Novus Law Firm & FortneyScott’s Back to School Webinar: Higher Education Post-COVID-19 Legal & Compliance Concerns

Please REGISTER HERE to join Novus Law Firm and FortneyScott on Wednesday, August 12 at 9:00am PST/12:00pm EST for the third in a series of webinars discussing the myriad of legal and compliance challenges that institutes of higher education face in reopening their campuses and resuming operations for the 2020 Fall term.

You asked, and we listened.

In this third session, Natasha Baker, Esq. and Elizabeth Bradley, Esq. will lead an interactive live Q & A session covering the myriad of return to campus consideration including schedule and compensation modifications; COVID-19 and ADA accommodations; privacy law issue; and the interplay of shared governance. These panelists, with their extensive experience in higher education law, will provide thoughtful recommendations and legal perspectives.

During this third session, the panelists will provide an update on the following topics then open up the session to live questions and discussion:

  • Responding to and administering disability and protected leave requests by faculty and staff including the criteria and processes that the institution should resolve in advance;
  • Administering discretionary workplace modifications;
  • Best practices with respect to protecting the privacy of faculty and staff who request accommodations, contract COVID-19, or expose others;
  • Addressing where privacy laws and disclosure requirements intersect, including Clery notifications.

We encourage you to submit questions that you would like to have addressed during the webinar via email to info@fortneyscott.com.

Please forward this information to those in your organization who could benefit.

“‘We . . . the many’ can fill federal void, fight pandemic.”

In his “View from K Street” column in the upcoming issue of Federal Employment Law Insider, Fortney & Scott, LLC attorney Burton J. Fishman laments the “feeble” federal government response to the COVID-19 outbreak. He doubts we can make any progress on our other struggles—in particular, on the path to social justice—as long as the “plague undermines our lives and our livelihoods.” But “we are the many,” and he believes we can do it.

To read Fishman’s analysis, log into HRLaws and drop this link into your browser: http://www.hrlaws.com/node/1263497.

FortneyScott’s July 27, 2020 Employer Briefing: “Key Issues Employers are Facing”

REGISTER HERE to join FortneyScott’s complimentary Employer Briefing on Monday, July 27th from noon to 1:00 pm ET.

In this briefing we will address (1) the latest developments affecting employers operating during the COVID pandemic; (2) the newest challenges employers are facing as part of the broad-based focus on discrimination in America; and, (3) the key legal and federal agency developments.

FortneyScott’s attorneys will cover:

  • The latest from Congress and the White House as they decide whether to extend or expand COVID assistance; create liability safe harbors for employers or provide other relief;
  • The renewed interest in Pay Equity and Diversity and Inclusion initiatives in response to societal discrimination as well as how to address demands for the public disclosure of EEO-1 reports; and
  • Legal and agency developments, including updates on the nominees for key positions at the EEOC and NLRB as well as the latest developments involving EEOC and DOL’s agencies, including the Wage and Hour Division, OSHA and OFCCP.

If you have any questions that you would like to have addressed during the Weekly Briefing, please submit via email to info@fortneyscott.com.

We look forward to continuing our briefings, and assisting our clients and all who are interested in understanding the latest developments affecting the workplace.

For more information:

  • On responding to the COVID workplace challenges, including all prior Weekly Briefings, visit FortneyScott’s resource center.
  • Also, every person on our team joined in a special message addressing the recent incidents of violence, racism, and intolerance taking place in communities across America, and expressed our support for changes to achieve equal opportunity for all members of our society.
  • Please email us at info@fortneyscott.com for legal advice and human resources support in understanding how these developments affect your company and workplace compliance programs.

Please forward this information to those in your organization who could benefit from these Weekly Briefings.

Supreme Court Broadens “Ministerial Exception”

In a widely anticipated ruling, the Supreme Court held that religious institutions have expansive authority in employing teachers who had a role in providing any form of religious instruction or observance.

In Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrisey-Berru, the Court made clear that that federal employment discrimination laws do not apply to teachers at church-run schools whose duties include religious instruction. Justice Alito, basing his reasoning on the First Amendment’s protection of religious freedom, wrote:

When a school with a religious mission entrusts a teacher with the responsibility of educating and forming students in the faith, judicial intervention into disputes between the school and the teacher threatens the school’s independence in a way that the First Amendment does not allow.

