On October 1, 2018, New York State released final documents and resources in connection with its new sexual harassment prevention requirements. Along with the updated guidelines, the deadline to provide a first round of sexual harassment prevention training has been extended from January 1, 2019 to October 9, 2019. Continue Reading New York State Revises and Finalizes its Sexual Harassment Policies and Training Requirements After Receiving Comments from Employers
Madiha Malik is an Associate in the firm’s Litigation Department. She represents a wide range of clients on issues related to labor and employment law.
Madiha has represented clients including health care facilities, independent schools, and various public and private employers. She has experience defending clients against claims of employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation, reasonable accommodation, family and medical leave issues, and wage and hour violations, under state and federal laws. Madiha represents clients before federal and state courts and administrative bodies including the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In addition, Madiha regularly provides training seminars for a wide variety of clients on topics including harassment prevention in the workplace and workplace investigations.
Madiha earned her B.A. from the George Washington University where she received degrees in Journalism and International Affairs. Before attending law school, Madiha worked for a financial services law firm in Washington, D.C. Madiha earned her J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law. During law school, Madiha served as a Law Clerk at the U.S. Department of Justice Federal Tort Claims Act Section and held an externship at the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut in the Civil Division.
Madiha was an Editor for the Connecticut Law Review and authored a published Note titled, “The Legal Void of Unpaid Internships: Navigating the Legality of Internships in the Face of Conflicting Tests Interpreting the FLSA.”
Madiha serves on the Executive Committee for the Connecticut Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section. Madiha is passionate about community service and serves as a Youth Mentor for the Klingberg Family Centers and a Law Student Mentor for the Lawyer’s Collaborative for Diversity.
On June 28, 2018, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill titled “An Act Relative to Minimum Wage, Paid Family Medical Leave, and the Sales Tax Holiday” (H.4640). The new law, dubbed the “Grand Bargain,” implements incremental increases in Massachusetts’ minimum wage over the next five years, and creates a new paid family and medical leave program in the Commonwealth. A full text of the bill can be found here.
Minimum Wage Increase
The law increases the minimum wage from $11.00 to $15.00 over the course of five years. In 2019, the minimum wage will increase from $11.00 to $12.00. Thereafter, it will continue to increase each year in $0.75 increments until it reaches $15 in 2023. The Grand Bargain also results in a five-year phase out of the requirement of premium pay for hours worked on Sunday.
Tipped employees will also receive a boost from the current $3.75/hour tipped minimum wage, which will increase by $0.60 increments each year until 2023 when the tipped minimum wage will be $6.75/hour.
Paid Family and Medical Leave Program
Reflecting a nationwide trend, the law establishes a Paid Family and Medical Leave program to take effect on January 1, 2021. The program will entitle eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of paid family leave and up to 20 weeks of paid medical leave, with a maximum of 26 combined weeks of paid leave in the same year.
Individuals eligible for leave include employees, self-employed individuals, and certain former employees. The program will be funded by employers and employees through a payroll tax. Continue Reading Massachusetts Raises Minimum Wage and Passes Paid Family and Medical Leave Law
On Tuesday, Governor Malloy signed into law a bill amending Connecticut’s Act Concerning Pay Equity so that, with limited exceptions, Connecticut employers will no longer be allowed to inquire about an applicant’s wage and salary history. Following the trend set by states that have enacted pay equity measures, including Massachusetts, Connecticut’s pay equity law imposes a number of restrictions on employers.
Beginning January 1, 2019, Connecticut employers with one or more employees (practically speaking, all Connecticut employers) will be prohibited from inquiring, either directly or through a third party, about a prospective employee’s wage and salary history. The prospective employee may voluntarily disclose its wage or salary history, however. Continue Reading Connecticut Employers Cannot Inquire About an Applicant’s Compensation History Beginning January 1, 2019
On Monday, in a 5-4 majority decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, No. 16-285, the U.S. Supreme Court found class action waivers in arbitration agreements to be valid and enforceable, settling a long-standing split among federal courts of appeals.
By way of background, the Supreme Court years ago allowed employers to use arbitration clauses as a way to resolve employment disputes outside of court by requiring employees to agree to arbitration as a condition of employment. In recent years, employers have included class action waivers in such arbitration agreements. These waivers prevent employees from joining a class or collective action lawsuit/arbitration against their employer. Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court Approves Use of Class Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements
In a case of first impression, a federal trial judge has found that, under Connecticut law, an employer can be sued for refusing to hire an applicant who tested positive for medical marijuana use. See Noffsinger v. SSC Niantic Operating Company LLC (D.Conn. Aug. 8, 2017).
In the case at issue, Katelin Noffsinger alleged that she applied for and was offered a position of Director of Recreational Therapy at a local nursing home. Ms. Noffsigner had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and was prescribed medical marijuana for her disability. Each night, as prescribed, Ms. Noffsinger ingested a capsule of synthetic cannabis. Continue Reading Medical Marijuana Users Can Sue Their Employers