Workplace Strategies Watercooler: Exploring Mental Health in the Workplace

Recorded live at Workplace Strategies, Ogletree Deakins’ national labor and employment law seminar for human resources professionals and in-house counsel, this podcast features a discussion with William Grob and Hera Arsen, Ph.D., about employee mental health as a key topic of workplace communications. Starting with a look into the social dynamics and complex considerations that have changed company cultures and employee perceptions, as well as expectations, about mental health in recent years, Bill examines the lingering toll of the COVID-19 pandemic on employee well-being and offers pragmatic tips on how to recognize and respond to employees who are experiencing mental health difficulties.

Workplace Strategies Watercooler: Navigating Employee Privacy Rights in California

In this podcast, recorded live from Workplace Strategies 2022, Ogletree Deakins’ national labor and employment law seminar for human resources professionals and in-house counsel, Los Angeles shareholder Betsy Johnson speaks with Hera Arsen, the firm’s director of content, about employee privacy rights under California law and the unique compliance challenges employers face as access to employee personal information increases with technological advancements. The speakers explore the tension between employers’ rights and obligations to safeguard their workplaces and the various invasion-of-privacy risks inherent in following employees on social media, handling medical records and personnel files, conducting background checks of job applicants, monitoring employee internet usage, and implementing drug-testing procedures. Betsy also discusses compliance steps that employers may want to consider taking to set employee expectations of workplace privacy.

Workplace Strategies Watercooler: New OFCCP Regulatory and Compliance Initiatives for Federal Contractors in 2022

In this podcast, recorded live from Ogletree Deakins’ 2022 Workplace Strategies seminar, Leigh Nason and Lauren Hicks discuss certain initiatives launched by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) that impose new burdens on federal government contractors and subcontractors to meet their Affirmative Action Program (AAP) obligations. Specifically, Leigh and Lauren examine the nuances of the new Contractor Portal certification process and OFCCP’s directive on pay equity audits, and share key takeaways as to compliance requirements.

Workplace Strategies Watercooler: An Interview With EEOC Vice Chair Jocelyn Samuels

In this podcast interview recorded live from Workplace Strategies, Ogletree Deakins’ annual labor and employment law seminar for human resources professionals and in-house counsel, Jocelyn Samuels, vice chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), shares valuable insights on the agency’s current agenda and enforcement priorities, including the EEOC’s artificial intelligence fairness initiative, and offers guidance on the steps employers can take to remain compliant now and in the future. This insider interview with Vice Chair Samuels covers the evolution of the commission’s guidance on COVID-19–related issues and recent updates on key topics, including religious accommodations and caregiver discrimination.

Work Authorization for H-4, L-2, and E Dependent Spouses: Policy Updates

In this podcast, Kara Lancaster and Derek Maka discuss recent updates U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has made to its policy on work authorization for H-4, L-2, and E dependent spouses. The speakers explain the differences within USCIS’s new guidance, the filing strategies employers may see H-4, L-2, and E dependent spouses use to benefit from these changes, as well as the I-9 implications for employers.

In The Breakroom With Bill, Episode 6: Florida’s Stop WOKE Bill on Race and Identity and What It Means for Corporate Training Programs

In this episode of In The Breakroom With Bill, host Bill Grob is joined by Dee Anna Hays to discuss Florida’s House Bill 7, which, among other things, would prohibit employers from requiring that employees complete training or instruction “that espouses, promotes, advances, inculcates, or compels such individual to believe” specific claims constitute discrimination. Our speakers explain the details of the bill, in addition to the open questions presented by the statute, and how Florida employers might need to alter their training programs to bring them into compliance with the proposed law.

Options When Employees Are Not Selected for the H-1B Cap Lottery: The Luck of the Draw

The registration window for the fiscal year (FY) 2023 H-1B cap lottery closed on March 18, 2022, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is expected to notify registrants of the selection results by M arch 31, 2022. With demand expected to exceed the number of H-1B visas available, what options remain for foreign national employees who are not selected in the lottery? In this podcast, Katherine MacIlwaine and Katie Desmond address this question and explain the requirements for qualifying for other types of employment-based visas.

