South Carolina News & Analysis

  • As delta variant surges, things to consider before implementing vaccine mandate

    As the delta variant spreads and positive COVID-19 cases continue to pop up, employers are questioning their policies yet again. Understandably, many of you are concerned about keeping workers safe and maintaining production levels, which likely took a hit in 2020. The question naturally rises: Can private employers require employees to get the shots? The answer: likely yes, but with some caveats and additional considerations.

  • NC court: Failing to investigate discrimination complaint not adverse action

    A North Carolina court recently held an employer wasn't liable under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a federal antidiscrimination law, for failing to investigate an employee's discrimination complaint. The case is a win for employers, although you should nevertheless ensure all unlawful discrimination complaints from employees are investigated.

  • Injunction halting new withholding statute produces unintended consequences

    An ongoing lawsuit between West Virginia Governor Jim Justice and several unions over a change to a state wage law that would bar most public agencies from withholding union dues from employee paychecks has generated a lot of headlines. But a broad injunction that has prevented the new law from taking effect also has stalled unrelated and unheralded provisions of the measure that would benefit both public and private employers.

  • 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.

  • Are mandatory vaccinations on horizon? President Biden moves the needle

    On September 9, 2021, President Joseph Biden issued an Executive Order mandating COVID-19 vaccines for all federal workers and won't allow a testing-out option for those who refuse. They will have 75 days to get the shots or face adverse administrative action. Moreover, the mandate is expected to affect all private-sector entities with federal contracts.

  • Workplace primer on attracting, retaining neurodiverse talent

    Neurodiversity represents the inherent differences in neurological structure and function. The term encompasses neurocognitive differences such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, Tourette's syndrome, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, intellectual disability, and schizophrenia. Most governments don't provide neurodiverse individuals with the support necessary to enter and remain in the workforce, but many multinational employers are becoming aware of the benefits of having a neurodiverse workplace.

  • Four-day workweek may not be pipe dream after all

    My law firm colleagues and I were recently discussing our workplace predictions for the future, and one of the trends we considered was the potential shift to more flexible schedules, including a four-day workweek. Turns out, we aren't the only ones thinking about it. The topic is being discussed around the world!

  • Both friends and foes of unions stepping up their efforts

    The union movement has seen declining numbers for decades, but with a staunchly prounion advocate in the White House, union supporters are hoping to soon see progress for their cause. But union foes are hoping to thwart efforts aimed at easing the way for unionization.

  • It's time to think about the holidays: To party or not to party?

    As fall settles in, it's time to think about the upcoming holiday season. But the continuing pandemic makes it hard to plan. Will it be safe to party in person this year? Is it OK for vaccinated coworkers to gather for food, drink, and other merriment? Perhaps an alternative activity such as the Zoom parties some organizations threw last year are more appropriate. Or maybe a nice gift basket delivered to employees' homes would be a better option.

  • To pay or not to pay? Office furniture for remote workers

    Q For employees working from home, we currently don't provide reimbursement for furniture without a doctor's note stating a need for an ergonomic chair or desk. If we require someone to work from home more than half the time, do we have to purchase an ergonomic chair other than for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) purposes?