On June 3, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”), a cybercrime statute providing civil claims against someone who “exceeds authorized access” to a computer system to obtain trade secrets or other information, does not apply to employees or others who steal information from computer systems to which they had legitimate, technical access. This ruling sharply curtails the CFAA’s effectiveness as a litigation option against employees who violate employers’ computer use policies or confidentiality restrictions to divert company information for themselves or a prospective competing employer.
On May 28, 2021, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued long-awaited updated guidance regarding employers’ ability to mandate and incentivize employee vaccination for COVID-19 under federal equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws. Adding information to existing Q&A guidance, and coordinating with the newly updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the EEOC update provides some clarity on previously vague agency positions. Importantly, the new guidance explicitly states that 1) employers can mandate vaccines without violating federal EEO laws, and 2) employers may provide incentives to employees who receive COVID-19 vaccinations.
Nexsen Pruet attorney Dara James Coleman was quoted on OSHA plans and complaints in the Financial Planning article “Hold the line: Inside Wells Fargo’s pandemic response.”
Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business recognizes 9 Nexsen Pruet practice areas and 32 attorneys.
Rescinding Mask Mandates, Masks in Schools, Prohibiting Vaccine Passports, Crowd Control, Curbside Sales of Beer and Wine, and More.
The day after his inauguration, President Biden signed an executive order directing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to “consider whether any emergency temporary standards on COVID-19, including with respect to masks in the workplace, are necessary, and if such standards are determined to be necessary, issue them by March 15, 2021.” Though March 15 has passed, OSHA has reportedly been finalizing an emergency temporary COVID-19 standard that would require blanket use of masks at work, at least indoors.
South Carolina recently passed a joint resolution that offers protection to its businesses and health care providers from liability for certain claims arising from COVID-19.
Effective May 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) withdrew the agency’s Trump-era rule that for the first time established a test for independent contractor status in a federal regulation. The Trump rule was published on Jan. 7, 2021, and was set to go into effect on March 8, 2021. (See our prior articles explaining the Trump rule here and here). However, the DOL under President Biden proposed to delay the rule from taking effect, and on May 5, 2021, announced its withdrawal.
Nexsen Pruet employment attorneys Nikole Mergo, Jennie Cluverius, and Jimmy Byars were featured in Law360 for their representation of Nephron Pharmaceuticals in a considerable trade secrets case.
Although the novel Coronavirus caused many industries to slow their normal operations last year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission remained largely steady, scoring a number of significant settlements from employers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how and where employees are able to work, and some employers are allowing their employees to continue to work from home despite restrictions lifting. While many revel in this new approach, it does cause concerns for privacy and data security. Data breaches have been on the rise in part due to the rushed response to COVID-19, as employers were unable to properly train and equip their employees prior to mandated shutdowns. Data breaches can cause severe reputational harm, and more and more states have passed, or are actively contemplating, legislation that would impose fines and other consequences should a breach occur.
On April 28, 2021, Gov. Henry McMaster signed South Carolina’s COVID-19 Liability Immunity Act into law. The state’s employers will now have a defense that they are immune from liability if an employee claims s/he contracted COVID-19 at work.
Introduction. In mid-March, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and included in its many provisions for providing COVID relief and economic stimulus is the six-month COBRA Premium Assistance (a/k/a COBRA subsidy).
The General Assembly returned to Raleigh this week following last week’s spring recess. The Senate bill filing deadline closed on April 6, resulting in a significant number of new bills. The House of Representative’s final filing deadline for non-budget-related bills is May 4, so we expect to see additional proposals filed between now and then.
On April 13, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Joint Statement on the Johnson and Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 Vaccine. The CDC and FDA are recommending a pause in the use of the J&J vaccine as the agencies investigate six reported cases of serious blood clots occurring in individuals vaccinated with the J&J product.