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This week’s stories include ...
(1) NYC Prohibits Salary History Inquiries
Our top story this week: New York City prohibits inquiries into the salary history of job applicants. The City Council has passed legislation that bars public and private employers in New York City from asking about, or seeking to confirm, information regarding any job applicant’s current or prior wages, benefits, and other compensation. New York City now joins Philadelphia and Massachusetts in prohibiting inquiries into salary history. Susan Gross Sholinsky, from Epstein Becker Green, goes into further detail.
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(2) Supreme Court Rules on EEOC Subpoenas
Circuit courts should only review the scope of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) subpoenas for abuse of discretion by the trial court. That’s according to the Supreme Court of the United States, adopting a standard deferential to district courts on EEOC subpoenas. In the case in question, an Arizona district court granted an employer’s motion to quash the portion of an EEOC subpoena that it contended sought information that was irrelevant. The EEOC appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which reviewed the matter de novo and held that the full subpoena should be enforced. The Supreme Court reversed, sending the case back to the Ninth Circuit, where it will apply the newly clarified standard of review.
(3) Department of Labor Delays Fiduciary Rule
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a final rule delaying the applicability date of the “Fiduciary Rule” by 60 days. The Fiduciary Rule, which applies to persons that provide fiduciary investment advice, including advisers and financial institutions, has now been put on hold until June 9, 2017. Other requirements of the Fiduciary Rule, such as specific disclosures, are not scheduled to become applicable until January 1, 2018. During this time, the DOL plans to continue its review of the Fiduciary Rule as directed by President Trump.
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(4) Court Confirms Broad Reach of Whistleblower Protections
A district court in Florida has confirmed the broad reach of Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) whistleblower protections. An employee for a management company raised concerns about potentially inadequate information security and problems with financial reporting. The employee was terminated and subsequently brought a retaliation claim against her employer. In a motion to dismiss, the company argued that the employee's concerns fell outside the protection of SOX, but the court found the disclosures about the company’s perceived weak internal controls were, in fact, protected under the law.
(5) Tip of the Week
Andrew Smith, Head of Employment Law for Standard Chartered Bank, shares some advice on avoiding pitfalls in the recruitment process.