Ohio News & Analysis

  • NLRB expands employer options for social media, nondisparagement rules

    Employees often believe anything goes when it comes to social media expression. But the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently provided clarity on the types of social media activity employers may regulate, giving them more latitude to discipline workers for conduct that violates company rules and threatens the brand.

  • 10th Circuit ruling shows Bostock case's impact on Title VII litigation

    In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, which extended federal statutory protections to the LGBTQ community, many have wondered how the decision might affect other employment litigation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. A recent decision by the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals suggests that, following Bostock, courts may begin to recognize new claims or even reconsider previous limitations on Title VII's scope.

  • Chemist's associational discrimination claim fails to bond

    One of the unusual features of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is that it includes a provision prohibiting discrimination "because of the known disability of an individual with whom [the employee] is known to have a relationship or association." A recent decision by the 7th Circuit (which covers Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin employers) examined the scope of the ADA's associational discrimination prong.

  • 7th Circuit rejects employee's age discrimination claim involving subjective tests

    No age discrimination occurred when an employer didn't promote a 74-year-old employee who had failed a mandatory subjective test, the 7th Circuit recently ruled. The court said the employee failed to show objective evidence of discrimination other than that the test scorers knew his age. Therefore, it ruled in the employer's favor.

  • Michigan modifies COVID-19 leave, return-to-work requirements

    On August 7, Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order (EO) 2020-166 modifying required COVID-19 leave and clarifying when it's required and when an employee can return to work. This order replaces EO 2020-36.

  • Most Ohio employers must provide COVID-19-related leave to employees

    An Ohio employee sued after being terminated for self-quarantining because of COVID-19. Although her lawsuit is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, federal laws do require most employers to provide coronavirus-related leave.

  • Unemployed Michiganders now eligible for additional $300 per week

    Pandemic unemployment assistance benefits, which afforded $600 in supplemental unemployment compensation aid to eligible individuals through much of the COVID-19 crisis, ceased on July 31, 2020. Congress failed to reach a consensus on an extension, so on August 8, President Donald Trump signed a memorandum authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to "provide financial assistance for the needs of those who have lost employment as a result of the pandemic."

  • New Michigan order tightens restrictions for COVID-19 sick days

    Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently signed Executive Order (EO) 2020-172 to protect employees from retaliation for missing work because of COVID-19 symptoms, diagnosis, or exposure. In a move that helps employers, the order tightens the restrictions on the symptoms necessary for employees to stay home without facing repercussions from the company.

  • Despite recent court decisions, questions remain for religious employers

    The U.S. Supreme Court issued two decisions recently that were welcome news for religious organizations and other employers that rely on religious convictions as they conduct their business. One decision bolstered the "ministerial exception," a doctrine stemming from the First Amendment that prevents government interference in religious organizations' ability to hire and fire employees. The other decision says certain private employers with religious or moral objections to birth control can exclude contraception coverage in their employer-sponsored health plans even though the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates such coverage for most employers.

  • Incivility and harassment at work? Employer policies can help

    Employers concerned about racist, sexist, and other unacceptable outbursts in the workplace cheered a decision from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in July that makes it easier to discipline or fire employees for offensive speech. Under the previous standard, employees disciplined for profane outbursts often could look to the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) for protection since Section 7 of the Act prohibits employer policies that may impede employee efforts to join a union or otherwise band together to improve the terms and conditions of employment. The previous standard was tolerant of some degree of heated speech uttered in the exercise of Section 7 rights as long as it wasn't violent or otherwise too extreme.