On December 6, 2021, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio surprised employers by announcing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that, starting December 27, NYC will mandate vaccines for all private-sector workers.  The mandate is expected to affect around 184,000 employers.
Continue Reading NYC Mandates Vaccines for All Private-Sector Workers, But Will it Stick?

On October 20, 2021, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) issued a press release to announce its plans to use unspecified technology to conduct online searches for statements in job advertisements that violate the Fair Chance Act (“FCA”). According to the DFEH, during a one-day review, it was able to locate over 500 job advertisements that violated the FCA because they stated that the employer would not consider job applicants with criminal records.
Continue Reading California DFEH Embraces Tech to Seek Out Fair Chance Act Violations

Earlier this month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) held a webinar on artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace.  Commissioner Keith Sonderling explained that the EEOC is monitoring employers’ use of such technology in the workplace to ensure compliance with anti-discrimination laws.
Continue Reading Employers Beware: The EEOC is Monitoring Use of Artificial Intelligence

The legal landscape for defining “employers,” “employees,” and “independent contractors” can be quite dynamic, as this past year has illustrated. In January 2021, the Department of Labor issued an employer-friendly independent contractor rule that would have departed from the agency’s typical balancing test, but it formally withdrew this rule in early May with the change in administration. The DOL’s independent contractor rule is intended to provide guidance to employers when determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. For employers, this is an important distinction because the FLSA’s overtime and minimum wage protections apply only to employees, not independent contractors. Because courts and employers sometimes struggle to find this line using the economic realities test and its iterations, the Trump-era independent contractor rule aimed to provide a clearer definition of “employee,” as opposed to “contractor.” The DOL has not yet proposed a new independent contractor test, but employers should be mindful that the Biden administration may potentially announce a new rule on this topic.
Continue Reading Recent Shifts In The Independent Contractor v. Employee Classification Rules

Uber Technologies, Inc. has been sued in a class action lawsuit alleging the company’s use of criminal background checks discriminates against Black and Latinx drivers. The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on April 8, challenges Uber’s “unlawful use of criminal history to discriminate against its drivers in New York City as well as its brazen noncompliance with human rights and fair credit laws.”
Continue Reading Gig Employer Hit with Background Check Class Action

On November 17, 2020 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released proposed updates to its Compliance Manual on Religious Discrimination. The draft revisions are available for public input until December 17, 2020, after which the EEOC will consider the public’s input, make any changes, and publish the finalized Manual.
Continue Reading For the First Time in 12 Years, EEOC Releases Updated Proposals to Compliance Manual on Religious Discrimination

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regularly releases guidance and advice to employers to aid in compliance with applicable workplace discrimination laws. For example, over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the EEOC has frequently issued and updated guidance on how employers can strike the difficult balance between workplace safety and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Continue Reading EEOC Issues Final Rule on Guidance Procedures

While most EEOC enforcement actions are related to individual complaints of discrimination and/or retaliation, so-called “pattern or practice” matters are those in which the EEOC attempts to show that an employer has systematically engaged in discriminatory activities. On September 3, 2020, the EEOC issued an opinion letter clarifying that section 707(a) does not provide a freestanding violation of Title VII, and that claims under section 707(a) are subject to section 706’s pre-suit requirements.
Continue Reading The EEOC Scales Back its Own Enforcement Powers through Clarification of its Interpretation of Pattern or Practice Case Requirements