With the summer (and many vacations) now in full swing, it would be easy for employers to miss the anti-sexual harassment protections that were added to the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules (NY CPLR) and New York’s General Obligation Law, effective July 11, 2018, as well as the additional training, policy and other obligations that will become effective in September and October. For the ever-vigilant employers out there, however, here is a brief summary of the new laws to watch out for in the near term:
Against the backdrop of a continuing trend of low rates of unemployment throughout the United States, there has been a recent surge of people searching for new and better jobs. As a result, there has also been increased attention paid to restrictive covenants and an increase in litigation as employers seek to protect their confidential information and prevent a loss of business. Covenants restricting competition and protecting confidential information are generally creatures of state law. Their enforceability varies widely; from California, where they are virtually unenforceable, to Florida, where employers generally have the upper hand. While some states have engaged in efforts to follow in the footsteps of California, those efforts have largely been unsuccessful because state legislatures have been unable to muster the necessary votes to make it happen. What does this mean if you are considering a new hire who is saddled with an employment agreement that contains non-competition and/or non-solicitation provisions? There are several important considerations to be mindful of as you pursue this course of action.
Employers commonly make payments to former employees for a number of reasons. Two of the more routine payments are those from a non-qualified deferred compensation plan (such as payments from a supplemental executive retirement plan or a 401(k) restoration-type plan) or pursuant to a severance arrangement, and sometimes both. (Other termination- or settlement-type payments, such as those for emotional distress or pain and suffering, are beyond the scope of this article.)
Employers generally understand their obligation to provide a reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities as required under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as well as a number of state and local laws.
A recent federal court case reminds employers that they may choose among reasonable accommodations and that as long as the selected reasonable accommodation is effective, they are not required to provide the specific reasonable accommodation requested by the employee.
In the past, we have highlighted some of the legal risks of employing commission-based employees, as well as some of the methods for limiting those risks. A new court decision out of Illinois provides a good reminder that vaguely described policies and restrictive payment rules can expose employers to large liabilities.