Posts tagged Labor & Employment Law.

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.

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. 

As Ohio businesses prepare to re-open, a question that has frequently come up is what to do about employees who refuse to return to work. We are referring to employees who are not sick or under any quarantine orders but do not want to return to work. Their reluctance is usually based on (1) fear of being exposed to COVID-19, (2) a lack of childcare because schools and daycares are closed or social distancing with nannies or other family members, or (3) making more money by staying home and collecting unemployment than they would by returning to work. 

Yesterday, the Governor issued guidance for the partial re-opening of Ohio’s economy.  The guidance includes specific directions for employers whose employees will be returning to work in several business sectors. 

Last week I wrote about a number of ongoing COVID-19 issues for employers to consider.  The issue of trade secrets in the current environment is also worth considering.  I would wager that in my twenty plus years of practicing employment law, there has never been a time when employers’ trade secrets are less secure than they are right now.  Everyone was caught off guard by the pandemic and businesses had to react to maintain operations, often by allowing telework on an unprecedented level.

By now, most employers have taken a variety of steps to address the COVID-19 pandemic, including, for example, furloughs, pay cuts, telework arrangements and outright closures. Talk has now turned to restarting the economy and returning to some semblance of normal life. As we enter this next phase of an unprecedented situation, employers should consider several issues. The following list is by no means exhaustive but touches on some of the key concerns for employers.

On April 1, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a temporary rule to help employers navigate the recent expansion to paid family medical and sick leave established under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  The rule reiterates several of the “critical issues” clarified by the DOL in previous guidance on the FFCRA, further details the “small business exemption” to the FFCRA, and clarifies the instances in which the expanded family medical leave and paid sick leave overlap. 

Late last week the DOL issued two additional sets of guidance on the FFCRA to answer many of the pressing questions employers have been asking as they prepare for its April 1, 2020 effective date.  The guidance is in FAQ format and covers a wide variety of topics over a current total of 59 questions and answers. Some of the highlights include:

Yesterday the Department of Labor announced its first round of published guidance to provide information to employees and employers about how each will be able to take advantage of the protections and relief offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). This guidance has answered some of the most common questions we have been receiving since the law’s passage last week, but some questions remain as to how the leave will be administered. The Department is expect to announce further guidance as the week progresses. 

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