Spread of Local Wage, Other Laws Can Trap Employers, Attorney Warns

James Anelli

There are literally hundreds of examples of how the scope of local regulation has changed

A nearly decade-long gridlock over meaningful employment law reforms at the federal level has spurred many states and cities to take matters into their own hands. But as local legislatures accelerate their oversight of employers and impose their own laws, businesses must navigate a maze of often-conflicting rules that may offer little guidance, warns James P. Anelli, a shareholder in the Newark office of the national law firm LeClairRyan. Even unintentional violations can lead to draconian penalties as harsh as a forced shutdown of the business, he says.

“There are literally hundreds of examples of how the scope of local regulation has changed,” the veteran labor and employment attorney reports in a recent blog, Workplace Now: The “Localization” of Employment Law – What you Don’t Know Can Hurt. His post appears in the firm’s LR Workplace Defender blog, which focuses on employment litigation issues.

“Perhaps the most breath-taking example took place this year in the ‘City of Brotherly Love,’ when Philadelphia created the legal authority to shut down a business located within its confines for an undefined period of time if the business ‘severely’ or ‘repeatedly’ violates its anti-discrimination law,” he writes. “Besides the questionable constitutionality of this law, one of the major drawbacks with respect to many ‘local laws’ like Philadelphia’s, is that they often come without any clear guidance as to exactly how they will be enforced.”

The Philadelphia ordinance, for example, provides that “serious” violations can subject a business to closure, but does not define…

Article Source…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *