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HR Update: March19th, 2024

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  • HR Update: March19th, 2024

New Jersey Enacts “Bill of Rights” for Domestic Workers

The New Jersey Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights (S723/A822), one of three laws signed in early January relating to protecting immigrants and part of the Murphy administration’s larger effort to build a more inclusive state for all citizens, will take effect in July 2024. The most significant change this legislation makes for employers is to cover domestic workers for the first time under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) and New Jersey Wage and Hour Law (NJWHL). Learn More

Strike Two… Eleventh Circuit Upholds Injunction Against Florida “Stop-WOKE” Law; Confirms the Law Violates First Amendment

In 2021 Florida passed a unique law known as the Individual Freedom Act (IFA), or “Stop-WOKE” law (the state’s acronym for “Stop Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees”). The IFA contains two parts, one directed to educational institutions, and one directed at employers. Both attempt to restrict discussion of certain concepts. The employer component of IFA prohibits companies from mandating that employees attend meetings or training that support messages that members of one race or sex are morally superior to others, are inherently racist or sexist, or cause “guilt, anguish, or other forms of psychological distress because of actions, in which the individual played no part, committed in the past by other members of the same race, color, sex, or national origin.” Learn More

Probing in Procurement – Recent Decisions May Prompt Review of Supplier Diversity Programs

A Texas federal district court judge has decided that the Minority Business Development Agency’s (MBDA) policies that provide financial assistance to minority-owned businesses are unconstitutional. While the court’s decision does not apply to private businesses that may encourage supplier diversity as part of a holistic inclusion, equity and diversity (IE&D) program, companies should be aware of this development as IE&D programs evolve in the wake of the Supreme Court’s holding in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College, 600 U.S. 181 (2023). Learn More

Receipt of Perks Does Not Undermine “Volunteer” Status Under FLSA

Taking a “commonsense” approach, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that volunteers’ mere receipt of certain “perks” does not convert them to employees under the FLSA. In Adams v. Palm Beach County (11th Cir. Mar. 12, 2024), volunteer attendants at a public golf course were allowed to play golf at substantially discounted rates. The attendants alleged that their receipt of the golf discount benefit constituted a form of “compensation” that undermined their “volunteer” status under the FLSA and Florida law, rendering them eligible for minimum wage. The Eleventh Circuit disagreed. Learn More

Federal Court Vacates NLRB Joint Employer Rule, Restores 2020 “Substantial Direct and Immediate Control” Standard

On March 8, 2024, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas struck down regulations promulgated by the National Labor Relations Board defining joint employment under the National Labor Relations Act. For now, joint-employer status will continue to be determined under the regulations adopted by the Board in 2020 (the “2020 Rule”). The 2020 Rule provides that an employer will be considered a joint employer under the NLRA only when it exercises “substantial direct and immediate control” over the essential terms and conditions of another company’s employees. Learn More

County of Los Angeles Enacts a Sweeping Fair Chance Ordinance for the Unincorporated Areas of the County that Far Exceeds Federal and California Law

In 2016, the City of Los Angeles enacted a detailed fair chance hiring ordinance. A comprehensive statewide law followed in 2017. Soon, employers with jobs located in the unincorporated areas of the County of Los Angeles must navigate yet another layer of burdensome regulations based on the County’s new fair chance hiring ordinance. The ordinance, which imposes obligations well beyond existing federal and state law, and which extends to contractor and freelance workers, will take effect on September 3, 2024. It adds to the many and considerable headaches employers already have regarding criminal background checks in California. Learn More

 

A Rocky Mountain Remix for Protected Concerted Activity: Colorado Adopts Rules for the Protections of Public Workers Act, Creating NLRA Section 7-Like Rights and Remedies

On February 26, 2024, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, Division of Labor Standards and Statistics (the “Division”) adopted final rules for the Protections for Public Workers Act (PROPWA). PROPWA grants rights similar to Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to certain public employees in Colorado. PROPWA also goes beyond traditional rights protected under the NLRA to cover certain public employees participating in the political process while off duty and not in uniform. Pursuant to PROPWA, the Division’s final rules clarify protected activity, reserve certain public employer rights, and establish enforcement mechanisms. The rules become effective July 1, 2024. Learn More

 

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