Seyfarth Shaw LLP

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By Nila Merola and Cameron A. Smith Seyfarth Synopsis: Both houses of the New York State Legislature passed the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression and adds offenses motivated by gender identity or expression to the hate crimes statute. On January 15, 2019, both the New York State Senate and Assembly passed the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (“GENDA” or the “Act”). Governor Cuomo is expected to…
By Daniel B. Klein and Christopher W. Kelleher Seyfarth Synopsis: While we await the proposed regulations due by March 31, 2019, the new Department of Family and Medical Leave has provided several points of clarification of which employers should be aware, as we gear up for implementation of the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) Law. As we previously reported, last summer, the Massachusetts Legislature passed the “Grand Bargain” bill, which will gradually…
By Andrew H. PerellisPatrick D. Joyce, and Craig B. Simonsen Seyfarth Synopsis: In another business-friendly move, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently updated its Justice Manual to clarify that it “should not treat a party’s noncompliance with a guidance document as itself a violation of applicable statutes or regulations [or to] establish a violation by reference to statutes and regulations.” We had blogged in early 2018 regarding Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand’s…
By Rhandi Childress Anderson and Erin Dougherty Foley Seyfarth Synopsis: Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals clarifies that employers have discretion to provide a reasonable accommodation as identified through the interactive process. Once an employee abandons the interactive process, the employer has no duty to accommodate. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the purpose of the interactive process is to “identify the precise limitations resulting from the disability and potential reasonable accommodations that could overcome…
By Samantha L. Brooks and Karla Grossenbacher Seyfarth Synopsis: Employees’ use of their personal social media accounts in ways that could impact an employer’s business present challenges to employers. In this case, a Maryland state government employee claimed that she was retaliated against for a Facebook post where she referred to a Maryland gubernatorial candidate as an “a**clown.” In granting a preliminary injunction and reinstating an employee’s job duties, the U.S. District Court for the…
By Robert T. Szyba, Gena B. Usenheimer, and Ryan B. Schneider Seyfarth Synopsis: On December 3, 2018, the New Jersey Senate Labor Committee unanimously advanced a bill that would require covered hotels to provide “panic devices” to certain employees. New Jersey joins the increasing number of jurisdictions considering or enacting this form of anti-sexual harassment legislation. Background In September, two state New Jersey state senators introduced S2896 in an effort to protect “hotel employees…
Kevin A. Fritz and Minh Vu Seyfarth Synopsis: The Court of Appeals for the First Circuit says that an agreement to arbitrate presented visually to blind plaintiffs on a POS device and never read to the plaintiffs is not binding. Season’s greetings! As the holiday season ramps up, retailers’ point-of-sale (“POS”) devices will again go into overdrive facilitating the holiday check out process and enrolling new loyalty program members. Retailers with POS devices that are…
By Danielle M. Kays and Erin Dougherty Foley Seyfarth Synopsis: For the first time since the enactment in 2008 of the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), which broadened the definition of a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Ninth Circuit addressed, and expanded, the definition of an individual who is “regarded-as” disabled under the act. The court held that a plaintiff establishes he is “regarded-as” disabled if he shows “an actual or perceived…
By Adam R. Young and Craig B. Simonsen Seyfarth Synopsis: New state and federal laws and rules require employers to have compliant phones systems for 911 direct dialing and E-911. Most large employers maintain multiline phone systems at their workplaces.  Along with emergency action plans and evacuation procedures, employers must take affirmative steps to ensure that employee phones provide adequate safety protections in the event of an emergency.  Some jurisdictions impose numerous regulations on those…
By Renate Walker and Erin Dougherty Foley Seyfarth Synopsis: Plaintiffs often have difficulty producing evidence of comparators when attempting to prove unlawful discrimination because records contained in personnel files are confidential, but any attempts to gather such evidence must be lawful. An employee’s unauthorized review and disclosure of confidential personnel files, in violation of state law, was recently ruled not to be protected activity under Title VII. The Fourth Circuit recently held that Title VII…