In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an argument that would have made it harder for whistleblowers to prevail on retaliation claims under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX”). The decision, Murray v. UBS Securities, LLC, No. 22-660, may be welcome news to whistleblowers, but as a practical matter, employers will likely not see a significant change in SOX whistleblower retaliation claims or awards.Continue Reading The Supreme Court Keeps Status Quo for SOX Whistleblower Retaliation Claims
Carolyn Rashby provides business-focused advice and counsel to companies navigating the constantly evolving and overlapping maze of federal, state, and local employment requirements. She conducts workplace investigations and cultural assessments, leads audits regarding employee classification, wage and hour, and I-9 compliance, advises on employment issues arising in corporate transactions, and provides strategic counsel to clients on a wide range of workplace matters, including harassment and #MeToo issues, wage and hour, worker classification, employee accommodations, termination decisions, employment agreements, trade secrets, restrictive covenants, employee handbooks, and personnel policies. Her approach is preventive, while recognizing the need to set clients up for the best possible defense should disputes arise.
As we enter the final months of 2023, California employers should turn their attention to the employment-related bills that Governor Newsom recently signed into law, many of which take effect on January 1, 2024. Summaries of key developments are below.Continue Reading 2023 Legislative Session Wrap-Up: New California Workplace Laws for 2024 and Beyond
New York lawmakers have been busy enacting a number of laws and regulations in 2023 that impose new requirements on employers, several of which have recently taken effect. New York employers may need to update their policies, agreements, and practices to comply with the new laws, as summarized below.Continue Reading New York Employers Beware: New Employment Laws Are In Effect And On The Horizon
On the heels of approving SB 699, which heightened the protections and reach of California’s prohibition of employee non-competes under California Bus. & Prof. Code Section 16600 (“Section 16600”) (see our blog post here), Governor Gavin Newsom has now signed AB 1076. AB 1076 further increases the litigation risk for employers that use employee non-competes and, most notably, requires employers to provide notice of any non-competes to current and former employees by early next year. Together, these two new laws, which take effect on January 1, 2024, reinforce California’s strong public policy against employee non-competes and specify new consequences for employers who seek to enforce or enter into such agreements.
As a reminder, SB 699 adds new Bus. & Prof. Code Section 16600.5 to: (1) prohibit an employer or former employer from attempting to enforce a contract (e.g., a non-compete) that is void under Section 16600; (2) grant current, former, and even prospective employees a private right of action for damages and injunctive relief, and to recover attorney’s fees and costs; and (3) expand the territorial reach of California’s prohibition of employee non-competes to apply “regardless of where and when the contract was signed.”Continue Reading California Doubles Down with Yet Another Law on Employee Non-Competes
California non-compete law has just been shaken-up—and the ripples are likely to travel across the country. For decades and save for narrow exceptions, California Business and Professions Code § 16600 has made post-employment non-competes unenforceable due to their potential to unduly restrain an individual’s business or profession. Effective January 1, 2024, however, Senate Bill 699 (“SB 699”) drastically expands both the protections and the reach of California’s prohibition on employee non-competes.
Specifically, SB 699:
- prohibits an employer or former employer from even attempting to enforce a contract that is void under Section 16600;
- grants current, former, and even prospective employees a private right of action for damages and injunctive relief—and to recover attorney’s fees and costs; and
- applies to all non-competes “regardless of where and when the contract was signed.”
In its decision in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina issued on June 29, 2023, the Supreme Court held that the undergraduate admissions programs of Harvard College and the University of North Carolina violate the standards…
As we discussed in a previous post, effective January 1, 2023, California employers must include pay scales in job postings, and a similar bill in New York was awaiting signature by Governor Kathy Hochul. The California Labor Commissioner has now issued guidance to assist employers in complying with the new law, and the New York State bill was signed into law on December 21, 2022 and is set to take effect on September 17, 2023.Continue Reading Update on California and New York Pay Transparency Laws
As interest rates rise and the threat of a recession looms, many employers are beginning to struggle with balancing the cost of maintaining their workforce with an expected decrease in profits. The frequent result of such a balancing act is a mass layoff. While a reduction in workforce may be inevitable, below are options that employers can consider to try to avoid that outcome. For all of these alternatives, employers should apply any changes consistently across the workforce to avoid claims of inequity or discrimination.Continue Reading Avoiding Layoffs In an Uncertain Economy
Come the new year, California employers will need to comply with a host of new workplace-related laws. Here is an overview of key new laws, along with recommendations for compliance. The laws take effect on January 1, 2023, unless otherwise specified.Continue Reading New California Workplace Laws for 2023
To promote pay transparency and equity, an increasing number of states and localities are requiring employers to disclose salary data in job advertisements or postings. The trend started in Colorado in 2021, and now a number of other jurisdictions have followed suit, including New York City and the states of California and Washington. The New York City law took effect on November 1, 2022, and the California and Washington laws go into effect on January 1, 2023. Similar laws have recently been enacted in other areas as well, including Jersey City, New Jersey (effective June 15, 2022), the City of Ithaca, New York (effective September 1, 2022), and Westchester County, New York (effective November 6, 2022).
This post will provide an overview of the New York City, California, and Washington laws, and discuss steps that employers can take to comply with the new requirements.Continue Reading New Pay Transparency Laws Taking Effect