Workers’ compensation provides the exclusive remedy for injuries and illness that employees suffer arising out of and within the course of their employment.  In the early stages of this pandemic, work-related travel to high impact countries or work-related exposure in a case that was being tracked by public health authorities provided support for work-related exposure.  In health care settings, work-related exposure will likely be established when exposure to infected patients occurs.  But in other settings and as the diseases spreads in the United States, the analysis about whether an illness is covered by workers’ compensation will be more difficult.
Continue Reading Workers Compensation, Insurance, and COVID-19

As the national response to COVID-19 intensifies, states and localities across the country have announced school closures.  Employers should review their state and local laws to determine whether such closings may trigger an employee’s right to take job-protected, or paid leave.
Continue Reading Emergency School Closures and Paid Sick Leave – What Employers Need to Know

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

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 body of law surrounding class action employment arbitrations received another jolt Monday when the Second Circuit revived an arbitration action with a potential class of roughly 70,000 employees. In Jock v. Sterling Jewelers, the Second Circuit overturned the district court and upheld an arbitrator’s decision to bind absent class members to the arbitration provisions of the company’s agreement.  The case represents another significant development in the realm of class arbitrations and class waivers, which have been the subject of significant recent litigation.
Continue Reading Second Circuit Revival of 70,000-Employee Class Action Adds Ripple to Uncertain Waters of Class Arbitrations

Illinois joined a handful of other states when its prohibition on employer inquiries into applicants’ prior wage or salary information took effect this week. Under the law, no employers in Illinois can ask about the wage or salary histories of job applicants.
Continue Reading Illinois Bans Employer Inquiries on Salary History, Continues Trend

A new Virginia law will require employers to provide current or former employees with copies of certain employment-related documents upon request. Effective July 1, 2019, Virginia employers must provide a copy of a limited set of employment documents to employees upon receipt of a written request for such information from the employee, her attorney or an authorized insurer.
Continue Reading Virginia Enacts Employment Documents Disclosure Law

The Department of Labor earlier this month proposed employer-friendly amendments to its rules regarding joint employer liability under the Fair Labor Standards Act. In its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the DOL proposed the adoption of a four-factor test to assess joint employer status under the FLSA.  The test would consider an employer’s actual exercise of significant control over the terms and conditions of an employee’s work, rather than attenuated control or contractually reserved control that goes unexercised.


Continue Reading Department of Labor Proposes Joint Employer Rule Changes for FLSA