1. Articles in category: Employment Safety

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    1. How People Seeking Bankruptcy Will Suffer in the Pandemic

      How People Seeking Bankruptcy Will Suffer in the Pandemic

      Max Gardner is one of America’s great bankruptcy attorneys. For years, he’s been running a “bankruptcy boot camp” for his fellow attorneys, in his wooded redoubt in the hills of North Carolina. Normally the event has a few dozen lawyers. He did his first webinar boot camp about a week ago: 776 attorneys signed up. “I really fear something worse than the Great Depression,” Gardner told me. “Every system is going to be overwhelmed.”

      Bankruptcy has so far been spared this crush; new filings are kind of a lagging indicator, since it is a last resort for people at a low point. The cases aren’t likely to start piling up for a few months. But Rohan Pavuluri ...

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    2. US Employment Plunges in March Amid Worsening Coronavirus Damage

      US Employment Plunges in March Amid Worsening Coronavirus Damage

      As the US economy craters, crippled by coronavirus shutdowns, businesses jettisoned jobs at an alarming rate last month, government data showed Friday, and the situation will get dramatically worse. US employment plunged by 701,000 in March and the jobless rate surged to 4.4 percent, the Labor Department reported.

      Yet the department acknowledged its statistics could not yet capture the full extent of the damage, and its own weekly data on first-time claims for jobless benefits showed 10 million people lost their jobs in the last two weeks of the month.

      With COVID-19 cases topping a million worldwide, a quarter of which are in the United States where the death toll is over 6,000, cities have turned into ...

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    3. Fired Paradigm Agent Alleges CEO Mismanaged Finances in Lawsuit

      Fired Paradigm Agent Alleges CEO Mismanaged Finances in Lawsuit

      A fired Paradigm agent has filed a breach of oral contract and whistleblower lawsuit that alleges CEO Sam Gores mismanaged the company's finances and made "vast personal gains by running Paradigm as his personal piggybank."

      Debbee Klein's suit, filed at the Superior Court of California by Freedman + Taitelman LLP, makes a number of incendiary allegations against Gores' management of Paradigm, including that he kept his personal driver and chef on the payroll even as the agency fired staff blaming the coronavirus pandemic and that he was using the company expense account "as a slush fund to pay for his sexual dalliances with prostitutes."

      The complaint says that as the U.S. began to fully deal with the coronavirus ...

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    4. Labor and Employment Issues Impacting Higher Education

      Labor and Employment Issues Impacting Higher Education

      All covered employers are struggling to comply with the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, CARES Act, and state and local legislation and executive orders. These mandates may directly impact terms and conditions of employment (e.g., the FFCRA) or indirectly impact them (e.g., state-level “stay-at-home” orders and essential business designations), necessitating changes to those terms and conditions. Where many unionized employers are getting into trouble is the understandable but ultimately erroneous belief that their duty to comply with the government mandate totally excuses them from their duty to bargain over changes to terms and conditions of employment. In reality, the NLRB has long held that the duty to bargain still applies to any discretionary aspects of changes that ...

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    5. Goodwill Offering Employment Assistance Online During COVID-19 Pandemic

      Goodwill Offering Employment Assistance Online During COVID-19 Pandemic

      As COVID-19 spreads across the country, forcing countless business closures, thousands of people have found themselves unemployed. Despite the temporary closure of its retail stores and career centers, Goodwill is still working hard behind the scenes to render much needed assistance to displaced works and businesses.

      “Normally, people can walk into one of our career centers, have a face-to-face meeting, we would help you find a job, and make that connection,” said Jack Warden, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers. “We just can't do that face-to-face anymore. What we've done is created kind of a virtual job fair so people can go online to our website and we've got over 350 jobs listed ...

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    6. U.S. Private Sector Employment Edges Lower Ahead Of Full Impact Of Coronavirus

      U.S. Private Sector Employment Edges Lower Ahead Of Full Impact Of Coronavirus

      Reflecting a significant loss of jobs at small businesses, payroll processor ADP released a report on Wednesday showing a modest decrease in private sector employment in the U.S. in the month of March.

      ADP said private sector employment fell by 27,000 jobs in March after jumping by a downwardly revised 179,000 jobs in February.

      Economists had expected private sector employment to plunge by 150,000 jobs compared to the addition of 183,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

      The drop was much smaller than expected but still reflects the first decrease in private sector employment since September of 2017.

