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.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Coronavirus Update 6–2–2020: Justice Department indicts employee for COVID-19 workplace fraud

In mid-April the FBI warned employers to be on the lookout for fake COVID-19 diagnoses, doctors' notes, and other coronavirus-related documents from employees. The Justice Department has now indicted the first employee for committing this new breed of fraud.

Monday, June 1, 2020

I am at a loss for words…

I cannot ignore the appalling tragedies we experienced over the past week, first through the murder of George Floyd, and then through the riots and destruction left in its wake. 

Yet, I cannot find the words.

So, I'll simply share those of the two greatest civil rights leaders our world has ever know.

Martin Luther King, Jr.: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
And Nelson Mandela: "No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite."

And leave you with a song.

☮️ ❤️ & 🙏

Friday, May 29, 2020

Coronavirus Update 5-29-2020: Friday olio — an A+ set of reopening guidelines, a webinar, and a playlist

A few shares for your Friday. 

First, on Wednesday the CDC published sweeping recommendations for reopening office buildings. According to the CDC, employers should, among other COVID-19 changes, take employee temperatures and check their symptoms upon arrival, space desks six feet apart or install shields between them, bar seating in common areas, and mandate face coverings. The CDC is also recommending updates to HVAC systems and abolishing communal perks like coffee pots and bulk snacks. 

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Coronavirus Update 5-28-2020: Is your business ready for the COVID-19 golden age of union organizing?

Among the many lessons we will learn from the COVID-19 pandemic is its demonstration of the importance of union membership for essential workers.

Of all the injustices exposed by the pandemic, the risks faced by non-union workers have become the most apparent. Non-union workers are being asked to risk their safety with little or no protections of their own.
Gary Perinar (executive secretary-treasurer of the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters), The importance of unions is more obvious than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic, Chicago Sun-Times, Apr. 30, 2020

One of the unexpected byproducts of the COVID-19 pandemic is a corresponding rise in union organizing. This crisis has magnified attention on key labor union agenda items and talking points such as worker safety and higher pay. Unions have not been shy about pressing these issues not only for current members but also more importantly for potential members.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Coronavirus Update 5-27-2020: Is McDonald’s really a public nuisance?

As I've written in the past, it's difficult bordering on impossible for an employee to sue their employer based on an alleged COVID-19 exposure at the business. First, they have to overcome the issue of workers' comp exclusivity. And if they can manage to clear that, they still have the causation problem of proving that the exposure of this highly transmittable virus happened at work (as opposed to anywhere else in the world). 

There's nothing like a pandemic, however, to spark the creativity of lawyers. Workers and their families have filed a class-action lawsuit against McDonald's Corporation seeking to have the fast-food conglomerate's alleged failure to comply with health guidance and provide PPE declared a public nuisance.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Coronavirus Update 5-26-2020: When an employee isn’t social distancing outside of work

How did you spend your Memorial Day weekend? Mine was way more mundane than years past. I watched my nephew receive his high school diploma and pre-record his valedictory address in an individual, family-only ceremony. We walked the dogs a bunch. We went to Lowes, masks on faces (the first store in which I've been inside other than a grocery store in over two months). I BBQed for my wife and kids. 

Other people chose less COVID-appropriate holiday weekend activities.

Scenes like this one were repeated all over the country. Will you be surprised when COVID-19 cells spring up in two weeks linked to these mass gatherings? Because they will, and I won't be.

Here's my question. What do you do if you see one of your employees in one of these social-gathering viral videos? Do you welcome him or her back into the workplace today with open arms? 

Friday, May 22, 2020

Coronavirus Update 5-22-2020: We really don’t want our employees being “Tisons"

Social media is congratulating Tison, a Costco employee who turned away an angry customer who refused to wear a mask, a condition required by Costco to shop in its stores.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Coronavirus Update 5-21-2020: Ohio judge grants Pyrrhic victory to gyms closed by Stay at Home Order

The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law sued the State of Ohio on behalf of 35 gyms forced to close because of Ohio's Stay of Home Order, claiming that the forced closure violated their constitutional rights. Yesterday, Judge Eugene Lucci of the Lake County Court of Common Pleas agreed. He issued a preliminary injunction temporarily halting the State's application of the Stay at Home Order against them.  

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Coronavirus Update 5-20-2020: Governor DeWine’s “Ohioans Protecting Ohioans” advisory is a colossal miscalculation

This past weekend offered a perfect coronavirus storm in Ohio. The weather on Saturday was postcard-perfect, and restaurant and bar patios were open for business. This combination caused scenes like this one on the banks of the Cuyahoga River:

Governor Mike DeWine reacted swiftly to these reports by assembling "a large contingent of law enforcement and health officials from across state agencies and from our local communities" to spot-check and investigate restaurants and bars. He further made clear that restaurants that ignore his reopening requirements could face prosecution and lose their liquor license. 

Yesterday, however, Governor DeWine also stated that the State is now moving from requirements imposed on people to strong recommendations for people to follow.  

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Coronavirus Update 5-19-2020: Lawsuit highlights risk of businesses not reopening safely and correctly

An employee has sued a Utah protein bar company after she contracted COVID-19. She claims that she became ill because her employer ignored her safety-related complaints and did not take sufficient steps after other co-workers first got coronavirus. You can read her lawsuit here.

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