Paid leave for vaccination: New York’s new Vaccine Leave Law

From 12 March, employees in New York State are entitled to four hours’ paid leave to enable them to get a COVID-19 vaccination. Executive summary On 12 March 2021, New York State enacted an amendment to the New York Labor Law and the New York Civil Service Law, which provides for four hours of paid leave time, per injection, to obtain a COVID-19 vaccination. The…

A guide to hair discrimination laws and their impact on employer grooming codes in the US

This review of legislation and case law on hair and hair styling in the workplace in the US looks at recent state and federal anti-discrimination initiatives and gives guidance to employers on how to adapt their dress code and grooming policies. Executive summary Many have said that the workplace tends to be society’s battlefield, where culture wars play out and emerging trends go up against long-established…

Executive Order combatting discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community: what do US-employers need to know?

Within hours of his inauguration on 20 January 2021, President Biden signed his Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation. The Executive Order establishes the new administration’s policy prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation, and directs federal agencies to take affirmative steps to secure these rights.   The Executive Order commits to enforcing the…

President Trump suspends entry to US for certain foreign workers until end of 2020

President Trump has extended the entry ban for individuals applying for green cards until 31 December 2020 and introduced a ban on foreign nationals seeking to enter the US on certain categories of work visa.  This updates our alert of 22 April 2020, which discussed President Trump’s 60-day suspension on the entry of individuals applying for immigrant visas (‘green cards’) outside of the United States….

LGBTQ+ workers are protected by the Civil Rights Act: a landmark decision from the US Supreme Court

On 15 June 2020, the US Supreme Court held that LGBTQ+ workers are protected at a national level from workplace discrimination by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.  June is Pride Month. This year’s Pride Month has extra meaning for the LGBTQ+ community, allies and advocates. On 15 June 2020, Justice Gorsuch, writing for the 6-3 majority of the United States Supreme Court, handed…

US: Department of Labor relaxes rules for tipped employees

Employers now have greater flexibility in how they remunerate tipped employees who also perform non-tipped duties as a result of a reissued opinion from the US Department of Labor. This article sets out details of the revised and clarified policy, which is already effective. Executive Summary The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has announced it will no longer apply the ‘80/20 rule’…

US – New sexual harassment laws: what employers in NY need to know

This article sets out the main obligations and potential liabilities on employers arising from New York State’s recent workplace sexual harassment legislation. Executive Summary In the fiscal year 2019 budget, the New York State Legislature passed several new laws aimed at preventing workplace sexual harassment, including banning mandatory arbitration and requiring anti-harassment policies and training. These new laws, a response to the larger social conversation…

USA: Protection from Discrimination to Breastfeeding Mothers

New Jersey has introduced new employment rights for breastfeeding mothers in the workplace, requiring employers of all sizes to provide employees with time and space to express breast milk. Workplace Protections for Breastfeeding Mothers On 8 January 2018, New Jersey became the 18th US state to enact civil rights protection for breastfeeding mothers. New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination now expressly prohibits discrimination or retaliation by…

USA: Employment law and marijuana

Some parts of the US have already fully legalised the use of marijuana, others are allowing for medicinal use, while still others are holding on to full prohibition [see map below]. This article discusses the potential workplace safety and employment law consequences for employers of the proposed legalisation of recreational marijuana in New Jersey. What’s happening in the state of New Jersey is fairly typical…