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GOING AHEAD WITH SHORTER SESSIONS

Survey shows COVID-19 impact on summer programs, recruiting, and OCI

The National Association for Law Placement, Inc. (NALP) has released the results of two short “pulse” surveys about the impacts of COVID-19 on U.S. legal employers, law schools, and JD students. The surveys, conducted in May, were designed to quantify the rapidly evolving changes in the legal profession and the industry as a result of the pandemic. NALP is following up with a second set of surveys to members in the coming weeks. Key findings for legal employers include: • The overwhelming majority of offices (86%) that originally planned to host a 2020 summer program still plan to do so. • Almost two-thirds (64%) of offices reported that their 2020 summer programs will now be 5-6 weeks in length, a considerably shorter period than in recent summers. In 2019 the… . . . read more

Employment Law Update

COVID-19, discrimination, DACA, and immigration developments

By Mike O’Brien bio EEOC says no to COVID-19 antibody testing: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently (6/17/20) updated its COVID-19 guidance to indicate that employers should not be requiring employees to submit to antibody testing. Here is the verbatim Q&A (found at EEOC Guidance): Question: (A.7.): CDC said in its Interim Guidelines that antibody test results “should not be used to make decisions about returning persons to the workplace.” In light of this CDC guidance, under the ADA may an employer require antibody testing before permitting employees to re-enter the workplace? Answer: No. An antibody test constitutes a medical examination under the ADA. In light of CDC’s Interim Guidelines that antibody test results “should not be used to make decisions about returning persons to the workplace,” an antibody test at this time… . . . read more

EMPLOYERS FOOT THE BILL

Feds say insurers not required to pay for employer return to work COVID-19 testing

Since the public health emergency began, the US government has taken the position that insurers shouldn’t be allowed to make consumers pay for COVID-19 lab tests. But now comes news that insurers will not be put in that same position with regard to return to work screening conducted on employees by their employers. FFCRA rules for COVID-19 test payment The key piece of federal relief legislation, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), required insurers to cover COVID-19 tests without imposing any copayments, deductibles, coinsurance or other patient cost-sharing. But the rule (Section 6001 of FFCRA) rule applied only to tests deemed “medically appropriate” by a healthcare provider. The key question: Would insurers also have to foot the bill for screening tests not used for diagnosis and treatment? Apparently, the answer… . . . read more

Compliance

How to create a COVID-19 exposure control plan

For as long as COVID-19 remains a threat, businesses—both essential and nonessential—won’t be allowed to re-open and remain open unless they implement a plan to control workplace infection risks. The challenges posed by COVID-19 are unprecedented and unique and you probably won’t find any great templates in your current policy folders and binders. As a result, you’ll need to build your plan from the ground up. Here’s a step-by-step strategy and Model COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan containing the necessary elements that you can use to accomplish that objective. The Exposure Control Plan & Why You Need It An exposure control plan is a set of measures to protect workers, clients, contractors, visitors and other people at your workplace against exposure to COVID-19 infection and ensure compliance with your obligations under… . . . read more

Tool: Model COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan

Regulators have made it clear that workplaces must implement written plans to control COVID-19 exposure risks at the site. Here’s a Model Plan template your office can adapt that provides for the necessary protections.

Employment Law Update

Supreme Court ruling extends workplace protections to LGBTQ workers

By Mike O’Brien bio SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND TRANSGENDER STATUS NOW ARE PROTECTED CLASSES NATIONALLY: Federal civil rights law protects gay, lesbian, and transgender employees, the United States Supreme Court announced June 15 in a landmark ruling. The historic decision will extend workplace anti-discrimination and anti-harassment protections to about 8 million LGBTQ workers nationwide. The ruling also vindicates a position long taken by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). It is a defeat, however, for the Trump administration, which opposed the EEOC. President Trump instructed the Department of Justice to argue that the provision of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act that bars discrimination based on sex did not extend to claims of gender identity and sexual orientation bias. This led to the odd circumstance where two parts of the same government argued for opposite… . . . read more

YOUR CAREER

Job searching during a pandemic

By Lynne Curry bio The career worst has happened. You lost your job during a pandemic. You suffer through the “sorry to tell you” call from your supervisor. When he says “take care of yourself,” you respond, “You take care too.” Then you sit frozen. When every employer is furloughing or laying or workers, how the heck are you supposed to get a new job? You spend the hours it takes to sign up for unemployment, and circle the date on your calendar when you need to have a new job. You spend a day cleaning up your resume and the next three days sending it out to every job you find posted in Indeed.com. No employer calls you. You call a few of your still-employed friends. They check with… . . . read more

TECHNOLOGY

Is COVID-19 ringing the death knell for on-premises servers?

By Doug Striker bio Back in the bucolic day of early January 2020, Aderant published an article predicting that more law firms would begin moving out of their on-premises servers to the cloud. Man, I wish we knew how many firms did that in March and April 2020 alone! When COVID-19 hit and we were all forced, en masse, to exit the building and head home, many firms left their precious servers behind. The IT wizards (aka “server nannies”) who manage those “server nurseries” were forced to continue working in the office, risking their health and the health of the people they returned home to. Not only that, but the IT wizards (they ARE actually wizards, not nannies, and they shouldn’t have to babysit servers) also had to move long-resistant firms… . . . read more

Silver linings for legal industry in COVID-19 crisis

By Doug Striker bio  It would be tragic if nothing good came out of this worldwide pandemic. Yes, it is easy to focus on the terrible, awful things that are happening on a global scale and even in our own neighborhoods and families. But at the same time, we simply must also recognize that good things are developing out of this tragic, exceedingly difficult experience. I recently heard a podcast on “99% Invisible” about the surprising silver linings that are emerging around the world due to our collective quarantine. People in Jalandhar, India can see the Himalayas from their city for the first time in decades because their air is cleaner. Researchers in Alaska can study whales without the incessant, deep roar of cruise ships on whale-watching tours. Pandas in a zoo conceived for… . . . read more

MANAGING STAFF

Handle these 3 HR challenges in COVID-19 era

 By Lynne Curry  bio  1 Anticipate reluctance to come back to the office Question: I’ve been working from home since late March. At first I thought I’d hate working remotely; instead I love it. My work day is relaxed because I don’t have to put up with my micro-managing supervisor and can walk my dog during the day rather than waiting until after five. Working at home gives me something I haven’t had for a long time, work/life balance. Fast forward to May 1. My supervisor sends all of us an email saying we need to return to work May 4. My heart sank. Do COVID-19 risks give me the chance to say I need to work from home due to health concerns? Answer: The short answer—probably not. The long… . . . read more


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