North State SHRM News & Legal Updates
Your source of relevant news in HR in the North State, California and nationwide.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) in a 329-73 vote on Sept. 17. The Senate will now consider the bill, which, if passed, would require employers to reasonably accommodate pregnant workers and employees with pregnancy-related conditions.
While some recruiters, HR professionals and hiring managers recommend expediting the hiring process while asking the candidate to hold off on accepting the other offer, others take a less reactive approach. All acknowledge that the situation is quite common—and becoming more so.
Governor Newsom just signed into law a bill that will require public and private California employers to provide detailed notices to employees when there is a COVID-19 exposure in the workplace, and to provide notice to local public health departments for COVID-19 “outbreaks.” AB 685 (Reyes), which will go into effect on January 1, 2021, uses vague language and three different definitions of who must receive notice, so employers will need to pay close attention in order to be in compliance come January.
California Governor Gavin Newsom just signed legislation that establishes a workers’ compensation presumption that will apply to most employers in the state that have a COVID-19 “outbreak” through 2022 – meaning it is much more likely that worker infections will be covered under workers’ comp coverage. This legislation, Senate Bill 1159, will shift the burden of proof to presume that covered workers who contracted COVID-19 did so at work, unless the employer can prove otherwise. The new legislation also enacts a rebuttable presumption that applies to first responders and certain health care workers. Finally, the law requires employers to provide notice to their workers’ compensation carrier of employees who test positive for COVID-19. SB 1159 was enacted as an “urgency” measure and therefore went into effect immediately. What do California employers need to know about this new law?
The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) has proven to be a significant burden on Illinois employers, and a recent Illinois federal court decision may have made the legal landscape even more difficult. In Cothron v. White Castle System, Inc., the court addressed when a “violation” takes place under BIPA — a question which had not been squarely addressed by the statute or other case law. How does the court’s interpretation affect Illinois employers?
Artificial intelligence company Interactions is going to the dogs … in a good way. The Franklin, Mass.-based company conducted a one-hour virtual dog show recently, complete with judges and an American Kennel Club background, as 16 canines of all shapes, sizes and breeds entertained employees via Zoom.The company, which builds intelligent virtual assistants used to manage customer experience for companies, has eight offices in the U.S. and one in London and India. About one-third of the 475 emp