April 25, 2024

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.


New York State Freelance Isn't Free Act

Vetoed in 2022, subsequently signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul last year, and rolled out with a delay, New York State's Freelance Isn't Free Act (FIFA) finally goes into effect on August 28, 2024. The legislation is intended to expand protections for freelancers and independent contractors and imposes new requirements on employers that engage them. Given the breadth of the law and the frequency with which employers work with freelancers, the implications for compliance are significant.

California Supreme Court Clarifies What Qualifies as Hours Worked

Is an employee compensable for time spent on waiting and exit searches as "hours worked," even after clocking out? Per the California Supreme Court, it depends on the level of the employer's control over its employees. Specifically, when evaluating employer-controlled conduct, several factors are relevant, including the location of the activity, the degree of the employer's control, whether the activity benefits primarily the employee or the employer, and whether the activity is enforced through disciplinary measures.

EEOC Finalizes Expansive Accommodation Requirements under the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) took effect on June 27, 2023 and requires that employers with 15 or more employees provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees and applicants with known limitations stemming from, affected by, or arising out of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, unless the employer can demonstrate that providing the accommodation would cause an undue hardship. On April 19, 2024, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued its final rule and regulations implementing the PWFA. The EEOC's final rule and accompanying interpretative guidance are sweeping and provide employers with insights into key PWFA compliance issues, such as who is covered, the types of limitations and conditions covered, and how individuals can request reasonable accommodations. Specifically, employers should be aware of the following elements of the final regulations.

Education Roundup – Title IX and Tax-Exempt Status: Fourth Circuit Holds That 501(c)(3) Status Is Not Federal Financial Assistance

In 2022, and as previously discussed here, two separate federal district courts each held that an independent school's status as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization is considered a school's receipt of federal financial assistance. Both decisions were departures from prior precedent and legal interpretation. If upheld, independent schools that did not otherwise receive federal financial assistance would be required to comply with additional federal laws, including and among others, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX).

Attorney Spotlight

Belinda VegaBelinda Vega: I focus upon litigating discrimination and wage and hour cases. I have represented clients in cases regarding employee allegations of harassment, wrongful discharge, and discrimination based on age, race, gender, national origin, physical handicap, and related matters. I have also conducted independent investigations into allegations of employee misconduct on behalf of companies, boards, and special committees. My industry experience is broad, as I have represented companies in the hospitality, food and beverage, agriculture, education, finance, and entertainment sectors. I am also a frequent speaker and author in the realm of diversity and inclusion. What clients should know is that most disputes can and should be resolved in an efficient and practical manner. That said, it is important and key for business success to send the message that your company is prepared to take a case to trial if the opposing party is being unreasonable in its expectations for a resolution of a matter.

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.

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