On May 1, 2020, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released an OSHA Alert for restaurants and beverage service businesses providing curbside and takeout service during the pandemic.  This Alert is one in a series of industry-specific alerts that OSHA has published, and will continue to publish, to assist and educate businesses that will re-open (or that continued to operate), and which recommends certain measures to protect employees and patrons during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Continue Reading OSHA Releases COVID-19 Safety Guidance for Restaurants Offering Takeout or Curbside Pickup

An employer’s duty to bargain may change during emergency situations, and the General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board released a series of case summaries Friday to help employers navigate the exceptions. General Counsel Peter Robb summarized nine Board cases addressing both general public emergencies and emergencies particular to individual employers.  Robb did not make any declarations about how the COVID-19 outbreak and associated response might affect bargaining obligations, but the summarized cases provide good examples of bargaining exceptions that may or may not apply.
Continue Reading NLRB General Counsel Releases Emergency Bargaining Case Summaries

Employers with collective bargaining agreements and union relationships know they generally cannot make unilateral changes to terms and conditions of employment.  But in an unprecedented emergency like the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak we are all facing, union bargaining obligations may be relaxed, either based on the terms of a collective bargaining agreement, or under National Labor Relations Board law.  As employers are forced to make ever more difficult operational decisions in the face of this emerging threat, here are some issues unionized businesses should consider when contemplating major workplace changes.
Continue Reading Coronavirus and the NLRA – Unilateral Changes in Emergency Situations

February is a great time for employers with New York operations to check on their progress regarding New Year’s resolutions for revising policies, training supervisors and implementing other changes to ensure compliance with recent developments in the law. The changes in employment laws during 2019 provide strong incentives for employers to update their practices. Following are 13 employment law developments that New York employers should make a part of their 2020 “resolutions” and employment practices.
Continue Reading New Year’s Resolutions for New York Employers: Implementing Lessons Learned from 2019

New York joins a handful of other states when its broad prohibition on employer inquiries into applicants’ prior wage or salary information takes place today, January 6, 2020.  As detailed in our previous alert on this issue, New York previously had expansive pay equity laws in effect for public employers, but the new law expands the prohibition to private employers throughout the state.
Continue Reading New York Statewide Ban on Salary History Inquiries for All Employers Effective January 6, 2020

Illinois joined the growing list of states to legalize marijuana as of January 1, 2020.  Employers with employees in Illinois should consider how the new law may affect their business, and review their policies to ensure compliance with the statute.
Continue Reading What Employers Need to Know About Legal Marijuana in Illinois

The competing interests of the business community and tipped workers continue to inform public policy decisions about the minimum wage.  We have previously written about increases in the minimum wage on the state, county and municipal level.  Most recently, the cities of Chicago and Denver tackled this issue and joined the many jurisdictions across the country to approve increases to their minimum wage.
Continue Reading Chicago and Denver Increase Minimum Wage

The National Labor Relations Board has issued the first part of its planned series of revisions to labor union election procedures.  The revisions arrive five years after the Obama-era Board’s controversial 2014 changes that created the so-called “ambush election” procedures.  
Continue Reading NLRB Issues First of Its Proposed Changes to Union Election Rules