The Court, in a 7-2 decision, emphasized that the title or training of the teacher were not determinative, rather, it is the actual duties of the individual teacher that defined who could enjoy the “ministerial exception.” By making that point, the Court broadly expanded the number of teachers who no longer have the protections of Title VII and other employment discrimination laws. Many commentators believe this ruling will encourage those challenging the Court’s recent ruling expanding Title VII protections to LGBTQ workers to bring lawsuits based on religious freedom grounds.

FortneyScott’s July 13, 2020 Employer Briefing: “What did I miss?”

REGISTER HERE to join FortneyScott’s complimentary Employer Briefing on Monday, July 13th from noon to 1:00 pm ET.

In our first briefing for July we will address (1) the latest developments affecting employers operating during the COVID pandemic; (2) the newest challenges employers are facing as part of the broad-based focus on discrimination in America; and, (3) the key legal and federal agency developments.

FortneyScott’s attorneys will cover:

  • How employers are responding to the growing number of COVID hot spots, and addressing the reluctant workers who do not want to return to work;
  • The renewed interest in Diversity and Inclusion initiatives in response to societal discrimination, as well as addressing renewed demands for the public disclosure of EEO-1 reports; and,
  • Legal and agency developments, including how the Supreme Court’s religious freedom decisions affect the workplace; the EEOC’s new mediation program, and the latest developments involving DOL’s Wage and Hour Division and OFCCP

If you have any questions that you would like to have addressed during the Weekly Briefing, please submit via email to info@fortneyscott.com.

We look forward to continuing our briefings, and assisting our clients and all who are interested in understanding the latest developments affecting the workplace.

For more information:

  • On responding to the COVID workplace challenges, including all prior Weekly Briefings, visit FortneyScott’s resource center.
  • Also, every person on our team joined in a special message addressing the recent incidents of violence, racism, and intolerance taking place in communities across America, and expressed our support for changes to achieve equal opportunity for all members of our society.
  • Email us at info@fortneyscott.com for legal advice and human resources support in understanding how these developments affect your company and workplace compliance programs.

Please forward this information to those in your organization who could benefit from these Weekly Briefings.

FS Attorneys to Present at the NILG Virtual Conference in July

The NILG 2020 National Conference Planning Committee and the NILG Board has announced a series of FREE webinars to the contractor community in July and August. Programming is underway and OFCCP Director Craig Leen will open the Virtual Conference.

How can Employers Move the Diversity Needle Without Running into Legal Trouble/Tuesday, July 14th 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM

FS Attorneys Nita Beecher and Consuela Pinto will present with Paul Francisco (State Street) and Marina Williams (Lockheed Martin):  Employers are under increasing pressure to diversify their workforce and maintain a culture of inclusivity. The pressure to move the needle is significant, particularly for Federal contractors. Striking a balance between innovative diversity and inclusion programs and applicable legal parameters is tricky. Participants will leave with: (1) an understanding of legal requirements; (2) practical recommendations for creating a culture of inclusivity; (3) innovative approaches for achieving and maintaining a diverse workforce at all levels.

An All-Female Pay Panel: ‘Women-splaining’ Pay Equity/Thursday, July 30th from 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM

FS Attorney Elizabeth Bradley will present with Joanna Colosimo and Lisa Harpe (DCI), and Michelle Duncan (Jackson Lewis):  An all-female, multi-disciplinary expert panel will converge to discuss their perspective on pay equity, the Pay Gap, and the Glass Ceiling. Learning objectives: (1) developing knowledge on the interconnection between pay equity and glass ceiling analytics to provide organizational recommendations; (2) avoiding pitfalls when implementing salary remediation strategies; (3) developing practical strategies for establishing a successful pay equity or glass ceiling project- with a focus on the end result and impact it will create.

Visit this website for updated information on the webinar series and how to register.

 

FortneyScott’s Employer Briefings – Updated Schedule

When the COVID pandemic hit with full force in March, FortneyScott commenced complimentary weekly briefings to aid employers in understanding and responding to the rapidly changing developments created by the pandemic.  The briefings we’ve provided for the last three months (12 weeks) were extremely popular and well attended.

