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Supreme Court Rules that Arbitration Provisions in Employment Contracts Requiring Individual Actions are Enforceable Under Federal Law

In its landmark decision, Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis,[1] the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that employers can enforce a provision in their employment contracts requiring that employees arbitrate their disputes with the employer individually, rather than collectively through a joint legal proceeding. In its decision, the Court addressed a supposed conflict between the Federal Arbitration Act, passed in 1925, and the National Labor Relations Act, which passed a decade later. The Federal Arbitration Act provides that an agreement to arbitrate a dispute “shall be valid irrevocable, and enforceable.” The NLRA gave employees the right to work together for “mutual aid... Read More

Second Circuit Holds that There Can Be No “Double Recovery” of Liquidated Damages Under Federal and New York Wage and Hour Laws.

In its April 6, 2018 decision in Rana v. Islam,[1] the Second Circuit resolved a long standing split among the District Courts of New York on the question of “double recovery” of liquidated damages under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA,” 29 U.S.C. §201, et seq.) and New York Labor Law (sometimes referred to in Rana as “NYLL”). Under both federal and state wage and hour laws, in addition to the full amount of any underpayment of wages to which the employee is otherwise entitled, liquidated damages are available in an amount up to 100% of the unpaid wages.[2]... Read More

NYC Amends Earned Safe and Sick Time Act

Effective May 5, 2018, eligible employees under New York City’s now renamed Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (New York City Administrative Code Title 20, Chapter 8)are able to use their accrued paid time off in connection with family offense matters, sexual offenses, stalking, or human trafficking. Eligible employees are now entitled to defined “safe days” not included in the definition of “sick days.” The circumstances covered by this amendment include the following “safe time” absences, enumerated in §20-914(b)(1): “(a) to obtain services from a domestic violence shelter, rape crisis center, or other shelter or services program for relief from... Read More

New York City Passes the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act

On May 9, 2018, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act. This law implements numerous changes to the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) with respect to claims of sexual harassment. Among these changes, the NYCHRL will now permit gender-based harassment claims by all employees, regardless of the size of the employer. The law also increases the statute of limitations to bring a gender-based claim from one year to three. Effective July 8, 2018, New York City contractors will be required to report their policies related to preventing and addressing sexual harassment. Effective September... Read More