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Chicago Employees to Receive 10 Days of Paid Leave

As of December 31, 2023, all employees physically working in Chicago for at least two hours in a two-week period will earn both one hour of paid leave and one hour of paid sick leave for every 35 hours worked, pursuant to an ordinance passed by the Chicago City Council on November 9, 2023. The new ordinance expands the current ordinance, which requires employers to provide only paid sick leave to employees. Read more here.

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California Wage Law Puts ‘Band-Aids’ on Healthcare Worker Shortages

While California healthcare workers will see their pay increase over the next several years thanks to a new state law, industry analysts say more must be done to address healthcare workforce shortages. In this Bloomberg Law article, Michelle Strowhiro offers insight into the pressures facing healthcare providers. Access the article.

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Top Three Labor Trends to Watch for in Q4 2023

As we enter the last quarter of 2023, here are some of the key issues impacting employers: 1. New joint employer standard: More companies will be pulled into union organizing campaigns, contract negotiations and National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) proceedings involving their contractors when the NLRB issues a new joint employer rule. 2. Increased NLRB investigations and litigation: Union elections, activism and litigation at the NLRB are spiking. So far in 2023, there has been a 16% increase in unfair labor practice charges at the NLRB and high levels of union election petitions. 3. More aggressive union activity: More companies are facing pressure to accept terms, including adoption of union “neutrality agreements” which fast-track union organizing. There has been a 72% increase in strikes in 2023. Unions are expanding their ambitions, too. Physician groups are now targeted for major union organizing campaigns. McDermott’s traditional labor subgroup...

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NLRB Undercuts Work Rules and Policies for Unionized and Nonunionized Employers

The National Labor Relations Board recently issued a decision that undercuts union and nonunion employers’ ability to enforce longstanding work policies. In general, this decision will lead to increased unfair labor practice charges, investigations and litigation. Read more here.

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Illinois’ New Paid Leave Law: What Employers Need to Know

The Paid Leave for All Workers Act (PLAWA) was signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker on March 13, 2023, ensuring that all workers in Illinois receive 40 hours of paid time off annually for any purpose. The law will become effective on January 1, 2024, requiring employers to utilize the remaining months of 2023 to ensure they are equipped to comply with the new legislation. Illinois has joined Maine and Nevada as the third state to implement such a measure. Read more here.

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The Latest Court Ruling’s Impact On H-1B Spouses and Immigration

A federal judge recently ruled in favor of a Department of Homeland Security regulation that permits the spouses of H-1B visa holders to work. According to this Forbes article, McDermott Partner Paul Hughes drafted the amicus brief for more than 40 companies and organizations. "This decision confirms that tens of thousands of H-4 employees—highly skilled and critical members of their teams—are lawfully employed,” said Hughes. “The court's correct analysis follows decades of consistent practice and recognition that the Executive may determine categories of visa holders eligible for employment.” Read more here.

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Stryking Noncompete Preliminary Injunction

The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently upheld a district court’s grant of a preliminary injunction restricting a former employee from working for conflicting organizations or communicating with a competitor’s counsel. Stryker Emp. Co., LLC v. Abbas, Case No. 22-1563 (6th Cir. Feb. 16, 2023) (Clay, Bush, JJ.; Sutton, C.J.) The Court found that the preliminary injunction was an appropriate measure to protect the plaintiff’s confidential information that was consistent with the employee’s noncompete agreement. Read more here.

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A Win for Employers: Ninth Circuit Holds That California AB 51 Prohibiting Mandatory Arbitration Is Pre-empted by the Federal Arbitration Act

On February 15, 2023, employers in California regained the ability to enforce mandatory arbitration as the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that Assembly Bill 51 (AB 51), which prohibited “forced arbitration” as a condition of employment, was pre-empted by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). After years of litigation, the Ninth Circuit’s ruling upholds a federal district court’s preliminary injunction that temporarily blocked California from enforcing AB 51 and all but guarantees that AB 51 will never be enforceable. While California could seek review from the Ninth Circuit (en banc) or the Supreme Court of the United States, given the Supreme Court’s line of cases upholding FAA pre-emption, we think this decision will stand. That said, US President Joe Biden’s Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021 (HR 4445) must not be ignored. Employers may include sexual harassment and sexual assault claims in...

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