Saima Sheikh

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New York State Bans Race Discrimination Based on Hair Texture and Hairstyles

We previously reported that the NYC Commission on Human Rights issued legal enforcement guidance for employers regarding racial discrimination on the basis of hair under the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL). Although that guidance does not reflect a change in the NYCHRL, it makes clear that employers’ grooming and appearance policies may not … Continue Reading

Connecticut Passes Generous Paid Family and Medical Leave Law

Joining a steadily growing national trend, the Connecticut Legislature recently passed a generous paid family and medical leave bill, which will make Connecticut the seventh state — in addition to California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Washington, not to mention the District of Columbia — to offer paid family leave. Assuming the … Continue Reading

Connecticut to Raise Minimum Wage to $15 Per Hour

On May 28, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed Public Act No. 19-4, entitled “An Act Increasing the Minimum Fair Wage,” that will raise the Connecticut minimum wage to $15.00 per hour in 2023, which is more than double the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Under the new law, the current Connecticut minimum … Continue Reading

NYC Guidance For Discrimination Based on Hair and Hairstyles

Last week, the NYC Commission on Human Rights issued legal enforcement guidance on racial discrimination on the basis of hair under the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL). The guidance indicates that natural hair or hairstyles are closely associated with racial, ethnic or cultural identities, and it specifically addresses natural hair or hairstyles most … Continue Reading

New York State (Finally) Passes Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act

Last week, following 16 years of discussion and debate, the New York state legislature finally passed the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA). The act would amend the state New York Human Rights Law to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression in housing, employment and public accommodations. The act defines gender identity … Continue Reading

New York Attorney General’s Office Reaches Another Settlement Over Non-Competes

Last week, the Office of the New York Attorney General (NYAG’s Office) reached a settlement with WeWork, a New York City-based company that provides shared “co-work” spaces nationwide and internationally – and, notably, is one of the largest office tenants in New York City – regarding its use of non-compete restrictions with its employees. Recently, … Continue Reading

Lessons Learned From the EEOC’s First Parental Leave Lawsuit

In the U.S., many employers’ parental-leave programs prioritize birth mothers and offer limited benefits to fathers, adoptive parents, foster parents and LGBT parents. In 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued Enforcement Guidance for Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues, which includes parental leave policies. However, not all employers have followed this guidance. Consequently, just … Continue Reading

New York City Earned Safe and Sick Time Act Imposes Requirements That Must Be Implemented by June 4

As we previously discussed in our earlier blog post, an amendment to the New York City Earned Sick Time Act went into effect on May 5. That amended act, renamed the New York City Earned Safe and Sick Time Act, implements two major changes. First, the act expands the types of circumstances for which employers … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Lowers Causation Standard for Employees Alleging FMLA Violations

Last week, the Second Circuit joined the Third Circuit in lowering the causation standard in evaluating alleged Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) violations against employers. Under a lower “motivating factor” standard established in Cassandra Woods v. START Treatment & Recovery Centers, courts within the Second Circuit must consider whether the exercise of an employee’s … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Supreme Court Holds Employee Can Pursue State Law Disability Discrimination Claim for Failure to Accommodate Off-Duty Use of Medical Marijuana

On July 17, 2017, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court concluded that an employee could sue her employers for state law disability discrimination for failing to accommodate her use of medical marijuana after she failed to pass a drug test. In so holding, the court interpreted workplace protections not explicitly stated in Massachusetts’ medical marijuana law. … Continue Reading

Update Regarding New York’s Paid Family Leave Law (Effective Jan. 1, 2018)

As we reported previously New York recently joined several other states that offer paid family leave benefits for employees. Effective Jan. 1, 2018, the New York Paid Family Leave Law (PFLL) will provide eligible employees with eight full weeks of paid family leave, funded exclusively through employee payroll deductions. The benefit amount and length of the … Continue Reading

New York District Court Holds That Title VII Protects Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination

UPDATE:  On May 22, 2017, in Melissa Zarda et al. v. Altitude Express d/b/a Skydive Long Island et al., the Second Circuit agreed to hold an en banc hearing to determine whether an estate for a gay man, who alleged he was terminated as a result of a customer complaint related to his sexual orientation, … Continue Reading

New York Appellate Court Declines to Enforce Noncompetes Against Employees Terminated Without Cause

A recent decision by the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division for the First Department, Buchanan Capital Markets, LLC v. DeLucca, 144 A.D.3d 508 (1st Dep’t. 2016), suggests that noncompetition restrictions against employees who have been terminated without cause are unenforceable.  The court stated that “covenants not to compete in employment agreements … are not … Continue Reading
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