Employment Law Legends, Episode 7—Free Agency: Remaking Supervisor Liability in Faragher v. City of Boca Raton

When should employers be liable for the hostile work environment created by supervisors’ sexually harassing conduct? This episode examines the legal saga that untangled this question and the Supreme Court of the United States’ extraordinary decision to create the two-part Faragher-Ellerth affirmative defense.

Dirty Steel-Toe Boots, Episode 8: OSHA’s Attorneys

When the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conducts an inspection, issues a citation, and seeks enforcement of a contested citation, it has its own attorneys.  The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of the Solicitor represents OSHA and provides the agency legal opinions and advice concerning all of its activities. In this episode of Dirty Steel-Toe Boots, host Phillip Russell is joined by former Solicitor and current Ogletree Deakins attorney, Jaslyn Johnson, to discuss the role of the Solicitor’s Office and what employers should understand about how OSHA works with its attorneys during inspections and enforcement actions.

Third Thursdays With Ruthie: Recent Developments in the Student-Athlete Versus University-Employee Debate

In this edition of our Third Thursdays podcast series, Ruthie Goodboe is joined by Elizabeth Soveranez and Bethany Wagner to discuss the evolving legal landscape in the debate over the status of college athletes as students or employees. The speakers focus on challenges to the present model of collegiate athletics from both labor and employment perspectives and discuss National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo’s memorandum expressing her position that certain student-athletes are employees under the National Labor Relations Act.

Pay Disclosure Laws on the Rise

In this podcast, Sarah Platt and Kelly Cardin discuss the latest legal trend in pay equity and pay transparency initiatives in the United States: city and state laws requiring employers to proactively disclose pay scale information. The speakers cover the rapid evolution of pay disclosure legislation and address key obligations for employers, with added focus on the pay disclosure requirements of laws in Colorado, Connecticut, and New York City. The speakers highlight the challenges employers face when complying with these laws and offer considerations for employers navigating the laws’ impacts on recruiting, hiring practices, and internal employee relations.

Colorado’s COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Sick Leave Requirements

In this podcast, Rebecca Lindell and Abbey Wallach discuss Colorado employers’ paid sick leave obligations and related requirements under the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA), which has wide-ranging implications for Colorado employers of all sizes. The speakers focus on the public health emergency (PHE) leave portion of the HFWA, addressing the qualifying events that trigger employers’ ongoing obligation to provide paid sick leave, employees’ permitted uses of PHE leave, and the factors affecting employees’ entitlement to and allotment of such leave. The speakers also present a series of hypotheticals crafted in part from guidance issued by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment addressing the interplay between PHE leave and accrued paid sick leave required under the HFWA.

Cybersecurity in the Remote Workplace in International Workplaces During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In this podcast, Stephen Riga and Andre Appel discuss cybersecurity in the remote workplace, including what information remote employees handle, how to protect electronic information, and both employers’ and employees’ legal obligations to protect sensitive information from data breaches and cyberattacks. The speakers discuss common threats to digital information that employees face when they work remotely.

Dirty-Steel Toe Boots, Episode 7: The Supreme Court’s Decision on OSHA’s ETS

In this episode of Dirty Steel-Toe Boots, host Phillip Russell is joined by Eric Hobbs, the chair of Ogletree Deakins’ Workplace Safety and Health Practice Group. Phillip and Eric take a first look at the Supreme Court’s decision staying the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) enforcement of the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) until the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (and, ultimately, the Supreme Court) has an opportunity to weigh in on the merits. Phillip and Eric explore the implications of the Court’s stay on future court decisions, OSHA’s potential actions with regard to the ETS and the National Emphasis Program (NEP), and employer’s next steps in light of these judicial and agency actions.

Global Solutions, Episode 29: Remote Work and Telework Rules in EMEA

In this episode of our Global Solutions series, Chris Anderson and Andre Appel address laws regarding remote work in Europe, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates that were implemented as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The speakers focus on four issues that might arise in workplaces that have implemented remote work arrangements: (1) how employers and employees agree on teleworking arrangements; (2) whether employers must pay to implement a remote work arrangement, including payment for the necessary equipment to facilitate work from home; (3) employers’ workplace safety obligations with regard to employees who work from home; and (4) employee morale issues that might result from teleworking arrangements.

