This post was written by Barbara E. Hoey and Steven R. Nevolis and originally posted on Kelley Drye’s Labor Days Blog.

As the summer reaches its peak, New York employers may be more concerned with juggling employee vacation schedules than drafting new policies. But with New York’s recent anti-sexual harassment legislation coming into effect this October, and continuing into the spring for New York City, employers need to begin rolling out new policies and ensuring that training is in place to meet these new standards. This alert provides a brief summary of the new requirements so that employers aren’t left without guidance during the dog days of summer.

New York State
On April 12, 2018, Governor Cuomo signed into law New York State’s newest anti-sexual harassment requirements, which will come into effect on October 9, 2018. For the first time, the state is mandating both a written policy and annual training for all employers.

New York City
For employers operating within the five boroughs with 15 or more employees, effective April 1, 2019, these employers will have to comply with Mayor de Blasio’s Stop Sexual Harassment in New York City Act. Like the New York State legislation, this law requires employers to complete annual employee training on sexual harassment. There is no requirement in this law regarding a written policy.

To read the advisory on the Kelley Drye website, click here.

  • 07/30/2018 – Region 6 OSHA News Release – U.S. Department of Labor Cites Three Companies in Oklahoma After Five Employees Fatally Injured by Explosion and Fire
  • 07/30/2018 – Region 7 OSHA News Release – U.S. Department of Labor Cites Kansas Grain Bin Operator
  • 07/27/2018 – OSHA Trade Release – The Department of Labor Proposes Rule to Better Protect Personally Identifiable Information
  • 07/26/2018 – OSHA Trade Release – The Department of Labor Plans to Propose Rule to Better Protect Personally Identifiable Information
  • 07/26/2018 – Region 6 OSHA News Release – U.S. Department of Labor and Manhattan Construction Company Partner To Enhance Safety and Health at Texas Ballpark Project
  • 07/26/2018 – Region 6 OSHA News Release – Corrected: U.S. Department of Labor Cites East Texas Countertop Company for Safety and Health Violations
  • 07/25/2018 – Region 6 OSHA News Release – Court Orders Contractor to Pay $250,000 for Safety Violations Following Fatal Fall at Dallas Apartment Complex
  • 07/24/2018 – Region 4 OSHA News Release – U.S. Department of Labor Cites Alabama Manufacturer For Exposing Employees to Workplace Hazards
  • 07/24/2018 – Region 4 OSHA News Release – U.S. Department of Labor Finds Safety Violations Following Fatal Kentucky Shipyard Towboat Explosion
  • 07/20/2018 – Region 4 OSHA News Release – U.S. Department of Labor Joins Partnership to Promote Workplace Safety During Georgia Construction Project
  • 07/20/2018 – Region 4 OSHA News Release – U.S. Department of Labor Cites Alabama Auto Parts Manufacturer For Exposing Employees to Safety Hazards
  • 07/19/2018 – Region 5 OSHA News Release – U.S. Department of Labor Cites Wisconsin Contractor For Repeatedly Exposing Workers to Falls
  • 07/18/2018 – OSHA Trade Release – U.S. Department of Labor Seeks Comments on Proposal Regarding Railroad Construction Equipment in Cranes and Derricks Construction Standard
  • 07/18/2018 – Region 5 OSHA News Release – U.S. Department of Labor Cites Missouri Excavating Company After Observing Employees Working in Unprotected Trench
  • 07/17/2018 – Region 2 OSHA News Release – U.S. Department of Labor Cites New York Flooring Manufacturer for Exposing Employees to Mechanical, Chemical, and Other Hazards
  • 07/16/2018 – Region 4 OSHA News Release – U.S. Department of Labor Cites Southeast Georgia Manufacturer After Employee Amputation

 

This post was written by Steven R. Nevolis and Mark A. Konkel and originally posted on Kelley Drye’s Labor Days Blog.

For decades, technological innovation has changed our world at a rapid pace. Across industries and departments, businesses have a plethora of new and exciting technology and tools they can utilize to deliver products and services more effectively and efficiently to their customers. This is especially true of today’s human resources department and function. Recent trends have shown an increasing number of technology innovations aimed at HR professionals that offer to help more effectively recruit employees, manage workforce productivity, and address employee and labor relations issues as they arise. However, as businesses begin to adopt these new methods of workforce management, human resource professionals must stay ahead of the curve to ensure this technology is being used effectively and, in some cases, legally.

Technology Ahead of Laws and Regulations – Or Is It?
It’s generally accepted that technological advancement will outpace the legislatures and courts tasked with regulating that technology. But that isn’t to say the legislatures and courts won’t catch up. Just recently, we have seen social media enter the spotlight as the newest target of potential government regulation. And with the European Union enacting the General Data Protection Regulation, companies must be vigilant in how they collect and maintain job applicant information, or face the possibility of severe fines. As fast as new technology is introduced to the market, regulators are working to act just as quickly to mitigate potential harm from that technology.

However, one thing that may be lost in the shuffle is the unintended consequences of some of these technologies, and how that may expose businesses to potential claims under existing laws. Take for example a business that decides to shift its recruiting efforts from a more human-driven approach to a process that uses data to steer the course. There is a trove of data points that a company can collect on a job applicant, such as experience and education. But if HR allows these data points to drive the recruiting and interview process, they may be allowing this data to exploit innate biases, albeit unintentionally. If a data-driven process leans too heavily on quality of education, the process may filter out those candidates who may not have had a ready access to high-quality education, but still may be a good fit for the job. HR professionals need to be careful in implementing these types of processes and work to eliminate these issues, otherwise they may face heightened scrutiny. Continue Reading Technology Ahead of Laws and Regulations – Or Is It?

