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Arslan Sheikh is an associate in the firm’s Columbus office and practices in the Labor & Employment group. His practice includes a host of topics, including employment discrimination, wage and hour, and workplace safety. Arslan has experience counseling clients on compliance with local, state and federal laws.

New Jersey just became the fourteenth state to legalize off-duty, recreational marijuana use. Gov. Phil Murphy signed the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance and Marketplace Modernization Act (NJCREAMMA) into law, which broadly prohibits employers from taking adverse action against individuals for off-duty, recreational marijuana use.

Continue Reading The Garden State legalizes marijuana

Since the presidential inauguration, many employers have been wondering what changes President Joe Biden’s administration will make in the world of labor and employment law. This blog post summarizes a few key changes the Biden administration has already made, as well as a few changes the administration will likely make in the coming months.

Continue Reading Biden administration expected to make major changes to labor and employment landscape

In recent months, there has been a significant increase in Ohio of fraudulent unemployment compensation claims by way of identity theft. This occurs when someone applies for unemployment benefits using another individual’s personal information. Some employers have experienced multiple identity theft unemployment claims. In an effort to help individuals and employers who have been affected by the filing of fraudulent unemployment claims, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) launched an online portal for employers to report identity theft on behalf of multiple employees. Previously, the ODJFS online portal only permitted employers to report individual cases of identity theft.

Continue Reading ODJFS launches online portal to help employers report claims of unemployment fraud

It is no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a cataclysmic impact on small and large businesses across the state of Ohio. Some businesses have been shuttered indefinitely, while other businesses have had to adjust on the fly and upend their operations to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Businesses that have been able to reopen have also faced the question of whether they are subject to tort liability if an employee, customer, vendor or other person contracts COVID-19 while on the premises. House Bill 606 now answers that question – at least in the short term.

Continue Reading Ohio passes law granting temporary civil immunity to businesses from COVID-19 lawsuits

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact businesses across the country, employers are faced with the difficult question of how to keep their workplaces safe. Some employers are attempting to restrict off-duty employee conduct to limit high-risk behavior.

The National Football League (NFL) is one employer taking steps to regulate off-duty conduct to reduce risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The NFL has apparently reached an agreement with the players’ association that restricts the players’ off-duty conduct in some surprising ways. Players are prohibited from attending indoor night clubs, concerts, and even indoor religious services that allow attendance above 25 percent capacity. If a player violates these rules and then tests positive for COVID-19, he will reportedly not be paid for any games he misses and future guarantees in his contract will be voided. The NFL and the players’ association have presumably entered into this agreement for two chief reasons: to minimize COVID-19 outbreaks among teams and, in turn, to increase the likelihood that NFL football can be played this season. Commentators have thrown some challenge flags at the agreement, however, due to its potential for punishing employees for engaging in lawful off-duty activities.
Continue Reading NFL is tackling off-duty conduct to reduce COVID-19 spread. Can your business, too?

On March 10, 2020, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis declared a State of Disaster Emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor directed that immediate rulemaking be initiated to provide employees in certain industries paid sick leave for possible COVID-19 testing. The next day, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment published the Colorado Health Emergency Leave with Pay Rules. These emergency rules became effective on March 11, 2020, and remain in effect for the longer of (a) 30 days after adoption (in other words, April 10, 2020); or (b) the duration of the State of Disaster Emergency, up to a maximum of 120 days after adoption of the emergency rules (in other words, up to July 9, 2020).

Continue Reading Colorado enacts paid sick leave rules

As we recently reported, President Donald Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) to provide paid Family Medical Leave (FMLA) and paid sick leave to families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the law provides a number of protections to American workers, it also has a few gaps. One gap in the FFCRA, for example, is that it does not apply to employers of 500 or more employees.

Continue Reading New York becomes first state to enact paid sick leave law in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Restrictions placed upon indoor recreational locations

On Monday, March 16, 2020, Ohio Governor Michael DeWine announced on Twitter that he will be issuing an order to close gyms, fitness centers, recreation centers, bowling alleys, indoor water parks, movie theaters and trampoline parks until further notice. This order took effect at the close of business on Monday, March 16th.

Restrictions placed upon bars and restaurants


Continue Reading Ohio takes executive measures to curb COVID-19 pandemic

Ohio Governor Michael DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted recently announced that the state has expanded unemployment compensation benefits to workers and businesses impacted by COVID-19. By way of background, Ohio’s unemployment insurance system provides 50 percent of a qualifying worker’s former average weekly pay, subject to caps based on the number of dependents in the household.

Governor DeWine has issued an executive order that expands unemployment benefits related to COVID-19. Moreover, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) has published a series of questions and answers related to the order. Here are the highlights:
Continue Reading Ohio expands unemployment compensation protections in response to COVID-19 pandemic

“OK, Boomer,” a meme popularized by younger generations on social media, made its first (and likely only) appearance in the United States Supreme Court last month. If you are unfamiliar with the meme, it is a tongue-in-cheek retort used by young people – often on social media apps like TikTok and Twitter – to criticize older generations for being “out of touch.” Chief Justice John Roberts, 65, invoked the viral meme during oral arguments in Babb v. Wilkie, an age discrimination case. In Babb, a Department of Veterans Affairs pharmacist named Dr. Noris Babb alleges, among other things, that she was denied pay raises and promotions because of her age in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Babb brought suit against Robert Wilkie, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Continue Reading “OK, Boomer”: From Social Media to the Supreme Court