Friday, January 14, 2022

Stepping out of my confort zone

Sometimes you need to step out of your comfort zone to move forward, including in one's career. 

For the past 25 years, I've been a management-side labor and employment lawyer. I've represented employers in just about every type of employee dispute you can imagine and counseled too many to count on a countless number of issues.

Still, I yearn for growth. One of the industries I've had the pleasure of representing over the years is the craft beer industry. Thus, I've helped spearhead the launch of Wickens Herzer Panza's brand new Craft Beer Practice Group. I'm excited to be one of the two leaders of this group, along with one of my partners, Grant Steyer. You'll find our new practice at

I'm still a practicing labor and employment lawyer (don't worry). I'm just adding "craft beer lawyer" to my arsenal.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

BREAKING NEWS: SCOTUS dumps OSHA vax-or-test emergency temporary standard

The Supreme Court has issued its opinion in the appeal of the 6th Circuit's decision that vacated the 5th Circuit's stay of OSHA's vaccine-or-test emergency temporary standard for employers with 100 or more employees.

In a 6-3 decision, strictly down ideological lines, the Court reinstituted the stay, blocking the ETS from taking effect. 

Coronavirus Update 1-13-22: The CDC is not updating its mask guidelines to better protect against Omicron … but it should

The CDC is not considering updating its current mask guidelines to recommend that everyone wear highly protective N95 or KN95 masks, contrary to earlier reports by the Washington Post.

In a White House briefing yesterday, Rochelle Walensky, the head of the CDC, said that any mask is better than no mask, and that the CDC would not be changing any guidance regarding the type of maks that people should be wearing. Walensky did concede that the CDC's website needs to be refreshed to include information on the "different levels of protection different masks provide."

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Pumping up workplace lactation rights

The U.S. Department of Labor has reached a settlement with Labcorp over allegations that it failed to provide lactating employees a space for them to express milk privately without fear of intrusion.

The investigation stemmed from an allegation of one employee in the company's Lynwood, California, location. DOL investigators determined that when the employee asked for a private place to express her breast milk, supervisors offered a common space that resulted in her being interrupted twice. As result, and per its settlement with the DOL, Labcorp has agreed, for all of its 2,000-plus locations nationwide, to "provide a private space as required with a notification on the door to guarantee an intrusion-free space."

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

The 2nd nominee for the “Worst Employer of 2022” is … the enslaving employer

An allegation of slavery has played into each of the last three Worst Employer winners. Thus, even at this early point in this year's list, I have a strong suspicion that today's nominee will finish strong at year's end.

Workers Held at Gunpoint in Modern-Day
Slavery Operation in Georgia, Feds Allege

Monday, January 10, 2022

The “Penny Pincher” gets sued for retaliation — an update on a 2021 Worst Employer finalist

A OK Walker Autoworks and its owner, Miles Walker, a 2021 Worst Employer finalist, finished dead last in last year's voting, garnering only 7% of the total weighted vote. They may win the prize after all, however. The Department of Labor just filed a lawsuit against the auto repair shop and its owner for retaliation under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Friday, January 7, 2022

WIRTW #609: the “hugs” edition

Here's what I read this week that I think you should be reading, too.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Coronavirus Update 1-6-22: Starbucks become first employer of note to adopt OSHA vaccine-or-test emergency temporary standard

I don't know what you'll be doing tomorrow morning at 10 am. But I do know what most employment lawyers will be doing — their best to follow the Supreme Court oral arguments in the appeal related to the OSHA vaccine-or-test emergency temporary standard for employers with 100 or more employees (as well as the appeal related to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services healthcare worker vaccination mandate). 

Starbucks, however, is not waiting for SCOTUS to rule on the legality of the OSHA ETS. It has informed its 220,000 nationwide employees that they must disclose their vaccination status by January 10, and either be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or be tested weekly by February 9.