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Several States Pass Protection to Employers from Virus Lawsuits, and Federal Legislation Also Proposed

Several States Pass Protection to Employers from Virus Lawsuits, and Federal Legislation Also Proposed

The State of Georgia has joined several other states in legislation protecting employers from liability related to the Coronavirus.  The Governor is expected to sign the law, thus adding Georgia to Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming having such protection.  The Georgia law would shield employers, healthcare providers and other entities from liability related to the virus except in cases where the entity is found to have committed "gross negligence, willful or wanton misconduct, reckless infliction of harm, or intentional infliction of harm."  The State of Georgia has joined several other states in legislation protecting employers from liability related to the Coronavirus.  The Governor is expected to sign the law, thus adding Georgia to Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming having such protection.  The Georgia law would shield employers, healthcare providers and other entities from liability related to the virus except in cases where the entity is found to have committed "gross negligence, willful or wanton misconduct, reckless infliction of harm, or intentional infliction of harm."  

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Cultural Sensitivity in Wording Now a Legal Necessity

Cultural Sensitivity in Wording Now a Legal Necessity

While many oppose the concept of "political correctness," in some senses it is now a legal necessity.  And what is deemed culturally sensitive seems to be changing, sometimes in controversial ways. While many oppose the concept of "political correctness," in some senses it is now a legal necessity.  And what is deemed culturally sensitive seems to be changing, sometimes in controversial ways. 

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Employers Increasingly Have To Deal with Walkouts and Other Protests Over Pandemic and Racial Issues

Off-duty issues and activities, and their impact at the workplace, seem to be growing today.  Social media protests have increased since the Black Lives Matter movement has intensified, and pandemic issues are not abating.  Often, both as a practical and legal matter, these issues cannot be kept out of the workplace.Off-duty issues and activities, and their impact at the workplace, seem to be growing today.  Social media protests have increased since the Black Lives Matter movement has intensified, and pandemic issues are not abating.  Often, both as a practical and legal matter, these issues cannot be kept out of the workplace.

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High Court Expands Religious Rights in Various Ways

A trilogy of U.S. Supreme Court rulings have expanded religious rights, with one of the rulings pertaining to most private employers.  In Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania, the Court ruled that the Trump Administration had the right to exempt employers that raised religious or moral objections to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) prior requirements that health-insurance plans cover contraceptives.  Justice Thomas wrote for the Court that the ACA gives administrators "broad exception" to carve out religious and moral exemptions, under a law that expressly deals with requiring cost-free "preventive care and screenings" and leaving it to the federal agency to determine what is included.  Justice Thomas wrote that: "It was Congress, not the Department, that declined to expressly require that contraceptive coverage in the ACA itself." 

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Supreme Court Rejects Efforts to Discontinue DACA Program

The issue of undocumented immigrants brought into this country as children has long been a controversial one.  Although technically unauthorized, President Obama during his term implemented the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA), which in essence indicated that the government would not enforce laws against persons brought into this country illegally as children.  The Trump Administration rescinded the non-enforcement policy of the Obama Administration, and the subsequent litigation went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California, 18-587. 

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