Ohio News & Analysis

  • Employers gird for sweeping new COVID-19 rules on vaccines, testing

    By mandating vaccinations for many employees, President Joe' Biden's six-pronged" will have a significant effect on employers across the country. Many key details (including what exemptions may apply to the vaccine mandates) remain unknown until additional federal guidance is provided.

  • OSHA updates COVID-19 workplace safety guidance

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently updated its guidance on mitigating and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace because of the high incidence of the delta variant infections occurring throughout the country. The agency's updated guidance is advisory in nature and informational in content and is "intended to assist employers in providing a safe and healthful workplace free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm." OSHA's updated guidance is primarily aimed at non-healthcare employees, whose workplaces are subject to its mandatory COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard. The updated guidance also incorporates additional safety measures for higher risk workplaces.

  • Ministerial exemption blocks even hostile environment claims

    As we have reported with greater frequency in recent years, courts dealing with employment discrimination suits against churches, synagogues, and other religious organizations have carved out an exemption that bars claims by "ministerial" employees challenging the employer's hiring and firing decisions.

  • WI Supreme Court affirms workers' comp exclusive remedy provision

    Workers' compensation serves as the "exclusive remedy" for employees claiming benefits arising out of a work injury (if there's no other nonemployee third party responsible for the injury). The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently explained an employee's secondary injury, namely a self-inflicted gunshot wound, following a work injury where he was gored by a bull, was also subject to the Act's exclusive remedy provision. Read on for the interesting facts of the case as well as some guidance on the Act's exclusive remedy provision.

  • Crash landing for aviation worker's retaliation claim

    Some employees mistakenly believe every complaint they make to their supervisor or HR constitutes protected activity under Title VII. As one former aviation employee recently learned, there are limits to what constitutes protected activity under the law. Read on to learn why the 7th Circuit rejected the former employee's claim that he was fired in retaliation for his alleged protected activity.

  • Rare FAA exception invalidates arbitration provision

    The Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) enforces certain arbitration agreements involving federal law, including some employment disputes and claims against employers under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). But is an arbitration agreement that prohibits an individual from seeking relief provided by federal statute still enforceable? The 7th Circuit recently addressed the issue.

  • U.S. firm's health insurance surcharge for unvaccinated draws interest in Canada, too

    Employers have been trying to encourage employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Some paid bonuses. Others provided gift cards. What happens when rewards aren't enough? A U.S. employer recently announced a different approach: All unvaccinated employees enrolled in the company's healthcare plan will have to pay a $200 monthly surcharge starting on November 1, 2021. In support for the surcharge, the employer noted all of its employees who were hospitalized with the virus weren't fully vaccinated. Their average hospital stay costs the company $50,000 per person.

  • Q - A: Asking prospective emplyees about COVID-19 vaccination status

    Q In interviews with prospective employees, can an employer ask about their COVID-19 vaccination status?

  • New NLRB General Counsel identifies possible changes

    Those of you who have watched the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)—the nation's primary enforcer of labor law—over the years no doubt expect it to reshuffle its priorities when the White House changes parties. The Board swore in Jennifer Abruzzo as its new general counsel (GC) on July 22, 2021, and three weeks later, she released an internal memorandum blueprint for changes to the law she would like to see the agency implement.

  • No-call, no-show policy: One strike and you're 'out'

    Citing the employer's zero-tolerance "no-call, no-show" policy, an Ohio federal district court recently upheld the termination of an employee who had just returned from a leave of absence under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).