Posts tagged Labor & Employment Law.

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 ...

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.

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