On July 8, 2020, the United States Supreme Court decided two cases addressing employers’ religious freedoms in very different contexts: one concerning whether religious school teachers could challenge adverse employment decisions in court, and one concerning rules permitting employers to assert religious and conscientious objections to a federal mandate to include contraceptive coverage in their

As explained in greater detail in a prior alert, Virginia has enacted a number of new employment laws that increase employee rights and protections. Most of these new laws took effect on July 1, 2020. One major impact of the laws is that employers are likely to have more discrimination claims adjudicated in Virginia state courts instead of federal courts. Shifting the forum for adjudication in this way may pose a significant disadvantage to employers, as the applicable procedures in Virginia courts can make it more difficult to win before trial. Because of the significant legal expenses incurred in litigating a case through trial, this may significantly increase the legal expense to employers even in cases where their defenses are strong, in some cases above the value of the claim itself. We discuss several considerations relating to this change below, including the benefits and drawbacks of requiring employees to enter into arbitration agreements.
Continue Reading Strategic litigation considerations for employers in light of the Virginia Values Act

Virginia has substantially rewritten its employment laws to provide a number of new protections and rights to employees in the areas of employment discrimination, whistleblower protection, non-compete agreements, independent contractor classification, wage payment, and more. Most of these laws take effect on July 1, 2020, and employers must take action to prepare for them, including updating employment policies and practices, providing certain notices to employees, ensuring non-compete agreements are not being provided to employees earning less than the average wage in Virginia, updating pay stubs, and generally understanding new exposures and risks.
Continue Reading Major changes coming to Virginia employment laws on July 1, 2020; prepare now with this employer checklist

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has published a new self-identification form federal contractors (including subcontractors) must provide to individuals to request information concerning their disability status. OFCCP hopes the changes will increase applicant and employee response rates. Notably, the new form deletes the second page of the current form, which reminds applicants and employees of their right to ask the employer for reasonable accommodations to apply for a job or perform a job. Federal contractors must begin using this form on or before August 4, 2020.
Continue Reading Federal contractors must update their voluntary self-identification of disability forms

New York employers – New York State has gifted you an early holiday present – a requirement to update your handbook, comply with a new law immediately or potentially face steep consequences.

On November 8, 2019, Governor Cuomo signed into law a bill prohibiting employment discrimination based on an employee’s or a dependent’s “reproductive health

Following in the wake of the #MeToo movement, two new bills adopted by the California Legislature will expand the temporal scope of state-law harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and sexual assault claims. The first of these two, Assembly Bill 9 (“AB 9”), increases the time limit for individuals to file a discrimination, harassment, or retaliation claim with

On June 14, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected the argument that a university should be entitled to special academic deference in employment discrimination claims concerning denial of tenure brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”). Mawakana v. Bd.

Many employers offer paid parental leave policies to employees, affording new parents paid time off to care for a new child. Though some employers offer paid parental leave to both new mothers and fathers of equal length, many others offer substantially longer leaves to primary caregivers. Bifurcated parental leave policies for primary and non-primary caregivers

Following months of speculation, the Supreme Court announced today that it would decide whether the prohibition in Title VII against discrimination “because of sex” encompasses discrimination against gay and transgender workers.

The Supreme Court agreed to hear two cases, one from the Second Circuit and another from the Eleventh Circuit, that reached opposing conclusions on

Recent #MeToo-inspired media attention to workplace sexual harassment claims has caused a number of states to pass employee-friendly legislation intended to help prevent such conduct. On March 18, 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy joined the trend, signing into law a bill that, among other things, targets the use of so-called non-disclosure provisions in employment