick time per year.  The new law follows the enactment of similar statewide measures in California and Connecticut and city ordinances in various municipalities across the country, including New York City.

Continue Reading Massachusetts Becomes the Latest Jurisdiction to Require Paid Sick Leave

Written by Brandon Willenberg

The collective sobbing you may have recently heard from the west coast of the United States was that of California employers in response to Governor Jerry Brown’s September 10, 2014 signing of AB 1522 – California’s new paid sick leave law called the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014. California employers already have myriad employment laws to track, comply with and administer. And given the sheer volume and complexity of California’s employment laws, strict compliance is often challenging enough for employers. The new paid sick leave law will add to that challenge.

Continue Reading California Employers May Get Ill Over California’s New Mandatory Paid Sick Leave Law