Legal Issues

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.

Employee activism on the rise: How to react

September 17, 2021
U.S. employers are facing a new age of employee activism as workers in all sizes of companies—both union and nonunion—challenge their employers on social, cultural and moral issues.

Take local predictable scheduling laws seriously

September 16, 2021
These days, it’s harder than ever to schedule hourly workers. But before the pandemic hit, scores of cities and towns adopted predictable scheduling laws aimed at letting hourly workers plan their lives around regular schedules. Ignoring those rules may mean big payouts for affected workers.

Religious objections to covid vaccinations: Separating the wheat from the chaff

September 15, 2021
OSHA’s upcoming vaccine mandate aimed at employers with 100 or more employees has, predictably, sparked an outsized interest in religious exemptions. Some clergy are already offering exemption letters for sale over the internet. What are you supposed to do now?

Warn bosses about bias against addiction disability

September 9, 2021
Refusing to hire someone because of the nature of their disability violates the ADA. That includes making harsh judgments about applicants who may have a disability related to addiction. It doesn’t matter whether the disability was triggered by the individual’s arguably poor choices.