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The Modern Workplace

The Modern Workplace

  • Posts by Rosalee M. McNamara

    Rosalee McNamara represents businesses and organizations in employment and litigation matters throughout the United States. She has successfully defended – from charge to jury verdict – a wide array of employment ...

At the end of April 2024, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published its final guidance on harassment in the workplace, “Enforcement Guidance on Harassment in the Workplace” (“Guidance”). The Guidance is lengthy, with 387 footnotes, and it contains 77 examples and scenarios of various types of unlawful harassment according to the EEOC. The EEOC’s examples include harassing conduct based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions; sexual orientation; and gender identity), national ...

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The answer after the Stericycle ruling is likely “both.” 

As the composition of the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) changes, the roller coaster continues, making it difficult for businesses – whether private, non-profit, non-union or union and beyond – to draft and implement compliant policies, reduce risk, conduct or oversee investigations, and more. The result of this swing will likely be more confusion for all employees – union or not – as to whether common policies actually comply with the law, and more litigation involving employees who are disciplined for ...

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Several recent internet posts present interesting dichotomies between employer needs and employee wants, resulting in challenges and opportunities in the business world. One post noted:

“In 2023, organizations will continue to face significant challenges: a competitive talent landscape, an exhausted workforce, and pressure to control costs amid a looming economic downturn. How employers respond could determine whether they are an employer of choice.”*

What do employers want in 2023?

Employers want talent and skills that include good leadership qualities, strong work ...

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When was the last time your company’s website underwent a compliance review? Is your website compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”)? Did you know that your website may be considered a public accommodation under the ADA? These are all questions you should be asking yourself when it comes to your company website. 

Employer websites may be considered public accommodations for public-facing businesses under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Though the ADA does not explicitly mention websites or mobile applications, it states ...

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On December 14, 2021, the EEOC issued new guidance in its COVID-19 technical assistance FAQs, clarifying the circumstances under which COVID-19 may be considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the federal Rehabilitation Act. “This update to our COVID-19 information provides an additional resource for employees and employers facing the varied manifestations of COVID-19,” according to EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows. “Like effects from other diseases, effects from COVID-19 can lead to a disability protected under the laws the EEOC enforces ...

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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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On Wednesday, February 10, the CDC announced that individuals who are fully vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 do not necessarily have to quarantine following exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
In addition, businesses have asked the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to clarify the types of incentives employers can legally provide employees to encourage them to get COVID-19 vaccinations. Incentives offered by some employers might, for example, include: 
  • Time off from work to get vaccinated, often with pay
  • Incentive bonus (for example, $100)
  • Gift cards
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Whether we realize it or not, we all have unconscious biases - even scientists who are trained to overcome them. Events of the last year have riveted our attention not only on a global pandemic, but also on race relations. Addressing this topic is important to us all - in our businesses and beyond. Unconscious bias training helps us understand why we harbor biases, how to avoid bad decision-making associated with those biases and how to promote greater inclusivity. 
The problem with unconscious biases is we don't see them. As Henry Thoreau said, "Many an object is not seen, though it falls ...
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