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    7. Amazon Fires Employee Who Led Staten Island Strike Over Working Conditions During Coronavirus

      Amazon Fires Employee Who Led Staten Island Strike Over Working Conditions During Coronavirus

      Employees at an Amazon warehouse on Staten Island walked out in protest of working conditions and compensation during the coronavirus outbreak. A few hours later, the organizer of the protest, Amazon employee Christian “Chris” Smalls, was fired. The reason: He had been placed on paid leave and under quarantine after coming into contact with a fellow employee who tested positive for COVID-19. By coming to the facility to protest, he was violating the company’s social-distancing rules.

      In a statement to CNBC, Smalls says he was actually fired for organizing his co-workers. “Amazon would rather fire workers than face up to its total failure to do what it should to keep us, our families, and our communities safe,” Smalls said ...

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    8. US Must Focus More on Unemployment Numbers During Coronavirus Pandemic

      US Must Focus More on Unemployment Numbers During Coronavirus Pandemic

      House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said Tuesday that assisting businesses during the downturn is a  top priority. Nunes said that two aid bills recently passed by Congress allocate two weeks of paid sick leave and the ability for businesses to borrow two and a half times their payroll.

      "I think it's important that we get back as soon as possible," he said. "Employers get two weeks of sick leave [and] still a lot of businesses still have not implemented that. That's a way to keep two weeks of everybody still working."

      Of the long-term effects of mass unemployment during state-by-state bans on business operations, Nunes said politicians and the media are not giving due attention ...

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    9. Historic Unemployment Numbers Due to Coronavirus

      Historic Unemployment Numbers Due to Coronavirus

      According to estimates from Bloomberg, Wall Street economists are looking for initial claims for the week ended March 21 to total 1.64 million, a print that would be a record by a wide margin. The current record for number of initial unemployment filings in a single week is 695,000, seen back in October 1982. The largest single week of initial claims during the financial crisis saw claims total 665,000.

      And some economists are looking for weekly claim numbers more than double the consensus estimate.

      Economists at Bank of America Global Research led by Michelle Meyer expect initial claims will total 3 million when Thursday’s data is released.

      “Our forecast is based on a compilation of news ...

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    10. Employment & Self-Employment Coronavirus Help

      Employment & Self-Employment Coronavirus Help

      The coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we live. It's an anxious and upsetting time, and while the primary concern is health, many of us have lost our jobs or found that we can't continue in business. This guide looks at your rights at work for both the employed or self-employed, who's eligible for furlough, and also what help is out there from the state. 

      With many likely to have to take time off work due to sickness, self-isolation or caring for loved ones, or even losing their jobs, it's vital to understand your rights as an employee.

      Can't work or have no work to do? The Government will subsidise 80% of your salary ...

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    11. Workplace Age Discrimination Could Become Even Harder to Prove in Court

      Workplace Age Discrimination Could Become Even Harder to Prove in Court

      Age discrimination remains one of the greatest vulnerabilities that American workers face. A 2018 AARP study of adults age 45 and older found that more than 60% said they had seen age discrimination in their workplace or experienced it themselves.

      While most incidents go unreported, over 15,000 workers filed a claim of workplace age discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2019 alone. This makes ageism one of the most commonly reported forms of workplace discrimination, just below race (23,976 cases) and sex discrimination (23,532 cases), and above cases pertaining to national origin (7,009 cases) and religion (2,725 cases).

      Along with a general reluctance to report their employers for unfair treatment, aging workers face ...

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    12. Know Your Employment Rights During The Stay at Home Orders

      Know Your Employment Rights During The Stay at Home Orders

      The Attorney General's Office has established a Know Your Employment Rights section on the it's website to provide information and answers to questions about the legal rights of employees and employers under Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order. 

      The website also provides information on which types of employees are considered “critical infrastructure workers” under the order, and therefore permitted to work outside home, as well as frequently asked questions about employee rights and employer responsibilities, and suggested practices for law enforcement and prosecutors. 

      The Stay Home, Stay Safe order was issued to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the public health and welfare of residents. Willful violations of the order can result ...

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    13. Lawsuit Alleges Current Michigan Employee Knew of Ex-Doctor's Sexual Abuse

      Lawsuit Alleges Current Michigan Employee Knew of Ex-Doctor's Sexual Abuse

      A lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court alleges that a current University of Michigan athletic department employee was aware of a former school doctor’s sexual abuse.

