The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently provided employers a useful reminder of how important it is to promptly investigate allegations of harassment, or other types of discrimination, even when it appears that such investigation may be fruitless.

In Jane Doe v City of Detroit, the court upheld summary judgment for Detroit on a transgender employee’s complaint of harassment. Specifically, the employee complained that an unknown person had defaced her nameplate by scratching the word “Mr.” on it, and she had received anonymous notes citing Bible verses, commenting on her transgender identity and stating that people like her should be put to death. Continue Reading Prompt investigation can be critical to avoiding liability for harassment

The Colorado Supreme Court recently settled a debate among employers and employees: Are employers required to pay accrued but unused vacation pay to employees upon separation, even if the employer’s policy contains a forfeiture clause? In Nieto v. Clark’s Market, the court answered “yes.” Although this decision only applies to employees who are bringing claims under the Colorado Wage Claim Act, it clears up a longstanding issue that has puzzled employers in the Centennial State for years.

Continue Reading Colorado Supreme Court issues ruling regarding payment of accrued but unused vacation pay at separation

As we shared in a previous blog, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Health and Essential Rights Act (HERO Act) into law on May 5, 2021. Shortly thereafter, the New York legislature amended the HERO Act to clarify several questions that were left unanswered in the previous version of the law. On June 11, 2021, Gov. Cuomo signed the amended HERO Act into law.

Continue Reading New York passes employer-friendly amendments to HERO Act

In honor of LGBTQ+ Pride Month, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently released a number of resources to educate employers, employees and applicants about the right to be free from sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in employment. Although these resources simply restate existing law and policy, they are a great refresher for employers that want to ensure they are complying with federal employment discrimination law.

Continue Reading EEOC issues guidance documents to commemorate LGBTQ+ Pride Month

Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, the Ohio Industrial Commission (IC) has conducted all hearings remotely. In mid-April 2021, the IC switched from a telephone bridge to the WebEx platform which has video capability. We wrote about this change in this blog post.

Continue Reading Ohio Industrial Commission returning to in-person hearings on July 6, 2021

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a COVID-19 emergency temporary standard that is effective today. In the face of pressure from the White House and some interest groups to develop an emergency OSHA standard targeted specifically at COVID-19 workplace safety, OSHA has issued a standard targeted only at health care employers. The standard sets out extensive workplace safety requirements that employers in the healthcare sector must follow through the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Continue Reading OSHA issues COVID-19 emergency temporary standard for health care employers

On June 10, 2021, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) revised its general COVID-19 guidance applicable to all employers. At the same time, OSHA issued a COVID-19 emergency temporary standard setting out extensive requirements for employers in the health care sector. For more details on the health care emergency temporary standard, see this blog post.

Continue Reading OSHA updates general COVID-19 guidance for all employers

As we previously reported, the American Rescue Plan Act provides for a temporary 100 percent subsidy of the cost of premiums for COBRA continuation coverage for an employee or dependent who is a COBRA qualified beneficiary due to an involuntary termination of employment or reduction in hours. The law requires employers to send a notice to eligible individuals who incurred an involuntary termination of employment or reduction in hours before April 1, 2021. This notice must be sent by May 31, 2021.

Continue Reading Reminder: Employers must send COBRA Extended Election Notice by May 31, 2021