Monthly Archives: August 2021

Massachusetts SJC Endorses Expansive Reading of the Domestic Violence and Abuse Leave Act

Last week, a divided Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) in Osborne-Trussell v. Children’s Hospital Corp. ruled in favor of a broad interpretation of the 2014 Domestic Violence and Abuse Leave Act (“DVLA”), a law that provides certain employment protections for victims of domestic violence, including a prohibition against retaliation for seeking or using protected leave. Specifically, the DVLA prohibits an employer from taking adverse action against, or otherwise discriminating against, an employee who exercises rights under the DVLA, such as taking leave from work to seek or to obtain medical attention or legal assistance, or to go to court hearings stemming from the harassment or abuse. The DVLA also prohibits employers from interfering with an employee’s exercise, or attempted exercise, of these statutorily protected rights. For their part, employees are required to provide employers with “appropriate advance notice” of the leave associated with domestic violence and abuse.

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Fresh New Ideas for September That We Love (And You Will Too!)

If you’ve been following along here at Zen for any length of time (or even just the last few weeks), then you’ll know that I love September and the promise of a fresh start that it brings (also because the fall is my favorite season).

A LOT of us have been feeling bogged down lately – by the pandemic, endless Zoom calls, heat and humidity, worldwide unrest, the list goes on. There is a lot that we CAN’T control. But there are some things we can control – for one, our attitudes and our ability to reach out and help someone else.

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ILN Today Post

More work for tenants, greater uncertainty for landlords

The reality of the new Victorian rent relief scheme is that it will create more work for tenants and greater uncertainty for landlords. 

What is clear is that the State Government rent relief scheme is more complicated than the previous Jobkeeper-based scheme. The scheme introduces stricter compliance for tenants with mandatory timelines that will raise the barrier for entry. For landlords, a range of new tests for eligibility and turnover complicate a landlord’s proper assessment of eligibility and what relief should be offered. Read more…

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ILN Today Post

2021’s noteworthy changes to state breach notification laws

A handful of states have made changes to their breach notification laws during 2021, imposing stricter requirements either through expanding the definition of “personal information,” tightening notice deadlines, or calling for entities that experienced a breach to be named publicly on the Attorney General’s website.

While all of these laws are set to go into effect before the year’s end, one state’s proposed amendment moves in the opposite direction, seeking to prolong the notice deadline and afford entities additional time before making notice to impacted residents. Read more…

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Ninth Circuit Concludes That Time in Airport Security Line is Not Compensable for Employees of Airport Vendors

Many people are employed at airports.  Of those, many individuals work within the terminals for private companies.  Federal law requires that those employees who work in the terminals must go through security checks – just like travelers.

Jesus Cazares was one of those employees, working at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).  In bringing a lawsuit against his employer, Host International, Inc. – which operates the Admiral Club at LAX – Cazares alleged that he and his fellow employees were not paid for the time they spent passing through airport security checks en route to their work at the Admiral Club.  The district court rejected the notion that such time is compensable under California law and, earlier this month, the Ninth Circuit agreed in Cazares v. Host International, Inc.

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Quebec Court of Appeal Decision: Security Obligation of a Mountain Resort

By Marc-Olivier Brouillette, from our Insurance Law Practice Group

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August 27, 2021 — The Quebec Court of Appeal recently upheld a decision of the Superior Court in Ski Bromont.com c. Jauvin, 2021 QCCA 1070, condemning a mountain resort to pay a guest $152,579 following a fall from a chairlift after resort employees left a customer stranded.

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Washington, D.C. Postpones Ban on Non-Competes

Washington, D.C. employers have more time to get their non-compete ducks in a row. On August 23, 2021, Mayor Bowser signed the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Support Act of 2021 (B24-0373) (the “Support Act”), which includes various statutory changes necessary to implement the D.C. FY 2022 budget. As expected, the Support Act postpones the applicability date of the Ban on Non-Compete Agreements Amendment Act of 2020 (the “Non-Compete Act”) until April 1, 2022. The postponement not only provides more time for employers to prepare for the non-compete ban—it also permits the D.C. Council to continue its consideration of additional amendments to the Non-Compete Act. For a summary of those other possible changes, please see our recent post here.

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ILN Today Post

Twenty-Eight Howard & Howard Attorneys Named to The Best Lawyers in America® and Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America 2022

Royal Oak, Mich., August 26, 2021 – Howard & Howard is pleased to announce that 22 of our attorneys were selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2022 and six of our attorneys were included in Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America 2022.

The Howard & Howard attorneys and the practice area(s) under which they are listed in The Best Lawyers in America® 2022 are:

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Time Is Money: A Quick Wage-Hour Tip on … Compensability (or Not) of COVID Screening

Employers grappling with the many questions related to bringing employees back into the workplace safely in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic should pay close attention to the potential wage-and-hour risks attendant to doing so—including whether to pay employees for time spent waiting in line for a temperature check, verifying vaccination status, or completing other health screening inquiries.

Given the growing trend of COVID-19 lawsuits, ignoring these risks could leave employers vulnerable to costly class and collective action litigation.

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Video: OSHA Updates COVID-19 Guidance, NLRB GC’s Priorities, Biometrics at Work – Employment Law This Week

As featured in #WorkforceWednesdayThis week, we look at new federal guidance recommending all employees wear masks in the workplace and unique vaccination considerations for unionized workplaces.

OSHA Updates COVID-19 Mask, Vaccination Guidance

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently updated its COVID-19 guidance, now recommending that all employees wear masks in the workplace, even if they’re vaccinated. Meanwhile, employers with unionized workforces face unique considerations with regard to vaccination polices. Attorneys Bob O’Hara and Neresa De Biasi tell us more.

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