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Labor & Employment Blog

Labor & Employment Blawg

The Labor & Employment Blog provides employers with breaking news, insights, and legal analysis on the wide range of labor and employment issues facing employers and businesses.  While the Blog provides a general summary of regulation updates, it is not intended to be, and should not be relied upon as, legal advice.  The labor & employment attorneys at Chamberlain Hrdlicka stand ready to counsel employers on the issues they face.

Larry Carbo, Shareholder and Co-Chair

Diana Perez Gomez, Shareholder and Co-Chair

Julie Offerman, Shareholder

Kellen Scott, Shareholder

Leslie Tan, Senior Counsel

Elizabeth Feeney, Associate

AmyJo "AJ" Foreman, Associate

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On January 13, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court issued two highly anticipated opinions on the COVID-19 vaccination rules mandated by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Challenges to those rules had opposite outcomes, as set out in the opinions. The Court stayed OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard for COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing (OSHA ETS), but allowed the CMS Omnibus COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination Interim Final Rule (CMS Rule) to move forward.

Background

Shortly after Chamberlain Hrdlicka’s update concerning the vaccine-or-test Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”) that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) announced for employers with 100 or more employees, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals stayed enforcement of the ETS. The three-judge panel noted the legal filings “give cause to believe there are grave statutory and constitutional issues” with the ETS. The Fifth Circuit’s stay is in place while the Court considers a motion to permanently stop the ETS from taking effect. The ...

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) released an Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”) for COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing on November 3, 2021, which applies to most employers with 100 or more employees. OSHA may issue an ETS when it determines workers are in grave danger due to exposure to toxic substances, agents, or new hazards.

What does the ETS require?

Covered employers are required to implement a mandatory vaccination policy. Alternatively, employers may implement a policy providing all employees the option to be fully vaccinated or to ...

The Firearm Carry Act of 2021 went into effect on September 1, 2021, which allows individuals over the age of 21 to carry handguns without a permit, in most locations.

What does this mean for private businesses? Private businesses still have the option to prohibit individuals from carrying firearms on their premises. However, in order to do so, a business must post appropriate, visible notices prohibiting firearms on the property.

Private businesses wishing to prohibit all firearms from their premises should post notices at each entrance to their property. The notices should:

1.  ...

Texas employers should be aware that a new law with changes to the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act goes into effect today, September 1, 2021. The new law broadens employees’ rights regarding sexual harassment claims.

Who constitutes an “employer”?

Previously, for private employers, the TCHRA only applied to employers with 15 or more employees. Under the new law, for sexual harassment claims, an “employer” is a person who: a) employs one or more employees, or b) acts directly in the interests of an employer in relation to an employee.

According to the Statement of Intent ...

President Biden recently issued an Executive Order that advances a campaign promise to, among other things, eliminate non-competition agreements. But first, agencies must weigh in and adopt rules to promote the administration’s policies. The Executive Order does not, by itself, outlaw restrictive covenants or other employment practices.
The Biden | Harris campaign promised to work with Congress “to eliminate all non-compete agreements, except the very few that are absolutely necessary to protect a narrowly defined category of trade secrets, and outright ban all ...

On December 7, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued its Religious Exemption Final Rule, expanding the ability of federal contractors to seek religious exemptions from the nondiscrimination requirements imposed by Executive Order 11246 in federal government contracting.  Executive Order 11246 provides an exemption from its equal opportunity requirements for “a religious corporation, association, educational institution, or society, with respect to the employment of individuals of a particular religion to ...

Most companies realize the value of providing training focused on preventing sexual harassment in the workplace. Quality training programs help reduce exposure to sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits, and they are often invaluable safeguards when lawsuits do arise.

However, anti-harassment training is not just a prudent measure - in the last two years, some states have made it a legal requirement. Both California and New York recently passed laws requiring companies to provide sexual harassment training to workers. As the end of the year approaches, now is the perfect ...

On September 22, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) unveiled a proposed rule intended to further clarify whether a worker is deemed an independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This classification is critical to employers, as independent contractors - unlike employees - are not owed overtime under the FLSA. The proposed rule is intended to replace all prior administrative rulings, interpretations, practices, or enforcement policies relating to the classification of independent contractors under the FLSA that are inconsistent or in conflict with the ...

On June 15, 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled, in a 6-3 decision, that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of an employee's sexual orientation or gender identity. Title VII makes it unlawful for an employer to fail or refuse to hire or discharge any individual or otherwise discriminate against any individual because of the individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. In interpreting the statute, the Supreme Court of the United States determined the definition of "sex" includes sexual orientation ...