State & Local Employment Law Developments: Q3 2020

State and local governments are increasingly regulating the workplace. Although it is not possible to discuss all state and local laws, this update provides an overview of recent and upcoming legislative developments to help you and your organization stay in compliance. (Please note that developments specifically related to COVID-19 are not included.) This quarter, state and local legislatures were particularly active in passing laws addressing employee classification, sexual harassment training, lactation accommodation, criminal background inquiries and a variety of unpaid and paid leaves.

For the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.

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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State & Local Employment Law Developments: Q1/Q2 2020

State and local governments are increasingly regulating the workplace. In the first and second quarters of 2020 alone, legislatures were particularly active in passing laws addressing sexual harassment training, discrimination including hair discrimination, criminal background inquiries, salary history, and a variety of unpaid and paid leaves. Although it is not possible to discuss all state and local laws, this update provides an overview of recent and upcoming legislative developments to help you and your organization stay in compliance. (Please note that developments specifically related to COVID-19 are not included in this update.)

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Minnesota Supreme Court: Standard for Workplace Sexual Harassment Should Reflect Today’s ‘Societal Attitudes’

On Wednesday, June 3, the Minnesota Supreme Court upheld the “severe or pervasive” standard used in workplace sexual harassment cases. But in doing so, it held that lower courts interpreting the standard must consider today’s definition of appropriate workplace conduct.

For the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.

Employee Handbooks – Part 1: Anti-Harassment Policies and Training in the #MeToo Era

Late last month, we previewed our upcoming series of blog posts discussing Employee Handbooks – What’s New and Why Does it Matter? If you happened to read that post, then you know we introduced the topics for parts one through six of our handbook series. We will now embark on part one of our journey to the land of employee handbooks. This journey will have several other stops along the way, but for now our topic is anti-harassment policies and training in the #MeToo era.

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Anti-Harassment Training Update for New York Employers: Are You Compliant?

In April, New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed a sweeping budget bill, which included several major amendments to the New York Human Rights Law (NYHRL). One of the most significant aspects of the bill was the mandate that New York employers adopt robust sexual harassment policies as well as provide mandatory anti-sexual harassment training to all employees, not just managers. Specifically, the law requires employers with four (4) or more employees to adopt sexual harassment policies and training consistent with a model policy and model training prepared jointly by the Commissioner of Labor and the New York State Human Rights Division.

That law became effective on October 9, 2018, and New York state has finally released the model materials, an online “Toolkit for Employers”, including a model sexual harassment policy, a model complaint form, and a model interactive training program. All of the state’s model materials are accessible to employers via a website set up by the government.

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