Following the lead of New York City and other states like California and Washington, New York State recently passed a law requiring employers with four or more employees to publish the minimum and maximum pay range for any advertised position. Effective on September 17, 2023, the amendment to the state's labor law advances the goal of pay equity by providing applicants and current employees with greater information about the salary ranges of similarly situated colleagues. As Gov. Kathy Hochul said when signing the bill, "This historic measure will usher in a new era of fairness and transparency for New York's workforce and will be a critical tool in our efforts to end pervasive pay gaps for women and people of color."
Federal and state governments will spend tens of billions of dollars on major construction projects over the next decade, as part of a nationwide initiative to repair aging and ailing public infrastructure. Construction industry workers are on the front lines of these projects, and may have workplace safety concerns, or may have spotted instances of fraud, waste, or abuse. State and federal laws protect whistleblowers in the construction industry who raise these concerns, and some laws provide rewards for workers who report fraud on these major public projects.
It is a scene we have all watched in movies and television: an unwanted kiss, uncomfortable advances, a forceful grope or, often, something much worse. Today’s social climate recognizes that these frequent workplace behaviors are inappropriate, unacceptable, and illegal. But for years, this type of conduct was excused and ignored, implicitly condoned, as “boys being boys” and “that’s just how it was back then.”
Fortunately, New Yorkers benefit from some of the most progressive laws combatting the sexual assault of employees. The New York Adult Survivors Act is one such example.
The federal False Claims Act not only protects whistleblowers who file lawsuits alleging fraud against the government, but also protects whistleblowers who take other steps to try to stop False Claims Act violations.
On Thursday, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a proposed rule that could dramatically improve the ability of workers across the United States to move freely between jobs and negotiate higher pay, by proposing a rule to prohibit employers from entering into non-compete agreements with their workers.
While #MeToo has shone a light on the important topic of sexual harassment in the workplace, one issue that appears to remain in the shadows is sexual harassment perpetrated against LGBTQ+ individuals. #MeToo has been groundbreaking in amplifying the voices of victims of sexual harassment and assault that have long been silenced. However, the experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals, who have been shown to be disproportionately affected by sexual violence, are often excluded from the narrative.
Whether it happens to a child on a playground or an adult in the workplace, bullying is always harmful, always wrong, and never acceptable. Taunts, teasing, threats, or intimidation are all examples of abusive behavior that can constitute bullying. Sadly, more and more American workers are subjected to workplace bullying by superiors, colleagues, and others. A 2021 survey by the Workplace Bullying Institute found that 30% of American adults reported being bullied at work (including remote work), while an additional 19% observed bullying in their workplace. That translates into 76.3 million American workers directly impacted by workplace bullying.
None of us are defined by a single trait or characteristic, and many individuals share more than one class of traits that may make them targets of legally prohibited discrimination or harassment. Indeed, as the #MeToo Movement has reminded us, perpetrators of sexual harassment may be more likely to target individuals with multiple protected traits, including people with disabilities and people of color, for abuse.
Judges are increasingly recognizing these forms of “intersectional” discrimination and harassment in cases involving plaintiffs whose claims are based on their membership in more than one protected class.
On November 16, 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Speak Out Act, which seeks to nullify some nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) in sexual harassment and assault disputes. The Senate previously passed the bill on September 29, 2022, and President Biden indicated he would sign the measure once it reached his desk.
Given ageism's impact and prevalence, the International Bar Association (IBA) assembled a panel of international experts – including Outten & Golden's Wendi Lazar – to address the topic at its annual meeting in Miami on November 1, 2022.