LMVT Headlines: Webinar on Post-Election Review and Impact on Employers; Managing Expiring Leaves and More!
November 4, 2020
NEW CONGRESS, NEW COURT, NEW PRESIDENT(?), NEW EMPLOYMENT LAWS
Join us on December 8, 2020 from 10:00 am until 11:30 am CST for a webinar presentation in which we will assess the implications of yesterday’s national election results (which are still up in the air at the time of this publication) and other issues affecting employers in 2021.
LEAVES HAVE FALLEN, LEAVES HAVE EXPIRED
How appropriate that during this season, we have received several questions from employers about employees who have a COVID-related absence after having exhausted traditional FMLA and/or the Emergency FMLA or Emergency Paid Sick Leave authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Our recommendation is that employers evaluate on an individualized basis how each of these situations should be handled. It is not strictly necessary to treat everyone the same.
DOL’S PROPOSED RULE ON INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR/EMPLOYEE CLASSIFICATION
The gig economy has resulted in state and federal oversight and regulation regarding whether an individual is an independent contractor or an employee. Although Uber, Lyft, Doordash, and similar companies have been at the forefront of these challenges, employers generally face these considerations when determining the status of an individual who is not hired as a regular employee.
CDC STUDY INDICATES PREGNANT WOMEN AT INCREASED RISK FOR SEVERE ILLNESS AND DEATH DUE TO COVID-19
While the CDC had earlier indicated that it had no basis to conclude that pregnant women were particularly adversely affected by COVID-19, the latest study, based on a larger data sample, indicates that pregnant women were three times more likely to be admitted to an ICU due to COVID than non-pregnant peers, even after adjustments were made for age, race, ethnicity, and underlying health conditions.
EEOC LITIGATION TO INCREASE
The EEOC recently concluded Fiscal Year 2020 (September 30th) with 24 lawsuits filed during September alone. However, for FY 2020, the EEOC filed only 90 lawsuits, a decline from 144 lawsuits the year before. With the EEOC adjusting to COVID-related work schedules, we expect the Commission to ramp up litigation during FY 2021, especially if there is a change in administration at the White House.
DO NOT MISS AN OPPORTUNITY … TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR WORKFORCE IN THE CONTEXT OF A THANKSGIVING THEME
Employees today are feeling isolated from their employer, disconnected from workplace culture and friendships, and riding a rollercoaster of angst about job and financial security on the one hand and exhaustion from unpredictable or excessive overtime or other irregular scheduling on the other (even if the irregular scheduling is at the employee’s request). Although we are all in the same storm of COVID, we are not all in the same boat.
MAY EMPLOYERS MANDATE COVID-19 VACCINES?
The question of mandatory vaccinations has been raised for several years with regard to healthcare employers, but due to the highly contagious nature of COVID, the question now arises as to whether all employees may be required to get the COVID vaccine, assuming one is developed. Generally, employers may require that all employees take this vaccine due to the risk of contagion to other employees, customers, and other third parties. If an employee cannot take a vaccine due to bona fide medical or religious reasons, the employer has the right to require substantiation of those reasons and should then consider if other accommodations may be available.