As COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise, so too does the number of lawsuits filed against employers. Recently, an increasing number of families of employees who died from COVID-19 have asserted wrongful death actions against employers for failing to keep their family members safe while at work. What can employers learn from these lawsuits to not only keep their workers safe but avoid being on the receiving end of such a claim?
Businesses in Georgia now have protection from civil lawsuits arising out of alleged COVID-19 exposure, transmission, infection or potential exposure. The Georgia COVID-19 Pandemic Business Safety Act (GCPBSA), which is now in effect, protects businesses and individuals in many circumstances from COVID-19 exposure claims (and other types of claims) that accrue before July 14, 2021. You must take some specific proactive steps to receive this protection, however – so you need to make sure you understand the details of this new law.
As of this writing, employees from across the country have filed more than 430 COVID-19-related lawsuits against their employers and former employers. Not all of these claims have focused on the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) — the federal legislation governing Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Family and Medical Leave — but rather a substantial number of lawsuits have alleged employer impropriety using COVID-19 as a factual backdrop. Examining some of these cases more closely, some common themes emerge. How should employers prepare for potential litigation?
In a surprising and significant ruling yesterday, a New York federal judge tossed out several key Department of Labor rules regulating the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), meaning that more workers will be able to take paid leave under the new law. The ruling also creates uncertainty for employers trying to comply with administrative aspects of the leave act requirements, and brings us back to the confusing early days of the new law before the DOL issued clarifying regulations. The scope of the ruling is unclear at present, as the judge did not specifically indicate if it applies nationally or just in New York. However, even if limited in scope, the same reasoning could be followed by other courts considering similar challenges in other parts of the country.
After state lawmakers passed sweeping expansions to the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) in August 2019, employers have been left in the dark as to how the state would interpret and enforce the new requirement forcing employers to report adverse judgments or administrative rulings regarding unlawful discrimination to the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR). This has been particularly frustrating given that the change went into effect on July 1, 2020. Fortunately, the IDHR just issued guidance for these requirements. What do Illinois employers need to know in order be ready to comply with their reporting obligations under the IHRA?
California Governor Gavin Newsom just released a 32-page COVID-19 Employer Playbook providing additional guidance for California employers related to COVID-19 and safe re-opening.
The National Labor Relations Board has just proposed new union election rules that would reduce the information employers must provide to unions prior to elections and allowing absentee voting by workers on military leave. This is the third rule the Board has proposed during the Trump administration impacting elections of bargaining representatives. What do employers need to know about this proposal?
In response to the rise and spread of newly reported COVID-19 cases, Ohio’s Department of Health issued an order this week mandating the use of face coverings in public. In addition to the mask mandate, the agency issued a new travel advisory for Ohioans. What do Ohio employers need to know about these developments?
Although COVID-19 remains a significant public health concern, companies throughout the country have reopened their manufacturing facilities. As they reopen, companies should follow certain best practices to ensure the safety of their employees and avoid potential liability. Here is a five-step best practices plan to put your company – and your employees – in the best position to succeed.
Reports of increased deaths and hospitalizations of nursing home employees infected with COVID-19 have prompted unprecedented numbers of federal and state workplace safety inspections at healthcare facilities. Just this week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued its second COVID-19-related citation to an Ohio healthcare company for $40,482. What do healthcare employers need to know about this July 21 development and what can you do to ensure your workplaces meet the necessary safety standards?
Because COVID-19 continues to spread at a rapid rate throughout the country, with positivity rates hovering between 7% and 8% in Indiana, Governor Eric Holcomb recently announced he will sign an executive order requiring face coverings to be worn in most public and commercial settings starting Monday, July 27. Governor Holcomb is expected to sign the Order today. What do employers need to know about this new requirement?
The state of New York has not been immune to the fast-growing COVID-19 employment litigation case load. This should come as no surprise to businesses located here, given that New York has been one of the states hit hardest by the pandemic and typically has one of the most voluminous employment litigation dockets. According to the FP COVID-19 Employment Litigation Tracker, a total of 28 cases have been filed in New York state and federal courts as of July 22. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, which encompasses Manhattan, leads the pack with 11 cases in its district. What are the five most important lessons you can learn from this data?
Virginia just adopted the nation’s first enforceable regulatory mandate regarding COVID-19 safety measures in the workplace. While the emergency standard adopted today by the Virginia Safety and Health Code Board will only be applicable to and enforceable against employers in Virginia, it sets the groundwork for other state plan states to adopt similar enforcement measures, including California, North Carolina, Oregon, and Michigan. What do Virginia employers – and employers around the country – need to know about this development?
The Department of Labor issued several sets of new guidance materials to employers as return-to-work, remote work, and wage and hour issues remain hot – and sometimes confusing – topics. The agency recognizes that the intersection between the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) can be a challenging place for compliance purposes, and therefore compiled some additional materials to aid you in navigating this journey.