No Reprieve: New Title IX Regulations Take Effect as Scheduled

Educational institutions hoping for a last-minute reprieve from the new Title IX regulations scheduled to go into effect August 14 are out of luck. Earlier this week, the Southern District of New York denied a nationwide preliminary injunction sought by the state of New York to delay implementation of the new regulations (State of New York, et al. v. United States Department of Education, et al.).

And, just days later, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) defeated another preliminary injunction motion filed by 17 states and the District of Columbia in federal court in Washington, D.C. (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, et al. v. Elisabeth DeVos, et al.). A third preliminary injunction motion is pending in the District of Massachusetts — however, earlier this month, the court there denied a motion to expedite a hearing, stating that “a prompt September hearing is fully appropriate.”

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Pennsylvania to Establish Small Business Loan Program for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

On March 25, 2020, Governor Tom Wolf announced a $60 million COVID-19 Working Capital Access Program (CWCA), administered by the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA), to provide loans of up to $100,000 for small businesses within the Commonwealth adversely impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic.

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“Hair Love” Coming to a Jurisdiction Near You

With the Oscar win for best animated short film, Hair Love shone a spotlight on California’s CROWN Act (Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair), which prohibits discrimination based on natural hairstyles and textures. Bills addressing hairstyle discrimination are now pending in 21 statehouses around the country, with several municipalities considering their own legislation. With companion bills already pending in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, a version of the CROWN Act is likely to become law in a jurisdiction near you soon.

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New Amendment to the PA Background Check Requirements for Employees Who Have Contact with Children

Effective December 31, 2019, Pennsylvania amended section 6344(m) of the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL), which pertains to background checks for employees who have contact with children. Specifically, the amendment prohibits employers, administrators, supervisors or other persons responsible for employment decisions from employing applicants on a provisional basis absent a waiver from the department. Child day-care centers, group day-care homes or family child-care homes may apply for a one-time extension not to exceed 45 days only if the following conditions are met.

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Illinois Amends Recreational Marijuana Statute to Clarify Employers’ Rights

On December 4, 2019, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law amendments to the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (Illinois Cannabis Act) that clarify employer rights to enforce reasonable workplace drug policies once recreational marijuana use becomes legal in Illinois on January 1, 2020.  As originally drafted, the Illinois Cannabis Act created confusion for employers as to whether they could lawfully test and/or discriminate against applicants who tested positive for cannabis, based on pre-employment and off-duty use of the drug.

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No More “No Rehire” Clauses in California Settlement Agreements

In most jurisdictions, it is standard practice to include a “no-rehire” clause when negotiating a settlement agreement in an employment dispute.  “No-rehire” clauses bar the departing employee from seeking future employment with the employer or one of the employer’s related entities.  If the former employee applies for a job with the employer or a related entity, the “no-rehire” clause allows the employer to reject the former employee’s application or require the former employee to withdraw the application for employment.  In some instances, if the former employee is hired inadvertently, the “no-rehire” clause provides the employer a legitimate nondiscriminatory basis to rescind the offer.  Although the use of “no-rehire” clauses is a common practice, California recently prohibited the practice and joined Vermont, which banned “no-rehire” provisions in 2018.

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