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Attorney Blog

On Monday, August 3, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York vacated several employer friendly provisions of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) “Final Rule” regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“the Act” or “FFCRA”). In the decision, the Court addresses four provisions of the Final Rule: (1) the […]

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Recently, in light of COVID-19, many people have asked me if they can mandate that their employees wear face masks or coverings in the workplace. Well, the short answer is, yes . .  . generally. A business may implement a workplace policy or rule that requires its employees to wear a face mask or covering […]

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In the July 8, 2020 decision, Little Sisters of the Poor Saints Peter and Paul Home v. Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court upheld a regulation that permits all employers with a “sincerely held religious or moral objection” to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage in their group health plans. As a bit of background, the Affordable […]

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A trial court judge in Lansing, Michigan handed a victory to insurers in what may be the nation’s first final ruling on the question of whether a property insurer is liable for financial damages caused by a coronavirus closure order.  See Gavrilides Management Company v. Michigan Insurance Company. This case arose after Michigan’s governor enacted a […]

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On Monday, a group of Texas bar owners filed a lawsuit arguing that Governor Greg Abbott’s shutdown of bars is unconstitutional. The suit, filed in Travis County, names Governor Abbott, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (“TABC”) (the agency that oversees liquor licenses) and TABC Executive Director Bentley Nettles as defendants, the lawsuit seeks a temporary […]

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In late June 2002 the Texas Supreme Court reversed a $1.8 million judgment in favor of a concrete block maker who accused a rival of defamation, finding that the dispute was not about defamation, but rather business disparagement and that the award therefore could not stand.  In Innovative Block v. Valley Builders Supply, No. 18-1211 […]

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On June 17, 2020, OSHA issued new guidance  (which may be found here: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA4045.pdf) for “non-essential businesses” as they plan for reopening and bringing employees back to work. The guidance is not comprehensive and is intended to supplement resources from other federal, state and local agencies, including, specifically, the White House’s Guidance for Opening up America Again (the […]

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In April, Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam signed a new bill banning covenants not to compete against “low-wage employees.” As of July 1, 2020, Virginia employers may not enter into, enforce, or threaten to enforce a covenant not to compete with any employee who earns less than $1,137 per week ($59,124 per year).  With this threshold, the […]

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Yesterday, in a landmark the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that “an employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender violates Title VII.” Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) makes it “unlawful” for an employer “to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise […]

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As businesses reopen, companies should be prepared for a potential wave of lawsuits from customers and employees who may claim to have contracted COVID-19 on their premises. As a result, companies should carefully review their insurance policies to see what coverage might be available for such claims. Third-Party Lawsuits General Liability Insurance A company should […]

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