Despite New York City’s already extensive anti-discrimination laws, the New York City Council recently passed a bill outlawing discrimination based on weight and height. Further, the City Council is considering various bills that significantly broaden protected categories for which discrimination is prohibited.

Continue Reading NYC Employers Take Note – New and Proposed Anti-Discrimination Laws Coming Your Way

We’ve emerged from the traditional winter season of flu, strep, and stomach viruses (often on repeat for those with small children) and are well into the traditional spring season of sneezing, sniffling, and coughing. As such, it is worth considering the role healthcare plays in each of our lives. For some, we might have found ourselves at the doctor a few times over the past year—once for an annual wellness visit and once or twice for antibiotics.

Continue Reading Diagnosing the Future: Considering DEIA as a Treatment Plan for Healthcare Employers to Improve Patient Outcomes

Veteran Hiring Benchmark Decreased to 5.4%

OFCCP released the national annual veteran hiring benchmark effective March 31, 2023, which measures the national percentage of veterans in the civilian labor force. Federal contractors are required to compare their percentage of hires who are protected veterans in each establishment on a facility-wide basis to the annual veteran hiring benchmark to measure the effectiveness of outreach and recruitment of veterans for employment. The national annual veteran hiring benchmark was decreased from 5.5% to 5.4% as of March 31, 2023. If a federal contractor has elected to calculate an individualized hiring benchmark using state-level availability of veterans, OFCCP has also updated state-level availability data.

Continue Reading OFCCP Publishes Annual Veteran Hiring Benchmark and New Self-Identification of Disability Form

Many companies have invested in and prioritized diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) initiatives over the past several years. And for good reason: DEIA initiatives have been proven to improve employee recruitment, retention, and morale, and to help mitigate risks associated with potential disparate treatment and discrimination claims by employees.

Continue Reading Best Practices for Navigating Legal & Political Guardrails Impacting Employer DEIA Efforts

Husch Blackwell’s Donna Pryor and Laura Higbee provide an update to our January post on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) intention to convene a Small Business Advocacy Review

Continue Reading Panel to Decide if OSHA Should Enact a Prevention of Workplace Violence in Healthcare and Social Assistance Standard

The Paid Leave for All Workers Act, expected to be signed soon by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, would require nearly all covered Illinois employers to provide employees paid leave to be used for any purpose. Illinois would be just the third state to mandate paid leave – only Maine and Nevada have similar laws.

Once signed, the Act would take effect on Jan. 1, 2024, and provide nearly all Illinois workers with a minimum of 40 hours of paid leave, or a pro rata number of hours, during a designated twelve-month period.

Continue Reading Illinois Set to Mandate Paid Leave For All Employees

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has made several announcements, including Directives, Notices, and Proposals in their quest to embark on initiatives that significantly impact federal contractors’ affirmative action obligations. These changes contemplate substantive changes to regulations and existing interpretations of the regulations but are cloaked in terminology such as “guidance” and a proposal to OMB to renew data collection. Many of these initiatives obligate regulated parties to undertake additional significant compliance burdens under the threat of enforcement actions. This blog post, part 1, will discuss two of the changes and the resulting challenges faced by federal contractors: 1) OFCCP’s new interpretation of federal contractors’ obligation to evaluate compensation systems as described in Directive 2022-01 and 2022-01 Revision 1, and 2) the contractor portal. Other changes will be addressed in Part 2 of this series.

Continue Reading Changes and Challenges Relating to Affirmative Action Obligations Federal Contractors Face in 2023

On January 26, 2023, the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed the lower court decision that would have gone into effect on February 19, 2023. That decision, among other items, would have increased Michigan’s hourly minimum wage to $13.03 and would have greatly expanded the state’s paid sick leave requirements. The Court of Appeals decision means that employers do not have to make changes to their paid sick leave policies that were drafted in compliance with the Michigan Paid Sick Leave Act that went into effect in 2019. Further, businesses no longer have to scramble to adjust minimum wage rates for both tipped and non-tipped workers as required under the lower court decision. Michigan’s hourly minimum wage will remain at $10.10. The tipped minimum wage remains at $3.84 an hour. 

Continue Reading Michigan Paid Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Update

The Colorado Division of Labor and Employment (CDLE) had a busy last few weeks of December in 2022, revising a number of its Interpretive Notice and Formal Opinions (INFOs). On

Continue Reading New Clarity: Colorado Employer Rights When Employee Fails to Return Money or Property at Separation