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NY Federal Court Strikes Down Rule Limiting COVID Paid Leave

A New York federal court has struck down a United States Department of Labor (DOL) rule that limited who could benefit from a law that granted paid leave due to the coronavirus. The court stated the DOL overstepped its authority by issuing the limitation and said that there was no basis in law for the rule it issued. Additionally, it struck down an interpretation of the law that expanded an exception for “health care providers,” and partially vacated other interpretations of the law which limited people’s ability to take time off. Continue reading “NY Federal Court Strikes Down Rule Limiting COVID Paid Leave”

SCOTUS Upholds Religious Objection to ACA Contraceptive Mandate

In a recent decision by the Supreme Court of the United States, it was held that the religious exemption to the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) contraceptive mandate applied to all businesses with a religious or moral objection, not merely churches or other religious orders. This ruling could have a significant impact on healthcare benefits for employees around the country and could have other implications in related fields of law. This case is part of a growing trend by the court that has granted ever greater religious freedoms to employers, often at the expense of their employees. Continue reading “SCOTUS Upholds Religious Objection to ACA Contraceptive Mandate”

Blocking Charge Rule Change Challenged by AFL-CIO

The AFL-CIO, the largest association of unions in the United States, is seeking to stop the implementation of a rule that would weaken the “blocking charge” rule currently in place. The AFL-CIO has claimed that the rule was passed in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), and that it was based on several factual errors that were not corrected. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which created the rule, is defending the new rule, stating that the factual errors were not material and that there was no APA violation. Continue reading “Blocking Charge Rule Change Challenged by AFL-CIO”

Heat Exposure During Summer Remains Issue Even During Coronavirus

The coronavirus is the single greatest health crisis facing the United States right now, but that does not mean that all the other potential health hazards suddenly went away. And even with people spending more time indoors to avoid exposure to COVID-19, heat exposure remains a serious hazard during the summer. Reflecting this reality, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued guidance to employers on how to protect their employees from heat exposure while also keeping them safe from COVID. Continue reading “Heat Exposure During Summer Remains Issue Even During Coronavirus”

Employers Can Discipline Newly Unionized Employees According to NLRB

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued a ruling making it permissible for an employer to discipline newly unionized employees for violations of the company’s disciplinary policy. The ruling overturns a 2016 decision which made it illegal for an employer to discipline a newly unionized employee due to concerns of potential abuse. However, the Board has ruled that employers have no legal obligation to consider whether an employee has been recently unionized before disciplining them. Continue reading “Employers Can Discipline Newly Unionized Employees According to NLRB”

Mandatory Tests for Antibodies Not Permissible According to EEOC

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has clarified a rule with respect to employers testing their employees for COVID infection. While it is permissible for an employer to test if an employee is currently showing signs of coronavirus infection, it is not permissible to test if they have COVID antibodies. This is an important distinction to make as people begin to return to work and the coronavirus continues to be a threat, even in places like New York where infections have leveled off. Continue reading “Mandatory Tests for Antibodies Not Permissible According to EEOC”

Supreme Court Rules LGBT Discrimination Violates Title VII

The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The unexpected 6-3 decision by the court is considered a major win for LGBT advocates who feared the conservative majority on the court would rule the other way. However, the ruling itself is narrow and applies only to Title VII itself, and future battles likely wait for LGBT people seeking legal protections against discrimination. Continue reading “Supreme Court Rules LGBT Discrimination Violates Title VII”

No Union Organizing During Work Hours, Says NLRB

One of the most persistent problems in labor organizing has been determining when, and where, it is acceptable to organize a union. The rules regarding union organizing have fluctuated over the years, becoming more lenient or less lenient for organizers depending on the political climate. Unfortunately, those organizers have been dealt a significant blow by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), in a recent ruling that has prohibited all union organizing during work hours.

Union organizing refers to the practice of workers at a company agreeing to come together to form a labor union. To do this, union organizers must get a majority of the employees at a company to agree to unionize, typically through an election called by the organizers. Typically, organizers will try to speak to employees at work, since that is the easiest place to track them down and talk to them about forming a union. However, employers tend to discourage this sort of activity, and some have brought legal action against employees trying to organize a union during work hours or on their property.

Previously, there had been some wiggle room for organizers wishing to advocate on company property, such as allowing them to organize or petition in public areas like cafeterias or lobbies. However, the recent NLRB decision allows employers to completely ban discussion of unionization during work hours, regardless of where on the property it occurs. Moreover, the decision has reversed precedent that prohibited punishment for merely discussing the prospect of unionizing. As a result, it will become more difficult than ever to organize a union, a fact that employers have cheered but organizers have decried.

If you are looking into unionizing, or you already have a union and are in a dispute with your employer, give the Law Offices of Steven Sack a call. Steven Mitchell Sack, the Employee’s Lawyer, is a New York employment lawyer who has considerable experience in handling the many aspects of labor and employment law. To schedule a consultation with New York City employment lawyer Steven Mitchell Sack, call (917) 371-8000.

Federal Judge Strikes Down Rule on Ambush Elections

A federal district court judge has struck down a rule that was set to become effective on June 1, 2020 that would have outlawed so-called “ambush elections” by labor organizers. The rule, put forward by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), would have imposed significant procedural restrictions on when and how union elections could be called. However, the judge struck down the rule, saying that it was passed without satisfying the “notice and comment” requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act. Continue reading “Federal Judge Strikes Down Rule on Ambush Elections”

AFL-CIO Demands OSHA Action on Coronavirus Protections

With states now beginning to draw down their quarantines, many employers are looking to reopen their businesses, some earlier than their employees feel comfortable with. While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued some guidance on protecting employees from the coronavirus, it has largely been industry specific, particularly focusing on healthcare workers. In response to concerns from its members, the AFL-CIO has filed an emergency action in federal court, demanding OSHA take action to protect workers from coronavirus exposure at work. Continue reading “AFL-CIO Demands OSHA Action on Coronavirus Protections”