This post was written by Matthew C. Luzadder and Jeffrey Hunter and originally posted on Kelley Drye’s Labor Days Blog.

Take action now to meet the new policy, training, and certification requirements.

Beginning January 1, 2018, Illinois lobbyists and their employers must comply with new sexual harassment compliance rules. Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law Public Act 100-0554 (the Act) to combat sexual harassment in the state legislature. The Act imposes sweeping new requirements on lobbyists even if they are the victims. Press reports detail a number of allegations involving legislators, including some made by lobbyists and activists. One allegation forced the Senate majority leader to step-down from his post. In addition, hundreds of women signed an open letter to bring attention to this pattern of abuse in the state capitol. It appears that discussion of sexual harassment will continue into 2018.

Before the Act, only the Legislative Inspector General could investigate allegations of legislators’ sexual misconduct. That position, however, has been vacant since 2014. Notably, more than two dozen allegations sat uninvestigated on an empty desk. Now, state law authorizes the Secretary of State Inspector General to investigate allegations and the State Executive Ethics Commission to enforce the rules. The legislature, in policing itself, requires lobbyist employers to follow much the same requirements as state agencies in combatting sexual harassment.

Kelley Drye has followed this issue closely and is advising clients on proactive steps they can take to prevent sexual harassment. Stopping the “Harveys in our midst” before they can harm our colleagues or our businesses is more important than ever before. Relying on a generic HR sexual harassment policy is not enough. Employers—not just their registered lobbyists—face new requirements with only weeks to comply. Continue Reading New Sexual Harassment Requirements for Illinois Lobbyists

  • 11/29/2017 – Region 3 OSHA News Release – U.S. Department of Labor Fines US Environmental Inc. for Safety Violations and Proposes Penalties Totaling $333,756
  • 11/28/2017 – Region 6 OSHA News Release – U.S. Department of Labor and Pottery Manufacturer Reach Settlement Agreement Following Worker Fatality
  • 11/22/2017 – OSHA National News Release – U.S. Department of Labor’s OSHA Extends Compliance Date for Electronically Submitting Injury, Illness Reports to December 15, 2017
  • 11/17/2017 – Region 4 OSHA News Release – U.S. Department of Labor Cites Tampa Electric Co. And Critical Intervention Services Following Hazardous Chemical Release
  • 11/17/2017 – Region 5 OSHA News Release – U.S. Department of Labor Proposes Over $1.8 Million in Fines Against a Wisconsin Corn Milling Facility After Fatal Grain Dust Explosion
  • 11/09/2017 – OSHA Trade Release – OSHA Issues Final Rule Setting Compliance Date for Crane Operator Certification Requirements
  • 11/09/2017 – Region 1 OSHA News Release – U.S. Department of Labor Cites Lynnway Auto Auction For Exposing Employees to Numerous Hazards
  • 11/09/2017 – Region 2 OSHA News Release – U.S. Department of Labor Again Cites Three Queens Supermarkets For Safety Violations
  • 11/08/2017 – Region 7 OSHA News Release – U.S. Department of Labor Cites Bimbo Bakeries USA For Multiple Workplace Hazards
  • 11/08/2017 – Region 7 OSHA News Release – U.S. Department of Labor Cites Farmers Cooperative After Worker Entrapped in Grain Bin
  • 11/08/2017 – Region 7 OSHA News Release – Missouri Podiatry Clinic Cited for Improper Handling of Medical Waste
  • 11/08/2017 – Region 8 OSHA News Release – U.S. Department of Labor Cites Contractors in Montana Following Severe Burns
  • 11/07/2017 – Region 4 OSHA News Release – U.S. Department of Labor Cites Georgia Parts Manufacturer After Injuries Reveal Hazards
  • 11/07/2017 – Region 4 OSHA News Release – U.S. Department of Labor Resumes Regular Enforcement in Florida and Georgia
  • 11/02/2017 – OSHA Trade Release – U.S. Department of Labor Signs Alliance with Robotic Industries Association and NIOSH to Improve Worker Protections in Emerging Tech Industry
  • 11/01/2017 – Region 4 OSHA News Release – U.S. Department of Labor Cites Mississippi Company for Exposing Workers To Hazardous Energy, Equipment, and Other Hazards
  • 11/01/2017 – Region 10 OSHA News Release – U.S. Department of Labor Cites Boise Construction Company For Trenching Violations

 

Finally, on April 27th, after months of waiting, President Trump’s second nominee for the position of US Secretary of Labor and only Latino cabinet member, Alexander Acosta, was confirmed. Acosta, dean of Florida International University College of Law and former US attorney, received the nomination in mid-February after the first nominee, Andrew Puzder, withdrew his name due to a potential conflict of interest. Acosta has patiently waited over the last few months as other nominees including, Justice Neil Gorsuch and Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, took priority. Acosta is no stranger to the confirmation process, as he was nominated and confirmed for three positions during the George W. Bush administration. The road to a successful confirmation can often be long and winding, however Acosta’s patience clearly paid off, and now he can get to work.