NLRB Decision Gives Employers More Freedom to Address Offensive and Abusive Conduct

On July 21, 2020, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or the Board) issued a long-awaited decision giving employers more freedom to discipline employees who engage in abusive, obscene or profane conduct in connection with their work. In General Motors, LLC, 369 NLRB No. 127 (2020), the NLRB rejected three context-specific rules formerly used to assess whether an employee’s inappropriate conduct is protected by Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA or the Act). Instead, the NLRB will now assess that conduct under the Wright Line standard, which is used to evaluate all other claims of discriminatory conduct under the Act.

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Minnesota Businesses Should Prepare to ‘Mask Up’ Under New Executive Order

Effective July 25, 2020, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’s Executive Order 20-81 requires Minnesotans to wear face coverings in indoor business and public settings, as well as when unable to maintain six-foot social distancing outdoors, riding on public transit, and as required by industry-specific guidance.

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Virginia Department of Labor and Industry Issues Near-Final COVID-19 Workplace Safety Standard

On July 15, 2020, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry’s Safety and Health Codes Board voted to approve an emergency temporary standard on infectious disease prevention (§16 VAC 25‐220), becoming the first state to enact comprehensive COVID-19 workplace safety requirements. The regulation comes after Virginia Governor Ralph Northam directed the creation of enforceable workplace safety regulations in May. The final standard will become effective upon publication, which is expected next week.

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San Francisco Enacts Temporary ‘Back to Work’ Ordinance in Response to COVID-19 Layoffs

On June 23, 2020, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a “Back to Work” Emergency Ordinance guaranteeing reemployment to certain employees laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ordinance requires covered employers to provide written notice when layoffs occur while also prohibiting discrimination against, and requiring reasonable accommodations for, employees who experience a family care hardship.

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U.S. Department of Labor Issues New FMLA Leave Forms and Requests Public Comments

In June, the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor, the division tasked with enforcing the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), revised its model forms for employers to give to employees to support certain FMLA-qualifying reasons for leave. The new forms are intended to clarify compliance requirements and streamline administration of FMLA leave.

For the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.

Independent Study of EEOC 2017 and 2018 Pay Data Underway

On July 16, 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that the National Acad­emies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) will conduct an independent study of the EEOC’s Employer Information Report (EEO-1 Report) Component 2 data, which was collected last year. Pursuant to a court order, covered employers were required to provide new Component 2 EEO-1 data reports for two years of their employees’ W-2 wage information and total hours worked in 12 pay bands by gender, race and ethnicity. The collection ultimately sought pay data for fiscal years 2017 and 2018 and was due on September 30, 2019.

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