Just in Time for the Holidays, the EEOC Proposes Guidance on Religious Bias

Posted in Employee Handbooks & Policies, Employment Counseling & Workplace Claims Prevention, Employment Discrimination Harassment & Retaliation

It seems that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is getting into the holiday spirit and addressing religious bias for the first time in twelve years. Last week, the EEOC proposed updated religious discrimination guidance for public comment. This guidance (clocking in at well over 100 pages) is in line with the agency’s goal to revamp its stance on religious discrimination and protections afforded to employers, especially those affiliated with a religious faith. For employers, the recent guidance provides reasons both to celebrate and gear up for a chilly winter.

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California Voters OK Independent Contractor Status for App Service Drivers

Posted in Employment Counseling & Workplace Claims Prevention, Employment Discrimination Harassment & Retaliation, Wage & Hour

On November 3, 2020, nearly 60% of California voters approved a ballot measure to create a carve-out from the state’s expansive independent contractor law, AB 5, for drivers on technology platforms such as Lyft, Uber, Doordash, and Postmates. Proposition 22 essentially creates a new category of workers by allowing transportation technology companies to continue to treat drivers on their platforms as independent contractors while simultaneously requiring the companies to provide a new array of benefits traditionally reserved for employees.

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New Obligations for Colorado Employers

Posted in Employment Counseling & Workplace Claims Prevention, Employment Discrimination Harassment & Retaliation, Medical & Other Leaves, Wage & Hour

Two new statutes affecting all employers operating in Colorado, the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (EPEWA) and paid sick leave through Colorado’s Healthy Families and Workplaces Act, will add to the compliance burden of all employers operating in Colorado effective January 1, 2021.

The impact of each new law on employers is discussed below.

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Back to Pro-Labor: What Employers Can Expect From a Biden Presidency: Part II, Labor Relations Edition

Posted in Employment Counseling & Workplace Claims Prevention, Labor Relations

While the final results are not yet certified, it appears that we have a new president. Employers across the country, both union and non-union, are wondering what they can expect from a Joe Biden presidency when it comes to organized labor. The Biden campaign was not shy about its strong support for labor unions, and many of Biden’s campaign promises involved restoring the Obama administration’s pro-union policies that have largely been dismantled by the Trump administration.

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Workplace Changes to Expect Under a Biden Administration: Part I

Posted in Employee Benefits, Employment Discrimination Harassment & Retaliation, Medical & Other Leaves, Non-Compete & Trade Secret Litigation, Wage & Hour

The networks have called the Presidential election for Joe Biden. Assuming those results are certified and President Trump’s legal challenges fail, what should employers expect under the new administration? In Part I of this two-part series, let’s explore what changes we might see in the workplace from the employment law perspective. In Part II, we will look at changes in the world of traditional labor and union campaigns.

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California’s Sweeping Expansion of Employment Laws

Posted in Employee Handbooks & Policies, Employment Discrimination Harassment & Retaliation, Medical & Other Leaves, Wage & Hour, Whistleblower & Retaliation Claims, Workplace Safety & OSHA

California has enacted a host of new laws impacting family and medical leave, coronavirus reporting obligations, workers compensation, pay gap data, worker classifications, and more. Here are the highlights, including when employers must abide by the new laws.

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Screening for COVID-19? Update Your Protocol!

Posted in Employment Counseling & Workplace Claims Prevention, Workplace Safety & OSHA

Employers screening for COVID-19 should consider updating their screening and other protocols following new guidance issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and a new study on how long the coronavirus can live on surfaces.

The new definition greatly expands persons who will be considered close contacts, and is just the latest change prompted by what scientists have learned regarding the spread of COVID-19. The CDC now also concedes that the virus can be “airborne” — a term with specialized meaning in the public health setting — but that is not the primary means of transmission. And another new study suggests the virus can live as long as 28 days on cold hard surfaces (such as an iPhone) – at least in an experimental laboratory setting.

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New York State Releases Guidance on the State’s New Sick Leave Law

Posted in Employment Counseling & Workplace Claims Prevention, Medical & Other Leaves, Wage & Hour

New York employers waiting for clarification on the newly effective New York State Sick Leave Law (“Sick Leave Law”) need wait no longer: on October 20, 2020, the state issued initial guidance – titled the New York State Paid Sick Leave FAQ (the “Guidance”) – interpreting the law.

The Sick Leave Law applies to all private sector workers in the state and became effective September 30, 2020. Although employees were entitled to begin accruing paid sick leave on the effective date, employers are not required to allow employees to use such leave until January 1, 2021.

In adopting the new law, New York joins several other states – and some localities, including New York City, which has its own sick leave ordinance – in requiring employers provide paid sick leave for employees beyond the temporary leave requirements relating to the pandemic.

Key provisions from the Sick Leave Law and newly released Guidance follow below.

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Can Employers Require that Employees Get the Flu Shot?

Posted in Employment Counseling & Workplace Claims Prevention, Employment Discrimination Harassment & Retaliation, Workplace Safety & OSHA

Flu season is upon us. Can employers require a flu shot? More importantly, should they?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasizes that getting a flu vaccine this year is “more important than ever during 2020-2021 to protect yourself and the people around you from flu, and to help reduce the strain on healthcare systems responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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COVID-19 Related Litigation Surges: What Employers Can Do To Minimize Exposure

Posted in Employment Counseling & Workplace Claims Prevention, Employment Litigation, Medical & Other Leaves, Whistleblower & Retaliation Claims, Workplace Safety & OSHA

The much-anticipated surge of COVID-19 pandemic-related litigation has begun. As the pandemic continues to lay siege to the United States economy, claimants’ lawyers and government agencies have begun setting their sights on employers.

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