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The Modern Workplace

On August 28, 2021, Missouri joined the growing list of states with legislation aimed at protecting employees who experience domestic or sexual violence. Missouri’s Victims Economic Safety and Security Act (“VESSA”) applies to all employers with at least 20 employees. This new law provides unpaid leave and reasonable safety accommodations to employees who are victims of domestic or sexual violence or who have a family or household member who is a victim of domestic or sexual violence. It also requires employers to give notice of the new law to all current employees and ...

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Deja vu, all over again!!! Last week, the EEOC announced that the deadline to submit and certify 2019 and 2020 EE0-1 Component 1 Reports has been changed – for the umpteenth time. The NEW filing deadline is now Monday, October 25, 2021. And, the EEOC has said (again, as I recall) that this new deadline is the FINAL DEADLINE, that all eligible filers must submit data by this time, and that ”No additional changes to the filing deadline will be made.”  

While we should all take the EEOC at its word, the EEOC also said that this latest extension was due to the “continuing impact of the pandemic ...

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Remember back in May 2021 (May 13 to be exact!) when the CDC dropped bombshell recommendations which outlined what individuals could / could not do based on vaccination status?! Vaccinated individuals rejoiced that they could remove their masks inside and largely dispense with social distancing. Unvaccinated individuals were, of course, less enthused. At that time, OSHA guidance had been to not treat employees differently based on vaccination status. The agency fairly quickly pivoted, affixing this banner to the top of its website on May 18, 2021:  

“The Centers for Disease ...

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Yesterday, on July 27, 2021, the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued new COVID-19 guidance, including recommending face masks even for vaccinated people when they are in indoor public settings in geographic areas with substantial or high COVID-19 transmission rates, as mapped from time to time by the CDC. The CDC:

  • Updated guidance for fully vaccinated people given new evidence on the degree to which the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant is currently circulating in the United States and its high contagion factor.
  • Recommended that fully vaccinated people wear a mask in public ...
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The new federal administration continues to put its stamp on the development and enforcement of wage and hour laws under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Recently, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a new Field Assistance Bulletin (Bulletin 2021), revoking a Trump administration policy relating to the practice of seeking liquidated damages in pre-litigation settlement discussions.

Employers who violate the FLSA provisions relating to minimum wage, overtime compensation, and protections for tipped employees, are liable for the unpaid wages or tips as well as an equal ...

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On June 10, 2021, OSHA released a long-awaited new Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”), which establishes new mandatory workplace safety requirements for employers providing healthcare services or healthcare support services. The ETS aims to protect employees from exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace by requiring the following:

  • a COVID-19 plan based on an assessment of COVID-19 hazards;
  • patient screening;
  • transmission-based precautions;
  • continued personal protective equipment (PPE) usage;
  • social distancing while indoors;
  • proper cleaning and disinfecting ...
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The gig economy is an industry that is generally characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts, freelance work, and indefinite flexible working arrangements. It also usually comes with getting work through some type of online or app-based digital platform. The unifying factor in all of these companies is that they are managing independent contractors and freelancers who have signed up to perform task services for the ultimate end user. From a legal perspective, this is very different from the traditional employee model. In a recent podcast, we explored the impacts of the ...

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The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued an important update to its COVID-19 guidance. Most notably, the update provides long-awaited guidance on mandatory vaccination policies and vaccination incentives—both of which we discussed in earlier blog posts and client alerts

Mandatory Vaccinations

The EEOC’s updated guidance makes clear that, under employment discrimination laws, an employer can require its employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19 before physically entering the workplace, subject to the reasonable accommodation provisions of the ...

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued new guidance regarding what activities fully vaccinated people may safely engage in. The CDC stated that fully vaccinated individuals can resume activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, rules and regulations. In response to the CDC’s new guidance, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) added a statement to its January 2021 guidance stating that OSHA is reviewing the recent CDC guidance and will ...

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As the number of people working remotely decreases while employees start returning to their places of employment, or decide to make home their permanent office, a refresher on the requirements around the compensability of travel time to and from the workplace could prove helpful.

The general rule under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is that employees must be compensated whenever they are working. However, pursuant to the Portal-to-Portal Act, time spent traveling to and from the actual place where the employee performs his or her principal activities, or “commuting ...

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