2020 Brings Expansions of Religious Beliefs and Moral Convictions Exemptions Available to Employers

The Supreme Court’s recent Little Sisters opinion upheld employers’ rights to decline to provide contraceptive coverage due to a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction. In light of the Supreme Court’s recent expansion of Title VII protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity, the courts might recognize the same reasoning in the context …read more »

Does a Privileged Wage and Hour Audit Always Have to Be Turned Over in FLSA Litigation? The Fifth Circuit Says No, and Offers Employers a Roadmap for Keeping Privileged Analysis Out of Litigation

Does merely defending against a wage and hour lawsuit mean that the company must turn over privileged attorney-client analysis to plaintiffs’ counsel? For several years, employers have struggled with this question in part because several lower-court decisions have been interpreted to hold that asserting that the company made a good-faith, reasonable attempt to comply with …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 »

Practical Advice for Employers Responding to COVID-19 Contact Tracers

In mid-April 2020, which in the age of COVID-19 feels like eons ago, President Trump announced his Opening Up America Again plan, designed to restart the U.S. economy by encouraging state and local governments to lift stay-at-home restrictions put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19. And many state and local governments followed the …read more »

EEOC and OSHA Answer Important Questions Regarding Workplace Reopenings

The EEOC continues to periodically update its technical assistance document entitled “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws,” with the latest updates made on June 17, 2020.  The same day, OSHA released its “Guidance on Returning to Work,” which makes new recommendations in addition to what …read more »

Employers May Now Offer Bonuses and Other Supplemental Pay Under the Fluctuating Workweek Method of Calculating Overtime Pay

Employers are required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) to pay overtime for hours worked over forty (40) in a single week to non-exempt employees based on the employee’s “regular rate.” This general principle has led to both complicated and nuanced questions in application when non-exempt employees are paid on other than an hourly …read more »

Before Implementing a Layoff, Consider an Unemployment Workshare Program

As employers begin to plan for their employees’ return to work, many are unable to maintain the size of their workforces in light of the ongoing economic downturn. As they plan for layoffs or long-term furloughs, employers should also be aware of the possibility of an unemployment workshare program. The main difference between a layoff …read more »

As States Begin to Reopen, Employers Must Continue to Minimize Safety Risks

Texas, like many states, is allowing more businesses to reopen and at greater capacities as it moves into Phase II of its COVID-19 pandemic response plan. See Executive Order GA-23, available at https://gov.texas.gov/uploads/files/press/EO-GA-23_phase_two_expanding_opening_COVID-19.pdf. This is good news for business and the economy, but also presents several unique challenges as employers must continue to ensure the …read more »

Understand the WARN Act’s Oft-Misunderstood “Unforeseeable Business Circumstance” Defense and its Potential Applicability to Your Layoffs

As the novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, continues to impact employees and employers alike, employers must make difficult decisions to protect their businesses. The United States is facing what some predict to be the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Many employers are finding it necessary to reduce their workforce to stay afloat. The federal Worker …read more »