On May 13, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) issued updated guidance, greatly expanding mask-free activities and limiting social distancing restrictions for fully vaccinated1 individuals (“Updated Guidance”).2 This guidance is based on the CDC’s findings that (1) studies demonstrate that currently authorized vaccines are highly effective at protecting fully vaccinated people against symptomatic and severe COVID-19, and (2) a growing body of evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people are less likely to have an asymptomatic infection or transmit COVID-19 to others.
Lawrence & Bundy LLC is pleased to once again be included in Chambers USA’s ranking of the leading law firms and lawyers in the country. Two of the firm’s attorneys, Allegra Lawrence-Hardy and Lisa Haldar, were also recognized for their exceptional experience and client service.
As COVID-19 inoculations in the U.S. slowly push back the immediate threat of the coronavirus, experts say employers should be aware that some workers will be dealing with mental health issues brought on or exacerbated by the pandemic.
The pace of employment law change continues to accelerate. We are often told the only constant is change. But can anything top the amount of unanticipated change employers experienced in 2020? We may discover in 2021. To succeed in this chaotic environment, employers need to be prepared to quickly recognize and adapt to new paradigms in the workplace. Click here for the issues and potential changes employers should consider as 2021 kicks off.
Lawrence & Bundy LLC has again been ranked as a U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms.” The firm is proud to have been on the list every year since its inception.
Today, the new Department of Labor (“DOL”) regulations interpreting the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) take effect. The revisions (“Revised Regulations”) to the April 2020 Final Rule (“Final Rule”) interpreting the FFCRA address four parts of the Final Rule struck down last month by a federal district court judge: (1) the work-availability exclusion; (2) the definition of “health care provider”; (3) the provisions relating to intermittent or periodic leave; and (4) some of the documentation requirements. New York v. U.S. Dep’t of Labor, No. 20-cv-3020, 2020 WL 4462260 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 3, 2020).
In a landmark 6-3 decision, the Court considered whether Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LTBT) status. The Court ruled that an employer that fires an employee simply for being gay or transgender violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination “because of sex.” The ruling was the result of three consolidated cases. Two of the cases ( Bostick v. Clayton County, Georgia, and Altitude Express, Inc. ) involve workplace protections based on sexual orientation. The other case ( R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ) involves employment rights based on gender identity. Courts of Appeals throughout the country previously issued conflicting opinions on this issue.
Justice Neil Gorsuch, writing for the Court, stated that the answer to the question of whether an employer can fire someone simply for being homosexual or transgender “is clear,” and that answer is no. The Court held that: “An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.” Justices Alito & Kavanaugh dissented and called the majority opinion “legislation.”
If you have questions regarding the Supreme Court decision, please contact the Lawrence & Bundy LLC attorneys with whom you work.
On June 17, 2020, the EEOC updated its guidance, What You Should Know About Covid-19, the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws, regarding what testing employers may require for employees re-entering the workplace. (What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws) The update is based on guidelines established by The Centers For Disease Control (“CDC”), which state that antibody test results “should not be used to make decisions about returning persons to the workplace.” The EEOC’s most recent guidance states that under the Americans With Disabilities Act (the “ADA”) an employer may not require antibody testing before permitting employees to return to the workplace. The guidance explains that an antibody test is a “medical examination” under the ADA and, because of the CDC’s guidance set forth above, such a test does not meet the ADA’s requirement of an inquiry that is “job related and consistent with business necessity.” The guidance specifically notes, however, that antibody testing is different from testing to determine whether someone has an active case of COVID-19. Previous guidance from the EEOC allows the latter, as it is permissible under the ADA.
If you have questions about any aspect of the EEOC’s guidance, please contact the Lawrence & Bundy LLC attorneys with whom you work.
On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “FFCRA”). The legislation, a response to the pandemic COVID-19, also referred to as the “novel coronavirus,” is an emergency supplemental appropriations act designed to provide relief and health care assistance during and as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now that some states are preparing to lift shelter-in-place orders that would allow businesses to reopen, employers are trying to determine the best way to have their employees return to work despite the continuing risks presented by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the “EEOC”) issued guidelines advising employers about practices that they may take to control COVID-19 exposure in the workplace.
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