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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.
Mark Your Calendars: EEO-1 Reporting Season Is Almost Here!
Ready or not, reporting season is right around the corner. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced that the 2022 EEO-Component 1 data collection will open on Tuesday, October 31, 2023, and the deadline for employers to file is Tuesday, December 5, 2023. In completing the EEO-1, all covered private employers and federal contractors have a mandatory legal obligation to submit and certify their workforce demographic data. Failure to do so may result in the EEOC seeking court-ordered compliance or, for federal contractors, the termination of existing contracts or debarment.
New York's Employee Empowerment: Governor Hochul's Latest Bills
To celebrate Labor Day, Governor Kathy Hochul signed a series of bills on September 7 to strengthen protections for workers in New York. Below, we discuss these new developments.
Education Roundup – Are College Admissions Offices Minefields for Potential False Claims Act Liability Now?
By now, the Supreme Court's June 2023 Students for Fair Admissions decision overturning affirmative action precedent, which Venable wrote about here, here, and here has prompted institutions of higher education (IHEs) to review their admissions programs and recalibrate their decision-making processes for student applicants. Most IHEs are prudently revising (or have already revised) their policies and procedures to effectuate neutral admissions decisions in response to the Supreme Court's rebuke of race-conscious college admissions programs. But what happens if an IHE's administration receives a complaint that its admissions office might still be making some decisions based on an applicant's race? Or, what if there is merely the perception that the admissions office could still be considering race—for example, by maintaining the admissions office's access to demographic data in the school's system while admissions decisions are being made? Could it be enough to raise an inference of race-conscious decision-making if an admissions officer observes applicants' perceived race during pre-admission interviews?
Tip of the Month
Ben Stockman: The late, great Tupac Shakur once sang, "California knows how to party"—except when it comes to non-competes. On September 1, 2023, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 699, which expands California's statutory ban against non-competes to contracts "regardless of where and when the contract was signed." The bill goes into effect January 1, 2024, and imposes a civil violation on any employer that violates the law. For employers outside of California, this new expansion of the law raises a host of questions: Will the law apply retroactively to existing employment agreements that contain non-competes? Would this new law apply to an employee residing outside of California who wishes to work for a competitor based in California, even if the employee has no plans to relocate to California? Over time, the courts undoubtedly will answer these questions, but in the meantime employers must recalibrate their current restrictive covenant strategy to meet the demands of this new law.
About the Labor and Employment Group
The national, 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.