Changes To Sexual Harassment Laws In Texas Go Into Effect On September 1, 2021

While the ongoing pandemic and vaccine mandates have grabbed the employment law headlines this summer, Texas employers should be aware that Senate Bill 45 and House Bill 21, which amend the Texas Labor Code and expand employee protections and employer liability for sexual harassment claims, go into effect on September 1, 2021.  Together, these bills …read more »

A Summary of OSHA’s Emergency Temporary COVID-19 Standard for Healthcare Settings and Its Guidance for Other Employers

On June 10, 2021, OSHA released its long-awaited Emergency Temporary COVID-19 Standard. Unexpectedly, the standard applies only to workplaces that provide “healthcare” or “healthcare support services,” and in which suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients are treated, including hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities, plus emergency responders, home healthcare workers, and employees in ambulatory care …read more »

Ten Things Employers Need to Know About the COBRA Premium Assistance Subsidy Under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

President Biden signed H.R. 1319, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) on March 11, 2021. Among other things, the law subsidizes the full COBRA premium for “Assistance Eligible Individuals” for periods of coverage from April 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021.  The following provides some general information in response to questions we hear …read more »

Context and Good Documentation Really Matter

While the courts have been largely closed to jury trials in 2020, that has not stopped a slew of labor and employment decisions being issued in the summary judgment context.  Three less publicized decisions addressing common types of proof that plaintiffs and employers often rely on to obtain/defeat summary judgment recently caught my eye.  Those …read more »

The EEOC’s Proposed New Wellness Program Rules Have Made an Appearance

On January 7, 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) forwarded to the Federal Register its Notices of Proposed Rulemakings (NPRMs) on wellness programs under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).  The proposed rules have been whispered about for months and, if adopted, will replace the previous …read more »

Marijuana For The Win Following The 2020 Election

The 2020 election saw the passage of ballot initiatives involving the legalization of marijuana in five more states — Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota. Of those, recreational marijuana was approved in Arizona, Montana, and New Jersey, joining 14 other states and the District of Columbia. Voters in Mississippi approved medical marijuana. And, …read more »

Summary Judgment In Title VII Retaliation Cases – The Fifth Circuit Provides A Primer On Pretext

In Berry v. Sheriff’s Office Ouachita Parish, et al., a panel of the Fifth Circuit reversed a grant of summary judgment in favor of the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s office, giving a Black former deputy sheriff another chance to prove that he was actually discharged in retaliation for filing an EEOC charge. The former deputy filed …read more »

COVID-19 Related Agency Action in July 2020 – DOL, OSHA, DHS, and IRS Issue New Guidance

July 2020 has been another busy month for the federal and state agencies that regulate employment in addressing COVID-19.  The following briefly summarizes some of the most recently-published agency guidance and other resources available to assist employers in navigating the ongoing pandemic in their workplace.  These materials include new guidance from the DOL on unemployment …read more »