May 03, 2022

Labor and Employment Newsletter

4 min

We Want to Hear from You

What legal issues are keeping you up at night?

We are continuing to monitor key trends and significant updates that affect employers across a wide variety of industries. We want to make sure we touch upon issues that are of concern to you. We invite you to take a moment and let us know what you would like to hear more about in this newsletter. Click below to email our team of attorneys.

Updates

The Future of PAGA Claims in California

PAGA litigation has burdened California employers for almost two decades. Since PAGA's passage into law, the number of filed PAGA actions has continued to increase. The flooding of the dockets with such cases is largely due to court decisions over the years that have expanded PAGA's reach and allowed California employees to fairly easily bring claims for civil penalties for California Labor Code violations on behalf of themselves and other workers. However, there may be light at the end of the tunnel for California employers in 2022, as we wait for the U.S. Supreme Court to decide the case of Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana, which involves the issue of whether arbitration agreement waivers of employees' rights to pursue a PAGA representative action are enforceable. This article sets forth a brief history of PAGA's passage into law, the current legal landscape of PAGA, and what the future of PAGA may look like.

The NYC Wage Transparency Law Becomes a Bit More Transparent: Amendment and Guidance Clarify Requirements, but Coverage Questions Remain

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and staffing levels remain in flux, many employers are filling open positions with new talent, predictably using advertisements to do so. Several months ago, the New York City Council seized on this period of increased mobility, passing a bill to compel covered employers to provide compensation information in their advertisements for job openings. Ambiguities abounded. A new amendment enacted this month—coupled with guidance from the New York City Commission on Human Rights—aim to provide clarity, but some uncertainty persists, especially for positions involving remote work. Read on for what the amended law requires, and how it may have a wide-reaching impact on employers and roles that operate largely outside City limits.

New Litigation for Employers on the Horizon: New York Passes the Adult Survivors Act

On May 24, 2022, New York's governor signed the Adult Survivors Act, S.66A (the ASA) into law. The ASA will revive sexual abuse claims that have expired under the applicable statute of limitations period. Specifically, the ASA amends New York's Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR) to provide a one-year "look back window" to allow adults who were 18 years old or older when certain sexual offenses were committed against them to commence civil claims that would otherwise be time-barred. The one-year window to commence lawsuits under the ASA will begin six months after the law's passage, in late November 2022.

Education Roundup: Best Practices for Drafting Your IHE's Severance Agreements

Severance agreements outline the rights and responsibilities of both the employer and employee at the point that an employee separates from their job. These contracts summarize the benefits the employee will receive upon separation (e.g., severance payments, continued insurance coverage, vesting of stock options, etc.) and set forth the promises the employee must give to be eligible for those benefits. Additionally, they provide a detailed explanation of the other ongoing, post-separation responsibilities that each party owes to the other.

Attorney Spotlight

Nick ReiterNick Reiter: Almost eleven years ago, I joined Venable’s Labor and Employment Group following a two-year clerkship with the Honorable David N. Hurd in the Northern District of New York. Back then, I chose a career in labor and employment for one reason – labor and employment lawyers get to go to court. Our cases are often contentious, and emotions usually run high for both sides. Now, though, I know that being a labor and employment attorney is not just about being a litigator. I wear a lot of different hats in my job, whether I am advising clients on how to stay out of court, litigating a case, or negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement, among other roles. There are plenty of rewarding moments, but few are better than when a client breathes that sigh of relief after successfully navigating a thorny workplace dispute. There is no typical day for a labor and employment lawyer, and that is what makes this practice great.

About the Labor and Employment Group

The bicoastal, 40-person Labor and Employment team at Venable provides guidance and support across the full spectrum of workplace dynamics – helping employers control costs, avoid disputes, and defend themselves when litigation arises. As co-editors of this newsletter, Michael Volpe and Doreen Martin invite you to share the content with your colleagues and reach out with any questions.

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