Monthly Archives: December 2022

Los Angeles Passes Ordinance Regulating Retail Employers’ Scheduling Practices

The Los Angeles City Council passed the Fair Work Week Ordinance (“FWWO”) that seeks to “implement enforcement measures for the new fair work week employment standards” for employees in the retail sector.  Going into effect April 1, 2023, the FWWO will apply to any person, association, organization, partnership, business trust, limited liability company or corporation in the retail business or trade sector that directly or indirectly exercises control over the wages, hours or conditions of at least 300 employees globally.  This includes employees through an agent or any other person, including through the services of a temporary staffing agency.

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Massachusetts Is Ringing in the New Year with PFML Updates

It’s that time of year again—the Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) has rolled out new Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) workplace posters, workplace notification forms, and rate sheets for all employers in the Commonwealth. These updated resources provide the DFML’s yearly updates to eligibility requirements, maximum wage replacement benefit amounts, and contribution amounts. Employers take note that the following changes take effect on January 1, 2023:

  1. Minimum earnings eligibility: PFML will cover most employees who have earned at least $6,000 over the past 4 calendar quarters. This amount is up from $5,700 in 2022.
  2. Wage replacement benefit amount: The new maximum weekly benefit rate is $1,129.82. This amount is up from $1,084.31 in 2022.
  3. Minimum employer contribution amounts: For employers with 25 or more employees, the contribution rate will be reduced from 0.68% in 2022 to 0.63% in 2023. For employers with fewer than 25 employees, the contribution rate will be reduced from 0.344% in 2022 to 0.318% in 2023.

As in the past, employers must inform employees of their rights and responsibilities under PFML, including the updated information for 2023, through workplace posters, workforce notification forms, and rate sheets.

Workplace Poster

The DFML’S updated workplace poster summarizes the PFML benefits available to employees. Employers must display the poster in a location where employees can easily read it, in English and any other language that is the primary language of five or more employees, if the translated poster is available on the DFML’s website.

Workforce Notification Forms

The updated workforce notification forms provide important detailed information about employees’ rights, obligations, and eligibility under PFML. Because PFML imposes differing obligations based on employer size, there are two separate workforce notification forms: one for employers with 25 or more employees, and one for employers with fewer than 25 employees. Employers must provide their respective form to new employees, in paper or electronic form, within thirty days of hire, and provide the employee the opportunity to accept or decline receipt.

Rate Sheets

Massachusetts employers must provide current employees with the updated rate sheets stating the 2023 PFML contribution rates. Like the workforce notification forms, there are separate rate sheets for employers with 25 or more employees and those with fewer than 25 employees. The deadline for distributing the forms was December 2, 2022, but employers that missed the deadline should provide updated rate sheets to their employees as soon as possible.

Employer Takeaways

With the new year quickly approaching, employers should:

  • Display the workplace poster and distribute the rate sheets to employees as soon as possible;
  • Review and update existing policies to ensure they comply with PFML’s most recent requirements;
  • Confirm their payroll systems are prepared to apply the new rates; and
  • Contact their employment counsel with any questions regarding implementing best practices.
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New Proposed Rules for NYC’s Automated Employment Decision Tools Law

As we recently reported, on December 9, 2022, the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Production (“DCWP”) announced that it was postponing enforcement of the Automated Employment Decision Tools (“AEDT”) law, until April 15, 2023, due to the high volume of public comments it received regarding its proposed rules.

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NLRB Opens the Door for Contract Workers to Engage in Off-Duty Section 7 Activities Wherever They Work

On December 16, 2022, the National Labor Relations Board (”Board”) issued its decision in Bexar County II, which restricts the right of property owners to deny off-duty contract workers access to the property for the purpose of engaging in activities protected under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”). In line with the current Board’s efforts to undo Trump-era decisions and reinterpret the Act to dramatically expand employees’ Section 7 rights and weaken property owners’ rights to control their property, the Board overturned its own precedent on contract workers’ off-duty access and reinstated its standard first established in the 2011 decision in New York New York Hotel & Casino . The Board’s decision in Bexar County II makes clear that it prioritizes contract workers’ access to a third-party’s property for Section 7 activities over the property owner’s own interests in their property. [1]

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We’re Moving: Read Us at the Health Law Advisor Blog

We’re pleased to announce that our blog, Health Employment and Labor, will soon merge into the Health Law Advisor blog, which is also published by Epstein Becker Green.

Health Law Advisor tracks a wide range of legal and regulatory issues of interest to entities and stakeholders in the health care and life sciences industries.

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Michigan’s Whistleblower Law Protects Employees Reporting Violations of “Suspected” Laws

On December 21, 2022, the Michigan Supreme Court held that the Whistleblowers’ Protection Act (“WPA”) protects employees who report that their employer has violated “suspected” laws in a case called Janetsky v. County of Saginaw.  In a first-of-its-kind ruling, the divided Court in Janetsky concluded that an assistant county prosecutor could bring WPA claims against her supervisor who she believed illegally offered a below-minimum plea deal.

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Connecticut Non-Compete Laws: 2022 Update

Thomson Reuters Practical Law has released the 2022 update to “Non-Compete Laws: Connecticut,” a Q&A guide to non-compete agreements between employers and employees for private employers in Connecticut, co-authored by our colleagues David S. Poppick and Elizabeth S. Torkelsen, attorneys at Epstein Becker Green.

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The “Community of Interest” Saga Continues – the Return of Micro-Bargaining Units

On December 14, 2022, the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) issued a decision in American Steel Construction, Inc., reinstating its “overwhelming community of interest” Specialty Healthcare [1] test that gave rise to micro-bargaining units, which are smaller bargaining units that scored unions numerous victories during the Obama administration.  In so doing, the Board overruled PCC Structurals [2] and The Boeing Co., [3] both of which restored and refined the traditional “community of interest” standard used to evaluate challenges to a petitioned-for bargaining unit on the basis it excluded necessary employees. 

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Video: 2022 – A Year in Review – Employment Law This Week

As featured in #WorkforceWednesday:  This week, we’re recapping some of the most significant changes that impacted employers in 2022.

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QR codes with company logos can be a recipe for disaster – or a patent lawsuit

Say your company wants to run a new advertising campaign that includes a QR code for people to scan for additional information about your products or services. Not only that, but your creative team decides to go a step further and include your company logo in the middle of the QR code. You launch your advertising campaign hoping for an increase in business – but the next thing you know, you are being sued for patent infringement in federal court.

This exact scenario is happening with many companies in the food service industry.

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