Legal Issues

EEOC clarifies what’s pandemic retaliation

November 29, 2021
The EEOC has updated its retaliation guidance for the coronavirus pandemic age, releasing a new technical assistance document explaining how to balance employee anti-retaliation rights under the ADA, Title VII and other laws against an employer’s need to enforce covid health and safety protocols.

Hold it! Don’t prevent extra bathroom breaks

November 22, 2021
Alert managers that some medical conditions do require more frequent visits to the restroom.

Can you fire employee for saying, “Let’s go, Brandon!”?

November 18, 2021
Southwest Airlines is investigating a pilot for saying, “Let’s go, Brandon!” during an in-flight announcement. Southwest sent a reminder to staff that “public expressions of personal opinions while on duty is unacceptable.”

3 federal agencies team up to stop retaliation

November 18, 2021
The U.S. Department of Labor, the EEOC and the National Labor Relations Board are responsible for enforcing most federal anti-discrimination laws affecting workers and the workplace. Concerned with an increase in the number of employee lawsuits accusing employers of retaliation, those three agencies have joined forces to raise awareness about the problem.

5th Circuit refuses to lift stay on OSHA covid mandate

November 16, 2021
A panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has reaffirmed a previous order that prevented OSHA’s vaccinate-or-test covid-safety mandate from taking effect. The move adds uncertainty to a process driven by looming deadlines.

Review points-based attendance system now

October 28, 2021
Some employers use a points-based system to punish employees whose unplanned absences wreak havoc on operations. It can be effective. However, a system that’s too draconian or doesn’t allow for reasonable exceptions may invite litigation, especially from employees who claim they have an ADA-covered disability.

OSHA cites insurance agency for covid-safety violations

October 12, 2021
A federal workplace health investigation found that an auto insurance company ignored coronavirus safety requirements and allowed others displaying symptoms to work at the same Denver location where an employee died of covid-19.

Beware retaliation against activist employees

October 7, 2021
Amazon has agreed to settle allegations it retaliated against two former employees who organized demonstrations decrying the retail giant’s environmental impact and helped employees protest working conditions.

Ensure post-offer tests are job-related and necessary

September 23, 2021
Making a job offer is a de facto acknowledgement that you believe the applicant was qualified for the position. If you make the offer contingent on passing some sort of pre-employment test, make sure the test is job-related and consistent with business necessity. Otherwise, you are courting lawsuits that likely favor applicants who fail the test.

Federal task force offers clues on vaccine mandate compliance

September 21, 2021
We won’t know the covid vaccine mandate compliance challenges private-sector employers will face until OSHA issues an emergency temporary standard. However, clues are available in new guidance issued by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force. Here’s what the guidance says about two key issues.