Thomas Henican, partner at Riess LeMieux, will cover legal issues implicated by the recent approval and use of COVID-19 vaccines, including: Equal Employment Opportunity guidance, the ADA, the Civil Rights Act and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. The discussion will include best practices for employers considering distribution of the vaccine directly (or through a third party) and/or requiring proof of vaccination to return to work, and will conclude with a discussion of Louisiana’s liability limiting COVID-19 statute as to employer vaccination programs and the proposed federal legislation.
In a recent decision concerning the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act (TWCA), the Texas Supreme Court emphasized the high bar plaintiffs must meet to satisfy the narrow “intentional tort” exception in the statute. As in many other states, a Texas worker’s injuries sustained during the course of employment are exclusively governed by the TWCA. The only exception that would allow a worker to sue an employer for damages outside the purview of the TWCA is if the employer intentionally caused the worker’s injuries. The Texas Supreme Court ruled that an employer who commits gross negligence or deliberately ignores a risk of injury to an employee does not meet the definition of “intentional” under the TWCA.
The Department of Labor recently issued a proposed rule to determine whether workers are considered employees or independent contractors. If adopted, the new five-factor test will implement an updated standard by which companies must classify workers as either employees or independent contractors for the purpose of workers’ compensation and labor laws.
The recently passed CARES Act provides significant assistance to small businesses that may be considering bankruptcy due to financial losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The new law expands the debt limits threshold from $2,725,625 to $7,500,000, thus allowing many more individuals and businesses to qualify for expedited bankruptcy relief under the Small Business Reorganization Act. Bankruptcy filers will also be able to exclude any economic relief they receive from the federal government as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic so as not affect their eligibility to file. Lastly, those operating under a confirmed Chapter 13 plan, assuming proof of “material financial hardship,” can extend their plan up to seven years.
As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, employers and employees alike are concerned about how the virus may impact their rights. Employers are also concerned about what duties are owed to employees under federal or state law. These concerns may include notifying employees of preventative measures or leave requirements resulting from the spread of […]
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) released a final rule on joint employment under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which drastically changes joint-employer status from a broad indirect-control theory to a more narrow “substantial direct and immediate control” theory.