The Supreme Court of California recently held that the California Workers’ Compensation Act does not bar an employee’s spouse from bringing a negligence claim against the employer where the employee contracts COVID-19 at the workplace and brings the virus home to the employee’s spouse. The court also held that an employer does not owe a duty of care under California law to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to an employee’s household members.
Employers often go to great lengths to protect company documents and communications concerning and discussing confidential trade secret information. But what happens when employees leave, bring a whistleblower claim, and the employer learns they have sent themselves numerous confidential communications containing trade secret information? What about when an employee later attempts to introduce those documents as evidence in a subsequent whistleblower lawsuit? Unfortunately, employers often have limited options in this situation given various federal and state whistleblower protections in place.
On January 23, 2023, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a technical assistance document aimed at providing guidance on how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to job applicants and employees with hearing disabilities. The comprehensive document addresses (1) when an employer may ask an applicant or employee questions about a hearing condition and how it should treat voluntary disclosures, (2) what types of reasonable accommodations applicants or employees with hearing disabilities may need, (3) how an employer should handle safety concerns about applicants and employees with hearing disabilities, and (4) how an employer can ensure that no employee is harassed because of a hearing disability or any other disability.