Oregon Employment Law, Episode 4: Key Considerations for Remote Workforces

In this episode of our Oregon Employment Law podcast series, Paul Cirner and Florence Mao discuss several Oregon employment laws that are relevant to remote workforces. The speakers cover antidiscrimination provisions under the Oregon Workplace Fairness Act, leave laws under the Oregon Family Leave Act and Oregon Military Family Leave Act, sick leave entitlements, lactation and pregnancy accommodation requirements, meal and rest break obligations, and more.

Global Solutions, Episode 28: Remote-Work Considerations for Employers Doing Business in the Asia-Pacific Region

In this episode of our Global Solutions series, Mami Kato and Skye Hao provide an overview of the latest trends and requirements related to remote-work arrangements in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, with a particular focus on China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. The speakers address issues involving employee time tracking and compensation, workplace safety, antidiscrimination protections based on employee status, work rules and employment policies, and other emergent considerations for employers. Ogletree Deakins’ Global Solutions podcast series includes additional country-specific flash briefings, full episodes on relevant topics for multinational employers, recap episodes, and companion materials.

Oregon Employment Law, Episode 3: COVID-19, School Closures, and Employee Leave Entitlements for Caregivers

In this episode of our Oregon Employment Law podcast series, Paul Cirner and Florence Mao discuss the employment law implications of school closures and quarantine orders related to COVID-19 exposure. The speakers detail the relevant requirements under federal laws and the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA) in addition to explaining issues regarding verification of caregivers’ need for leave, the amount of leave required under leave laws, and the interplay between federal and state law.

In The Breakroom With Bill, Episode 5: Breaking Down Florida’s Employer Vaccine Mandate Restriction

In this episode of In the Breakroom, Bill Grob is joined by Phillip Russell and Dee Anna Hays to discuss Florida’s new law prohibiting employers from mandating employee vaccinations. The new measure, which went into effect immediately after Governor Ron DeSantis signed the law on November 18, 2021, prohibits employers from implementing a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for employees without providing at least five individual exemptions. Our speakers discuss the details of the new law and the five exemptions and address compliance questions and challenges on the horizon for Florida employers.

Dirty Steel-Toe Boots, Episode 6: Florida’s New Law Restricting Employer Vaccine Mandates

In this episode of Dirty Steel-Toe Boots, host Phillip Russell is joined by Dee Anna Hays for a first look at the new Florida law that prohibits private employers from mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for employees unless they qualify for one of five exemptions (medical, religious, prior infection immunity, regular testing, and personal protective equipment (PPE) usage). The law is effective immediately and impacts private employers that mandate vaccinations for their employees. Phillip and Dee Anna also discuss possible conflicts with and preemption of the new state statute with federal vaccine mandates in Executive Order 14042 (which applies to federal contractor employees) and by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Dirty Steel-Toe Boots, Episode 5: A First Look at OSHA’s New ETS With Phillip Russell and Eric Hobbs

In this episode of Dirty Steel-Toe Boots, host Phillip Russell is joined by Eric Hobbs, the chair of Ogletree Deakins’ Workplace Safety and Health Practice Group, for a first look at the emergency temporary standard (ETS) just released by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The speakers discuss what an ETS is under the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act, what it must contain, and legal arguments and procedures for how it may be challenged. Phillip and Eric also discuss various requirements for employers under the ETS including how it counts the 100+ employee minimum, how it excludes employees who work exclusively outside or remotely, and other key points.

In The Breakroom With Bill, Episode 4: OSHA’s New Emergency Temporary Standard

Welcome to In the Breakroom, a podcast series on hot topics related to employment law. On November 4, 2021, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued its new emergency temporary standard (ETS), which imposes vaccine and COVID-19 testing requirements on employers with 100 or more employees. In this episode, Bill Grob and Phillip Russell address the main challenges employers will face as they strive to comply with the new ETS.

