Indiana News & Analysis

  • What businesses should know about OSHA's supplemental reopening guidance

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued guidance on returning to work for businesses deemed nonessential. The guidance is intended to supplement the agency's previously issued guidance on preparing workplaces for COVID-19 as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) guidelines for "Opening Up America Again." OSHA's guidance is also supposed to supplement state and local information and reopening requirements. You can use the guidance to develop policies and procedures to ensure your employees' safety and health.

  • CDC revamps recs for symptomatic employees, but COVID-19 testing can continue

    Increasing evidence shows most people with mild to moderate COVID-19 are no longer infectious 10 days after they begin having symptoms. Consequently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has suddenly switched course and started discouraging people from getting tested a second time after they recover. Regardless, employers may still require a negative test before letting infected employees return to the workplace.

  • Balancing 'work from home' and family

    It's safe to say our nation is in uncharted territory when contemplating how to establish a work-life balance while homeschooling and caring for children, keeping up with the demands of "work from home," and facing an unknown future. Fortunately, many people have had access to the necessary technology to work from home. Unfortunately, there is no handbook on how to balance employment with childcare and educational needs.

  • NLRB overrules precedent protecting abusive language

    Long-standing National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) precedent has protected abusive and harassing language when linked to protected union activity in most instances. Many cases have even excused racist and/or sexist language when used during an organizing campaign or while otherwise engaging in protected concerted activity. This put employers in the difficult position of either condoning language that could run afoul of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or taking disciplinary action the Board may consider a violation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

  • Sympathy needed for greeting card maker potentially liable for nonemployee's conduct

    Regular readers of the newsletter are aware employers must ensure inappropriate conduct by a customer or vendor isn't creating a hostile work environment (see "Costco learns customer may not always be right" in the March 2016 issue of Illinois Employment Law Letter). One Illinois employer recently learned about the obligation the hard way—by being sued. As many Illinois businesses spill into the sixth month of working remotely because of the pandemic, the case is an important reminder that harassment can occur not only by nonemployees but also outside the four corners of the workplace.

  • Gene mutation can be a disability under ADA

    In the first time any federal appeals court had heard a case on the issue, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Michigan and Ohio employers) recently overruled a district court and held that a noncancerous gene mutation can be a disability covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

  • After discovering embezzlement, have a strategy for obtaining restitution

    Few things are as shocking to an employer as learning a trusted employee is embezzling. Often, the feeling of betrayal is as gut-wrenching as the discovery of the financial loss itself. The first instinct may be to call the police. But because embezzlement is difficult, expensive, and time-consuming to prove, local law enforcement may be reluctant to investigate and prosecute. In addition, many employers don't want their customers or the business community to know. As a result, an employer may feel it has little chance of recovering its loss and satisfy itself with merely terminating the embezzling employee.

  • Fired employee can't overcome 'above-board reasons' for termination

    On July 6, employers received a favorable decision from the 6th Circuit involving a retaliation claim filed by someone who had complained about discriminatory conduct.

  • Q - A: FMLA leave for a childs birth doesnt have to start immediately

    Q Does a new father have to start Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave the day his child is born, or can he wait three months until after the mother returns to work and then take his leave?

  • Q - A: Maintaining confidential personnel files in Ohio

    Q Can HR maintain confidential internal documents within an employee's record that she cannot access?