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Recent Blog Posts

  • When it comes to employee discipline, consistency is key By Jyllian Bradshaw    How Constellium should inform employers’ policies and practices  Assume an employee writes the words “whore board” on company overtime sign-up sheets. Serious misconduct, right? In fact, the employer faced with this situation terminated the employee for offensive conduct. In Constellium Rolled Products Ravenswood, LLC v. NLRB, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia agreed with a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision finding the termination was unlawful. The case illustrates that National Labor Relations Act protections sometimes... More
  • Circuit court upholds rest time regulations for commercial drivers By Emily Peffer    Recently, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) modified certain regulations impacting commercial drivers. The Final Rule made two changes related to the hours of service regulations for commercial drivers. Driver advocates challenged the new regulations and the dispute ultimately went to the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The lawsuit alleged that the revised regulations were arbitrary and capricious. The Court of Appeals upheld the regulations. What the new regulations change The two aspects of the Final Rule challenged... More
  • How employers can respond to social justice and free speech issues on social media By Sarah Squillante    *Special thanks to Porter Wright summer law clerk, Grace Brown, for her assistance with this post. It’s the summer of 2020, and someone from your company posts to her public Facebook page saying, “If Black people truly wanted equality, then they wouldn’t be isolating themselves into a separate group with Black Lives Matter. All lives matter!” Your social media marketing team discovers the employee’s post after it was shared by someone who accuses that employee, and your company, of being... More
  • Ohio updates workers’ compensation laws for remote workers By Rebecca Kopp Levine    Over two years after the COVID-19 pandemic began and many employees switched from coming into a workplace to working at home, Ohio has amended the workers’ compensation laws to reflect the current work environment. Effective Sep. 21, 2022, this new legislation expands the definition of a compensable workplace injury to include some injuries sustained within the employee’s home, if certain criteria are met. What counts as a workplace injury? The determination for whether an injury is work-related (regardless of... More
  • Employees and free speech By Jyllian Bradshaw    With increasing frequency, employers are raising the question about what can (or can’t) be done with employees who speak about polarizing issues, whether at work or in a way that affects the work environment. This question is arising often because of our current social and political climate. The legal and practical implications are complex. It is appropriate and timely to provide some background on the law relating to this free speech issue as there are widespread misconceptions. Workplace restrictions... More
  • Third Circuit decides employer’s tweet was comedic, not coercive By Emily Peffer    The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently issued an opinion that reversed a decision by the National Labor Relations Board about whether a comment by a management representative was a threat to workers or a mere joke. The NLRB decision sheds interesting light on how remarks, such as this specific employer’s tweet, meant in jest can backfire. Fortunately for this employer, on appeal the Third Circuit “got the joke.” The world is no stranger to... More
  • Mental health claims on the rise: New normal for disability-related charges? By Jourdan Day    The COVID-19 pandemic took its toll on the mental health of employees. Employees struggled to adjust to the multiple burdens of working from home, caring for family members and achieving work-life balance. Data recently released by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission confirms that more and more discrimination charges include claims based on mental health conditions. This change is based largely on the increase in discrimination charges related to anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Mental health claims up nearly 50% In fiscal... More
  • Executive actions to increase pay equity announced in conjunction with Equal Pay Day By Emily Peffer    What is Equal Pay Day? Equal Pay Day is designated each year by the National Committee on Pay Equity to mark how far women in the United States must work into the year to be paid the same as men in the year prior. This year, Equal Pay Day was determined to be March 15, 2022. In a written statement, President Biden highlighted that for over 25 years Equal Pay Day has “helped draw attention to gender-based pay disparities[.]”... More
  • Caring for caregivers: Understanding caregiver discrimination under federal laws By Jyllian Bradshaw    As we enter the third year of a pandemic, the ongoing disruption caused by COVID-19 and its variants often leaves employers juggling legal and business considerations regarding their workforce. Specifically, many employees are also caregivers — whether they are caring for children, a spouse, an individual with a disability or older relatives. Practically, issues arise when facilities such as schools, daycares or nursing homes have quarantine or closure requirements that directly conflict with an employer’s quarantine or remote-work... More
  • House passes bill banning mandatory arbitration agreements By Nikki Mayo    We recently reported that the Senate passed a #MeToo bill that banned the use of mandatory arbitration agreements for sexual harassment and sexual assault claims. This bill was signed into law by President Biden on March 3, 2022. On March 17, 2022, the House took it a step further and voted 222-209 to pass the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal Act (H.R. 963). Why ban mandatory arbitration? The FAIR Act would void all pre-dispute mandatory arbitration agreements in employment, antitrust, consumer... More