The 2023 Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure Changes Just Took Effect. What Did You Miss? Effective July 1, 2023, amendments to the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure address the use of technology in discovery and at trial. Specifically, the amended rules provide for electronic service of discovery, remote testimony at depositions, taking remote testimony at trial, and the conduct of bench trials remotely. They also add a prior obligation to... Read More
Non-competition agreements in Ohio - What Professionals Need to Know Today, non-competition agreements, also known as non-competes, are everywhere, especially for professionals. These legal contracts seek to prevent professionals from starting a competing business or working for a competitor within a certain period of time and geographical area after leaving their current employer. Ohio, like many states, allows non... Read More
The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act: A Necessary Protection for Expectant Workers The U.S. legal system has various policies in place to protect workers' rights and ensure fair treatment in the workplace. Laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act safeguard individuals against discrimination based on disability and sex, respectively. However, until recently, there was a signi... Read More
NLRB General Counsel Concludes Non-Competes Violate Section 7 Rights Non-competition agreements are under siege. Last year the Federal Trade Commission proposed a new regulation that largely bans non-competition agreements, legislation is pending in Congress that would do the same, and the General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board today issued a Memorandum opinion concluding that non-compete agreements ... Read More
The Sixth Circuit Finds Black Employee was Significantly Better Qualified than the White Employee Selected for Promotion. The recent Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals case, Levine v. DeJoy , ____ F.4th ___ (6th Cir. Apr. 10, 2023) , has significant implications in the realm of employment law. The Court found that Patricia Levine, an African American employee of the United States Postal Service (USPS), provided sufficient evidence to challenge USPS's claim that it had... Read More
Employment Law Takeaways from the Deshaun Watson Debacle ICYMI, current Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson faced 22 civil lawsuits filed against him by massage therapists who alleged that, while he was playing football for the Houston Texans, he sexually harassed and assaulted them. A Texas grand jury declined to indict him on criminal charges and he settled all but one of the lawsuits before jo... Read More
Should Law Schools teach ChatGPT? ChatGPT is a pretrained, large language model that uses deep learning to recognize, summarize, translate, predict and generate text and other content. Since ChatGPT is pretrained on everything publicly available on the internet, it can generate text that looks and sounds like information available on the internet. ChatGPT generates convincing, conv... Read More
Unions can only Waive their Members' right to file Suit against their Employer if the Waiver is Clear and Umistakable Believe it or not, a union can waive its members’ right to take their employer to court for violating the members' civil rights. Employee rights advocates, like Protecting Ohio’s Employees and the Ohio Employment Lawyers Association , oppose this practice. Nonetheless, some unions will agree to waive their members’ rights to j... Read More
This One Reason Justifies the FTC Rule Banning Non-competes The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a proposed rule that will ban all noncompete agreements except those connected to the sale of a business. It has been the topic of much discussion, with experts weighing in on the fairness effectiveness of non-competes. Recently, I was quoted in a MarketWatch article about noncompetes, and I wanted to take ... Read More
Ohio parents have a lot to think about when deciding whether and when to go back to work during the Coronavirus pandemic As schools finish up over the next few weeks, and many businesses and daycare centers reopen, parents across Ohio will face difficult decisions about how or whether to return to work. Whether you’ve been working from home or laid off during the Coronavirus pandemic, the decision of whether to return to the workplace pushes on the need for reg... Read More
Small Business Administration Coronavirus Forgivable Loan Program Q I heard that my business can borrow money to cover two months of payroll and not pay it back. Is that true? A Yes, as long as you are a small business and spend the loan on qualifying expenses. Congress passed the Paycheck Protection Program as an amendment to Section 7(a) of the Small Business Act (15 USC § 636(a)). It is a stimulus program... Read More
Paid Coronavirus Sick Leave and Emergency FMLA FAQs Q Who is entitled to receive Emergency Paid Sick Leave (Paid Sick Leave) benefits? A Beginning on or about April 1, 2020, employees who work for employers with fewer than 500 employees can receive Paid Sick Leave if they cannot work due to: Their quarantine for COVID-19 ordered by a health authority; Their quarantine for COVID-19 or on the advice o... Read More
Coronavirus at Work - Safety, Pay and Unemployment Comp Q My job requires I work with other people. I cannot always stay at least six feet away from them. Can I say something to about it my employer? A Yes. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) allows employees to engage in “concerted activity for mutual aid or protection,” which means they can ask management to correct unsafe conditions. ... Read More
Bruce B. Elfvin Selected for The Best Lawyers in America 2020 Employment Law Partners is pleased to announce that Bruce B. Elfvin has been selected for inclusion in the 26 th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America for 2020 in the following areas: Employment Law – Individuals Litigation – Labor and Employment Mr. Elfvin has been selected for inclusion in at least the last ten editions... Read More
