Tag Archives: Epstein Becker & Green

NLRB Restores Employer Rights to Discipline Newly-Unionized Employees Without Bargaining

On June 23, 2020, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) overruled a 2016 decision that required employers to bargain over the discipline of employees during negotiations for a first contract.  The Board noted that the decision it issued Tuesday in 800 River Road Operating Co., LLC d/b/a Care One at New Milford, 369 NLRB No. 109 (“Care One”), reinstated “the law as it existed for 80 years,” under which the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”) did not impose a “predisciplinary bargaining obligation” on employers with newly-unionized workforces.  The Board’s restoration of what had been well-settled law under the Act reinstates employers’ ability to apply disciplinary policies in accordance with past practice while negotiating a first collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”).

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Class Action Mooted When Class Representative Settles, Ninth Circuit Rules

On June 3, 2020, the Ninth Circuit dismissed a wage and hour class action on the grounds that once the class representative plaintiff settled his individual claims and no longer had any financial stake in the litigation’s outcome, the entire litigation was moot.

In Brady v. AutoZone Stores, Inc. and Autozoners, LLC, Plaintiff Michael Brady brought a class action suit against AutoZone Stores, Inc. and Autozoners LLC for allegedly failing to provide its nonexempt employees with meal breaks in accordance with Washington state law.  After several years of litigation, Brady settled his individual claims and simultaneously waived any right to recover attorney’s fees and costs.  Even though Brady settled his individual claims, the settlement agreement included a provision explicitly stating that Brady did not intend to settle or waive his class claims.

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Video: How Mobile Technology Can Help Employers in a Post-COVID-19 Workplace –Employment Law This Week

As featured in #WorkforceWednesday: Mobile technologies, including contact tracing and screening apps, will help safely bring employees back to work. However, there are a range of employment law and privacy concerns to consider before implementing these technologies. Attorneys Adam S. Forman and Karen Mandelbaum tell us more. You can also read more in a recent Law360 article.

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Northern Virginia and Richmond Enter Reopening Phase Two Lifting COVID-19 Restrictions

On June 9, 2020, Governor Ralph Northam announced that Northern Virginia and Richmond will join the rest of the state in entering Phase Two on June 12, 2020, taking the next step to reopening the region.  Governor Northam’s Executive Order 65 further eased temporary restrictions throughout most of the Commonwealth of Virginia, initiating the “Safer at Home: Phase Two” strategy on June 5, 2020.

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More Flexibility Added to the Paycheck Protection Program

On Friday, June 5, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (the “Act”), which relaxes various rules under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act’s (the “CARES Act”) $670 billion Paycheck Protection Program (the “PPP” or “Program”) managed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”). The PPP provides forgivable loans to small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Connecticut’s Plan to Reopen Businesses

Introduction

On April 30, 2020, Governor Ned Lamont released a four-stage plan to reopen business in Connecticut when the following conditions were met: (1) sustained 14-day decline in hospitalizations; (2) adequate testing capacity; (3) contact tracing system in place; and (4) sufficient personal protection equipment (“PPE”).  Governor Lamont identified May 20 as the tentative reopening date.

Meanwhile, on May 9, the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (“DECD”) issued detailed rules for the business sectors that are permitted to reopen as part of Phase 1 reopening plans.  The rules stated that the safeguards will “gradually loosen” as a defined set of public health metrics are met, which is expected to occur “over the coming months through September 2020.”

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Reopening Nonessential Businesses Begins in the DMV: District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia Start to Lift COVID-19 Restrictions

On May 27, 2020, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser issued Order 0202-067, which details the Phase One limited reopening of non-essential businesses in Washington, D.C., to begin on Friday, May 29, 2020.  The Mayor’s decision to begin to reopen D.C. follows on the heels of prior orders of Governors Larry Hogan and Ralph Northam to reopen neighboring Maryland and Virginia, respectively.  Governor Hogan allowed certain nonessential businesses in Maryland to reopen on May 15, 2020, and on May 27, 2020, he issued Order 20-05-27-01, expanding its phase one reopening.  Governor Northam’s Executive Order 61 eased certain temporary restrictions throughout most of the Commonwealth of Virginia beginning on May 15, 2020, and Executive Order 62 permits the Northern Virginia Region, Richmond, and Accomack County to begin reopening on May 29, 2020.

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Video: Mental Health Support for Employees During the COVID-19 Pandemic – Employment Law This Week

As featured in #WorkforceWednesday:  To support employee mental health, employers have important tools available, such as telemental health benefits, vacation, leave, and the interactive accommodation process. Watch for a few quick tips.

Video: YouTubeVimeoMP4Instagram.

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OSHA Reinstates Enforcement Guidance for Recording COVID-19 Cases and General Investigation Response Plan Procedures

On May 19, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor issued two COVID-19 related Enforcement Memos to provide updated guidance to OSHA investigators: (1) Revised Enforcement Guidance for Recording Cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (“Revised Recordkeeping Guidance”), which reinstates  employers’ recordkeeping obligations for COVID-19 cases (29 CFR Part 1904) and (2) Updated Interim Enforcement Response Plan for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)  (“Updated Enforcement Response Plan Guidance”), which generally returns to  pre-COVID investigation policies, except to maintain COVID-19-related cases as a top priority and mandate the following of certain COVID-19-related precautions.

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Tie Goes to the Employer: National Labor Relations Board Overrules Past Precedent Regarding Dual-Marked Ballots

The National Labor Relations Board (“Board” or “NLRB”) on Wednesday, May 13, 2020, overruled decades of convoluted Board precedent regarding “dual-marked ballots” in union representation elections – establishing a new bright line test.  A “dual-marked ballot,” to put it simply, is a ballot that has markings in or around both the “YES” and “NO” box, thus, making it difficult, if not impossible, to tell whether the employee who cast the ballot actually intended to vote for or against union representation. Indeed, a dual-marked ballot might also mean that the employee who completed the ballot actually did not want to take a position either way.   The treatment of such a single dual-marked ballot can have dramatic consequences in a close election, as was the case in Providence Health & Services.

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