MSK Minute: Hilary Feybush Discusses New EEOC Return to Workplace Guidance

In this video, MSK attorney Hilary Feybush discusses the most recent update to return to workplace guidance issued by the EEOC, which covers questions relating to an employer’s obligation to provide accommodations to “high risk” employees and other considerations for a safe return to the office. Continue reading MSK Minute: Hilary Feybush Discusses New EEOC Return to Workplace Guidance

Lights, Cameras, Action! Los Angeles Greenlights Resumption of Filming for Productions

Written by Jeremy Mittman and Carly Epstein Over the last week, California and Los Angeles have announced the protocols that must be in place for music, TV, and film productions to re-open. On Friday, June 5, 2020, the California Department of Public Health (the “Department”) stated that music, TV, and film production may resume “no sooner than June 12, 2020” subject to several conditions.  The … Continue reading Lights, Cameras, Action! Los Angeles Greenlights Resumption of Filming for Productions

In a Landmark Ruling, Supreme Court Holds That Title VII Protects Gay and Transgender Workers from Workplace Discrimination

Written by Jeremy Mittman and Corey Singer The U.S. Supreme Court issued another pivotal win in the movement for LGBT equality today, ruling that the workplace prohibition on gender bias in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act also protects workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.   Justice Neil Gorsuch, writing for the Court, in a 6-3 opinion, held that a … Continue reading In a Landmark Ruling, Supreme Court Holds That Title VII Protects Gay and Transgender Workers from Workplace Discrimination

MSK Minute: Jonathan Turner Discusses COVID-19 & Liability Regarding Employee Family Members

In this video, MSK partner Jonathan Turner discusses The California Executive Order that created a rebuttable presumption, for purposes of receiving workers’ compensation benefits, that employees who test positive for COVID-19 contracted the virus while at work. Jonathan addresses whether employers should challenge this presumption, and the unforeseen implications that could potentially arise, including whether an employee’s family member could sue the employer for contracting … Continue reading MSK Minute: Jonathan Turner Discusses COVID-19 & Liability Regarding Employee Family Members

Board Limits Employer-Friendly Unilateral Change Rule’s Application Following Expiration of CBA

Written by Jonathan Turner and Grant Goeckner 

Spoiler Alert – unless you regularly deal with collective bargaining agreements you may find this a tad wonky.

As we have seen over the time of the current administration, the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) has applied a more business-friendly approach when deciding cases arising under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).  While many of those cases have re-examined prior Board precedents set during the Obama administration, the current Board’s willingness to reverse course is not without limit, as we recently saw in Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. d/b/a KOIN-TV, 369 NLRB No. 61.  In Nexstar, the employer asked the Board to extend the reach of the “contract coverage” rule adopted by the Board in late 2019 in M.V. Transportation, Inc., 368 NLRB No. 66.  That rule set forth a new standard for determining when an employer’s action taken in reliance on contractual provisions under a collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”) constitutes a “unilateral change” in violation of the NLRA.  Under the new standard, which we discussed in a prior client alert, the Board held that if an employer makes a change to working conditions without bargaining with the union, the Board will first look to whether the plain language of the CBA grants the employer the right to make the change.  If the CBA permits the action, there is no violation of the NLRA.  If the CBA does not, further analysis is needed.  [Full Alert Available Here]. Continue reading “Board Limits Employer-Friendly Unilateral Change Rule’s Application Following Expiration of CBA”

Protecting At-Risk Employees

Employers Cannot Exclude At-Risk Employees, Says EEOC in New Return-to-Work Guidance 

Written by Jeremy Mittman and Carly Epstein

The EEOC recently answered the question whether employers can bar from the workplace employees who, according to the CDC, are at a “higher risk for severe illness” if they get COVID-19.

In the words of the EEOC in its press release: “It is important that employers understand that the ADA does not allow them to act against employees solely because the employee has a CDC-listed underlying medical condition.”

An employer cannot exclude — or take any other adverse action against — an employee solely because he/she falls within the CDC identified high risk category.  Instead, the employer must determine whether the “employee’s disability poses a ‘direct threat’ to his health that cannot be eliminated or reduced by reasonable accommodation.” Continue reading “Protecting At-Risk Employees”

Workers Comp For COVID-19

Contracting COVID-19 Through Work Is Now Presumed Under California Workers Compensation

Written by Jeremy Mittman and Louise Truong 

On May 6, 2020, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-62-20, which provides that any COVID-19 related illness that an employee contracts between March 19, 2020 and July 5, 2020 shall be presumed to arise out of and in the course of employment for workers’ compensation purposes.  This presumption will only apply if all of the following conditions are met: Continue reading “Workers Comp For COVID-19”

No R&R for LA Employers Under New Recall and Retention Ordinances

Two New Los Angeles Ordinances Create New Worker Recall and Retention Protections… For Select Businesses Written by Jeremy Mittman and Bethanie Thau  On May 4, 2020, Mayor Garcetti signed two new city ordinances creating recall and retention protections for non-supervisory workers in certain industries deemed severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and “Safer at Home” declarations by Governor Newsom and Mayor Garcetti. The COVID-19 Right … Continue reading No R&R for LA Employers Under New Recall and Retention Ordinances

Keeping Food Sector Workers Posted

California Issues Model Notice of Food Sector Worker Paid Sick Leave That Eligible Employers Must Post

Written by Jeremy Mittman and Stephen Franz

On April 16, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-51-20 (the ”Order”), which requires “hiring entities” with at least 500 employees in the United States to provide “food sector workers” who are unable to work for COVID-19-related reasons with up to 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave.  We previously reported on the Order, which is one of several recent California laws providing paid sick leave to workers who are not covered by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). Continue reading “Keeping Food Sector Workers Posted”