EEOC’s Updated Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccines in the Workplace Impacts Employer Approaches for Compliance with CDC Guidance and State and Local Require

Employers―and particularly those operating in multiple states―should be mindful of how the updated guidance impacts their efforts to comply with state requirements. On May 28, 2021, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its guidance on workplace COVID-19 vaccination issues under the federal EEO laws. The updated guidance is important for employers to consider in…

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Employees Working from Home – How Should Company’s React?

With the country reopening due to the lessening of COVID-related restrictions, companies and employees are returning to a new “normal.” Remote working has become a recruiting tool for some companies. For other companies which have required employees to return to the office, the failure to continue to allow some form of remote working (“hybrid model”)…

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Court Revives Title VII and FMLA Claims

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals revived race discrimination and retaliation claims of a Black sheriff’s office employee fired for sleeping on the job based on evidence that the office only counseled a white employee for the same behavior. The plaintiff was a shift supervisor in the dispatch department of the St. John the…

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Employers React to Workers Who Refuse a COVID-19 Vaccination

As COVID-19 vaccines become widely available, many employers are asking if they can require employees to get vaccinated, and what they can do if workers refuse. Some employers are firing workers who won’t take the vaccine. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has weighed in with guidance that answers some workplace vaccination questions. Employers may encourage or…

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Employers Paid $439M to Resolve EEOC Discrimination Claims in 2020

Employers paid more than $439 million to resolve U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) discrimination allegations. That number includes both private sector and state and local government workplaces during the agency’s 2020 fiscal year, according to a Feb. 26 statement. Retaliation claims constituted more than half of all charges filed with the agency last year, while disability-related claims and…

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Doctor’s Note Failed to Prove Worker’s Disability, Court Finds

A doctor’s note about a worker’s physical limitations couldn’t prove the worker had a disability because the doctor had not been properly identified as an expert witness, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled (Tesone v. Empire Marketing Strategies, No. 20-1093 (10th Cir., Feb. 5, 2021)). Empire, a marketing company, assigned a worker to…

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Workers Taking Suboxone, Methadone Protected by ADA, Feds Caution

Workers undergoing methadone, Suboxone or similar addiction treatments are protected from discrimination by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reminded employers Nov. 16, announcing a lawsuit alleging such bias. The commission said it sued an Indiana-based transportation company for refusing to hire an applicant because of her Suboxone treatment for…

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COVID-19 Related Litigation Surges: What Employers Can Do To Minimize Exposure

The much-anticipated surge of COVID-19 pandemic-related litigation has begun. As the pandemic continues to lay siege to the United States economy, claimants’ lawyers and government agencies have begun setting their sights on employers. In early May, we predicted an uptick in a variety of claims, including those relating to workplace safety, discrimination in furlough and…

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