Recent Blog Posts

  • New York passes employer-friendly amendments to HERO Act By Abbie Thederahn   As we shared in a previous blog, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Health and Essential Rights Act (HERO Act) into law on May 5, 2021. Shortly thereafter, the New York legislature amended the HERO Act to clarify several questions that were left unanswered in the previous version of the law. On June 11, 2021, Gov. Cuomo signed the amended HERO Act into law. More time to adopt airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plans Previously, Section 1 of the... More
  • EEOC issues guidance documents to commemorate LGBTQ+ Pride Month By Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP and Arslan Sheikh   In honor of LGBTQ+ Pride Month, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently released a number of resources to educate employers, employees and applicants about the right to be free from sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in employment. Although these resources simply restate existing law and policy, they are a great refresher for employers that want to ensure they are complying with federal employment discrimination law. For example, the EEOC... More
  • Ohio Industrial Commission returning to in-person hearings on July 6, 2021 By Diane Reichwein   Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, the Ohio Industrial Commission (IC) has conducted all hearings remotely. In mid-April 2021, the IC switched from a telephone bridge to the WebEx platform which has video capability. We wrote about this change in this blog post. According to its website, the IC was able to utilize these technologies and conduct remote hearings through enabling legislation that permitted boards, commissions and agencies to conduct business and public hearings remotely. On... More
  • OSHA issues COVID-19 emergency temporary standard for health care employers By Abbie Thederahn   The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a COVID-19 emergency temporary standard that is effective today. In the face of pressure from the White House and some interest groups to develop an emergency OSHA standard targeted specifically at COVID-19 workplace safety, OSHA has issued a standard targeted only at health care employers. The standard sets out extensive workplace safety requirements that employers in the healthcare sector must follow through the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although this standard... More
  • OSHA updates general COVID-19 guidance for all employers By Abbie Thederahn   On June 10, 2021, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) revised its general COVID-19 guidance applicable to all employers. At the same time, OSHA issued a COVID-19 emergency temporary standard setting out extensive requirements for employers in the health care sector. For more details on the health care emergency temporary standard, see this blog post. Fully vaccinated employees Previously, OSHA guidance stated all employees should be required to wear masks and comply with COVID-19 safety measures, including social distancing,... More
  • EEOC guidance on vaccine incentives By Mike Underwood   On May 28, 2021, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued updated guidance on COVID-19 vaccination and discrimination law. Specifically, EEOC stated that employers can offer employees incentives, economic or otherwise, to obtain a COVID-19 vaccination. As we reported previously, the EEOC has already issued some guidance relevant to COVID-19 vaccinations. For example, the EEOC has said employers can mandate COVID-19 vaccination, subject to the duty of reasonable accommodations for employees or applicants who are unable or unwilling to... More
  • Reminder: Employers must send COBRA Extended Election Notice by May 31, 2021 By Abbie Thederahn   As we previously reported, the American Rescue Plan Act provides for a temporary 100 percent subsidy of the cost of premiums for COBRA continuation coverage for an employee or dependent who is a COBRA qualified beneficiary due to an involuntary termination of employment or reduction in hours. The law requires employers to send a notice to eligible individuals who incurred an involuntary termination of employment or reduction in hours before April 1, 2021. This notice must be sent... More
  • “If you don’t have anything nice to say…” Non-disparagement clauses in settlement and separation agreements By Jyllian Bradshaw   Working through issues related to a separation of employment can be challenging.  Negotiating a separation of employment agreement can be even more difficult if the departure is contentious. Employers are often confronted with the question of whether a non-disparagement clause should become part of the agreement. In a recent Ohio decision by the Second District Court of Appeals, Green v. CDO Technologies Inc., the court considered whether an employer can be sued for breach of contract for disparaging remarks... More
  • New York HERO Act requires employers to establish airborne infectious disease safety protocols By Abbie Thederahn   On May 5, 2021, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Health and Essential Rights Act (HERO Act) into law. Under the new law, employers are required to implement several workplace safety measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plan Section 1 of the act directs the New York Department of Labor (NY DOL) to create and publish model airborne infectious disease exposure prevention standards by June 4, 2021. The standards must be differentiated for... More
  • Updated CDC mask guidance: What it means for employers By Jourdan Day   Last week, the CDC updated its guidance regarding masks for individuals fully vaccinated against COVID-19. According to the latest CDC recommendations, persons who are fully vaccinated can resume their indoor and outdoor activities without the need to wear a mask or engage in social distancing, unless there is a federal, state or local law that requires those measures. This includes being able to engage in domestic travel without the need to test for COVID-19 before or after travel... More