Tag Archives: technology

Michigan Joins Growing Lists of States Ordering Citizens to Stay Indoors

Joining California, Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, as well as multiple counties and cities, on March 23, 2020, Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-21 (COVID-19) (“Order”), ordering that all Michigan residents “shelter in place” in response to the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”), effective 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, and continuing through April 13, 2020, at 11:59 p.m.

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Businesses May Have Insurance that Could Lessen the Economic Impact of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has leveled a blow against businesses everywhere.  The Governors of New York, California, Illinois, and Pennsylvania, for example, have ordered all non-essential businesses to close their physical locations and the California Governor has ordered all residents, except those performing essential functions, to stay home.  Governors across the country have issued orders restricting various business activities.  The trend is likely to continue in the coming weeks and to adversely impact the bottom line of many businesses.

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New Mexico Prohibits Non-Disclosure Provisions in Settlement Agreements Involving Harassment and Discrimination Claims

On March 4, 2020, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law House Bill 21 (“Law”), limiting the use of non-disclosure agreements (“NDA”) in settlements of sexual misconduct claims.

The Law prohibits employers from requiring, as a condition of employment, that an employee agree to an NDA in a settlement agreement relating to a claim of sexual harassment, discrimination, or retaliation whether occurring in the workplace or at a “work-related event[s] coordinated by or through the employer.” In settlement agreements with former employees, the Law permits the amount of the settlement be kept confidential and, at the former employee’s request, a confidentiality provision may be included that prevents disclosure of factual information that might reveal the complainant’s identity. Further, at the former employee’s “sole” request, a broader NDA – one that prohibits disclosure of “factual information related to the underlying sexual harassment, discrimination or retaliation claim,” is permissible, as long as it does not bar disclosure pursuant to a subpoena or other legal order issued in an administrative, judicial, or other governmental proceeding.

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Colorado Provides Further Guidance on Mandatory Paid Leave for COVID-19 Testing

As we explained in an earlier post, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (“DLE”) has issued new Health Emergency Leave with Pay (“HELP”) Rules in response to the coronavirus. Effective March 11, 2020, the HELP Rules mandate employers provide four (4) days of paid sick leave for employees in certain industries who have flu-like symptoms to receive COVID-19 testing. The DLE has since released FAQs to clarify some ambiguities in the HELP Rules.

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D.C. Passes Emergency Legislation to Provide Additional Benefits to Employees in Response to Coronavirus Pandemic and to Provide Business Relief

On March 17, 2020, the District of Columbia passed the COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 (the “Act”), which extends additional benefits under the District’s unemployment insurance (“UI”) law and the D.C. Family and Medical Leave Act (“DCFMLA”), and among other things also provides various forms of business relief. The Act is effective immediately.

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NJ Supreme Court Rules that the LAD Protects Registered Medical Cannabis Users

On March 10, 2020 the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”), employees who legally use cannabis as permitted by the state’s Compassionate Use of Cannabis of Medical Marijuana Act[i] (“Compassionate Use Act”) may not be fired because they use medical cannabis and that such employees are entitled to reasonable accommodation. In a brief  opinion, the Court substantially adopted the Appellate Division’s reasoning in Wild v. Carriage House Funeral Holdings, Inc., about which we previously wrote.

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Video: Employers Prepare Policies for Coronavirus Pandemic – Employment Law This Week

As featured in #WorkforceWednesday:  In the event the coronavirus spreads drastically, many employers will want to implement mandatory work-from-home policies. Employers should consider various aspects of the Fair Labor Standards Act when crafting these policies. Attorney Jeffrey H. Ruzal explains best practices in the following video interview. See also his recent post on the Wage and Hour Defense Blog. 


Video: YouTubeVimeoMP4Instagram.

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The New York State “Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security Act” (SHIELD Act) Becomes Effective March 21, 2020: Is Your Organization Ready to Achieve Compliance?

Time is running out. The effective date of New York’s cybersecurity law mandating that organizations implement an information security program to protect “private information” of New York State residents, including employee and consumer data, is now only 45 days away. New York’s law requires the implementation of a cybersecurity program, including reasonable protective measures such as risk assessments, workforce training and incident response planning and testing. Businesses should immediately take steps to comply with the Act’s requirements effective March 21, 2020. New York’s law covers all employers, individuals or organizations, regardless of size or location, which collect private information on New York State residents.

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EPIC Files Complaint with FTC Regarding AI-Based Facial Scanning Software

As we have previously blogged, use of third-party digital hiring platforms to select job applicants using video interviews can present an array of potential legal issues. A recent Complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) by a consumer advocacy organization, Electronic Privacy Information Center (“EPIC”), illustrates some of those potential pitfalls. EPIC asks the FTC to investigate the recruiting technology company HireVue for alleged discriminatory screening of job applicants through its face-scanning software. HireVue asks job applicants to video-record answers to pre-approved questions and upload those recordings. HireVue then uses artificial intelligence (“AI”) to scan applicants’ faces during the recorded answers to analyze facial expressions and grade applicants’ expressions according to a non-public rubric.

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New York Paid Family Leave Benefits and Employee Contributions Set to Increase January 1, 2020

As we enter the last quarter of 2019 and the business community begins to plan ahead for 2020, New York employers should be aware of the changes coming to the New York Paid Family Leave (“NYPFL”) program. On January 1, 2020, both the amount of employee contributions and weekly benefits allowed under the program are scheduled to increase. This will be the second of three annual increases in weekly benefits.

The NYPFL program, which took effect in 2018, provides partially-paid, job-protected leave for bonding with a new baby, caring for a seriously ill family member, and matters related to a family member who is deployed abroad on active military duty. The length of permissible leave began at eight weeks, is currently at 10 weeks, and will increase to 12 weeks in 2021.

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