Georgia News & Analysis

  • President signs order to limit COVID-19 enforcement actions

    President Donald Trump has signed an Executive Order (EO) designed to ease federal agency enforcement actions against employers attempting in good faith to comply with the host of new statutes, regulations, and guidance issued during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • EEOC puts off EEO-1 surveys until 2021

    Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced it won't require private-sector employers to submit EEO-1 data this year.

  • Preparing for a hurricane amid pandemic

    While we're all busy thinking about ways to safeguard ourselves, our families, and our businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, let's not forget hurricane season has just kicked off. It started June 1 and runs through November 30. Unfortunately, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted a busy 2020 Atlantic hurricane season with a forecast of 13 to 19 named storms. There's no time like the present to get prepared.

  • Bridge over troubled water: Commercial diver with cancer can take ADA claim to trial

    A federal district court in New Orleans found a jury must decide if a commercial diver was discriminated against after being terminated for chemotherapy and cancer treatments based on Association of Diving Contractors International (ADCI) standards. The opinion demonstrates the difficulties employers face in accommodating employees and following industry standards.

  • Sometimes once is enough: Sexual harassment, retaliation claims head to jury

    A federal court in Louisiana is sending sexual harassment and retaliation claims by a motel guest services representative to a jury. A big factor in the court's decision was how her employer handled the complaint and the quick termination of her employment after she made it. Let's take a look at what happened here and how you can avoid a similar headache.

  • Pandemic sparks unexpected question: What if workers unwilling to return?

    Restrictions put in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic are beginning to ease in many parts of the country, and employers are starting to call back the millions of workers who joined the ranks of the unemployed a few months ago. Many workers are champing at the bit to get back to work, but others are hesitant. And that can put already-struggling employers in a bind.

  • Getting back to 'normal'? Here are some points to consider

    As employers look to a postpandemic recovery, they're shifting their attention toward getting back to "normal." But normal isn't what it used to be, and you now have to focus on keeping employees healthy ― and keeping your operations legally compliant. It's not going to be as simple as telling people to resume their work as they did before COVID-19 struck. Thoughts of personal protective equipment (PPE), engineering and administrative controls, discrimination risks, and more are now front and center.

  • Firing an employee who intends not to return from FMLA leave

    Q If an employee on Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave submits a letter signaling her intent to resign at the end of her leave, do we have to wait until her leave is over, or can we terminate her employment now?

  • New rule extends time for COBRA elections, premium payments

    On Monday, May 4, the IRS and the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) jointly published a rule in the Federal Register significantly extending the time in which employees may elect COBRA health insurance continuation coverage and begin paying their premiums in the midst of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. The full text of the rule may be accessed at: www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/05/04/2020-09399/extension-of-certain-timeframes-for-employee-benefit-plans-participants-and-beneficiaries-affected. The agencies also published new model COBRA notices.

  • When you can't meet contract obligations: COVID-19 and force majeure clauses

    Many businesses throughout the Southeast and the country are struggling with the constant changes brought about by COVID-19. One particular area of concern is whether a business can cancel a contract (whether employment or otherwise) it feels it cannot perform because of the hurdles presented by the pandemic and resulting governmental edicts. Or, the opposite, what to do if the other party wants to terminate or suspend the contract. In many cases, the contract provision on which to focus is the one setting forth the parties' rights if a "force majeure" event occurs.