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Employment & Business Litigation Pointers - Volume I, No. 16

 

Employment & Business Litigation Pointers

Volume I, No. 16
Monday, February 1, 2021

 

As a public service, we are pleased to present this issue of Employment & Business Litigation Pointers, which aims to provide our clients and subscribers with timely information and practical, business-oriented solutions to the latest employment and general business litigation developments.  In some jurisdictions, newsletters such as this may be considered: Attorney Advertising.
 
If you know of others who may wish to subscribe to this free publication, please feel free to forward it. If you wish to subscribe or unsubscribe, please do so at the bottom of this newsletter.

 

  A Note from Joseph S. Brown, Esq.

In January, the Hurwitz & Fine, P.C. Labor & Employment Group presented a webinar with our partners at the Amherst Chamber of Commerce entitled “Employment Litigation Update – A Review of 2020 and What’s Ahead”. This edition of Employment and Business Litigation Pointers follows up on that presentation with:

  1. Ann Evanko’s “Top 10 Steps to Minimize Employment Liability and Litigation in 2021”;
  2. Katherine Wood’s article on recent guidance from the NYS Department of Labor which expands employers’ obligations to provide paid leave under the NYS COVID-19 leave law; and
  3. My recent alert on “Five Recent Employment Law Developments Under the Biden Administration.”

Anyone with active litigation in New York state courts should take note of the recent additions and revisions to the Uniform Civil Rules for the New York Supreme and County Courts, which take effect February 1, 2021.  These rules, designed to improve communication and efficiency, require attorneys (and their staff) to comply with new procedures and formalities throughout all phases of litigation. Hurwitz & Fine litigators V. Christopher Potenza and Amber Storr provide their insight and analysis in an easy-to-follow article describing these changes.
 
Finally, we would like to introduce you to Scott D. Storm, who just joined the firm as a member in the Insurance Coverage practice group.  Scott has over 20 years of legal experience handling insurance coverage and defense litigation, including special investigation matters.  He has a multi-state insurance coverage practice of first-party (property, auto physical damage, UM/SUM, PIP) and third-party liability coverage matters of all commercial and personal property and casualty lines, including: analysis and evaluation of coverage issues; litigation of coverage disputes with policyholders and other insurers, through trial and appellate practice; and representation of insurers in intercompany arbitration matters.  Welcome Scott!

 

Top 10 Steps to Minimize Employment Liability and Litigation in 2021
By Ann E. Evanko, Esq. 

As we usher in the new year, employers are faced with continuing challenges due to COVID-19 disruptions, remote working, uncertainty with COVID-19 vaccinations, new employment laws, and the increasing demands of a workplace under stress. While employers’ responses to these demands require more attention than ever, the foundation of strong employment practices will remain familiar in many ways and this framework will help you minimize your risk of being sued.

Take a moment to review and refresh your employment policies and practices so that you can create a less stressful workplace and position your business to successfully defend against claims. And, to assist you in this process, we put together a list of “Top 10” Steps to help you along.

Read More

 

NYS Expands Employers' Obligation to Provide COVID-19 Leave
By Katherine L. Wood, Esq.

As the pandemic lingers on, employers may still be receiving requests for leave from employees who have contracted or been exposed to COVID-19.  On January 20, 2021, the New York State Department of Labor (“NYS DOL”) issued guidance that expands employers’ obligations to provide paid leave under the NYS COVID-19 leave law.  Particularly, the new guidance addresses employer-mandated leaves related to COVID-19 and situations where an employee tests positive for COVID-19 multiple times.

Back in March 2020, we alerted employers that New York State had enacted a law that guaranteed paid sick leave for employees who were “subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation issued by New York State, the Department of Health, the local board of health, or any other authorized governmental entity.”   More information about the initial legislation can be found here.

The NYS DOL guidance includes a few key points that employers must be aware of to remain compliant with the law.  The guidance itself can be found here, and this article discusses the key takeaways.

Read More

 

Five Recent Employment Law Developments Under the Biden Administration

By Joseph S. Brown, Esq.

The inauguration of a new president usually brings changes in senior leadership, legislative priorities, and regulatory policy, particularly in the area of labor and employment law.  Within the past week, President Biden has signed several executive orders, filled key positions, and announced other policy shifts that are likely to impact the workplace in the areas of safety, LGBTQ protections, labor laws, pandemic response, and immigration.  This alert discusses five recently announced developments that may impact your workplace in the months to come.

Read More

 

New York Civil Practice Update: Understanding Administrative Order 270.20 and the Substantive Changes to the Uniform Civil Rules for the New York Trial Courts
By V. Christopher Potenza, Esq. of our General Liability Defense team and Amber E. Storr, Esq., of our Business Litigation team

Beginning February 1, 2021, many substantive and notable revisions to the Uniform Civil Rules for the New York Supreme and County Courts will take effect pursuant to Administrative Order 270/20 issued by Hon. Lawrence K. Marks, Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts. The order contains 29 additions and revisions that borrow heavily from both the Rules of the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court as well and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.  

Judge Marks, recognizing the adaptations made by the courts and counsel in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, noted the unique opportunity for permanent reform.  These rules will require attorneys (and their staff) to comply with new procedures and formalities throughout all phases of litigation, from the preliminary conference, through discovery and motions, and up to and including trial.

Read More

 

Editor:
Joseph S. Brown, Esq.

Hurwitz & Fine's Labor & Employment team
is here to answer your questions:

Labor & Employment Law
Ann E. Evanko, Esq. ([email protected])
Andrea Schillaci, Esq. ([email protected])
Joseph S. Brown, Esq. ([email protected])
Amber E. Storr, Esq. ([email protected])
Katherine L. Wood, Esq. ([email protected])
 

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