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July 24, 2021

Walmart lost a lawsuit brought by worker with Down syndrome

A Walmart employee with Down syndrome who was fired for excessive absenteeism was awarded $150,000 in compensatory damages and a whopping $125 million in punitive damages following a four-day jury trial in Green Bay, Wis. The former employee alleged the chain discriminated against her and failed to accommodate her when it changed her schedule after […]

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July 20, 2021

Businesses should learn more about Islamic religious practices to have a more inclusive and diverse workplace

Meat processor JBS USA will pay $5.5 million to about 300 employees to settle claims of discrimination based on race, national origin and religion, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced in June. The disturbing allegations arose from its plant in Greenley, Colo., according to a lawsuit filed in 2010. The EEOC claimed that JBS discriminated […]

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July 11, 2021

Workplace rules relating to COVID are changing rapidly; here are some updates

Employers are understandably still confused about the ever-changing COVID-related employment rules and obligations. The rules are changing quickly as we open back up the workplace. Here are answers to some of the most common issues: Paid leave and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act: An employer asked last week whether it had to provide an employee […]

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July 4, 2021

New Virginia employment laws require immediate attention from businesses to get into compliance

There are several new Virginia laws that went into effect July 1 that impact employers and employer policies. The vast new employment laws require immediate attention from employers to get into compliance, provide the necessary disclosures and comply with the provisions. Here are three of the new laws approved by the General Assembly: The Virginia […]

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June 26, 2021

Employers should continue to listen to LGBTQ+ employees and strive to create an inclusive and respectful work environment

Pride Month is over at the end of June, but the work of employers to promote respect, inclusion and non-discrimination for the LGBTQ+ community needs to continue. Having an inclusive workplace is important as about 3.5% of adults in the United States identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual, which accounts for roughly 9 million Americans, […]

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June 20, 2021

NY’s Andrew Cuomo’s statements on harassment show common misunderstandings around harassment

What is harassment? To New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, “Harassment is not making someone feel uncomfortable — that is not harassment. If I just made you feel uncomfortable, that is not harassment. That’s you feeling uncomfortable.” Cuomo was responding to a reporter who asked the governor about his earlier admissions that he may have made […]

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June 12, 2021

EEOC issues important updates on employer policies around the COVID-19 vaccine

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission updated its COVID-19 technical assistance guidance in late May to provide clarity for employers on mandatory vaccinations, reasonable accommodations, requiring proof of vaccinations, and whether incentives to employees and/or family members to receive the COVID-19 vaccine are legal. Here are some areas covered under the new guidance: Mandatory vaccines: The […]

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June 7, 2021

Companies and co-workers should encourage dads to take parental leave

Father’s Day offers an important reminder that employers need prioritize giving men not just the legal right, but the sincere freedom and encouragement, to take family time off, including parental leave. Volvo gets it. The carmaker announced earlier this year that it will provide 24 weeks paid parental leave to all its employees regardless of […]

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May 30, 2021

In getting employees back to the workplace, companies need to determine whether onsite attendance is an essential job function

Many businesses are ready to have their employees return to the office. To that end, many employees have put up some significant resistance, stating that the pandemic has proven that they can be fully productive while working remotely. Social media is rife with shaming employers who are announcing they will be bringing employees back to […]

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May 25, 2021

Virginia employers need to comply with workplace safety rules that seem to conflict with the CDC and governor’s order

Ever since the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced unexpectedly that vaccinated Americans no longer needed to wear a mask in most settings, employers have questioned how those changes apply to their workplaces and workers. In Virginia, it is a little more complicated because a permanent standard issued earlier this year by the […]

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