Thursday, October 21, 2021

Coronavirus Update 10-21-2021: Nick Rolovich v. Pope Francis

Compare the following two statements, and then let's talk.

1. "It is a tragic and damning commentary on our culture … that Coach Rolovich has been derided, demonized, and ultimately fired from his job, merely for being devout in his Catholic faith."

2. "Being vaccinated with vaccines authorized by the competent authorities is an act of love. And contributing to ensure the majority of people are vaccinated is an act of love."

Statement number one: the lawyer for Nick Rolovich, the former head football coach at Washington State University, who the University just terminated for refusing to get vaccinated pursuant to its mandate.

Statement number two: Pope Francis.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Coronavirus Update 10-20-2021: How to spot a fake vaccine card

The NHL has suspended San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane 21 games for violating the League's Covid-19 protocol. His offense: supplying a fake vaccination card. 

Fake vaccine cards are out in the world, easy to find, and easy to use. Their use is also a federal crime punishable by up to 5 years in prison and grounds for termination of employment. Yet, as workplace vaccine mandates become more prevalent (and soon federally mandated), more anti-vax and vaccine-hesitant employees will take the risk instead of losing their jobs.

Do you know how to spot a fake vaccine card? Here are some telltale signs.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

“Striketober” highlights union organizing concerns for Ohio craft breweries

One of the unexpected byproducts of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is a corresponding rise in union organizing and other union-related activity. This crisis has magnified attention on key union agenda items and talking points such as worker safety and higher pay. Unions have not been shy about pressing these issues. "Striketober" is in full effect, with more than 100,000 workers walking off the job in the past week alone. According to The Wall Street Journal, employees are angry and are increasingly turning to labor unions to vent.

Unions, however, are not just focusing on current members. More importantly for all employers, potential members also have unions' full attention. Indeed, earlier this summer, and hitting way too close to home, production employees at Great Lakes Brewing Company, Ohio's oldest and largest craft brewery, signed union cards to be represented by the United Steelworkers.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Netflix’s termination of the organizer of a trans employee walkout very well might be legal

Late Friday, The Verge reported that Netflix fired one of the leaders of an internal trans employee resource group who was organizing an employee walkout later this week. The employee had been encouraging trans employees and allies to walk off the job in protest of Netflix's handling of the Dave Chappelle special The Closer (in which the comedian and the streamer have been criticized for the special's transphobic content).

According to the report, Netflix fired the employee based on its suspicion that s/he leaked confidential metrics on the Chappelle Special to Bloomberg, including how much Netflix paid for it and how many have streamed it.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

UPDATE: HIPAA (mis)information and the Covid vaccine

Earlier this week I wrote about a national payroll provider that shared some very incorrect information about an employer’s HIPAA responsibilities on its website.

That company, ADP, saw my post and reached out to me to let me know that they updated their article.

“I saw your blog that highlighted an oversight from one of our writers on our Spark Blog. It was good to see in that we were able to correct it immediately.”

(Sadly, the Oxford comma omission persists, but I’ll take my victories where I can get them.)

You can find their updated article here

Well played, ADP. 👏 

Friday, October 15, 2021

WIRTW #600: the “Here, there, and every … where” edition

This week I rejoined my good friends Marc Alifanz and Kate Bischoff on the Hostile Work Environment podcast to discuss the Season 2 finale of Ted Lasso

Spoiler alert: you should absolutely avoid listening until you complete Season 2. We discussed the employment law and human resources beats we saw in the episode, including Nate's descent into darkness, the fallout of Sam's big choice, and the actions of Trent Crimm, Independent. You'll also hear talk of mannequins, sky diving, and arugula. 

Find it wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher.

Here are the best things I read online this past week that I think you should be reading, too.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Coronavirus Update 10-14-2021: We still don’t know what OSHA’s vaccine standard says … but we’re getting closer

Late Tuesday, news broke that OSHA had submitted in vaccine mandate Emergency Temporary Standard to the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs for its review. What does this mean? It means that OSHA has taken the first important step towards publishing the ETS and implementing its vaccine mandate for employers with 100 or more employees.

But that's it.