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father holding a child up while the sun is setting while standing in the ocean beach

Sorry Dude: Title VII Does Not Protect An Expectant Father From Pregnancy Discrimination

xpectant father in New York tried to assert such a claim under Title VII and New York law, and the lawsuit was dismissed. (Van Soeren v. Disney Streaming Serv. , S.D.N.Y., 19 Civ. 10196 (NRB), 10/16/20). Not surprisingly, the Court held that Title VII’s prohibition on discrimination on the basis of pregnancy applies to employees who are actually pregnant, and not to spouses of pregnant employees.

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female with bandages where she got shots

Can You Require Your Employees to Be Vaccinated for COVID-19?

As we hopefully get closer to a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19, employers may be wondering whether they can require employees to be vaccinated. The answer is Yes, with some important exceptions. An employer that implements a rule that requires employees to be vaccinated must build in exemptions for religion and disability.

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woman counting money dollar bills

Employee or Independent Contractor? DOL Issues Proposed Worker Classification Rule

Worker classification is a hot issue right now. The recent California law that classifies most workers as employees has completely upended the gig economy in that state, so it is no surprise that the law is being challenged by a number of business groups.

Under federal law, whether an employer classifies a worker as an employee or an independent contractor can have major economic consequences, especially if the worker is misclassified. For example, wrongly misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor can result in liability under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for unpaid minimum wage and/or overtime compensation. Multiplied by two if the misclassification is considered a willful violation of the FLSA.

Today, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a proposed rule offering what it claims to be clarity to determine whether a worker is an employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or an independent contractor.

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a woman using a laptop in a office chair

Telecommuting as a Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA: The Pandemic Trial Run

In the times before COVID-19, there were people (like the author) who telecommuted, but we were definitely in the minority. Now, thanks to the pandemic, many more people have been working remotely and doing so successfully. And according to some new EEOC Guidance, successful telecommuting could be considered something of a trial run for those employees who ask to work remotely after the pandemic as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

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student with a pile of books on the table

DOL Issues New Guidance: No FFCRA Paid Leave If School Is Open But Parent Chooses Remote Learning

Yesterday, the Department of Labor issued some new guidance on the paid leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA). The new guidance addresses the availability of paid leave to parents who are choosing to let their children go to school remotely.

By way of background, the FFCRA requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from the effective date through December 31, 2020.

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Hey Georgia Businesses: Is Your COVID Warning Sign Compliant?

Hey Georgia Businesses: Is Your COVID Warning Sign Compliant?

As I discussed in an earlier blog post, this month, Georgia enacted a COVID immunity law. Georgia businesses will generally be protected from liability over COVID-19 exposure except in cases of gross negligence, willful and wanton misconduct, reckless infliction of harm, or intentional infliction of harm. In addition, Georgia businesses that post a warning sign will be entitled to additional protection from liability due to a rebuttable presumption of assumption of the risk by a claimant.

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Georgia Now Has A COVID Immunity Law

Georgia Now Has A COVID Immunity Law

Yesterday, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed into law S.B. 359, which will protect businesses and other organizations in Georgia from potential lawsuits over Covid-19 exposure. The law takes effect immediately.

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Maintaining the Confidentiality of Employee Health Information During the Pandemic

Maintaining the Confidentiality of Employee Health Information During the Pandemic

In order to take the CDC recommended precautions to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace, employers must gather information about employee health. What can they gather, and what should they do with it? For answers, we look to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA prohibits employee disability-related inquiries or medical examinations unless they are job-related and consistent with business necessity. Generally, a disability-related inquiry or medical examination of an employee is job-related and consistent with business necessity when an employer has a reasonable belief, based on objective evidence, that:

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Home Alone: Current CDC Guidance on At-Home Isolation for Persons Infected with COVID-19

Home Alone: Current CDC Guidance on At-Home Isolation for Persons Infected with COVID-19

Many states continue to see rising numbers of persons with positive COVID-19 tests, which means that workplaces in those states are dealing with employees who are infected with COVID-19. The CDC recommends that employees who test positive for COVID-19 (using a viral test, not an antibody test) should be excluded from work and remain in isolation if they do not need to be hospitalized. But for how long?

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