Recent Blog Posts

  • FMLA and the modern workforce By Rebecca Kopp Levine    Employers with over 50 employees regularly address employees’ requests for leave under the FMLA. When the FMLA was originally enacted in 1993, the workplace looked a bit different than it does now. Most employees went to a main worksite and job applicants came to a location to apply for employment. In today’s work environment, many employees work remotely and most job applications are submitted online. Yet, employers must grapple with the FMLA’s requirements within the confines of... More
  • New Florida immigration law subjects private employers to E-Verify mandates and penalties By Amanda Keller    On May 10, 2023, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 1718, which takes effect July 1, 2023, creating new employment mandates affecting Florida’s private businesses. Most important for businesses are the host of penalties for those who violate new E-Verify mandates.   E-Verify requirements SB1718 requires private Florida employers with 25 or more employees to use E-Verify for all new hires. E-Verify is an internet-based system operated by the United States Department of Homeland Security, which allows participating employers... More
  • Preparing your workplace for new federal protections for pregnant workers By Emily Peffer    On June 27, 2023, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) took effect. Employers should prepare themselves to comply with this new federal law, which creates much broader and different legal obligations for employers with respect to pregnant workers.  Compliance includes communication with pregnant workers Under the PWFA, covered employers are required to provide a “reasonable accommodation” to workers and applicants with known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition unless doing so would amount to an undue... More
  • United States Supreme Court clarifies employer duty to accommodate religious beliefs By John Stephen    In a unanimous decision on June 29, 2023, the United States Supreme Court clarified, without overruling, a decision on religious belief accommodations that has guided employers since 1977. According to the Supreme Court, what the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), lower courts, employment lawyers and human resource professionals have for nearly 50 years considered to be the test for assessing “undue hardship” when accommodating religious beliefs was never intended to provide such a standard. Court clarification on religious... More
  • State of Ohio continues to examine the remote work debate By Chris Russell    Red Sox or Yankees? Hamburgers or hot dogs? In the office or work from home? While some debates have been around for many years, the debate over whether employees should be required to be back in the office or be permitted to work from home continues for both private and public employers. Workforce trends following the pandemic Although many things changed with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, few things changed as drastically as the world’s workforce. While a 40-hour... More
  • Shot through the heart: Did SCOTUS give strikes a bad name? By Sarah Squillante    *Special thanks to Porter Wright summer law clerk, Diego De La Vega, for his assistance with this post. On June 1, 2023, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a decision some have deemed a blow to the right to strike. An 8-1 decision, Glacier Northwest v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local Union No. 174 crossed ideological lines, as both conservative and liberal members of the Supreme Court either joined the majority opinion or concurred. The strike In August 2017,... More
  • Consistency matters: When the employer speaks, the employees may answer By Porter Wright    A recent National Labor Relations Board decision is a reminder that consistency is an important factor in determining whether an employer has committed an unfair labor practice. In the case of two Kroger subsidiaries, the NLRB held that the National Labor Relations Act protects an employee’s right to wear buttons and masks in support of Black Lives Matter. Section 7 and protected speech In Eastex, Inc. v. NLRB (1978), the Supreme Court held that Section 7 of the National Labor... More
  • NLRB targets confidentiality provisions in severance agreements By Nikki Mayo    In a decision issued Feb. 21, 2023, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) set a new precedent regarding confidentiality provisions. The McLaren Macomb case involved furloughed employees that were offered a severance agreement containing non-disparagement language that prohibited them from making negative statements about the employer. The agreement also contained a confidentiality provision that prohibited the employees from discussing the terms of the agreement itself. The Board determined that the language in these two sections had the effect of... More
  • Defense to temporary total disability compensation for Ohio employers may be limited By Rebecca Kopp Levine    The Tenth District Court of Appeals has thrown a curveball to Ohio employers by limiting a defense to temporary total disability compensation following the termination of an employee. In September 2022, a new law went into effect eliminating the doctrine of voluntary abandonment in Ohio workers’ compensation cases. That doctrine provided that an injured worker was not entitled to benefits when they voluntarily removed themselves from the workforce or were terminated for violation of written work rules. The new... More
  • Biden State of the Union signals measured approach on non-compete ban By Nikki Mayo    The legal and mainstream media is still abuzz following the Federal Trade Commission’s Jan. 5, 2023, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would ban all employee non-compete agreements nationwide. And earlier this month, a bipartisan Senate bill was introduced (the Workforce Mobility Act of 2023, sponsored by U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.)) that also would ban non-competes across the board (except, as in the FTC’s proposal, in connection with the sale of a business). But... More