Ohio News & Analysis

  • DOL issues guidance on tracking, compensating telework

    The COVID-19 global pandemic has forced some employees to increase their hours spent teleworking and has required other workers to fulfill their job duties from home for the first time in their careers. This "remote workplace" paradigm shift has created new difficulties for employers seeking to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

  • Revised FFCRA regs narrow healthcare provider exemption, ease advance notice rules

    The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently revised its Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) paid leave rules in response to a New York federal court decision that struck down portions of the original rule released in April. The FFCRA, a stimulus measure enacted by Congress in March, provides eligible workers with up to two weeks of paid leave, subject to caps, for certain coronavirus-related absences and up to an additional 10 weeks of paid leave to care for children who are at home because of school or daycare closures. The rule updates were scheduled to go into effect September 16.

  • As weather cools down, WARN Act lawsuits likely to heat up

    The global COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect employers with no clear end in sight. While the prospect of a functioning vaccine may have to wait for a while, a spike in Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act litigation may be on the horizon.

  • Superintendent's request for auditors to 'follow the money' leads to $400K verdict

    High-stakes audits. Threats of violence. $400,000 paydays. While each of those events could be ripped from the plot of a Hollywood blockbuster, they're actually events streaming from a school district in Harvey, Illinois. Read on to learn why one administrator's comments were found to be protected speech under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and then decide who should play her in the movie to follow.

  • Court overrules jury on race, national origin claims, nullifies multimillion-dollar verdict

    The 6th Circuit (whose rulings apply to all Michigan and Ohio employers) found a former employee's national origin, racial harassment, and retaliation claims never should have reached a jury, thereby erasing a multimillion-dollar damages award.

  • Employee's 'shocking' Facebook posts on racial injustice may be protected

    Ahead of a particularly divisive presidential election and in a year filled with extreme racial tensions, many people are flocking to social media as an outlet for their opinions. The platform allows them to voice opinions they may not otherwise vocalize in person. Public employers must be particularly mindful of how they respond to employees' off-the-job social media posts. As the 6th Circuit recently explained, a post's shocking or offensive nature doesn't necessarily remove it from the protections granted under the First Amendment. The following decision relates to public employers and not private employers.

  • GrubHub delivery drivers rerouted by arbitration agreement

    The Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) was enacted in 1925 to counter American courts' general hostility toward the enforcement of private arbitration agreements and foster a liberal federal policy favoring arbitration. One exception: The FAA exempts from its coverage "contracts of employment of seamen, railroad employees, or any other class of workers engaged in foreign or interstate commerce." A recent decision by the 7th Circuit addressed the contours of the exemption.

  • 6th Circuit: 'Up there in years, you're at retirement age' is likely direct evidence of bias

    A Michigan employer may have demonstrated age bias against a 60-year-old employee when it fired him after he had worked for the company for 40-plus years, the 6th Circuit recently ruled. The appeals court reversed the summary judgment (dismissal without a trial) that the lower court had granted to the employer on the former employee's age discrimination claim.

  • Ready for office holiday celebration? Remember to party 2020 style

    The holiday season is upon us, but it just doesn't seem so festive this year. Many employees are still isolated as they work from home. Essential workers are in the workplace but worried about the risks they face by being there. A big party to relieve the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic certainly would be wel-come—but difficult in the era of social distancing. Difficult doesn't mean impossible, however. Here are some ideas.

  • NLRB expands employer options for social media, nondisparagement rules

    Employees often believe anything goes when it comes to social media expression. But the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently provided clarity on the types of social media activity employers may regulate, giving them more latitude to discipline workers for conduct that violates company rules and threatens the brand.