Category Archives: Sex/Gender Discrimination

NEW LAW: DC To Require Sexual Harassment Training for Tipped Employees

Attention DC Employers, on October 23, 2018, the District of Columbia Mayor signed the “Tipped Wage Workers Fairness Amendment Act of 2018.”  While this law repealed Initiative 77 (discussed in NEW LAW – Washington DC Elimination of Tip Credit Repealed) and imposed new posting requirements on all DC employers (discussed in COMING SOON: New Posting Requirements for All DC Employers), the new law also imposes the following new requirements on employers of tipped employees:

Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training For Tipped Employees

Employers will be required to provide sexual harassment training to their tipped employees and managers.  This training must be either through a course developed by the Office of Human Rights (OHR) or from an OHR-certified provider. Continue reading NEW LAW: DC To Require Sexual Harassment Training for Tipped Employees

NEW GUIDANCE: New York Publishes Sexual Harassment Materials In Several Languages

As all New York employers are aware, earlier this year, New York enacted an expansive set of laws relating to sexual harassment, which went into effect earlier this month.

Earlier this month, the New York State Department of Labor released English versions of a Model Sexual Harassment Policy, Model Complaint Form, Training Requirements, and FAQs, which are available here.

On October 17, 2018, the New York State Department of Labor released translated versions of these documents in the following languages: Chinese, Haitian-Creole, Korean, Italian, Polish, Russian, and Spanish, which are available here.

One of the requirements under these new laws is the requirement that employers provide sexual harassment training materials and policies to their employees in the employee’s primary language.   If the New York State Department of Labor has not translated a document into the language spoken by an employee, an employer is considered in compliance by providing the employee English language documents.

NEW POSTER: Illinois Requires Anti-Harassment Poster

Attention Illinois employers … starting September 18, 2018, state employers, employers with federal contracts, and employers with 15 or more employees are required to  display the Illinois Department of Human Rights’ Sexual Harassment and Discrimination in the Workplace posting in a prominent location in the workplace.

It is recommended that all affected Illinois employers verify that they have complied with this new posting requirement.

NEW LAW: California Expands Existing Lactation Accommodation Law

California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed Assembly Bill 1976 into law.  This new law amends California’s existing lactation accommodation law and places new responsibilities on employers.

Under the old lactation accommodation law (California Labor Code 1030, et. seq.), an employer was merely required to do the following to accommodate the nursing mother:

  • provide a reasonable amount of break time, which should, if possible, run concurrently with any break time already provided to the employee; and
  • make reasonable efforts to provide the employee with the use of a room or other location, other than a toilet stall, in close proximity to the employee’s work area, for the employee to express milk in private.

Under the new law, which goes into effect on January 1, 2019, the employer’s obligations are greatly expanded.  The first change is that the law makes it clear that the employer must provide the employee with the use of a room or other location, other than a bathroom, that is close to the employee’s working space to privately express milk.

The law also permits an employer to makes a temporary lactation location available to an employee, provided that all of the following conditions are met:

  • The employer is unable to provide a permanent lactation location because of operational, financial, or space limitations.
  • The temporary lactation location is private and free from intrusion while an employee expresses milk.
  • The temporary lactation location is used only for lactation purposes while an employee expresses milk.
  • The temporary lactation location otherwise meets the requirements of state law concerning lactation accommodation.

The new law also addresses how agricultural employers can meet the new requirements.  Specifically, the law states that an agricultural employer shall be considered to be in compliance with this law if the agricultural employer provides an employee wanting to express milk with a private, enclosed, and shaded space, including, but not limited to, an air-conditioned cab of a truck or tractor.

It is recommended that all California employers review their policies and procedures with respect to accommodating nursing mothers to verify that they will be in compliance with the new law come January 1, 2019.

NEW LAW: Maine’s New Sexual Harassment Training Requirements

Under the Maine Human Rights Act, Maine employers with 15 or more employees are required to provide sexual harassment training as follows:

  • All new employees – within one year of the hire date and
  • All new or newly promoted supervisory employees — within 1 year of being hired or promoted into a supervisory or managerial position (this is additional training).

