Q. How do I fight antisemitism in the workplace?

A. The recent headlines involving Ye, Kyrie Irving, Dave Chappelle, and others are just the latest in a string of highly disturbing antisemitic statements and incidents. In 2021, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) recorded 2,717 antisemitic incidents throughout the United States — a 34% increase from 2020 and the highest number on record since ADL first began tracking antisemitic occurrences in 1979. As many as 1,496 antisemitic acts have been reported in this calendar year alone, ranging from the distribution of antisemitic propaganda to physical attacks against Jewish individuals to bomb threats.

Continue Reading Combatting an Increase in Workplace Antisemitism

California employers face an abundance of new employment laws set to take effect at the start of the new year. Below find descriptions of new requirements for employee leaves of absence, pay transparency and data reporting, COVID-19 compliance, privacy rights, industry-specific requirements, and other new workplace laws. Unless otherwise stated, the obligations created by the laws below will take effect on January 1, 2023. Learn more about these and other employment developments at Troutman Pepper’s upcoming December 8 Labor + Employment webinar.

Continue Reading Overview of New California Employment Laws

Q: Does Colorado have a law prohibiting an employer from requiring employees to sign a restrictive covenant agreement?

A: Yes. On August 10, a new Colorado law took effect that voids noncompete and customer nonsolicitation covenants with certain Colorado employees, depending on their compensation level. The new law places significant penalties upon noncompliant employers and will void any provision that violates the law.

Continue Reading Colorado Implements New Restrictive Covenant Laws

Q: Have any courts addressed a company’s ability to regulate the type of masks that employees wear at work?

A: At the height of the pandemic and after the death of George Floyd in June 2020, many employers grappled with whether they could and should regulate the type of face masks worn in the workplace. The appellate courts for the First and Third circuits recently addressed this issue, reaching different conclusions. The First Circuit ruled that an employer is permitted to discipline employees for wearing Black Lives Matter (BLM) face masks in the workplace in violation of its dress code. In a Third Circuit decision, the court enjoined the employer from enforcing a dress code policy, banning employees from wearing BLM face coverings. The differences in outcome can be attributed mainly to the fact that the employer in the First Circuit case was a private employer, and the employer in the Third Circuit case was a public employer.

Continue Reading BLM Messaging on Face Masks in the Workplace

Are you making the best hiring and firing decisions? Is improving employee engagement and retention a challenge? How can you use data to leverage and get the most out of your most valuable asset – your employees?

In Episode 2 of the Hiring to Firing Podcast, Troutman Pepper Partners Tracey Diamond and Evan Gibbs sit down with Spring International CEO Fiona Jamison to discuss the hit movie Moneyball and the use of people analytics in the workplace.

Continue Reading What Can Moneyball Teach Us About People Analytics?

Q: What is New York’s Adult Survivors Act?

On May 24, New York State enacted the Adult Survivors Act, which provides a one-year “revival window,” commencing on November 24, 2022, for adult victims of sexual abuse. Enactment of such “revival statutes” (a/k/a revival window or lookback period statutes) is the latest trend for #MeToo era legislatures grappling with shifting societal views of limitations periods for sexual abuse claims. Although the parameters of revival statutes can differ, essentially, they provide a limited period, usually at least one year, for sexual abuse victims to file civil claims that would otherwise be time-barred. Often these statutes also include prospective enlargements of civil and criminal limitations periods or otherwise expand the scope of potential liability going forward. In recent years, nearly half of U.S. state legislatures have passed laws opening revival windows for sexual abuse cases.

Continue Reading Widespread “Revival Statutes” Forcing Employers to Take Stock of Past Practices and Prepare for a Barrage of Sexual Misconduct Litigation: New York Becomes the Latest State to Enact Revival Legislation for Adult Victims

Q. What do companies with employees in Delaware need to know about Delaware’s paid family leave law?

A. On May 10, Governor Carney signed the Healthy Delaware Families Act into law, making Delaware the eleventh state in the country to offer paid family leave when the law goes into effect in 2026. The law will provide 12 weeks of paid parental leave and six weeks of paid medical, family caregiving, and military leave to eligible Delaware employees through a state-run paid family and medical leave insurance program.

Continue Reading Delaware Passes Paid Family Leave Law

Q: In a unanimous opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court held that employers who do not act promptly to invoke an arbitration clause may be held to waive arbitration. What does this mean for my company?

A: As noted in our colleagues’ blog post, on May 23, in a unanimous opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court held that employers who do not act promptly to invoke an arbitration clause may be held to waive arbitration. In so holding, the Court resolved a circuit court split over whether a party arguing waiver had to demonstrate prejudice. The Court held that prejudice was not a requirement. The Court’s holding departs from its generally pro-arbitration holdings over the last 15 years.

Continue Reading SCOTUS Resolves Circuit Split: A Showing of Prejudice Not Required to “Waive” Right to Arbitration

Q: What are the key highlights of Maryland’s new law providing paid family and medical leave to employees?

A. Maryland has now joined a minority of states obligating employers to contribute to a program providing paid family and medical leave to its workforce. Beginning on October 1, 2023, businesses with 15 or more employees will be required to contribute to the Family Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) Program, with the goal of making benefits available to eligible employees through the Maryland Department of Labor by January 1, 2024.

Continue Reading Maryland Legislature Passes the Time to Care Act, Overriding Governor’s Veto

Q: What states have biometric laws and what does this mean for my company?

A. Introduction: Biometric Laws in 2022

In the first quarter of 2022 alone, no fewer than seven states have introduced biometric laws — California, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, and New York — generally based on Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). Currently, only Illinois, Texas, and Washington have enacted biometric laws, and only the Illinois law provides individuals with a private right of action. While California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) covers the protection of biometric data, the act only provides a private right of action where the information was involved in an unauthorized exposure as a result of the business’ failure to implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and the business’ failure to take certain steps after receiving a consumer request.

Continue Reading A Fresh “Face” of Privacy: 2022 Biometric Laws