State Labor and Employment

December 5, 2023 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

From Pay Transparency to Paid Family Leave: State and Local Labor Laws to Watch

This summer has seen the largest strikes in the U.S. in a long time. State and local governments are more nimble than the U.S. Congress at changing wage or leave policies for workers in their areas. In states like California and New York, unions are chalking up wins, demanding worker protection laws that go beyond the federal level.

To discuss these latest developments, we are asking a group of subject matter experts to hear what kind of legislative initiatives are happening in states and local governments when it comes to paid leave, minimum wages, pay transparency, and protection of gig workers. The speakers will also share a policy outlook for 2024.

Here’s what you can expect us to cover:

  • Paid leave “for any reason”
  • Minimum wage in general, and in specific industries
  • Pay transparency
  • Portable benefits for gig workers


Cathy Creighton
Director, School of Industrial & Labor Relations Buffalo Co-Lab
Cornell University

Cathy Creighton is the director of Cornell University School of Industrial & Labor Relations Buffalo Co-Lab. Cathy is a graduate of Cornell University’s ILR School (class 1987), and later attended Boston University School of Law. She began her career as field attorney with the National Labor Relations Board, Region 29 in Brooklyn, N.Y. After meeting her spouse at the NLRB, they moved to his hometown of Buffalo, N.Y. in 1994. Cathy entered private practice where she represented labor unions and individual employees in employment matters. In 2002 Cathy cofounded Creighton, Pearce, Johnsen & Giroux and the practice exclusively represented individual employees and labor unions in the private and public sector. Cathy was named a <em>Super Lawyer</em> annually for more than a decade. In 2021, Cathy pivoted to return to her alma mater as the director of Cornell University’s ILR office in Buffalo, where she concentrates on labor education for the rank-and-file labor movement, labor and civic education for the public, and social justice-based community engaged learning for Cornell University undergraduate students. Cathy has drafted statutes and policy briefs designed to enhance the lives and well-being of working people, including living wage laws, minimum wage increases, apprenticeship and responsible bidder laws, community benefit ordinance, and banning noncompete agreements.

Christine Hendrickson
Vice President of Strategic Initiatives

Christine Hendrickson is the vice president of strategic initiatives at Syndio. She is a leader on corporate pay equity and international pay reporting laws. Prior to joining Syndio, Christine was a partner at Seyfarth Shaw, where she was the co-chair of Seyfarth’s Global Pay Equity Group. Christine is a frequent speaker and press source to Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Law360. Syndio provides technology and expert guidance that helps companies measure, achieve, and sustain all facets of workplace equity. More than 275 companies, including 30 percent of Fortune’s Most Admired Companies, rely on Syndio’s platform to close pay and opportunity gaps, mitigate legal risk, and turn DE&I goals into tangible results.
Paul Sonn headshot

Paul Sonn
State Policy Program Director
National Employment Law Project

Paul Sonn is the state policy program director at the National Employment Law Project (NELP), a workers’ rights research and advocacy organization headquartered in New York. NELP supports campaigns for stronger protections for workers at the federal, state, and local levels, in policy areas such as minimum wages, unemployment insurance, misclassification, health and safety, fair chance employment, and the role of electronic monitoring and AI in the workplace. Prior to joining NELP, he was co-director of the Economic Justice Project at New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice, and assistant counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. He has been a lecturer in law at Columbia Law School, and is a graduate of Yale Law School and Dartmouth College.
Chris Marr headshot

Chris Marr
Senior Correspondent
Bloomberg Industry Group

Chris Marr is a senior correspondent on the labor desk at Bloomberg Industry Group. Based in Atlanta, Chris has been reporting on state legislation and litigation for the company for the past decade, with a focus on workplace law for the last four years. Chris is a graduate of Berry College in Georgia. When he isn’t writing about employment law, he’s shuttling his son and daughter to cross country meets, marching band practice, or guitar lessons. He’s on LinkedIn and on X (formerly Twitter) as @JournoChrisATL.