February 2022 E-Update
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Federal Task Force Recommendations Support White House’s Pro-Union Agenda
The White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment, which was created by President Biden’s April 26, 2021 Executive Order, released a report this month with nearly 70 recommendations that promote worker organizing and collective bargaining in both the public and private sector. Notably, some of these recommendations go beyond union organizing issues. For more, click here.
NLRB GC Outlines Push for Interagency Cooperation to Protect Workers (and Their Right to Unionize)
This month, the National Labor Relations Board’s General Counsel, Jennifer Abruzzo, released a memo that outlined the steps she is taking to promote better interagency collaboration and coordination in order to ensure the full protection of workers and, ostensibly, to minimize employers’ compliance burdens. Realistically, these steps effectuate the White House’s pro-union agenda, which impacts both unionized and non-union employers. The steps set forth include the following…for more, click here.
When Is an Employee a “Direct Threat” in the Workplace Under the ADA?
A recent case offers a good reminder that there are limits on the protections offered by the Americans with Disabilities Act to employees with disabilities. Among those – employees cannot pose a direct threat to themselves or others. And it further provides an overview of how to determine whether such a direct threat exists. For more, click here.
Not Every Complaint Is a Request for Accommodation. Employees need to provide sufficient information to the employer that a health issue could be a disability that is interfering with their ability to work, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently found. For more, click here.
NLRB GC Supports Aggressive Use of Injunctions Against Employers in Organizing Campaigns. On February 1, 2022, the National Labor Relations Board’s General Counsel, Jennifer Abruzzo, announced an initiative to seek injunctive relief where workers have been subject to threats or other coercive conduct during an organizing campaign. For more, click here.
Excusing Unpredictable Attendance Is Not a Reasonable Accommodation. Although some employers may feel like they have to tolerate a lot as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, one thing that they may not have to allow is unpredictable attendance, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit recently reaffirmed. For more, click here.
“Title VII Requires a Prompt Corrective Response, Not a Perfect Response.” So says the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in rejecting an employee’s claim that the employer failed to respond appropriately to his complaint of racial harassment. For more, click here.
Context Matters for Sexual Harassment Claims. Whether sexually-based conduct constitutes sexual harassment in violation of Title VII may depend on the situation in which it occurs, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently explained. For more, click here.
In last month’s Top Tip, we noted that, even though the Vax-or-Test Emergency Temporary Standard is no more, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration can still hold employers liable for failing to protect workers from COVID-19 under existing safety standards. And now we remind you that state OSH agencies may also get involved, as the State of Washington’s Department of Labor & Industries (WDL&I) demonstrated this month when it imposed more than $285,000 in fines in connection with a COVID-19 outbreak at a multi-employer warehouse. For more, click here.