U.S. Census Bureau Down for the Count after Certification Ruling in Criminal Background Check Case

Last Tuesday, a Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York granted partial class certification in a case where plaintiffs allege that the United States Census Bureau used arrest records to screen out job applicants, thereby transferring  disparities in arrest and conviction rates for African-Americans and Latinos into the agency’s hiring practices and setting up hurdles to employment that disproportionately affected these groups in violation of Title VII. Read More

Bon Voyage! Dodd Frank Whistleblower Claim Shipped to Arbitration

In Murray v. UBS Securities, LLC, Judge Failla in the Southern District of New York compelled arbitration of a Dodd-Frank whistleblower retaliation claim, holding that nothing in the anti-retaliation provision, 15 U.S.C. 78u-6(h), precludes the arbitration of these claims. Read More

New York City Passes Bill Treating the Unemployed as a Protected Class

New York City has amended its Administrative Code to create a new protected class of workers. Beginning in June 2013, the New York City Administrative Code will prohibit discrimination based on an individual’s unemployment status. Read More

Governor Cuomo Signs Amendment to New York Wage Deduction Law

On September 7, 2012, Governor Cuomo signed a law that will relax some of the stringent prohibitions against wage deductions under New York Law.  Beginning on November 6, 2012, the law will now permit employers, with voluntary employee consent, to take wage deductions for certain employee benefits such as health club membership dues and cafeteria purchases. (See Amendment to New York’s Labor Law Expands the Universe of Permissible Wage Deductions)  Significantly, Section 193 of the New York Labor Law will now allow employers to take wage deductions to recoup overpayments of wages due to mathematical or clerical errors.  However, the New York Department of Labor is expected to issue regulations on how these overpayments will be allowed to be deducted.  The amendment also imposes heightened requirements on the type of notice and authorizations that employers must obtain from their employees before taking any of the newly authorized deductions, and employers will be expected to keep those authorizations for their employees’ entire career and for six years after the end of employment.  Even with these hurdles, employers will welcome this reprieve from New York’s restrictive wage deduction laws.  Click here to read the full alert.

The Affordable Care Act and Lactation Breaks

As the nation awaits the Supreme Court’s opinion on the constitutionality of its individual health insurance mandate, some lesser-known provisions of the “Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act” (a.k.a. “Obamacare”) have received short shrift.  For instance, the Affordable Care Act also amended the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and requires employers to provide nursing employees with “a reasonable amount of break time to express milk as frequently as needed” for up to one year after a child’s birth.  The law also requires all employers subject to FLSA to provide employees with a private place to express milk that is not a bathroom.

While at first blush, this law sounds rather broad, it contains several limitations: Read More