Returning to Work Post-Shutdown, Part II: Addressing the Economic Impact of COVID-19

In this second instalment in our series examining the challenges U.K. employers are likely to face in the coming months, Faegre Drinker’s London labor and employment attorneys consider how employers can manage the economic impact that COVID-19 will likely have on many workplaces.

The global media has reported widely on the substantial impact of COVID-19 on the global economy and businesses. In the U.K., many employers will likely be facing significant economic pressures as a result of COVID-19 for the foreseeable future, even as the U.K. lockdown begins to lift. As a result, many employers will unfortunately need to look to reduce their workforce costs and recalibrate their businesses for ‘the new normal.’ Whilst mass redundancies have been much talked about (and feared) in the U.K., we explore the options for employers looking to avoid redundancies, as well as an overview of redundancy options if such measures cannot be avoided.

For the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.

Returning to Work Post-Shutdown, Part 1: U.K. Workplace Considerations

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdown have caused a massive shift in the way we work, and as the U.K. prepares for the lockdown to ease, employers will continue to face a variety of challenges as the U.K. adapts to a new normal. In a three-part series, Faegre Drinker’s London labor and employment attorneys will be examining the challenges U.K. employers are likely to face in the coming months, including how employers can manage the transition back to the workplace, addressing the economic impacts of COVID-19, and the potential trends and changes to U.K. workplaces following the pandemic. This week, we will be starting the series with a look at how employers should manage the return to the workplace.

For the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.

Supreme Court Decides Bostock v. Clayton County, Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda, and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. v. EEOC

On June 15, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court decided three cases, holding that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2, bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and transgender identity.

In each of the three cases, an employee was fired shortly after revealing that he or she was homosexual or transgender. Each plaintiff brought suit under Title VII, alleging unlawful discrimination on the basis of sex. The Eleventh Circuit held that Title VII does not protect against discrimination in employment on the basis of sexual orientation, while the Second Circuit held that it did. The Sixth Circuit held that Title VII protects against discrimination on the basis of transgender identity.

For the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.

‘Answer Is Clear’: Title VII Forbids Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

On June 15, 2020, in the month and year that marks the 50th anniversary of LGBTQ+ Pride traditions, the Supreme Court held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In the 6-3 decision authored by Trump-appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch, the Court said that Title VII’s message is simple: “[a]n individual’s homosexuality or transgender status is not relevant to employment decisions . . . [and] it is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex.” Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, 590 U.S. ___ (2020).

This opinion resolves a circuit split arising from decisions by the Second, Sixth and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeal. In each case, an employer fired a long-time employee shortly after the employee disclosed being “homosexual” or “transgender” and allegedly for no reason other than the employee’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Continue reading “‘Answer Is Clear’: Title VII Forbids Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity”

Minnesota Supreme Court: Standard for Workplace Sexual Harassment Should Reflect Today’s ‘Societal Attitudes’

On Wednesday, June 3, the Minnesota Supreme Court upheld the “severe or pervasive” standard used in workplace sexual harassment cases. But in doing so, it held that lower courts interpreting the standard must consider today’s definition of appropriate workplace conduct.

For the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.

What Does New Jersey’s Lifting of the Stay-At-Home Order Mean for Office-Based Workers? … Not Much.

On June 1, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced that the state is on track and expected to enter Stage/Phase 2 of the Restart and Recovery Plan on June 15, 2020, which will permit nonessential retail businesses to reopen to the public and permit in-person outdoor dining, so long as required social distancing and other mitigation protocols are followed. Personal care service providers, such as hair salons, nail salons and barber shops are scheduled to reopen on June 22, 2020.

On June 9, 2020, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 153, lifting the stay-at-home order that had been in place since March 21, 2020. Executive Order No. 153 states, among other things, “Paragraph 2 of Executive Order No. 107 (2020), which requires New Jersey residents to remain home or at their place of residence with limited exceptions, is hereby rescinded.”

Continue reading “What Does New Jersey’s Lifting of the Stay-At-Home Order Mean for Office-Based Workers? … Not Much.”