Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis has a Coronavirus Response Team. Contact Jon Hyman to help with how your business should
continue to respond to this national emergency.


Thursday, July 2, 2020

Coronavirus Update 7-2-2020: Employee claims his remote-work request got him fired, sues


An employee suffers from high blood pressure and lives with his 81-year-old mother. He's an engineer and began working from home for his employer in mid-March when his state shut down non-essential businesses. His employer, however, remained open, and several weeks later required him to return to in-person work in the office. He refused, requesting continued work from home. The company refused that request and fired him for job abandonment. The employee sued for disability discrimination.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Coronavirus Update 7–1–2020: THIS is how you protect your employees


Mootown Creamery is an ice cream shop in my town. Consistent with Ohio's reopening rules, it requires its employees to wear masks while working. For the protection of her employees and customers, its owner also decided to require customers to wear masks while in the store.

Some, however, have been less than receptive to the mask requirement. Worse, they have taken their anger and frustration out on the store's teenage workers. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Coronavirus Update 6–30–2020: CDC now recommends that people wear cloth face coverings in public



Your cloth face covering may protect them. Their cloth face covering may protect you.

As COVID-19 cases spike nationwide, and the CDC warns that we have "way too much virus" to control the pandemic, that same agency just released new guidance recommending that people wear cloth face coverings when in public. 

Monday, June 29, 2020

Coronavirus Update 6–29–2020: Judge hands McDonald’s a whopper of a rebuke for its COVID-19 response


A month ago I reported on a novel lawsuit filed against McDonald's Corporation in which the plaintiffs sought to have the fast-food conglomerate's alleged failure to comply with health guidance and provide PPE to its employees declared a public nuisance.

Last week, the judge granted the plaintiffs a preliminary injunction, concluding that they were likely to succeed on the merits of their claims. In so ruling, he concluded that the company fell short in its obligation to keep safe its employees and its customers.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Coronavirus Update 6–26–2020: New music Friday—Norah (en français), and a brand new Old 97’s song @suburbspod #FridayNightHootenanny


Since early May, Norah has spent her Friday nights jamming on the Rockin' the Suburbs podcast's Friday Night Hootenanny. Each Friday at 8 pm, the podcast hosts a virtual jam session via Zoom (sign up here). People can join just to listen or to share a song or two. Each week Norah's been sharing songs from the songbook she's been crafting during quarantine. Last Friday, she played her latest, a song she wrote entirely in French. (Fun facts: Norah has been taking French since kindergarten, she won the "Best Overall French Student" award at her recent middle school graduation, and I can feel her teenage face cringing as I type this.) 

The song is called, "Pas de Pluie, Pas de Fleurs" (No Rain, No Flowers). It's completely beautiful and blew me away. The Rockin' the Suburbs hosts were kind enough to share the video with me, and I'm now sharing it with you.


Thursday, June 25, 2020

Coronavirus Update 6–25–2020: Are employees taking paid leave under the FFCRA? — the results


The results are in from my survey on the prevalence of employee leave under the FFCRA. Of those employers that are covered by the FFCRA:

  • 86 percent have an FFCRA policy
  • 59 percent train employees on the FFCRA
  • 74 percent have had an employee take leave under the FFRCA

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Coronavirus Update 6–24–2020: Are employees taking paid leave under the FFCRA?


According to a recent poll conducted by the National Partnership for Women & Families, less than one in five employees have either taken or plan to take paid sick or paid family leave under the FFCRA. Of the 19 percent who has actually taken, or intend to take, paid FFCRA leave:
  • 9 percent say they are using new leave protections for their own illness or isolation. 
  • 8 percent say they are using new leave protections due to a family member’s isolation/illness. 
  • 7 percent say they are using new leave protections to care for a child due to child care or school closure. 
  • 6 percent said they took leave, but not because of the new policy. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Coronavirus Update 6–23–2020: Must you accommodate an employee with a high-risk family member?



One of the questions I have received most from clients during this pandemic comes in some variation of the following: "An employee [does not want to come into work / wants to work from home / wants a leave of absence] because s/he lives with someone who is at high risk for coronavirus complications. What do we do?"

In other words, must you accommodate an employee for the employee's close family member's disability?

Monday, June 22, 2020

Coronavirus Update 6–22–2020: Ohio ends unemployment benefits to employees who refuse to work (with some key exceptions)


The state of Ohio will begin denying unemployment benefits to employees who refuse to work because of coronavirus. 

Governor DeWine issued an Executive Order last week directing the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services to deny unemployment benefits to employees who refuse to return to work after recall to the same position held before the state's Stay at Home Order took effect.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Coronavirus Update 6–19–2020: How to communicate when an employee tests positive


Positive COVID-19 tests are sadly the reality of 2020, and likely at least part of 2021. Nationally, 2.23 million of us have tested positive for coronavirus. If your employees have been fortunate enough so far to avoid the virus, the odds are good that before this pandemic is over one or more of your employees will test positive.

Before we discuss the right way to communicate a potential workplace exposure to your employees, let's explore the wrong way, via one of my favorite punching bags, the WWE. 

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