LMVT’s Headlines: COVID and School? Free Speech, EEOC Update and More!

July 30, 2020   Written by:   Filed under: Breaking News

LMVT’s Headlines

July 30, 2020

BACK TO SCHOOL (SORT OF?)

As local school districts evaluate whether and in what format to open schools this fall, parents and parents’ employers ponder how to juggle childcare demands and work. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) created leave options for employees needed for childcare, but many employees have already used some or all of that leave. Here are issues to consider in planning for the upcoming school year.

IS FOUL LANGUAGE / BEHAVIOR PROTECTED FREE SPEECH?

The National Labor Relations Board on July 21, 2020, issued a decision protecting an employer’s rights to deal with profane attacks at work, profane attacks about the company or manager on social media and profane and racist comments when picketing. The case of General Motors, LLC involved a union committee person, Charles Robinson. Robinson had a heated exchange with the plant manager regarding overtime pay when employees were away on cross training. Robinson yelled at the plant manager, saying “I don’t give a f**** about your cross training,” “we’re not going to do any f****n’ cross-training if you’re going to be acting that way,” and the manager could “shove [the training] up [his] f****** a**.” The employer graciously suspended Robinson for three days.

CDC REVISES COVID-19 HOME ISOLATION/RETURN TO WORK STANDARDS FOR NON-HEALTHCARE PERSONNEL

Based on newly aggregated data and evidence and the need to preserve laboratory testing resources, the CDC earlier this month revised its recommendations for non-healthcare personnel to discontinue home isolation, which includes returning to work.

EEOC LOOKING TO INCREASE VOLUNTARY RESOLUTIONS

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced earlier this month that it had implemented two six-month pilot programs expanding opportunities for parties to resolve charges through mediation and increasing the effectiveness of its conciliation process. These pilots will apply to charges filed during the six-month periods beginning July 6, 2020 for mediation and May 29, 2020 for conciliation. The mediation program has been quite popular and successful in most districts for over 20 years. Participation is voluntary and almost always has occurred prior to investigation. Conciliation, required by statute after the investigation reveals cause to believe that a violation of law occurred, has not enjoyed the same popularity or success.