Labor & Employment Law Blog

Office of Civil Rights Issues Title IX Guidance with a Focus on Title IX Coordinators

On April 24, 2015, the United States Department of Education, through its Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”), issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” emphasizing the importance of Title IX Coordinators at education programs and schools that receive federal financial assistance (“recipients”).  As explained in the recent guidance, Title IX Coordinators have special advisory responsibilities under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”), which prohibits sex discrimination and provides a means of addressing complaints of sexual harassment by students and employees in schools. 

New York City Council Passes “Ban the Box” Law

On June 9, 2015, the New York City Council passed the Fair Chance Act, which prohibits employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal record during the employment application process.  This legislation is known as a “ban the box” law, because it prohibits employers from including a check box on an application inquiring about the applicant’s criminal background.

New York City Prohibits Employers from Considering the Credit History of an Employee or Applicant

New York City recently passed the “Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act,” a law that prohibits discrimination based on an employee’s or job applicant’s consumer credit history.  The law is an amendment to the New York City Human Rights Law.

EEOC Issues Proposed Rule on Employer Wellness Programs

Employer wellness programs are intended to encourage healthier lifestyles or prevent disease among workers.  These programs oftentimes use health risk assessments and biometric screenings to help determine a worker’s health risk factors, like body weight, cholesterol and blood pressure levels.  Some employers offer financial and other incentives for employees who participate in these programs or achieve specified health outcomes.

United States Supreme Court Expands Employer Responsibility for Accommodating Pregnancy

On March 25, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Young v.

New Jersey Supreme Court Establishes Affirmative Defenses for Employers Accused of Sexual Harassment and Affirms the Importance

On February 11, 2015, the New Jersey Supreme Court raised the standards for plaintiffs in sexual harassment cases who are seeking to hold their employers vicariously liable for a supervisor’s alleged harassing conduct.

In Aguas v. State of New Jersey, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that, in supervisor harassment cases where the supervisor’s alleged harassment has not culminated in a tangible employment action, an employer may assert as an affirmative defense:

New Jersey Adopts “ABC Test” for Classifying Independent Contractors Under Wage Payment Law

On January 14, 2015, the New Jersey Supreme Court decided which test should be applied under New Jersey law to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor for purposes of resolving a wage payment or wage and hour claim.  Hargrove v. Sleepy’s LLC presented that issue on a question of law certified and submitted by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Revised Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements Effective Jan. 1, 2015

Beginning January 1, 2015, employers under the federal jurisdiction of OSHA will be required to comply with more stringent OSHA recordkeeping and reporting requirements.  In the past, employers were required to report all work-related fatalities and all work-related hospitalizations of three or more employees. Starting January 1st, however, employers must report all of the following: