Employer May Terminate Employee After Remedial Action for FMLA Noncompliance

In Watson v. Drexel University, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that an employer may terminate an employee for taking unauthorized leave after the employer had corrected an earlier mistake in its Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) certification requirements. In Watson, an employee requested authorization for FMLA leave for personal illness after…

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14 Key HR Lessons Learned in 2021

Looking back, 2021 has been a year in which HR professionals at all levels learned critical lessons. Here are some of the areas we HR folks have struggled with this year: 1. Show employees the company’s purpose beyond profits. People join and stay with a company only if their personal values are in line with those…

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Assessing Compliance Obligations with the OSHA COVID-19 Vaccine/Testing ETS After the Sixth Circuit Reinstated the Standard

On Dec. 17, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals dissolved a stay from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and reinstated OSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for vaccines and testing. Essentially, the Court agreed with the Department of Labor that it had authority to issue the ETS and that the circumstances warranted an emergency…

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EEOC Clarifies When COVID-19 May Be an ADA-Covered Disability

An employee’s or job applicant’s COVID-19-related impairment may qualify as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) even if the worker’s initial COVID-19 illness was not covered, according to updated guidance from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). A worker’s COVID-19 illness will not be considered an ADA disability if the worker…

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Federal Court Puts OSHA’s Emergency COVID Vaccination Mandates on Hold, But Private Employers Must Still Consider Next Steps

What You Should Know OSHA issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) requiring employers with 100 or more employees to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations or regular testing for employees that do not choose to vaccinate. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rendered the ETS unenforceable by issuing a temporary stay, which it subsequently reaffirmed and which OSHA…

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Employer-Sponsored Retirement and Health Plans: What You Need to Know for Year-End

Who Needs to Know – U.S. Employers, particularly HR personnel; Retirement Plan Sponsors and Administrators. Why It Matters – While year-end is ordinarily a busy time for companies, the number of COVID-19-related pieces of legislation and developments present additional items employers and plan sponsors must address in wrapping up 2021. As we approach the 19th month of…

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OSHA Issues COVID-19 Workplace Vaccine-or-Testing Mandate

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released its highly anticipated emergency temporary standard requiring businesses with at least 100 employees to mandate that their employees get vaccinated against the coronavirus or wear a mask and test for COVID-19 on at least a weekly basis. Additionally, the White House announced the following details: All unvaccinated workers must…

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4 Steps for Handling Religious Objections to Workplace Vaccine Mandates

Employers generally must explore reasonable accommodations for employees who refuse to get vaccinated against the coronavirus based on a sincerely held religious belief—but objections based on personal or political views are not protected under federal anti-discrimination laws. Many employers who implemented vaccine mandates have faced a tidal wave of requests for religious exemptions, according to…

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When May an Employer Reject a Religious Accommodation Request?

An employer that requires vaccinations against COVID-19 must grant sincere religious accommodation requests, so long as they don’t cause an undue hardship on the company. How can a business tell whether an objection to vaccination is based on a genuinely held religious belief and accommodate without creating an undue hardship? Since it is so hard…

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The Return to the Office May Spur Harassment, ADA Claims

Various legal experts have said that employers with lasting remote operations or returning workforces should look out for certain issues. On Sept. 7, it appeared: the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s first lawsuit alleging an employer violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by requiring an employee to work in person, despite a company policy allowing…

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