Now, as we enter into a phase where the updates are not as rapid and employers have begun to adapt to the virus-induced changes, we will continue to provide briefings on workplace developments twice a month.  In our briefings, we will address COVID pandemic-related updates, particularly as they affect re-opening workplaces.  Additionally, we will cover other major issues affecting our society, including the #BlackLivesMatter developments as well as key judicial, legislative, and policy changes.  Of course, as developments warrant, we will provide alerts, or convene an additional special briefing.

We will implement the new schedule in July, and the next briefings will be held on July 13 and July 27 from 12:00 noon to 1:00 Eastern.  The July 13 Briefing will, in large part, review the recent decisions of the Supreme Court and their impact on your workplace. You can register here to attend the July 13 briefing.

We look forward to continuing our briefings, and assisting our clients and all who are interested in understanding the latest developments affecting the workplace.

For more information:

  • On responding to the COVID workplace challenges, including all prior Weekly Briefings, visit FortneyScott’s Resource Center.
  • Also, every person on our team joined in a special message addressing the recent incidents of violence, racism, and intolerance taking place in communities across America, and expressed our support for changes to achieve equal opportunity for all members of our society.
  • Email us at info@fortneyscott.com for legal advice and human resources support in understanding how these developments affect your company and workplace compliance programs.

Please forward this information to those in your organization who could benefit from these Weekly Briefings.

Employer Considerations for a Workforce Reduction Analysis

Attorney Juanita Beecher is featured in an article on Employer Considerations for a Workforce Reduction Analysis for www.Law360.com.  This article provides in-house employment lawyers and human resources professionals, most of whom are likely working from home, a catalog of the unique legal issues, risks and practical concerns they should consider as we all adjust to our post-pandemic shutdown world. Read the Law360 article here.

FortneyScott’s June 22, 2020 COVID-19 Weekly Briefing: COVID-19 Update and the Supreme Court’s Ruling

REGISTER HERE to  join FortneyScott’s complimentary Weekly Briefing on Monday, June 22nd from noon to 1:00 pm ET.  

During this Weekly Briefing, after reviewing the latest developments regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the webinar will discuss the critically important decision of the Supreme Court extending Title VII protections to LGBTQ individuals.  The briefing will be provided by FortneyScott attorneys Leslie Silverman, former Vice-Chair of the EEOC, Burton Fishman and David Fortney who will address the key developments, including:

  • The key recent federal updates affecting the workplace;
  • A summary of the Supreme Court’s blockbuster decision in Bostock v Clayton County, Georgia expanding Title VII protections;
  • The impact of the Court’s ruling on employers – on employment policies and practices, training, potential liability; and
  • Key takeaways, including how employers should respond to Bostock

This briefing is the twelfth in the weekly series offered by FortneyScott to inform and assist employers in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you have any questions that you would like to have addressed during the Weekly Briefing, please submit via email to info@fortneyscott.com.

Previous FS Weekly Briefings

All prior FS Weekly Briefings are available HERE.

Please forward this information to those in your organization who could benefit from these Weekly Briefings.

Title VII Protects LBGTQ, Supreme Court Rules

In an unexpected decision, the Supreme Court ruled today that gay and transgender individuals enjoy the full protections of Title VII of the Civil Rights of 1964. In a 6-3 decision, the High Court’s opinion, written by Justice Gorsuch, swept aside all objections raised by the lengthy and passionate dissents, one by one, declaring that the language of the statute made this outcome “clear.” In what may well become the most oft-quoted passage from this Court, Gorsuch wrote:

“Because discrimination on the basis of homosexuality or transgender status requires an employer to intentionally treat individual employees differently because of their sex, an employer who intentionally penalizes an employee for being homosexual or transgender also violates Title VII.”

This ruling will require over 20 states, which do not offer such protections, to bring their laws into compliance with the federal standard. Multi-jurisdictional employers will be especially pleased with this ruling, not only because it comports with their employment practices, but also because it now permits them to have a single employment standard throughout the US.

Although this decision addressed only the reach of Title VII, the language of many analogous federal laws is derived from Title VII and the interpretation and enforcement of those laws will likely have to be adjusted to comply with the new ruling.

The case can be found here.