Employers with collective bargaining agreements and union relationships know they generally cannot make unilateral changes to terms and conditions of employment.  But in an unprecedented emergency like the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak we are all facing, union bargaining obligations may be relaxed, either based on the terms of a collective bargaining agreement, or under National Labor Relations Board law.  As employers are forced to make ever more difficult operational decisions in the face of this emerging threat, here are some issues unionized businesses should consider when contemplating major workplace changes.
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Employers face many urgent issues in responding to the US outbreak of the novel coronavirus, COVID‑19.  Employers should remain aware that extraordinary workplace actions can have a special impact on foreign employees with work-authorized visas and can trigger additional employer obligations under US immigration law. 
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Under California law, an employee’s prior salary cannot be used to justify a pay disparity.  Now, the same is true under federal law – at least in the Ninth Circuit. In Rizo v. Yovino, the Ninth Circuit recently ruled that an employee’s prior pay history is not a “factor other than sex” that can justify a pay gap under the Federal Equal Pay Act.
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February is a great time for employers with New York operations to check on their progress regarding New Year’s resolutions for revising policies, training supervisors and implementing other changes to ensure compliance with recent developments in the law. The changes in employment laws during 2019 provide strong incentives for employers to update their practices. Following are 13 employment law developments that New York employers should make a part of their 2020 “resolutions” and employment practices.
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The Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016, which implements the District of Columbia’s new Paid Family Leave program, kicks-in for employees on July 1, 2020.  However, employers must post a PFL notice in the workplace no later than February 1, 2020.   
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