The Proskauer Brief: Hot Topics in Labor & Employment Law
Episode 32: California’s Legislative Response to the #MeToo Movement

Episode 32: California’s Legislative Response to the #MeToo Movement

November 18, 2019

In this episode of The Proskauer Brief, partners Tony Oncidi and Kate Gold discuss California's most recent legislative response to the #MeToo movement.  These developments include new restrictions on confidentiality and arbitration as well as the extension of the statute of limitations applicable to harassment, discrimination and retaliation claims.  So be sure to tune in as Tony and Kate highlight the most important new laws facing California employers in the Age of #MeToo.

Episode 31: State Laws Regarding Voting Leaves & Political Activities By Employees

Episode 31: State Laws Regarding Voting Leaves & Political Activities By Employees

October 31, 2019

In this episode of The Proskauer Brief, partners Harris Mufson and Evandro Gigante discuss recent updates in state laws regarding voting leaves and political activities by employees. Currently twenty-two states have laws on the books that require some form of paid voting leave for employees.  With Election Day right around the corner, New York recently changed their law so that an employee is entitled to as much time off as needed that’s going to enable that employee to vote in an election, up to which three of those hours have to be paid.  Given the wide range of laws governing employee voting and political activities, employers should review their policies to insure that they are compliant with applicable state law. 

Episode 30: U.K. Law for U.S. Employers

Episode 30: U.K. Law for U.S. Employers

October 10, 2019

In this episode of The Proskauer Brief, New York partner Howard Robbins and London partner Dan Ornstein discuss how U.K. laws affect U.S. employers. As if dealing with U.S. employment laws are not difficult enough, international businesses also have to face several challenges of local requirements.  Tune in as we discuss many U.K. laws on discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, and their similarities to U.S. counterparts. In addition we will highlight what impact Brexit may have on U.K. employment law, including changes in relation to the protections of part-time or agency workers, and workers in the gig economy.  

Episode 29: New York State Expanded Protections Against Workplace Harassment

Episode 29: New York State Expanded Protections Against Workplace Harassment

August 29, 2019

In this episode of The Proskauer Brief, partner Evandro Gigante and associate Arielle Kobetz discuss the recent developments out of New York State, that will significantly expand workplace anti-discrimination protections.  Among other things, recent amendments to New York law will lower the burden on plaintiffs seeking to prove claims of workplace harassment under the Human Rights law.  Employers should tune in to see what impact the new law may have on the scope of harassment claims and what changes to policies or practices should be implemented.

Episode 28: New York State Enacts Law Prohibiting Hairstyle Discrimination

Episode 28: New York State Enacts Law Prohibiting Hairstyle Discrimination

August 2, 2019

In this episode of The Proskauer Brief, partner Evandro Gigante and associate Laura Fant discuss the recent New York law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of certain hairstyles.  This law expands the definition of race under the New York State Human Rights Law to now expressly include “traits historically associated with race,” which include but are not limited to hair texture and protective hairstyles.  Employers should tune in to see what impact the new law may have on the scope of race discrimination claims and what changes to polices or practices should be implemented when thinking about this new law.

Episode 27: Reduction in Force (RIFs) Trends in the Financial Services Industry

Episode 27: Reduction in Force (RIFs) Trends in the Financial Services Industry

July 16, 2019

In this episode of the Proskauer Brief, partners Steven Hurd and Patrick Lamparello discuss recent trends in reductions in force (RIFs) in financial services and some of the main reasons employers are engaging in them. These include automation of jobs or other technological developments, cost reductions, investor preferences, employee redistributions, and even Brexit has been a reason for downsizing.  So be sure to tune in as we discuss best practices an employer can engage in to carry out a RIF as well as practical alternatives an employer can consider to a reduction in force.

Episode 26: Medical Marijuana and the potential NYC new law

Episode 26: Medical Marijuana and the potential NYC new law

May 6, 2019

In this episode of The Proskauer Brief, partners Harris Mufson and Evandro Gigante discuss recently passed legislation by the New York City Council, which would prohibit some employers in NYC from requiring job applicants to submit to drug tests for marijuana use.  Specifically, the bill would amend the City’s Fair Chance Act to make it an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer, including an employment agency or their agents, to require that a prospective employee or an applicant submit to drug testing regarding the presence of marijuana as a condition of employment.  That bill, if signed by Mayor de Blasio, would take effect within one year after it becomes law.

Episode 25: The NYCCHR Issues New Enforcement Guidance on Appearance & Grooming Policies

Episode 25: The NYCCHR Issues New Enforcement Guidance on Appearance & Grooming Policies

March 27, 2019

In this episode of The Proskauer Brief, partner Harris Mufson and associate Arielle Kobetz discuss the New York City Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR) enforcement guidance on appearance and grooming policies that ban or restrict naturally curly hair, dreadlocks, braids, cornrows and other hairstyles. While the guidance, which was issued on February 19, 2019, specifically details protections for Black people – who, according to the NYCCHR, are frequent targets of race discrimination based on hair – it also cites as unlawful “any grooming or appearance policies that generally target communities of color, religious minorities, or other communities,” which are protected under applicable law. So be sure to tune in as employers in New York City should review their current grooming and/or appearance policies to ensure compliance with these new guidelines.

Episode 24: The Employment Law Landscape in 2019

Episode 24: The Employment Law Landscape in 2019

February 28, 2019

In this episode of The Proskauer Brief, partner Evandro Gigante and associate Arielle Kobetz discuss the labor and employment landscape in 2019, including some significant laws set to go into effect this year, as well as other legislative developments. They will highlight cases pending before the Supreme Court and what we can expect from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Be sure to tune in for this 2019 preview.

Update: On February 25, 2019, after the recording of this episode, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Yovino v. Rizo due to the death of Judge Stephen Reinhardt, stating that the appeals court should not have counted the vote of the ruling’s author because he died before the decision was issued.

Episode 23: Can My Employees Participate in Political Activities?

Episode 23: Can My Employees Participate in Political Activities?

February 25, 2019

In this episode of the "Can My Employees Do That?" series, partner Elise Bloom and associate Michelle Gyves discuss whether employers can lawfully limit an employee’s participation in political activities, protests, and similar activities. We also discuss whether an employer can restrict an employee’s association with groups or publications on social media or elsewhere which espouse ideologies that are at odds with the employer's values. Lastly, we will cover to what extent an employer can limit political speech at work. So be sure to tune in for this very insightful episode.