Welcome back to another Top 10 in Law Blogs! Alkida Kacani discusses California Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposal for the most generous parental leave in the country, possibly setting a precedent in the U.S. Steve Dickinson wrote about bills introduced by a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers and how they could deal a crippling blow to Huawei and other Chinese telecommunication companies. In the continuing saga of the government shutdown, now in its fourth week, Hannah Vanderlaan reflects on the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to increase the number of employees that must continue working without pay. Happy Reading!

Germany Rings in 2019 by Adopting Intersex Gender StatusBy Erika C. Collins, Daniel Ornstein, and Jordan Glassberg: As of January 1, 2019, intersex Germans, meaning Germans with sex characteristics not fitting neatly within the standard understanding of males and females, will be able to register their gender as “divers,” which translates to “miscellaneous.” This new gender classification will be included on such documents as birth certificates, passports, and driver’s licenses. Since 2013, Germany has permitted…View Full Post

EPA Updates Its Contingency Plan to Increase Number of Employees Required To Working During Government Shutdown–By Hannah Vanderlaan: The longest federal government shutdown in U.S. history continues to affect around 800,000 federal workers and major agencies, including the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”). Despite the shutdown, however, many EPA employees are being called into work without pay. On January 14, 2019, EPA updated its contingency plan for shut down to increase the…View Full Post

Sunlight on the Submissions: Why the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel Should Reverse Its Secretive Approach–By Michael Geist: The Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review panel’s surprising decision to keep the 2,200 public submissions secret for months has had immediate repercussions. Some organizations are refusing to disclose their submissions until the panel does and others have noted the missed opportunity for public discussion of a vitally important issue. To date, about 30 submissions have…View Full Post

BREAKING NEWS: U.S. Legislation Against Huawei/ZTE That Will Rock the World–By Steve Dickinson: In an earlier set of posts, I discussed U.S. laws and regulations to a) restrict technology transfers from US companies to Chinese companies (see New Restrictions on High Tech Technology Transfers to China and b) to prevent Chinese companies from investing in U.S. technology companies. See New CFIUS Rules Shut Down Chinese Investment in U.S. Technology. In…View Full Post

Bipartisan Legislation Proposed to Promote Student Loan Repayment Retirement Benefits–By Jeffrey Holdvogt: In late December, US Senator Ron Wyden introduced the Retirement Parity for Student Loans Act (Student Loan Act), which would allow employers to make matching contributions under 401(k), 403(b) and SIMPLE plans with respect to student loan repayments made by employees. If enacted, this legislation would provide powerful new guidance for employers looking to offer…View Full Post

Mayor de Blasio Proposes Mandatory Paid Personal Time Law–By Susan Gross Sholinsky, Nancy Gunzenhauser Popper and Corben J. Green: On January 9, 2019, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his plan to make New York City the first city in the country to mandate that private sector employers provide paid personal time (“PPT”) for their employees. Under the proposal, employers with five or more employees would be required to grant their employees 10 days of…View Full Post

SCOTUS Puts the Brakes on Arbitration: Contract Drivers Engaged in Interstate Commerce Can Litigate in CourtBy Ariel Fenster, Ryan McCoy, Steve Shardonofsky: Arbitration of employment claims continues to be a hot topic at the Supreme Court.  In a unanimous 8-0 decision yesterday (Justice Kavanaugh recused), the Supreme Court ruled in New Prime Inc. v. Oliveira that non-employee drivers engaged by a transportation company cannot be forced to arbitrate their…View Full Post

Federal Appellate Courts Ring In the New Year by Taking Up Website and Mobile Application Accessibility–By Shira M. Blank and Joshua A. Stein As expected given the extreme volume of website accessibility lawsuits filed over the last few years, in the first few weeks of the new year, United States’ Circuit courts have finally begun to weigh in on the law as it pertains to the accessibility of websites and mobile applications, and the results are generally disappointing...View Full Post

The Employment Law Landscape in 2019By Evandro Gigante, Arielle E. Kobetz and Tony S. Martinez: States across the country have passed new laws addressing sexual harassment, paid family leave, and other labor and employment law issues. As many of these laws will soon become effective, employers should be prepared for the following changes in the legal landscape. Sexual Harassment Laws New York City’s Stop Sexual Harassment Act, effective April 1…View Full Post

California’s Governor Proposes the Most Generous Parental Leave in the Country–By Alkida Kacani: On January 10, 2019, newly elected California Governor Gavin Newsom proposed funding six months of partial-paid leave for new parents. The plan, which was announced as part of the governor’s budget, would compensate new parents or caretakers up to 70 percent of their wages to care and bond with a newborn or adopted baby. Newsom…View Full Post