Ohio News & Analysis

  • Termination for misconduct unrelated to medical leave not retaliatory

    Employers are often skittish about the optics of firing an employee who is on leave or recently returned from leave. After all, close timing between the leave and the termination can be enough on its own to establish a retaliation claim sufficient to get to a jury to decide. In January 2019, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Ohio employers) upheld the dismissal of Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and disability discrimination claims related to an employee's termination for abuse of an employee perks program shortly after returning from leave for kidney failure.

  • Independent contractor's sexual orientation discrimination claims allowed to proceed

    A federal court in Ohio recently declined the opportunity to dismiss an independent contractor's claims that he was harassed based on his homosexuality and discharged in retaliation for complaining about it.

  • On the radar: U.S. Department of Education's proposed Title IX regulation

    On November 29, 2018, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) published a proposed change to its regulations for Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. The change would affect how schools are required to address sexual harassment and sexual assault.

  • Now's the time to consider marijuana policy

    State laws legalizing the use of marijuana—whether for medical or recreational use—have been a fast-moving target over the last several years. Currently, there are only 16 states in which marijuana is still illegal for both medical and recreational purposes. And out of those 16, most allow products that contain small amounts of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

  • Do you have a ghost of a chance against ghosting?

    If you're like us (and Seth Meyers), you might have a hard time keeping up with all the latest slang terms having to do with new technologies and trends in social interactions and other aspects of modern life. One such term is "ghosting," which is when a person just stops responding to text messages, usually from someone they recently started dating. The term has slowly spread to other situations in which one person suddenly disappears from another person's life, including—you guessed it—when an employee or job applicant is a no-show with no communication or explanation to the employer.

  • Agency Action

    NLRB names new solicitor. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in December announced the appointment of Fred B. Jacob as its new solicitor. The solicitor is the chief legal adviser and consultant to the Board on all questions of law regarding its general operations and on major questions of law and policy concerning the adjudication of NLRB cases in the courts of appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. The solicitor also serves as the Board's legal representative and liaison to the General Counsel and other offices of the agency. Jacob has spent more than two decades practicing labor law and advising federal agencies on ethics, administrative law, and government operations.

  • Workplace Trends

    Survey finds lack of understanding of when workers will retire. U.S. employers are rethinking their approach to managing the retirement patterns of their workforces, according to a study from Willis Towers Watson. The 2018 Longer Working Careers Survey found that 83% of employers have a significant number of employees at or nearing retirement, but just 53% expressed having a good understanding of when their employees will retire. Additionally, while 81% say managing the timing of their employees' retirements is an important business issue, just 25% do that effectively. The survey found that 80% of respondents view older employees as crucial to their success.

  • 6th Circuit upholds employer's decision not to allow return to work

    The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Ohio employers) held that an employer that followed its return-to-work procedures and relied on the assessments of two doctors about an employee's ability to perform his job wasn't liable for disability discrimination, even though the employee's doctor initially released him to return to work before reconsidering his decision.

  • 6th Circuit ruling emphasizes the difficulty of overturning arbitration decisions

    The 6th Circuit reaffirmed its prior ruling in Michigan Family Resources—finding that arbitration decisions are subject to the narrowest review on appeal in federal court—and upheld an arbitrator's decision.

  • Job descriptions are important, but not always decisive

    A recent 6th Circuit decision underscores that, while job descriptions are important evidence in disability discrimination cases, sometimes employees can prevail even though they cannot perform all of the duties that a job description states are "essential."