Mississippi News & Analysis

  • No bias by association: FCRA doesn't prohibit associational discrimination

    Unlike the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA) doesn't afford any protection against discrimination to persons associated with an individual with a disability, the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Alabama, Florida, and Georgia employers) recently ruled.

  • Timing matters: Employee fired during FMLA leave for months-old problems

    Though the following case is still in its infancy, it tees up several common concerns in employment litigation. A new supervisor arrives on the scene and starts pointing out performance problems for the first time (calling into question the veracity of the critique). The employee goes out on leave for medical conditions. The employer decides to fire the worker and points to performance issues that were addressed well before the leave began. Let's look at the facts, as outlined by the 5th Circuit in New Orleans (whose rulings apply to all Louisiana and Mississippi employers), and see what we can learn from them.

  • Questions employers are asking about Biden plan to vaccinate the unvaccinated

    When President Joe Biden announced his COVID-19 action plan on September 9, he focused on six main components. Let's take a closer look at the "vaccinate the unvaccinated" segment and its impact on employers.

  • Reasonable accommodation not always employee's preferred choice

    A recent employer-friendly decision from the 5th Circuit is a reminder to take disability accommodation requests seriously. Also, remember an accommodation can be reasonable even if it's not the employee's preferred choice.

  • Workplace harassment? But they don't work for us!

    Most employers are equipped to respond to employee allegations of harassment by coworkers or managers. There are added levels of difficulty, however, when they complain about harassment by a customer, contractor, or other visitor to the business. The 5th Circuit recently ruled a Harrah's Casino employee can go to trial on her claims that (1) she was sexually harassed by a customer and (2) the employer didn't take sufficient steps to address her concerns.

  • Staffing up during the pandemic: a few tips

    Many employers were optimistic earlier in the year when the COVID-19 vaccination program ramped up in a big way and case counts seemed to be on the decline. Restrictions were eased, and light seemed to appear at the end of the tunnel.

  • Some ideas for performance evaluations as the pandemic continues

    The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt many facets of employment, including how managers and employees communicate about performance. Like last year, employers are struggling to decide how to assess employee performance when so much of the workforce is nowhere near back to normal. The "annual review" process was under attack in many circles before the pandemic struck, but its shortcomings are now even more evident. What should employers do? Here are a few ideas.

  • Cutting-Edge HR

    Survey highlights employer worries about exodus of talent. A survey from outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas Inc. shows 68% of companies are worried about an exodus of workers. Why? The researchers say 75% of companies reported workers wanting more flexibility and 59% cited worker burnout. Women are pushing back more than any other group, according to Challengers report. Over 81% of companies reported facing pushback to the return to the office, primarily coming from mothers and women. The survey reported 29% of employers cited childcare as an issue fueling workers desire to leave their jobs. Another 9% cited mental health concerns. Survey participants also were asked if they were offering new incentives to keep talent. Sixty-three percent said they were. Incentives offered include flexible work hours, remote work options, hybrid work arrangements, higher pay, and cash bonuses.

  • HR Technology

    CEO survey shows technology a priority. A new survey of CEOs from Fortune and Deloitte shows more than half of CEOs say innovation/new products or application of technology will be key to business success over the next year. The survey also shows more than 80% of CEOs intend to increase spending on technology modernization over the next 12 months, and nearly three-quarters say they are undergoing or preparing for digital and workforce/talent transformation. An announcement from Deloitte says the research shows CEOs plan to divert more money to areas they deem crucial to their business success. The survey shows 74% of the CEOs surveyed said their organizations were undergoing or preparing for digital transformation. The survey also shows four out of five CEOs expect their organizations to increase the level of spending on technology modernization, and more than two-thirds plan to increase spending on artificial intelligence (AI).

  • Federal Watch

    NLRB General Counsel announces priorities. Jennifer A. Abruzzo, General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), in August announced her offices priorities, including an examination of cases and subject matter areas in which, in the last several years, the Board overruled precedent. In the Mandatory Submissions to Advice Memorandum, Abruzzo listed 11 NLRB case areas that she identifies as doctrinal shifts away from previous Board precedent. Those cases involve employer handbook rules, confidentiality provisions in separation agreements, defining the scope of protected concerted activity, union access, and jurisdiction over religious institutions. Other subject areas she would like to examine include cases involving Weingarten rights, employee status, mutual aid or protection, and employer duty to recognize and bargain.