Katharine Parker

Katharine Parker

Proskauer Rose LLP

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New York City Council Introduces Bill to Create an Office of Labor Standards

On April 16, 2015, the New York City Council has introduced a bill (T2015-2812) that seeks to establish an Office of Labor Standards (“Office”). The bill, which would amend the New York City Charter and the Administrative...more

4/17/2015 - Administrative Authority City Charters Proposed Amendments Proposed Legislation

Hiring Tests in the News

A front page article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal highlights the growing use of pre-employment personality and psychological testing to screen job candidates. These tests are designed to evaluate technical skills,...more

4/16/2015 - EEOC Hiring & Firing Proficiency Testing

U.S. Supreme Court Announces New Standard for Pregnancy Discrimination Claims

Last Wednesday the U.S. Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decision in Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS), which involves a claim of pregnancy discrimination under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)....more

3/31/2015 - ADA Appeals Burden-Shifting Disparate Impact Disparate Treatment EEOC PDA Popular Pregnancy Pregnancy Discrimination Pretext Reasonable Accommodation SCOTUS Subsantial Burden Standard Summary Judgment Title VII Young v United Parcel Service

EEOC Takes First Step Toward Issuing Rules on Employer-Sponsored Wellness Plans

On March 20, 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) announced its submission of a notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPRM”) on employer-sponsored wellness plans to the White House Office of Management and...more

3/26/2015 - ADA Affordable Care Act Corporate Counsel Disability Discrimination EEOC Employee Incentive Plans Health Plan Sponsors NPRM OMB Wellness Programs

Utah Law Bars Discrimination Against Nursing Mothers

On March 23, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed a bill that prohibits discrimination against employees who breastfeed at work....more

3/26/2015 - Breastfeeding Discrimination New Legislation

Hawaii Supreme Court Says Employer Failed to Establish “Rational Relationship” Between Applicant’s Drug Conviction and Position...

Hawaii, like some other states, only permits employers to consider convictions that bear a “rational relationship to the duties and responsibilities of the position.” Recently, the Hawaii Supreme Court had occasion to decide...more

3/25/2015 - Criminal Background Checks Drug Distribution EEOC Healthcare Professionals Hiring & Firing

Georgia “Ban the Box” Policy Crosses Geographic, Political Divides

Republican Governor Nathan Deal signed an executive order this past week adopting a “ban the box” policy for “government entities of the State of Georgia,” making Georgia the first Southern state and only the second “red...more

3/3/2015 - Ban the Box Hiring & Firing Job Applicants Nathan Deal Public Employers

EEOC Background Check Litigation Strategy Criticized

Readers who have been following the EEOC’s efforts to prosecute employers who conduct background checks will be interested in the Wall Street Journal’s editorial, “Hit Us Again, Harder.” ...more

3/2/2015 - Background Checks EEOC Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing

Philadelphia Joins List of Cities Mandating Paid Sick Leave

On February 12, 2015, Philadelphia became yet another jurisdiction to pass a law guaranteeing paid sick leave for employees. The Philadelphia ordinance grants certain employees paid sick leave which can be used to respond to...more

3/2/2015 - Employer Mandates Local Ordinance New Legislation Paid Leave Sick Leave

DOL Issues Final Rule Redefining “Spouse” Under FMLA

Last Wednesday the Department of Labor (DOL) issued its Final Rule revising the definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act....more

3/1/2015 - 'Place of Celebration' Rule Common Law Marriage DOL FMLA Leave of Absence Same-Sex Marriage Spouses

Fourth Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment against EEOC in Background Check Suit

Last week, in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) v. Freeman, No. 13-2365 (4th Cir. Feb. 20, 2105), the Fourth Circuit affirmed the award of summary judgment against the EEOC in its suit alleging that the...more

2/24/2015 - Criminal Background Checks Disparate Impact EEOC Employee Credit Checks Evidence Expert Testimony Hiring & Firing Summary Judgment Title VII

Affordable Care Act Presents New Risks to Employers Who Misclassify Workers

As our readers know, federal and state departments of labor have intensified their scrutiny of independent contractor arrangements and are coordinating with the federal and state taxing authorities when misclassifications are...more

2/16/2015 - Affordable Care Act DOL Independent Contractors Misclassification Penalties

Employee Gripe Apps: Should Companies Be Concerned?

