Recent Blog Posts

  • President Biden directs OSHA to issue new temporary emergency standard to mandate COVID-19 vaccination or regular testing for companies with 100+ employees By Abbie Thederahn   On Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, President Biden announced a new COVID-19 Action Plan. As part of the plan, the President has directed OSHA to issue a new temporary emergency standard that will require companies with 100 or more employees to mandate COVID-19 vaccination or submit to weekly COVID-19 tests. The OSHA standard will also require paid time off for employees to get the vaccine. The plan will also require healthcare employers to mandate that employees be vaccinated for... More
  • ‘But they don’t work for us!’ Best practices for handling employee claims of harassment by a customer By Mike Underwood   Most employers are equipped to respond to employee allegations of harassment by co-workers or managers. However, there are added levels of difficulty when employees complain of harassment by a customer, contractor or other visitor to the business. In Sansone v. Jazz Casino Company, LLC (Sept. 1, 2021), a federal court of appeals recently ruled that an employee of Harrah’s Casino can go to trial on her claims that she was sexually harassed by a customer and that Harrah’s... More
  • OSHA issues revised COVID-19 guidance By Arslan Sheikh   In response to the recent surge of COVID-19 cases across the country, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued revised COVID-19 guidance to help employers navigate the pandemic. Vaccinated employees OSHA now recommends, among other things, that workers who are fully vaccinated take the following measures to reduce the risk of becoming infected with the Delta variant of COVID-19: Wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission; Wear a mask... More
  • Prompt investigation can be critical to avoiding liability for harassment By John Stephen   The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently provided employers a useful reminder of how important it is to promptly investigate allegations of harassment, or other types of discrimination, even when it appears that such investigation may be fruitless. In Jane Doe v City of Detroit, the court upheld summary judgment for Detroit on a transgender employee’s complaint of harassment. Specifically, the employee complained that an unknown person had defaced her nameplate by scratching the word... More
  • Colorado Supreme Court issues ruling regarding payment of accrued but unused vacation pay at separation By Arslan Sheikh   The Colorado Supreme Court recently settled a debate among employers and employees: Are employers required to pay accrued but unused vacation pay to employees upon separation, even if the employer’s policy contains a forfeiture clause? In Nieto v. Clark’s Market, the court answered “yes.” Although this decision only applies to employees who are bringing claims under the Colorado Wage Claim Act, it clears up a longstanding issue that has puzzled employers in the Centennial State for years. By way... More
  • 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 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 published a technical assistance document that describes... 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