On Jan. 5, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a slate of proposed rulemaking. Of interest to employers in particular is a proposed rule that would completely ban the use of non-competition or non-compete agreements, which prevent employees from working for a competitor or starting a competing business. Typically, these agreements often last months or years and are limited to a certain geographic scope. The FTC noted that it believes non-compete agreements often have the effect of lowering workers’ wages.

Continue Reading FTC announces proposed rule prohibiting non-compete agreements

COVID-19 has presented employers with leave challenges not only for those currently suffering from COVID-19, but also for employees who have lingering residual symptoms, sometimes referred to as “long COVID.” While the effects of routine COVID-19 cases often have a limited impact on the workplace, more difficult accommodation issues can result from long COVID.
Continue Reading Long COVID implications under FMLA and ADA

The term “quiet quitting” has recently been hard to avoid on the internet, in the media and in the workplace. Unlike its name implies, it has nothing to do with the employee actually quitting their job. Rather, it’s when an employee will not give more than the bare minimum and put in any extra effort. Employers can attempt to improve performance by such employees by ensuring they have good managers in place throughout their organizations.

Continue Reading Quiet quitting: Why it matters, and what employers can do to increase employee engagement

How Constellium should inform employers’ policies and practices 

Assume an employee writes the words “whore board” on company overtime sign-up sheets. Serious misconduct, right? In fact, the employer faced with this situation terminated the employee for offensive conduct.

In Constellium Rolled Products Ravenswood, LLC v. NLRB, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia agreed with a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision finding the termination was unlawful. The case illustrates that National Labor Relations Act protections sometimes can trump an employer’s right to regulate potentially offensive language at work.

Continue Reading When it comes to employee discipline, consistency is key

*Special thanks to Porter Wright summer law clerk, Grace Brown, for her assistance with this post.

It’s the summer of 2020, and someone from your company posts to her public Facebook page saying, “If Black people truly wanted equality, then they wouldn’t be isolating themselves into a separate group with Black Lives Matter. All lives matter!”

Your social media marketing team discovers the employee’s post after it was shared by someone who accuses that employee, and your company, of being racist.

What do you do?
Continue Reading How employers can respond to social justice and free speech issues on social media

Over two years after the COVID-19 pandemic began and many employees switched from coming into a workplace to working at home, Ohio has amended the workers’ compensation laws to reflect the current work environment. Effective Sep. 21, 2022, this new legislation expands the definition of a compensable workplace injury to include some injuries sustained within the employee’s home, if certain criteria are met.

Continue Reading Ohio updates workers’ compensation laws for remote workers

With increasing frequency, employers are raising the question about what can (or can’t) be done with employees who speak about polarizing issues, whether at work or in a way that affects the work environment. This question is arising often because of our current social and political climate. The legal and practical implications are complex.
Continue Reading Employees and free speech

The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently issued an opinion that reversed a decision by the National Labor Relations Board about whether a comment by a management representative was a threat to workers or a mere joke. The NLRB decision sheds interesting light on how remarks, such as this specific employer’s tweet, meant in jest can backfire. Fortunately for this employer, on appeal the Third Circuit “got the joke.”

Continue Reading Third Circuit decides employer’s tweet was comedic, not coercive