On February 6, HSE Privacy and Data Security Practice Group Head F. Paul Greene presented on Greater Rochester Enterprise’s “Eyes on the Future” program. Paul, joined by Brian Hedges of Mengel Metzger Barr and Mike McCartney of Digits LLC, discussed why it is crucial for all companies, regardless of size, to take steps to protect their data. Paul also stressed pre-breach planning as key to mitigating risk when systems are compromised.
New Law Prohibits Employers from Discriminating Based on an Employee’s Reproductive Health Decision Making
As part of the Women’s Equality Act, New York State recently expanded and strengthened several laws related to women’s rights in connection with employment, housing, domestic violence, and sex trafficking. These new laws took effect this week, on January 19, 2016.
The NYS Division of Human Rights (Division) has adopted regulations at 9 NYCRR § 466.13 banning discrimination against transgender individuals, which Governor Cuomo initially introduced in October 2015 after the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) was passed by the Assembly and failed in the Senate eight times. Despite the likelihood that there will be legal challenges to the regulations--at minimum challenging their genesis through executive as opposed to legislative action--they are effective and require compliance as of January 20, 2016.
Two of the area’s largest retail stores, Marshall’s and Big Lots, made news yesterday after being fined for violating Buffalo’s Ban the Box law, which prohibits employers from asking job applicants about past criminal history on employment applications. The law is meant to help those with criminal backgrounds apply for jobs without the risk of being immediately disqualified. HSE Labor and Employment Partner Amy Hemenway spoke with WGRZ Channel 2 and WBFO 88.7 about the law’s implications.
On November 16, 2015, an NLRB Administrative Law Judge issued a decision ordering Wingate Healthcare, Inc. to recognize and bargain with 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, after the union engaged in an unsuccessful organizing campaign at Wingate’s nursing home facility in Fishkill, New York. In sum, the Judge determined that Wingate engaged in unfair labor practices by, among other things, interrogating and threatening employees who supported the union, and conducting surveillance of employees’ union activities. Given the severe nature of the unfair labor practices, such as threats to employees, the Judge determined that a new election could not be freely and fairly conducted and issued the bargaining order. The full text of the decision can be found here.