Between COVID-19 and social unrest, this year has seen many reservists and other members of the military called to active duty.  Unfortunately, military leave seems to be an issue with which even sophisticated employers struggle.  While not an exhaustive list, here are five things for employers to bear in mind about military leave.

  1. USERRA is extremely broad. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), which protects civilian employment of military personnel, is very broad. Unlike most employment laws, it applies to almost all employers regardless of ...

Earlier this month, the Ohio legislature passed and the Governor signed into law House Bill 606, which provides qualified immunity to employers who are accused of spreading COVID-19. It goes into effect on December 13, 2020 and covers conduct between March 9, 2020 and September 30, 2021.  The new law provides immunity for businesses from customers and employees bringing lawsuits alleging exposure, transmission, or contraction of COVID-19 in a place of business, unless the owner’s or employer’s actions amounted to reckless conduct or willful misconduct.  This is obviously good ...

On September 22, 2020, President Trump issued an Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping that prohibits federal contractors and grantees from engaging in many forms of diversity, inclusion, and implicit bias training. 

The Order requires that government agencies to include in every new government contract, provisions barring the contractor from using workplace training that inculcates in its employees any form of race or sex stereotyping or any form of race or sex scapegoating, including concepts that:

  1. one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex;

As summer winds down, a lot of attention has been given to schools resuming classes.  Some schools are meeting in person fully or partially but many have moved to online classes for the foreseeable future.  Even schools meeting in person may be forced to change course depending on circumstances, e.g. students or teachers contracting COVID-19.  All of this means a great deal of uncertainty for working parents and a major issue for employers who will have to manage attendance and leave issues. 

On July 21, 2020, the National Labor Relation Board (the “NLRB”) issued its decision in General Motors LLC, 14-CA-197985 369 NLRB No. 127 (2020), adopting a motivating factor test, for cases involving abusive or offensive statements made by employees in the course of “concerted activities” which are otherwise protected under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (the “NLRA”).  The test, also known as the Wright Line standard, focuses on whether the employee’s Section 7 activity was a motivating factor in an employee’s discipline or discharge and shifts the ...

As the COVID-19 threat lingers and businesses look for ways to protect their employees, there has been a lot of talk about contact tracing in the workplace.  As the name suggests, contact tracing is a process of determining who an infected individual has had contact with and possibly exposed to a disease. This is not a new process and in the past has been done by interviewing people to create lists of exposed individuals who could be warned or isolated.  With modern technology, there are a lot more options, some of which employers are considering using in the workplace.

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, a new landmark ruling clarifying that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964—which prohibits workplace discrimination—applies to discrimination based upon sexual orientation and gender identity.

As businesses begin the process of re-opening, many are finding that due to changed conditions, they are overstaffed. One possible solution to this problem is a reduction in force (RIF). In planning a RIF, there are a great many factors for employers to consider in the current environment, including the points listed below.

Today, the DOL announced publication of a final rule that expands the ability of retirement plans to deliver participant disclosures online or via email by establishing a new, voluntary safe harbor that allows the use of electronic media as a default for participant disclosures. The final rule is in response to the previously reported October, 2019 proposed rule which allowed plan administrators to notify retirement plan participants that required disclosures, such as SPDs, will be posted on a website. Here are some key points of the final rule:

As employers bring employees back into the workplace, many are considering various forms of testing as a means to promote employee safety. While some forms of testing are fairly straightforward, such as taking employees’ temperatures, laboratory testing for COVID-19 is not as simple. 

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