This training requirement has been in place for a number of years; however, in response to the #metoo movement, the Maine Human Rights Act was recently amended to add a new requirement for the Maine sexual harassment training.  Maine employers must now use a checklist prepared by the Maine Department of Labor (MDOL) to develop their sexual harassment training programs.

This checklist reminds employers that the new employee sexual harassment education and training program must be given within one year of commencement of employment and must include the following elements: Continue reading NEW LAW: Maine’s New Sexual Harassment Training Requirements

ATTENTION NYC EMPLOYERS: Did You Comply With The New Sexual Harassment Notice Requirements?

The new New York City sexual harassment law (Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act — Local Law 95 of 2018 and  Local Law 96 of 2018) requires all New York City employers distribute the New York City Commission on Human Rights’ mandatory fact sheet on the “Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act” to all new employees starting September 6, 2018.

In addition, starting September 6, 2018, all New York City employers are required to post information in the workplace regarding the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act.  The required poster is available in both English and Spanish  and must be published in other languages.

Finally, while not required, we strongly recommend that all  all New York City employers distribute the New York City Commission on Human Rights’ mandatory fact sheet on the “Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act” to all existing employees.

NEW LAW: Sexual Harassment Training Now Required For Delaware Employees

On August 29, 2018, Delaware Governor John Carney signed House Bill 360 into law.  This new law, which goes into effect on January 1, 2019, amends the Delaware Discrimination in Employment Act by prohibiting sexual harassment in the workplace and imposing new requirements regarding sexual harassment training on most Delaware employers.

The new law makes it clear that both sexual harassment and retaliation are prohibited in employment in Delaware.  Sexual harassment is defined as “conduct that includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.”  Such conduct is unlawful where:

  • submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an employee’s employment;
  • submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting an employee; or
  • such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an employee’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

Continue reading NEW LAW: Sexual Harassment Training Now Required For Delaware Employees

NEW FORMS: New Jersey Publishes Equal Pay Data Reporting Forms

Last month, New Jersey’s Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act went into effect. This law amended the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination by making it a prohibited employment practice for an employer to compensate an employee who is a member of a “protected class” less than the amount paid to employees who are not members of that protected class for “substantially similar work, when viewed as a composite of skill, effort, and responsibility.”

Among other things, the law also imposes pay reporting requirements on employers that contract with a public body to provide “public work” or other “qualifying services.”  To help affected employers comply with these reporting requirements, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development recently published the mandatory reporting forms (the Payroll Certification for Public Works Projects form and the Annual Equal Pay Report for Qualifying Services Other than Public Works Projects form) employers must use to comply with these new reporting requirements. Instructions for completing both forms were also published.

NEW GUIDANCE: DFEH Publishes Model Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing recently published a model Equal Opportunity Policy.

Under California law, employers are required to “take reasonable steps to prevent and promptly correct discriminatory and harassing conduct.”  A part of this obligation includes a requirement that employers develop a harassment, discrimination, and retaliation prevention policy that: Continue reading NEW GUIDANCE: DFEH Publishes Model Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

NEW LAW: Illinois Amends the Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act

On August 21, 2018, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 1595 into law.  This new law amends the Illinois Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act and expands the legal protections afforded to nursing mothers in Illinois.  The amendments to this law took immediate effect.

Under the existing law, Illinois employers with 6 or more employees are required to grant “reasonable unpaid break time” each day to an employee needing to express breast milk for her infant child.

The amended law makes the following changes to the existing law:

  • Employers are required to provide “reasonable break time” (instead of “unpaid break time”) each time an employee needs to express milk for one year following the child’s birth.
  • The “reasonable break time” may run concurrently with existing break time provided to employees (the original law provided that break time “must, if possible” run concurrently with other breaks).
  • Employers are prohibited from reducing an employee’s compensation for time spent for the purpose of expressing milk.
  • Employers must prove that an undue hardship exists in order to avoid providing the required breaks. “Undue hardship” is defined as an “action that is prohibitively expensive or disruptive” when considering its nature and cost, the overall financial resources of the facility, the overall financial resources of the employer, and the type of operation of the employer.

It is recommended that all Illinois employers review their lactation accommodation practices and ensure that they comply with the new law.