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Leigh regularly represents employers before federal and state courts and administrative agencies in matters involving allegations of employment discrimination, wrongful termination, retaliation, breach of contract, workplace torts and non-competes.

Q: What are the risks to a company when making a public statement about ongoing employment litigation?

A: A federal judge in Washington, DC recently allowed a pair of married former law firm associates, suing the firm for sex discrimination, to add retaliation claims to their lawsuit for allegedly “false and malicious” statements the firm made about them in an August 2019 press release. See Savignac, et al v. Jones Day, et al, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, No. 19-cv-02443.

By way of background, plaintiffs Julia Sheketoff and Mark Savignac sued Jones Day over a parental leave policy they claimed illegally discriminates against men by offering biological mothers eight more weeks of leave than biological fathers. They also accused the firm of firing Savignac because he challenged the firm’s policy and underpaying Sheketoff because of her sex. After they filed the highly publicized lawsuit in August 2019, the firm circulated a press release about the lawsuit.
Continue Reading A Company’s Press Release May Be Used Against It In Employee’s Retaliation Litigation

Q: What do employers need to know about the recently released Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidance for COVID-19 prevention programs in the workplace?

A: On January 21, President Biden signed an Executive Order on protecting worker health and safety. Pursuant to the order, on January 29, OSHA released new guidance titled, “Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace.”


Continue Reading New OSHA Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention Programs

Q: What do I need to know about the proposed federal rule on independent contractor classification?

A: The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a proposed rule, making it easier for workers to be classified as independent contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

When evaluating independent contractor classifications under the FLSA, courts traditionally have applied the “economic realities” test, which relies on balancing seven factors. However, this has resulted in inconsistent court rulings and confusion among companies and individuals. The DOL’s proposed rule adopts a modified version of this test, focusing on certain factors, while clarifying others.
Continue Reading DOL Proposes New Rule Clarifying Independent Contractor Status

Q. Are employers allowed to ask employees about their salary history in Philadelphia?

A. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has ruled that a Philadelphia city ordinance that prohibits Philadelphia employers from asking applicants about their current or past pay rates is constitutional. In April 2018, a Philadelphia federal court judge held

Q: Are there any new cases involving Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act in the context of employment?

A: Given that state-sanctioned use of medical marijuana is relatively new, there are few cases interpreting Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana law with regard to employment. This is why a recently filed Pennsylvania lawsuit could have a far-reaching impact on employers.

Q. I heard there have been some significant National Labor Relations Board decisions recently. What do I need to know about them?

A. Over the past few months, the Board’s Republican majority has issued a series of employer-friendly decisions. They involve various topics, including expansion of employer property rights, classification of workers as independent contractors,

Q.  Is my company allowed to inquire about an applicant’s salary history when considering him or her for employment?

A.   The growing trend to eliminate inquiries into a job applicant’s salary history continues. In July, New York and New Jersey became the latest states to enact legislation that will restrict employers from obtaining and utilizing

Q: What do New York employers need to know about the recent amendment to the state’s pay equity law?

A: In November 2015, New York became one of the first jurisdictions to pass a pay equity law that was more extensive than the federal equal pay laws.  On July 10, 2019, Governor Cuomo signed an amendment to New York Labor Law Section 194, further expanding its scope.
Continue Reading New York State Expands Equal Pay Protections

Q.  As an employer located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, what do I need to know about accommodations for pregnant employees?

A.  Pittsburgh’s City Council recently unanimously passed a new ordinance that expands protections for pregnant employees and their partners and imposes several new requirements on private employers, much like those under the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act and Americans with Disabilities Act. The local ordinance became effective on March 15, 2019.
Continue Reading Pittsburgh Expands Pregnancy Accommodations for Employees and Their Partners

Q: I heard there are some recent changes to New Jersey’s laws regarding employee leave benefits.  Will they affect my company’s employment policies?

A: On February 19, 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation that amends and expands some of the state’s leave laws, including the Family Leave and SAFE Acts, as well as available benefits under New Jersey Family Leave Insurance.  Some of the changes are effective immediately, while others will take effect at a later date. Below are some of the key changes resulting from the recent amendment.
Continue Reading New Jersey Expands Employee Family and Safe Leave Benefits