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Susan is an experienced, well-regarded employment attorney who represents employers on matters related to compliance with federal and state employment laws

Q: Are there any risks to using AI to enhance diversity in the workplace?

A: The use of artificial intelligence (AI) has become increasingly prevalent in hiring decisions, particularly as a means to increase diversity in employment. In January 2023, the chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) estimated that 83% of employers rely on artificial technology in decision-making. When used thoughtfully, AI tools can help employers more effectively analyze data and trends necessary to improving diversity, such as employee retention, pay inequality, and bias in job postings and hiring practices. For instance, generative AI platforms can enhance diverse employee retention by preparing career path guides specific to an employee’s skills and values, which allows diverse employees to view opportunities for internal career growth with transparency. Additionally, employers may use AI to assist in screening candidates during the recruiting process to avoid the unconscious biases that human screeners bring to the process. Despite the benefits and growing adoption of AI, however, the EEOC and the Biden administration have recently warned of the inherent risks that employers should be aware of when leveraging AI to enhance workplace diversity. Continue Reading Are There Any Risks to Using AI to Enhance Diversity in the Workplace?

Q: What Does the $1.9 Trillion American Rescue Plan Mean for Employers?

A: On March 11, nearly a year after the enactment of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and CARES Act, and three months after the enactment of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, President Biden signed a sweeping $1.9 trillion stimulus package called the American Rescue Plan. The headline-grabbing elements of the American Rescue Plan include $1,400 direct payments to individuals earning below a certain income threshold, $160 billion for COVID-19 vaccine and testing programs, and $360 billion for aid to state, local, and territorial governments. Critical to employers, the American Rescue Plan once again extends federal unemployment insurance benefits and modifies employee entitlement to COVID-19-related leave under the FFCRA.Continue Reading The $1.9 Trillion American Rescue Plan

Q. I understand that the United States Supreme Court came out with a new decision extending Title VII protections. What are the details?

A.  Delivering a historic victory for the LGBTQ community, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 6-3 landmark decision on June 15, ruling that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits terminating an employee based on the employee’s gender identity or sexual orientation. In Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, 590 U.S. _____ (2020), the Court held “that employers are prohibited from firing employees on the basis of homosexuality or transgender status.” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the majority opinion, in which Chief Justice Roberts and the four liberal justices joined. Justice Alito wrote a 107-page dissent, in which Justice Thomas joined, and Justice Kavanaugh dissented separately.
Continue Reading Supreme Court Rules Title VII Protects Gay and Transgender Employees

On Wednesday, April 15, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, in conjunction with the state’s Department of Health, announced an Order requiring businesses to implement new safety measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The Order details a litany of new “social distancing, mitigation, and cleaning protocols” that businesses must observe with respect to both employees and customers. Effective immediately, the Order applies to “life-sustaining businesses” authorized to maintain operations during the crisis under a prior order issued in March, including grocery stores and pharmacies. The Governor has directed a number of state agencies to enforce the new requirements, including the Department of Labor & Industry, the Department of Health, and the Pennsylvania State Police.
Continue Reading Employers Should Act Now in Response to New Order from the Pennsylvania Department of Health

Q.  What are my company’s obligations under the California Consumer Privacy Act?

A. The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) will take effect on January 1, 2020. On or before that date, businesses that employ California residents, retain California residents as independent contractors, or receive job applications from California residents must provide those individuals with notices

Q.  What is the standard for determining whether a worker is an independent contractor for purposes of federal wage and hour laws and union organizing conduct?

A.  Recently, both the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued documents supporting independent contractor status, evidencing the more pro-employer stance of the

Q.  Please explain the new requirements for reporting pay data with the EEO-1 Form.

A. During the Obama administration, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), in an effort to address pay discrimination, sought to require organizations that file EEO-1 forms (i.e., those with at least 100 employees or federal government contractors with 50

Q.  What is the current standard for determining whether an individual is an employee or independent contractor for purposes of the NLRA?

A.   On Jan. 25, 2019, the Republican-led National Labor Relations Board affirmed the acting regional director’s decision that drivers of a shared airport ride service were independent contractors, not employees, and therefore not

Q.  Are there any steps we should take to protect our company from liability in the #MeToo era?

A.  A year ago, sexual assault allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein rocked the entertainment industry and quickly led to the rise of the #MeToo movement, sparking an upsurge of reports and claims of sexual harassment in workplaces across America. In many cases, the alleged misconduct is not new. But the intensity, tone, and tenor of the claims — and the sheer volume of allegations — has been dramatically different and has had significant effects on businesses caught in the cross-hairs.
Continue Reading #MeToo: Is Your Company Covered?