      The suit is filed on behalf of a former football player who said he was sexually abused in the 1980s by Robert Anderson. The doctor worked for the school from 1968-2003 and died in 2008.

      In the suit, the former player says that current assistant athletic director Eric Schmidt knew about the abuse when he was a trainer for the team in the 1980s.

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    14. COVID-19 Impact on Workers' Compensation

      COVID-19 Impact on Workers' Compensation

      There is much discussion right now on the impact that COVID-19 (the coronavirus) will have on workers’ compensation. Most of this discussion has focused on the potential for claims activity arising from the virus. The determination of whether a communicable disease is “work-related” is a case-by-case evaluation.

      The large employers that I work with tend to retain risk on both their workers’ compensation and employee benefits programs. Thus, they are not concerned about which financial bucket the money comes from, but are prioritizing caring for their workforce instead. Potential claims arising from COVID-19 are not the focus of this column. Instead, I’m looking at how the challenges arising from this virus will impact the workers’ compensation industry.

      In the ...

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    15. Wind Creek Worker Sues Casino over Minimum Wage Violations

      Wind Creek Worker Sues Casino over Minimum Wage Violations

      A former Wind Creek Bethlehem employee has filed a class-action lawsuit against the casino, claiming that it paid him and other tipped employee below the minimum wage required under state and federal law.

      Jacob Bartakovits filed his complaint in the US District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania this past Tuesday. He is represented by Derrek Cummings of the McClelland Law Firm. Mr. Bartakovits’s lawyer asked the case to be handled as a class-action lawsuit.

      Mr. Bartakovits worked as a table games dealer at Wind Creek Bethlehem between August 2018 and October 2019. His position was an hourly, non-exempt one, according to the recently filed lawsuit.

      During that time, Wind Creek Hospitality purchased Wind Creek Bethlehem (formerly Sands ...

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    16. Bloomberg Campaign Workers Sue Over Damages in Class-Action Lawsuit

      Bloomberg Campaign Workers Sue Over Damages in Class-Action Lawsuit

      The blows keep coming for former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s failed presidential campaign.

      A former Bloomberg campaign worker filed a class-action lawsuit against the campaign for allegedly getting rid of more than 1,000 workers who Mr. Bloomberg promised to employ through the 2020 election regardless of his campaign’s outcome.

      The lawsuit, brought by lawyers from the Shavitz Law Group and Outten & Golden, claims Mike Bloomberg 2020, Inc. violated the Fair Labor Standards Act.

      “Employees have been damaged by losing their jobs with Bloomberg approximately eight months early, losing their income, and losing their healthcare,” the lawsuit argues. “Bloomberg’s conduct amounts to such gross, wanton or willful fraud, dishonest and intentional non-disclosure of material ...

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    17. Spotify Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over Employee Mistreatment

      Spotify Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over Employee Mistreatment

      Matthew Elias submitted the lawsuit both on his behalf and on behalf of “all others similarly situated and allegedly aggrieved,” according to court documents shared with Digital Music News. In the filing, Elias, who says he was a nonexempt employee for Spotify between July 2016 and July 2018, alleges that he was misclassified as an independent contractor roughly one year into his tenure.

      Accordingly, Elias and his counsel believe that he should be compensated for Spotify’s failure to provide him with the same benefits that other nonexempt employees receive under the Fair Labor Standards Act. These protections include appropriate overtime pay (one and a half times hourly compensation for workweeks over 40 hours in length), meal breaks, rest breaks ...

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    18. Fired Bloomberg Staff File Class Action Lawsuit Over Stiffed Pay

      Fired Bloomberg Staff File Class Action Lawsuit Over Stiffed Pay

      Former campaign staffers for billionaire Michael Bloomberg's 2020 bid have filed a class-action lawsuit after the former candidate reneged on a promise to pay them through November, even if he were not the nominee.

      Bloomberg, who dropped out and endorsed Joe Biden earlier this month, fired staffers on Friday and reversed his plans to form a super PAC for the 2020 race, instead transferring $18 million of his own money to the Democratic National Committee. His campaign staff is now being encouraged to apply for jobs with the party.

       "Thousands of people relied on that promise. They moved to other cities. They gave up school, jobs, and job opportunities. They uprooted their lives,"

      The layoffs leave former staffers jobless ...

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    19. New Advocacy Group Wants Major League Baseball to Raise Minor-League Salaries

      New Advocacy Group Wants Major League Baseball to Raise Minor-League Salaries

      n the week-plus since Major League Baseball suspended operations in response to the spread of the novel coronavirus, one of the main stories has been the league's treatment of minor-league players. As we explained elsewhere, those players lack the financial security of their big-league counterparts.

