Can Employees Refuse to Return to Work Because of COVID-19?

Parts of the country have begun the process of returning to work, in places where COVID-19 infection rates have flattened or shown a decline. But the risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 remains, and some employers may be faced with parts of their workforces refusing to return to work or to perform certain assignments, citing the health risk. What are employers’ options with respect to such employees? There are both legal and practical considerations.

Triaging Employee Refusals to Work Due to COVID-19: A Legal Update for Healthcare Employers

Employees—particularly healthcare employees—are increasingly refusing to work because of safety concerns and the need for accommodations related to COVID-19. In certain circumstances, these refusals may trigger protections afforded by the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), among others.

NLRA Issues for Employers Raised by the COVID-19 Pandemic

Every day media outlets are reporting on people’s concerns about how the COVID-19 pandemic is being handled: citizens are complaining about the government; politicians are complaining about each other; and workers are complaining about their employers. In addition, stories about protests, walkouts, or other employee-led work disruptions have become increasingly more common. Whether constructively sincere or mere venting, in the context of labor relations, it is imperative employers know and understand the legal parameters that govern their responses to such employee actions.

Zika and the Hospitality Employer: Evolving Concerns as the Virus Comes to the U.S.

We’ve previously answered some basic questions that employers may have when their employees work in or visit locations where exposure to Zika virus is a risk. With recent news concerning the first cases of transmission of the virus by mosquitoes in the Miami, Florida area, hospitality employers are becoming increasingly concerned about how the virus will affect their businesses.

IRS Acts Quickly to Facilitate Donations for Ebola Victims and Offer Tax Relief

While employers and employees alike are asking questions about the proper workplace response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, these same folks are also asking how they can help the victims, their families and those who care for them. Fortunately, on October 29, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) utilized…..

Michigan Becomes 24th Right-to-Work State—Now What?

As expected and amid demonstrations by thousands of union supporters, the Michigan House of Representatives passed SB 116 and HB 4003, and both bills were signed by Governor Rick Snyder. Now officially known as PA 348 of 2012 and PA 349 of 2012, respectively, these Acts provide both private and public sector employees with the right to either join a union and pay dues or refrain from doing so.

Michigan on Track to Become 24th Right-to-Work State

On December 6, 2012, the Michigan Senate passed two bills (SB 116 and HB 4003) and the House passed one bill (HB 4052), making Michigan poised to become the 24th state with a right-to-work law. These bills would prohibit any requirement that employees be forced to join a union or pay an agency fee to a union as a term or condition of employment. SB 116 and HB 4052 are identical and apply to private sector employees.