March 2024 E-Update


Click here to view entire E-Update as a PDF


The COVID-19 Isolation Guidelines Have Changed Again…

It’s been a long pandemic (and for those of you who are interested, the World Health Organization says that the pandemic is still ongoing, although it no longer constitutes a global public health emergency). As the virus has morphed, we’ve come a long way from the early, all-too-deadly days of the disease. And in recognition of the current state of COVID-19 and new preventative tools, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its guidance to take a unified approach to common respiratory viral illnesses, to include COVID-19, flu and RSV.  For more, click here.

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Has Been Blocked – But Only as to the State of Texas!

What happened, and what does that mean for employers elsewhere? Following passage of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023), Texas sued to enjoin the law. For more, click here.

D.C. Circuit Provides Guidance on Unlawful Surveillance Under the NLRA

This month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued several opinions that provide some guidance to employers on the issue of unlawful surveillance of union members or supporters under the National Labor Relations Act. For more, click here.



US DOL Announces New Resource to Support the Employment of Individuals with Disabilities.  The U.S. Department of Labor has created a new Competitive Integrated Employment Transformation Hub to collect resources from various federal agencies that provide practical guidance, policy information, and best practices for those with disabilities and their employers, as well as other related entities and individuals.  For more, click here.

Threatening to Expose Co-Workers to COVID-19 Is Really Not Acceptable.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit found that the employee’s threats, as well as her stealing time, were legitimate reasons for her termination, contrary to her claims that her employer interfered with her rights and retaliated against her in violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act, among other things.  For more, click here.

Employers Must Reimburse Actual – Not Approximate – Expenses for Minimum-Wage Employees.   The Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to pay non-exempt employees at least the minimum wage, free and clear. And if the employer requires the employee to provide their own “tools” for work, the employer must reimburse the employee for 100% of the cost. But how should that cost be calculated?  For more, click here.

Just Because It Takes Time to Respond to an EEOC Subpoena Doesn’t Make It an Undue Burden.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit gave short shrift to an employer’s argument that it should not have to respond to a subpoena from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission because the time that it would take employees to find responsive documents was an undue burden.  For more, click here.

Second Circuit Clarifies the Test for Disparate Treatment Discrimination.   The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has issued a decision that seeks “to demystify” part of the well-established standard for proving disparate treatment discrimination under Title VII (i.e., that an employee has been treated less favorably than co-workers who do not share the same protected characteristic).  For more, click here.

New Resources to Support Federal Contractor Hiring and Retention of Veterans.  On February 29, 2024, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs announced a new Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) landing page with new resources added to existing ones to assist federal contractors and subcontractors to comply with their obligations under the law.  For more, click here.


TOP TIP: A Reminder to Employers to Be Thoughtful About DEI Initiatives – And DOCUMENT!

Following the increased interest in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives in the context of the murder of George Floyd and the #BlackLivesMatter movement, we warned employers to be careful about rushing into anti-discrimination initiatives, like diversity hiring quotas, that could, in fact, violate Title VII. We reiterated this warning more recently in light of the Supreme Court’s decision rejecting the use of affirmative action in college admissions. And now a recent case from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit again emphasizes this point. For more, click here.