Legislative (Federal and State) Developments

Each year, the California Chamber of Commerce identifies proposed state legislation that the Chamber believes “will decimate economic and job growth in California.”  The Chamber refers to these bills as “Job Killers.” In March, the Chamber identified the first two Job Killers of 2019: AB 51 and SB 1.
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California’s legislature and courts have acted to curb an employer’s ability to recover its fees and costs when it prevails in a lawsuit brought under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, even if the plaintiff employee rejected the employer’s Code of Civil Procedure Section 998 offer to compromise.
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Voters in Michigan, Utah and Missouri passed marijuana-related ballot measures in the November 2018 elections.  Each of these measures recognizes that marijuana remains a controlled substance, and illegal, under federal law, and that authorized users, growers, physicians, and any others who properly support or participate in these programs will be shielded from liability only under state law.
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New Jersey’s Paid Sick Leave Act will go into effect on October 29, 2018, making it the tenth state plus Washington DC and dozens of localities to mandate paid sick leave. New Jersey’s Act requires employers of all sizes to provide employees with up to 40 hours of paid leave per 12-month period. 
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There may be some changes coming to how California enforces its antidiscrimination law, the Fair Employment and Housing Act.  In February 2017, a bill was introduced in the California Senate proposing to allow local government entities to enforce antidiscrimination statutes. 
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On June 30, 2017, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens signed a bill into law that makes substantial changes to Missouri’s employment discrimination laws. The Bill, which goes into effect on August 28, amends the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA) and creates the “Whistle Blower Protection Act.” Numerous changes have been made to the MHRA, so the Bill is worth a read.
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The New York City Commission on Human Rights recently amended its rules to establish certain definitions and procedures applying the Fair Chance Act. The Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against job applicants and employees on the basis of criminal history, and is particularly important for employers for two reasons….
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