Labor union members have been forced for many years to prove bad faith interest when seeking to make claims against their own unions for failure to represent them properly. That has now changed based on an October 24, 2018 Memorandum from General Counsel, Peter Robb (Trump appointee) of the National Labor Relations Boards (NLRB – the federal labor law enforcement agency). Claims of negligence against unions will now be easier because the union will be presumptively liable if workers’ grievances are not properly processed. Unions are currently already facing declines in memberships and f
Last week, the Department of Justice submitted a brief to the United States Supreme Court arguing that Title VII does not prohibit discrimination against transgender employees. The DOJ argued that the protection against “sex” discrimination does not apply to gender identity. Importantly, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has not changed its position accordingly, and therefore the EEOC still considers transgender employees to be protected from discrimination.
A New York employee who worked for the NYS Insurance Fund for many years allegedly experienced discrimination and a hostile work environment based on the fact that he was gay and had a disability. The employee complained of discrimination and alleged that following his complaints he was retaliated against. On remand from the Second Circuit, the district court dismissed the employee’s Title VII discrimination claims because he failed to allege that he suffered an adverse employment action based on his sexual orientation. The court found that although he alleged another employee emailed f
NYS issued its final guidance on the new sexual harassment policy and training requirements in effect for all New York employers. The state clarified that October 9, 2018 remains the deadline by which all employers must adopt a written sexual harassment policy and an anti-harassment training program. The state has issued model language and training documents for employers that need assistance developing those documents.
Employees will pay more of their paycheck towards the Paid Family Leave benefit program in 2019 - 0.153% of gross wages up to a yearly maximum of $107.97 (up from 0.126%/$85.56 in 2018). Moreover, as per the original provisions of the Paid Family Leave law, employees will be permitted to take up to 10 weeks of paid family leave in 2019, and receive 55% of their average weekly wage, up to a maximum of $746.41.
In April, we wrote about new steps New York State is taking to prevent harassment in the workplace, including requiring New York employers to comply with policy and training requirements.
Earlier this month, a New York Federal Court magistrate recommended conditional certification of a class of Lululemon employees who allege they were expected to take yoga classes at studios to promote Lululemon apparel, and perform other work related tasks off the clock. Lululemon paid the fee for the classes but did not pay the employees to attend, calling it “community work.” The employees allege they spent approximately five hours each week in fitness classes and another five hours per week performing other tasks.
Employers with retirement plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) often seek to reduce their potential class action liability for breach of fiduciary duty claims by including mandatory arbitration clauses in employment agreements. University of Southern California (USC) workers challenged the school's management of its plans in federal court several years ago, despite the arbitration clauses in their agreement.
This year, Governor Cuomo signed a law making changes to the Taylor Law to strengthen public unions. The Taylor Law, officially the Public Employees Fair Employment Act, defines the rights and limitations for public employees in New York. The major changes to the existing law include the following:
The US Supreme Court recently upheld mandatory arbitration clauses in employment contracts that waived an employee’s right to bring class or collective actions.
Please e-mail your U.S. Senators and urge them to support the Employment Verification Amendment!
The Senate is currently considering its immigration reform proposal, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744). SHRM and our strategic affiliate, the American Council on International Personnel (ACIP), are actively engaged on behalf of the HR profession in advocating for changes to the bill. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) have introduced an amendment (SA 1634), supported by SHRM and ACIP that would strengthen the employment verification system, along with streamlining its efficiency, while importantly reducing the risk of identity theft. Read Senator Portman’s press release regarding SA 1634 HERE. SHRM and ACIP have worked with Sens. Portman and Tester to develop the proposed amendment language.
Specifically, the Portman -Tester amendment would make the following changes to the current employment verification process:
SHRM and ACIP support the Portman -Tester amendment and we believe this new approach to identity authentication is critical to the creation of a 21st century verification system that eliminates paper-based recordkeeping and moves toward a fully electronic, secure system to better authenticate identity and verify employment eligibility.
As the Senate considers comprehensive immigration reform this is an opportunity for employers and HR professionals to have their voice heard in helping to shape effective workplace policy.
The Senate is considering amendments to S. 744 TODAY AND TOMORROW (June 26 and 27). It is critically important that both employers and HR professionals express support for the Portman -Tester amendment.
Contact Your Senators in Support of the Portman-Tester Amendment TODAY:
Write your Senators using SHRM’s HRVoice program, follow these steps:
1. Log onto the SHRM Advocacy Action Center by clicking HERE
2. Personalize your message with your own story
3. Include your home mailing address.
Should you have any questions regarding S. 744 and the Portman -Tester amendment, you may contact Mike Aitken, vice president, Government Affairs at SHRM at Mike.Aitken@shrm.org or Rebecca Peters, Director and Counsel for Legislative Affairs at ACIP at Rebecca_peters@acip.com.