When discussing estate planning, especially in the context of planning for one’s retirement, it is important to address health-related issues.


Employment laws might get tougher for employers in businesses that call workers in at the last minute. Around the holidays, it is especially difficult for certain types of employers, like retail establishments, to predict how much traffic they will get on any given day. Many have traditionally had employees “at the ready” to report to work if needed. 


Earlier this year (April and September 2017), the New York State Appellate Division Courts for the First and Second Departments issued Decisions declaring one part of the pay structure for Home Health Aides, compensation for shifts of more than 24 hours in a patient's home, illegal for failing to pay them for all such hours.  These Decisions threaten to upend the industry as home care agencies, managed care plans and government programs may not be able to afford paying for the entire 24 hours, as opposed to the current 13-hour pay rule.  Under the 13-hour pay rule, as long as the Home Heal


There was an expectation that the EEOC’s enforcement efforts would shift or decrease with the Trump administration in place. This has not been the case thus far.  In fact, there was recently an uptick in EEOC lawsuit filings – 88 were filed in September 2017. In September 2016, the number was a third of that. Change may still be coming, however, as Trump has recently nominated new Republican members to serve as commissioners.  Once those individuals are confirmed, the rate and focus of enforcement may shift. 


The abhorrent behavior of Harvey Weinstein is a lesson to all employers and is something my colleagues and I repeat again and again.  Just because employees are not complaining about sexual harassment does not mean that it is not happening. Many victims of harassment fear that they will be retaliated against if they complain about the harassment, especially if the harasser is a high-level decision maker.


Employers sometimes need to offer executive position candidates employment agreements in order to successfully entice them to the company. Because employment agreements generally give employees more rights than they normally would have under the common law employment at-will doctrine in place in New York and many other states, employers are incentivized to negotiate the employment agreements' terms carefully.


The Trump administration recently announced that it would put an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Those who successfully applied for the DACA program were granted work permits to allow them to work legally in the United States. When that program officially ends, employers who knowingly employ DACA recipients with expired work permits could face harsh penalties, including fines or jail time. 


The EEOC filed a lawsuit last week against Estée Lauder over its parental leave policy, saying it doesn’t allow fathers the same parental leave as mothers, and is thus in violation of the law.  Estée Lauder has several leave policies for employees, including maternity, adoption, primary caregiver and secondary caregiver leave.  Fathers are only eligible for secondary caregiver leave while mothers who give birth are automatically entitled to maternity leave. 


A United States District Judge has ruled that the Obama Administration overstepped its legal authority in proposing that the exemptions to overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act be premised on vastly higher salary amounts than under previous law. The Obama regulations were originally slated to go into effect on December 1, 2016, but the same Judge had issued a Preliminary Injunction in November, 2016 delaying that date. 


With the upcoming implementation of New York’s Paid Family Leave Act, it’s time for employers and Human Resources departments to ensure that they are familiar with the new law’s provisions.  It is also important that employers update their handbooks to include a policy on Paid Family Leave.