The "Weinstein" Tax Provision: Friend or Foe? Part II Blink, and the law changes. In a March 2019 blog post, I talked about the Weinstein tax provision that made it into the tax code in December 2017. By way of reminder, that’s the provision designed to disincentivize confidentiality clauses in sexual-harassment settlement agreements by eliminating business expense deductions for the settlement ... Read More
Appellate Court Provides Alternative Cause of Action for Procedurally Barred ADA Claims While workers employed by government entities and their agencies are subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a federal appellate court recently expanded the grounds upon which an employee of such entities may bring a lawsuit. Kaleena Bullington worked as a dispatcher for the Bedford County Sheriff’s Department in Tennessee for over 8 ... Read More
Whatever Happened to that $42,000,000 Employment Jury Verdict against Nationwide? In November of 2012, a jury awarded Christine Lucarell $42 million for her claims that Nationwide Insurance Company fraudulently and in bad faith induced her to open a new insurance agency when it intended all along to terminate her once she generated a profitable book of business. For Ms. Lucarell, however, that was the end of the good news. First... Read More
The "Weinstein" Tax Provision: Friend or Foe? Since the Harvey Weinstein story first broke in the New York Times , it catapulted the #MeToo movement into the spotlight. The #MeToo movement also shone a light on non-disclosure, or confidentiality, agreements. These allowed serial abusers such as Harvey Weinstein to pay off their victims under the cloak of secrecy – and continue their patt... Read More
Cuyahoga County Prohibits Discrimination based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expands Protections against Discrimination to Independent Contractors On September 25, 2018, Cuyahoga County protected employees from employment discrimination and retaliation based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, as well as race, color, religion, military status, national origin, disability, age, ancestry and sex. By doing so, Cuyahoga County joins a growing list of cities and counties that ... Read More
Sixth Circuit Reverses Summary Judgment for ERISA § 503 Interference Claim In 2014, Atlas Industries Inc. (“Atlas”) fired Robert Stein for missing three days of work without calling off. Stein was on medical leave, though, and thought his doctor’s instructions were to return on August 10th. In fact, he was supposed to return on July 21st. As a result, Stein did not report to work or call off on July 21 -... Read More
Are LGBTQ Employees in Ohio Protected from Workplace Discrimination? Not everywhere (yet). However, the City of Akron has followed in the footsteps of over one dozen cities in the State of Ohio by passing a nondiscrimination ordinance on March 27th prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. The ordinance applies to employment, housing, and public accommodations and was inspire... Read More
Sixth Circuit Affirms Public Employee's Petition Not Protected under the First Amendment In 1980, Glen Naghtin began working for the Montague Fire Department (“Montague”) until his termination in December 2011. Dennis Roesler was appointed as Chief of Montague in 1998. Montague authorized the construction of a new fire station in 2009. After that project began, Donald Roesler, the Chief’s brother and the Captain, bega... Read More
Can Employers Legally Influence the Political Leanings of Their Employees? Not according to Brad S. Meyer of Zashin & Rich, who recently wrote a great article on the subject titled "Not So Fast (Food): Ohio Employer Goes Too Far with Supersized Influence over His Employees' Voting Decisions." Meyer highlights an employer's legal obligation not to influence employee choice at elections and warns emplo... Read More
Why All Employees Should Keep Track of Hours Worked Steven Robinson was a maintenance worker at Roberts Hotels Management Detroit (RHMD). Although Robinson was considered a salaried employee during his time with RHMD, the company subsequently stipulated that he was actually subject to FLSA’s overtime requirements. However, RHMD did not contemporaneously record how many hours Robinson worked pe... Read More
How to Escape the Consequences of an Inaccurate Job Description Kenneth Camp (age 61) worked for Bi-Lo, LLC (“Bi-Lo”) as a grocery stock clerk for 38 years. He was one of three clerks who worked as a team to stock the grocery store each night, which involved unloading stock from pallets and placing it on store shelves. During March 2012, the store’s director, Gilreath, arrived at the end of th... Read More
Lawsuit against Steakhouse Highlights the Realities of Sexual Misconduct in the Workplace Locigno worked as a bartender and server for Zach’s Steakhouse, a restaurant owned by the Zacharias family which consisted of Paul Sr., Vivian, and Paul Jr. Throughout Locigno’s employment, she alleged that Paul Sr. and Paul Jr. sexually harassed her daily: Paul Sr. often asked and made Locigno feel obligated to give him a “hello ... Read More
How One Mistake Can Cause a Sexual Harassment Victim to Lose Her Case Graves worked as a lead nurse anesthetist until she requested to leave the position because she wanted to focus on patient care and avoid the extra work and responsibility required by the management role. Graves remained the lead nurse until February 2013 when Schum, whom Graves had worked with since May 2012, temporarily assumed the position. Grav... Read More
OSBA Selects Bruce Elfvin as Employment Section Chair The Ohio State Bar Association recently selected Bruce Elfvin as the Chairperson of it's state-wide Employment Law Section. Bruce will serve a two year term guiding the Section as it analyzes and comments on legal issues affecting employment law in Ohio. Read More
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