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article by Lindsay Gellman on a new app by Collectively that allows users to post anonymous reviews of and complaints about their employers. The app is cheekily called...more

1/26/2015 - Anonymity Corporate Counsel Free Speech Glassdoor Mobile Apps Online Reviews Social Media Social Media Policy

Governor Cuomo Will Seek Increase to Minimum Wage

Governor Cuomo announced Sunday that he will propose raising the minimum wage in New York State to $10.50 per hour and in New York City to $11.50 by 2016. As previously reported in the New York Times, the Governor had...more

1/20/2015 - Andrew Cuomo Minimum Wage Proposed Legislation

Michigan Protects Employers from Negligent Hiring and Retention Claims

On January 1, a new Michigan law took effect to protect companies that hire ex-offenders who go on to cause damage or injury during the course of their employment. Louisiana, Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas recently passed...more

1/16/2015 - Criminal Records Hiring & Firing Job Applicants New Legislation Workplace Safety

No End In Sight For Wave of Paid Family and Sick Leave Laws

Employers have been scrambling to keep up with the multitude of paid sick leave laws that were passed in the last several years.  These laws vary by jurisdiction and often can’t be easily reconciled into a uniform policy — an...more

1/15/2015 - Corporate Counsel FMLA Healthy Families Act Obama Administration Paid Family Leave Insurance Program Paid Sick Leave Act Sick Leave

New Minnesota Expungement Law Helps Protect Employers from Liability

A new Minnesota law that took effect on January 1 expands the opportunities for ex-offenders to expunge their criminal records. In an effort to protect employers who hire employees with expunged records, the new law provides...more

1/6/2015 - Ban the Box Conditional Job Offers Criminal Background Checks Employer Liability Issues Expungement Hiring & Firing Job Applicants

New York Law Providing Unpaid Leave For Emergency Responders Takes Effect

New York recently passed a new leave law mandating unpaid leave for emergency responders. The law took effect December 22, 2014. Under the law, employers must provide unpaid leave to employees who serve as volunteer...more

1/6/2015 - Emergency Response Employer Mandates New Legislation Unpaid Leave Volunteers

Background Checks Headline in 2014

In 2014, background checks were a hot topic in state and local legislatures. Before this year, only 8 jurisdictions in the country had passed laws preventing private employers from asking job candidates about their criminal...more

12/24/2014 - Background Checks Ban the Box Criminal Background Checks EEOC Employee Credit Checks Employer Liability Issues FCRA Hiring & Firing Job Applicants

NYS Wage Theft Prevention Action – Summer 2014 Amendments Still Pending

This summer, we wrote about a bill passed by both the New York State Assembly and Senate to amend the New York State Wage Theft Prevention Act (the WTPA). Among other things, the amendments would eliminate the need for...more

12/17/2014 - Amended Legislation Employer Mandates Notice Requirements Wage Theft Prevention Act

NYC Council Debates Expansive “Ban the Box” Bill

A couple of months ago, we blogged about the New York City Council’s general support for a proposal that would effectively ban credit checks in hiring and other personnel decisions. As the council continues to debate credit...more

12/15/2014 - Ban the Box Conditional Job Offers Criminal Background Checks Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing Job Applicants

Prince George’s County “Bans the Box”

Add another locality to the growing list that have “banned the box” for private employers. Starting January 20, 2015, employers with at least twenty-five full-time employees in Prince George’s County (MD) can no longer ask...more

12/12/2014 - Ban the Box Criminal Background Checks Hiring & Firing Interviews

Columbia, Missouri Joins “Ban the Box” Trend

Columbia, Missouri is the latest jurisdiction to “ban the box” by prohibiting private employers from making criminal inquiries on an employment application. The law, which took effect on December 1, 2014, only allows...more

12/9/2014 - Background Checks Ban the Box Criminal Background Checks Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing Job Applicants Local Ordinance

San Francisco Issues Guidance for Employers and Contractors on Fair Chance Ordinance

San Francisco has posted FAQs explaining key provisions of the city’s so-called Fair Chance Ordinance (“Ordinance”), which took effect on August 13, 2014. The Ordinance “bans the box,” prohibiting most private employers and...more

12/9/2014 - Background Checks Ban the Box Criminal Background Checks Federal Contractors Hiring & Firing Job Applicants Local Ordinance San Francisco

EEOC Wellness Program Suits Highlight Need for Agency Guidance

The EEOC has been pursuing litigation against wellness programs of late, arguing that certain health plan penalties render participation in wellness program health screens ”involuntary” and thus violate Americans with...more

11/25/2014 - ADA Affordable Care Act EEOC Employer Liability Issues Enforcement Actions Medical Examinations Wellness Programs

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