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”

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”

OSHA Addresses Employees Afraid to Return to Work

With coronavirus quarantines beginning to wind down across the country, many businesses are eager to reopen and begin attracting customers. However, employees have been generally less enthusiastic about returning to work, fearing they will be exposed to the coronavirus while on the job. Considering this, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued guidance to employers on how to handle this thorny issue. Continue reading “OSHA Addresses Employees Afraid to Return to Work”

EEOC Issues Guidance on Returning to Work After Quarantine

With many states now beginning the process of winding down their quarantine, many businesses that have been shuttered are now looking at reopening and inviting their employees back to work. However, reopening after the pandemic carries with it many questions, including what obligation employers have with respect to protecting their employees. Fortunately, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued guidance, telling employers how best to reopen for business. Continue reading “EEOC Issues Guidance on Returning to Work After Quarantine”

NY AG Sues Department of Labor Over FFCRA Rule

New York Attorney General Letitia James has filed a lawsuit against the United States Department of Labor (DOL) alleging they created a rule that violates the plain text and meaning of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that the rule creates overly broad categories excluding certain workers from paid sick and family leave and has imposed conditions on certain benefits without a statutory basis. The lawsuit could affect thousands of employees in New York, and potentially millions around the United States. Continue reading “NY AG Sues Department of Labor Over FFCRA Rule”

DOL Issues Updated Guidance on Intermittent Leave and Telework

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was signed into law on March 18, 2020, bringing with it a slew of changes to various labor laws. Among the most significant of these changes were those rules regarding intermittent leave and telework, two practices that are substantially more important now that the coronavirus pandemic is ongoing. Employers who intend to have their employees work from home, as well as employees intending to work from home, should familiarize themselves with these provisions to understand how they might affect their business. Continue reading “DOL Issues Updated Guidance on Intermittent Leave and Telework”