Earlier today, the U.S. Supreme Court held that discrimination based on sexual orientation or transgender status is sex discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Court’s opinion in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia resolves a circuit split and makes adverse employment actions against gay, lesbian, or transgender people illegal across the nation.

Continue Reading Supreme Court: Title VII Prohibits Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation, Transgender Status

The City of Chicago has enacted an anti-retaliation ordinance effective immediately aimed at protecting employees from retaliation if they refuse to work at an employer’s premises in compliance with a public health order issued by the City or the State of Illinois. The ordinance also protects employees from adverse employment actions if they do not report to work at the employer’s worksite due to direction from their healthcare provider to stay at home or to care for an individual who has been directed to stay at home. Continue Reading Chicago’s Anti-Retaliation Ordinance Protects Some Employees from Reporting to Work

In a widely watched case, the Seventh Circuit decided last week that companies that collect individuals’ biometric data may be able to defend their cases in federal court when plaintiffs allege a procedural violation of Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). Continue Reading Good News for Companies: Seventh Circuit Holds Removal of Plaintiffs’ Biometrics Privacy Claims to Federal Court OK

Thousands of businesses nationwide are trying to reopen after shutting their doors because of statewide stay at home orders due to COVID-19. Without question, this has created a significant burden on employers whose financial obligations – employee wages and benefits, rent and mortgage payments, among others – have not ceased despite economic uncertainty and decreased consumption across the board. Continue Reading To Terminate or Not to Terminate? How PPP Loans Impact Termination Considerations for Employers Seeking Loan Forgiveness

Businesses across the country are facing challenges, including lawsuits, as they grapple with how COVID-19 has impacted their operations, work forces, and supply chains. The wave of litigation is rising, and it appears that no industry is immune. Schiff Hardin’s Coronavirus Task Force is publishing this series to identify of-the-moment issues and potential liabilities facing businesses as they begin to re-open, transform their processes, and adapt to the new reality.

As businesses start to reopen across the country, customer-facing companies should consider best practices to reduce the risks of customer and employee exposure to the novel coronavirus, the cause of COVID-19. The right approach will differ based on the type of business, the state and local government guidelines and orders in place, and the geographic region in which the business operates. A hair salon in New York City, for example, will need to take different precautions than an outdoor nursery in Anchorage. Companies should develop a thoughtful plan to reduce the chance of exposure to the virus at a business given the ever-evolving scientific understanding of the disease. Here are five ideas that businesses can use to help ensure that their customers and employees remain safe. Continue Reading Five Approaches to Keep Customers and Employees Safe When Reopening

Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Congress created a federal unemployment supplement program, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which extends emergency jobless benefits to gig workers and others who may be ineligible for benefits under existing programs, but are out of work because of the coronavirus pandemic. Continue Reading DOL Issues Guidance on Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Benefits Under CARES Act

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) continues to update its guidance on the interplay of COVID-related issues and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The EEOC added new FAQs on April 9 (view our summary) addressing issues of confidentiality, reasonable accommodation, hiring, and harassment. On April 17 and April 23, the EEOC added additional FAQs addressing numerous topics, including the permissibility of widespread COVID-19 testing for employees entering the workplace and additional topics involving requests for accommodations during the pandemic and other issues. Continue Reading EEOC Updates ADA/COVID Guidance Allowing for COVID Virus Testing and “End Dates” to Some Accommodations

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued updated FAQs on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) issues relating to confidentiality, reasonable accommodation, hiring, and other pandemic-related topics. The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Division (OSHA) also remains active, and has updated employer recordkeeping and reporting requirements regarding workplace transmissions of COVID-19. Continue Reading EEOC and OSHA Update Prior Guidance on COVID-Related ADA Issues and Workplace Transmission Reporting

As states continue to adopt shelter-in-place orders to stop the spread of COVID-19, many employers remain open for business and need employees to perform essential operations. Here are some tips for employers with essential employees based on recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Labor (DOL) guidance. Continue Reading COVID-19 Workplace Safety: Tips for Employers with Essential Employees

On April 1, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a press release announcing its publication of a Final Rule on the paid sick leave requirements and family leave requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Relying on the “good cause” exception of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), the DOL bypassed the generally required notice and public comment provision before issuing the Final Rule.

The Final Rule supplements and clarifies the multiple FFCRA Q&A publications the DOL has issued over the past several weeks. On April 3, after the Final Rule was released, the DOL updated its prior Q&A guidance incorporating content from the Final Rule. The updated April 3 guidance is available here. This is the most current and comprehensive set of FFCRA Q&As published to date by the DOL. (Our previous summaries of the DOL’s March 25 and March 28 FFCRA Q&As are available here and here, though readers should note that the Q&As contained in those links have now been updated via the April 3 updated Q&As.) Continue Reading DOL Issues Final Rule and Additional Guidance on FFCRA Leave and Pay Requirements