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OSHA and MIOSHA Ramp Up Fines for COVID Safety Breaches

22 September 2020

OSHA and MIOSHA Ramp Up Fines for COVID Safety Breaches

Author: Michael Burns

As reported a couple of weeks ago in EPTW, the fines and penalties for breach of employer safety obligations surrounding COVID contagion continues to ramp up. Late last week fines by MIOSHA against 19 more employers were announced. These fines amounted to over $50,000 for infractions including:

Vertical Joint Employment - DOL’s Attempt to Limit and Clarify “Joint Employer” Rule Struct Down

15 September 2020

Vertical Joint Employment - DOL’s Attempt to Limit and Clarify “Joint Employer” Rule Struct Down

Author: Michael Burns

Last week a New York district court judge found the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) rules limiting when businesses that use other businesses’ workers (vertical) may also be sued by the workers if a wage and hour (FLSA) violation is alleged.

When Does Computer Fraud Rise to an Opportunity to Stop Rogue Employees?

15 September 2020

When Does Computer Fraud Rise to an Opportunity to Stop Rogue Employees?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

When employees, especially sales people, have access to various electronic devices, databases, and documents from an organization, at what point does a company have a right under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) to bring a case against an exiting employee for computer fraud? 

The Importance of Having a Reasonable Suspicion Policy

15 September 2020

The Importance of Having a Reasonable Suspicion Policy

Author: Susan Chance

Reasonable suspicion drug testing can be a challenge for employers, especially with so many states making recreational marijuana legal. Whether you have a current drug testing program or if you are new to drug testing, make sure that you have a clear, documented policy on your drug testing program that includes reasonable suspicion procedures. If you are subject to federally regulated drug testing, make sure you follow the steps as required by the federal agency under which you are covered.
Discrimination Cases May Be Easier to Prove Because of the LGBTQ Supreme Court Decision

8 September 2020

Discrimination Cases May Be Easier to Prove Because of the LGBTQ Supreme Court Decision

Author: Anthony Kaylin

The Bostock decision on LGBTQ rights under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act was a civil rights victory long coming.  From the American perception of same sex marriage to LGBTQ rights, the country took a mighty swing to a new direction since the 1990s when the Defense of Marriage Act was enacted by Congress under the Clinton Administration.  The decision itself was groundbreaking in that it was a 6-3 decision with two of the “conservative” justices voting with the...
Update on FFCRA and School Openings

1 September 2020

Update on FFCRA and School Openings

Author: Anthony Kaylin

The U.S. Department of Labor issued three new FAQs concerning when FFCRA applies to school openings this fall.  Previously, the DOL covered school closings in March, and there was much uncertainty as to how school openings would be treated under the FFCRA.  

What Do I Do if MIOSHA/OSHA Comes to Inspect My Site for COVID Safety?

1 September 2020

What Do I Do if MIOSHA/OSHA Comes to Inspect My Site for COVID Safety?

Author: Michael Burns

In last week’s EPTW, we reported that MIOSHA had substantially fined a number of employers for failing to adequately protect employees from COVID exposure or infection. These fines were levied under MIOSHA’s general duty rule requiring employers to maintain a safe workplace.
The Complexities of Background Checking

25 August 2020

The Complexities of Background Checking

Author: Susan Chance

There has been a lot of press in the last few years about the steps employers must follow before obtaining a background check on an employee or applicant. While there is no doubt that it is very important for employers to obtain completed FCRA compliant Authorization and Disclosure forms, the employer obligations do not stop there.

MIOSHA Levying Fines for COVID Safety Non-Compliance; NLRB Also Addressing Safety Issues

25 August 2020

MIOSHA Levying Fines for COVID Safety Non-Compliance; NLRB Also Addressing Safety Issues

Author: Michael Burns

The other shoe is dropping on employers fighting to re-open and bring employees back to work. Six Michigan employers were recently fined for violation of OSHA/MIOSHA’s general duty requirement to provide a safe workplace.

Can Employers Require Employees to be Vaccinated for COVID-19 Before Returning to Work?

25 August 2020

Can Employers Require Employees to be Vaccinated for COVID-19 Before Returning to Work?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

The short answer is yes.  The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) both support this position.  

California Keeps Moving Further on Changes to Contractor/Employee Classification Status

18 August 2020

California Keeps Moving Further on Changes to Contractor/Employee Classification Status

Author: Michael Burns

Last week EPTW reported on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) walking back its Browning Ferris decision and loosening criteria determining when one employer can be found to be the employer of its vendor’s employees.

Changes to FFCRA Employers Need to be Aware Of

11 August 2020

Changes to FFCRA Employers Need to be Aware Of

Author: Anthony Kaylin

The FFCRA applies to U.S. employers with fewer than 500 employees.   Last week a district federal court in New York overturned some provisions of the interim FFCRA rules.  These interim rules for the FFCRA were written quickly, within two weeks of the law.  However, these rules have a shelf life of 12/31/20, but given the uncertainty of the COVID-19 vaccinations, it may be extended into another year.  In the meantime, employers that are covered under these rules need...
NLRB Browning-Ferris Joint Employer Decision Overturned

11 August 2020

NLRB Browning-Ferris Joint Employer Decision Overturned

Author: Michael Burns

One of the most controversial decisions of the Obama era National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) was its 2015 decision finding Browning-Ferris who used subcontracted workers (not their direct employees) was in fact a joint employer with its contractors.

New Ban the Box Laws

4 August 2020

New Ban the Box Laws

Author: Susan Chance

While most of the world has been wrapped up on all things COVID related, there is still work going on regarding background check laws. From December 2019 until as recently as July 1, 2020, new ban the box laws have been enacted.

NLRB Reins In Employee’s Protected Use of Abusive Language

4 August 2020

NLRB Reins In Employee’s Protected Use of Abusive Language

Author: Michael Burns

The current National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) continues to clean up the previous Board’s unrealistic rulings by issuing a new decision again limiting employee protections when verbally abusing their bosses.

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