Global Solutions Flash Briefing: Philippines FIRB Extends WFH Regime With An Important Change

In this episode of our Global Solutions podcast series, Ethan Isaac and Eric Lee discuss recent guidance from the Philippines’ Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) that requires employers in the “Special Economic Zones”  to have 10 percent of their employees working on-site in order to continue receiving corporate tax incentives. As the Delta variant causes COVID-19 cases to increase again and employees continue to work from home, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority has appealed to the FIRB to maintain the previous status quo. (Since the recording of this podcast, the FIRB denied the appeal.)

Global Solutions, Episode 27: Remote Work Rules in the Americas

In this episode of our Global Solutions series, Pietro Straulino-Rodríguez, Carlos Colόn-Machargo, and Shir Fulga address laws regarding remote work in Canada, Mexico, and Latin American countries. The speakers discuss several topics associated with remote work, including workplace safety, employee privacy, the provision of equipment, and expense reimbursement for utilities (e.g., internet service). In addition, the speakers cover the various wage and hour issues involved in tracking employees’ hours, paying overtime compensation, and engaging employees only when they are scheduled to work. (Note: In the time between the recording of the podcast and its airing, the Ontario government introduced a new bill entitled Bill 27, Working for Workers Act, 2021, which, if passed, would mandate the implementation of “right to disconnect” provisions under the Employment Standards Act, 2000.)

Oregon Employment Law, Episode 2: Managing Medical and Religious Accommodation Requests Related to COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates

In this episode of our Oregon Employment Law podcast series, Paul Cirner and Florence Mao discuss the requirements of federal and state statutes regarding religious and medical accommodations—including the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Oregon’s disability and antidiscrimination laws—and their relevance to COVID-19 vaccine mandates. The speakers also provide key considerations for employers responding to medical accommodation requests.

Oregon Employment Law, Episode 1: COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates—What Oregon Employers Need to Know

In the first episode of our new Oregon Employment Law podcast series, Paul Cirner and Florence Mao discuss recent changes to the Oregon Health Authority’s temporary rule mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for employees in healthcare settings. The rule now includes an updated effective date and documentation requirements for medical or religious exceptions. The speakers also address the interplay between the pending emergency temporary standard from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division.


Dirty Steel-Toe Boots, Episode 4: Corporate Safety Culture

In this episode of Dirty Steel-Toe Boots, a podcast for employers about OSHA enforcement, Mark Ligon, vice president of safety and risk management for the Vecellio Group, joins Phillip Russell to discuss how businesses can create and maintain cultures of corporate safety, as well as leverage employee and management engagement to achieve success.

New York’s COVID-19 Vaccination Law: the Latest on the ‘Key to NYC’

On September 13, 2021, New York City began enforcing Executive Order No. 225 (“Key to NYC”), which requires individuals show proof of COVID-19 vaccination prior to entering certain indoor establishments. In this podcast, Kelly Cardin and Jessica Schild discuss the key requirements of the executive order, including exemptions and penalties. The speakers also address significant compliance considerations implicated by the New York City Human Rights Law.

In The Breakroom With Bill, Episode 3: What to Expect From OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard on Mandatory Vaccinations

In this episode of In the Breakroom, a podcast series on hot topics related to employment law, Bill Grob and Phillip Russell discuss President Joe Biden’s September 9, 2021, announcement of a strategy for combating the COVID-19 pandemic that calls on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to develop and implement a new emergency temporary standard (ETS). The speakers discuss the features that employers might expect from the anticipated ETS, including a requirement that employers with 100 or more employees mandate full vaccination or weekly COVID-19 testing of their employees, as well as who will pay for weekly testing. The speakers also address the “grave danger” standard required for OSHA to issue an ETS.

Investigations in a New Era

Over the past few years, social and cultural movements have changed the nature and types of complaints that employers receive from employees. In this podcast, Monique Gougisha Doucette and Andre’ Caldwell discuss with Jim McGrew the evolution of complaints and the various tools that employers can implement to respond effectively to new allegations of discrimination, including with respect to internal investigations and organizational assessments.