      MLB announced on Thursday that teams would be paying their farmhands stipends through the end of the scheduled exhibition season, but a new advocacy group (Advocates for Minor Leaguers) led by an MiLB-pitcher-turned-lawyer, Garrett Broshuis, is calling on the league to increase minor-league salaries to $15,000, according to the Associated Press. 

      For a point of comparison, the federal poverty guideline for a single individual is $12,760 -- or, unfortunately, a fair amount more ...

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    20. Workers’ Comp May Not Provide Relief For Those with COVID-19

      Workers’ Comp May Not Provide Relief For Those with COVID-19

      Workers on Wednesday packed into buses before dawn for the drive to the Shell cracker plant in Beaver County. Many drivers had called in sick, requiring the 8,000-person crew to cram by the dozens on to fewer buses than normal.

      Already, there had been concern about how to stay safe — and separated — if the coronavirus were to spread to a construction site roughly the same size as the small towns surrounding it. By midweek, state health officials had reported two confirmed cases in the county.

      Yet lunch was still eaten that day in 500-person tents, workers told Spotlight PA. Photographs showed hand sanitizer containers hanging empty from walls and graffiti on an orange porta-john wall reading, “I have COVID-19 ...

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    21. Movie Theaters Pushing for Coronavirus Relief Bill to Avoid Bankruptcy

      Movie Theaters Pushing for Coronavirus Relief Bill to Avoid Bankruptcy

      Mass closings due to the coronavirus pandemic have hit theater owners particularly hard. After the release of several high-profile blockbuster films like Fast & Furious 9and No Time to Die were delayed until later in the year (with F9 pushed all the way to 2021), movie theaters across the country have closed their doors indefinitely until the threat of the virus passes. And according to John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO), they may never open back up again unless the government intervenes.

      In an interview with Variety, Fithian stressed just how dire the situation is. “Overnight, we went from an industry that makes $15 billion a year — $11 billion in ticket sales and $4 billion in ...

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    22. Worker Who Self-quarantine for Coronavirus Can Sue Employer if They’re Fired

      Worker Who Self-quarantine for Coronavirus Can Sue Employer if They’re Fired

      A Case Western Reserve University law professor said employees have protection under the law from being fired if they don’t show up to work because they’re self-quarantining to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

      Attorneys who practice employment law in Ohio, however, said the professor’s view may be idealistic at best and may not account for how courts in the state have viewed lawsuits over firings, let alone how long the legal system would take to rule on such cases.

      Katharine Van Tassel, a visiting professor at The Law-Medicine Center at Case Western Reserve University’s law school, said in an interview Monday that staying home if you have flu-like symptoms, test positive for the virus or come ...

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    23. Labor & Employment Update for California Employers Amid COVID-19

      Labor & Employment Update for California Employers Amid COVID-19

      As the Coronavirus Pandemic continues to impact California businesses, many employers are wondering how best to ensure the wellbeing of their staff. Marta Fernandez, hotel lawyer and partner in JMBM’s Labor & Employment department, discusses some of the key issues raised by employers and provides recommendations for complying with new mandates.

      Most California employers are taking steps to keep employees safe during the Coronavirus Pandemic. These changes to workplace routines, policies and norms are the result of a mix of proactive steps, changes in demand, and government mandates. As labor and employment lawyers, our phones have been ringing off the hook. Here are the Top 7 most frequently asked questions by employers trying to ensure the health and safety of ...

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    24. Former Volleyball Coach Files Pay Discrimination Lawsuit Against the School

      Former Volleyball Coach Files Pay Discrimination Lawsuit Against the School

      Christina Coleman, a former volleyball and softball coach at Shaw University, on Wednesday filed a lawsuit in Wake County Superior Court against the school alleging she was paid less for coaching the two sports than her male coaching counterparts.

      Coleman, who resigned from Shaw in 2019, alleges she and other female coaches at Shaw complained about sex-based discriminatory practices and that she requested her pay be equal to the male coaches’ pay. 

      Coleman, who was at Shaw for one academic year, is seeking compensatory, punitive and equitable relief in addition to attorneys’ fees, and has requested a jury trial.

      The lawsuit alleges a history of disparate treatment of women employees by Shaw which it claims resulted in the female coaches ...

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