Georgia News & Analysis

  • DOL issues new FFCRA poster, more guidance

    The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued an "Employee Rights" poster or notice for the paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave components of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). You can find the poster at https://bit.ly/39osdIy. Along with the poster, the DOL provided some much-needed guidance on various aspects of the laws that remained unclear. Below are a few highlights from the agency's FAQs.

  • Business continuity during coronavirus lockdowns: Is my establishment essential?

    With a growing number of Americans living under lockdown orders because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new question has started to affect many U.S. companies: Can my business stay open during a lockdown?

  • No lifeline for scaffolding company after 'serious' safety violation

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit (whose rulings apply to employers in Louisiana and Mississippi) recently affirmed an administrative law judge's (ALJ) opinion that determined a company failed to properly raise the impossibility/infeasibility defense after being cited for a serious Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act violation. The opinion offers valuable lessons to employers about the importance of ensuring compliance with safety regulations.

  • Louisiana courts reach different conclusions on sexual harassment lawsuits

    The federal district courts in New Orleans and Shreveport recently considered cases of alleged sexual harassment in the workplace. The court in Shreveport dismissed a former employee's claim, while the court in New Orleans allowed a former employee's claim to proceed. The two cases with different outcomes offer lessons on how employers can and should respond to harassment allegations in the workplace.

  • Plausible deniability: Can you fail to accommodate an unknown disability?

    An HIV-positive employee takes leave due to his medical status. He is later terminated for poor performance. Although his employer is aware he has a "serious health condition," it isn't aware he is HIV-positive. What obligations does it have? Can it be held liable if it fails to accommodate an unknown disability?

  • Supervisors' inquiries about retirement create doubt about true motive for firing

    A former employee's age discrimination and hostile work environment claims will proceed to trial in large part because his supervisors allegedly repeatedly questioned him about when he would retire. The 57-year-old employee was fired after an investigation revealed he sent inappropriate and sexually explicit e-mails to coworkers in violation of the employer's antidiscrimination and antiharassment policy. Despite the employer's legitimate nondiscriminatory reason for firing the employee, a federal court in Louisiana said there was enough circumstantial evidence of age bias to create doubt about its true motive. This case is a good reminder that the context of age-related comments matters.

  • Defining business in Louisiana noncompetition agreements is essential

    A Louisiana appeals court in New Orleans recently overturned a trial court's refusal to enforce a noncompetition agreement through an injunction. The appellate court's decision instructs employers on the need to define the scope of their businesses to have an enforceable noncompetition agreement.

  • 5 HR 'don'ts' inspired by Netflix's Tiger King

    If you are one of the two people left in America who has not yet watched the true-crime documentary series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness on Netflix and don't want to read any spoilers, you may want to turn back now. Otherwise, here are five HR tips on what not to do, inspired by Joe Exotic's unique brand of unhinged managerial madness.

  • Q - A: Advice on furloughs and health insurance during COVID-19

    Q We are concerned we may need to furlough several employees in the upcoming weeks. What considerations should we be aware of when furloughing employees?

  • You don't have to provide leave of absence if employee, family aren't ill

    QOne of our building inspectors has requested a leave of absence because of COVID-19. He is living with his parents, who are both over 60, and is worried about exposing them to the virus because he can come into contact with 200 or more people in a single day. What can we do for him?