Iowa Supreme Court Clarifies Iowa Civil Rights Act Individual Liability, Disability Discrimination, Failure to Accommodate, and Retaliation Standards

By: Nate Borland | 06.28.2021

  On Friday, June 25th, the Iowa Supreme Court filed a decision addressing several issues under the Iowa Civil Rights Act. In Rumsey v. Woodgrain Millwork, Inc., a discharged employee filed disability discrimination and retaliation claims against his former employer. The employee was injured at work in early 2015, and the employer provided the employee Read…

Iowa Supreme Court Decides Key Iowa Drug and Alcohol Testing Law Questions, Provides Leniency to Iowa Businesses

By: Nate Borland | 06.25.2021

  This morning, Friday, June 25, 2021, the Iowa Supreme Court filed decisions in two cases involving Iowa’s private sector drug and alcohol testing law. Under the decisions, Iowa employers will not be held liable for violating Iowa’s private sector drug and alcohol testing law so long as they “substantially comply” with the provisions of Read…

OSHA Issues Emergency Standard for Health Care

By: Nate Borland | 06.22.2021

On June 10, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) establishing heightened COVID-19 workplace safety regulations for most healthcare providers in the United States. In addition to workplace safety requirements, the ETS also reincarnates mandatory paid time off for employees, introduces expanded reporting and recordkeeping requirements, and mandates Read…

New EEOC Guidance on Vaccinations

By: Danielle Smid | 06.21.2021

  As Americans continue to be vaccinated in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to CDC recommendations, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) updated its COVID-19 guidance on May 28, 2021, regarding employers and COVID-19 vaccines.  The new EEC guidance on vaccinations update is in the form of Q&As relating to mandatory vaccination Read…

OSHA Issues New Standards for Healthcare Employers and Updated its Guidance for Non-Healthcare Employers Regarding COVID-19

By: Danielle Smid | 06.13.2021

On June 10, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health and Administration (OSHA) issued new standards for healthcare employers and updated its guidance for non-healthcare employers regarding COVID-19. For non-healthcare employers, the updated guidance relies on and is consistent with the CDC’s recent recommendations that fully vaccinated people may resume activities without wearing masks or physically Read…

State of Iowa Ending Participation in COVID-Related Unemployment Programs Next Month

By: Megan Erickson Moritz | 05.12.2021

  Citing a strong labor market, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced yesterday that on June 12, 2021, the state will be ending its participation in federal COVID-related unemployment benefit programs.  These enhanced unemployment benefits were made available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act of 2020, and provide certain supplemental unemployment benefits Read…

Pandemic Poses Potential Re-Entry Problems for Lawful Permanent Residents Abroad

By: BrownWinick | 05.03.2021

  We are now several weeks beyond the one-year anniversary of the declaration by the World Health Organization recognizing COVID-19 as a global pandemic. While historic vaccine rollout accelerates across the United States, worldwide vaccine distribution efforts display inequities elsewhere. Moreover, travel restrictions, lockdowns, quarantine orders and reluctant travelers remain commonplace. These barriers create certain Read…

NLRB Acting General Counsel Calls for “Vigorous Enforcement” and Expansion of Employee Protections

By: Nate Borland | 04.15.2021

  On March 31, 2021, Peter Sung Ohr, the Acting General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), issued a memorandum calling for the “vigorous enforcement” of employee protections under the National Labor Relations Act. The memorandum forecasts a significant shift in strategy for the NLRB’s policing of employee relations in union and non-union businesses, taking a more Read…

Don’t Jump the Gun on COVID-19 Recovery: Employers and Business Owners Should Review OSHA Compliance

By: Benjamin Merrill | 03.24.2021

  In February, a U.S. House sub-committee launched an investigation into how major meat processors and OSHA responded to COVID-19. During the prior administration, OSHA issued only eight COVID-related citations. With a new administration in charge, we anticipate renewed energy and enforcement from OSHA in the coming year. Employers should make a conscious effort to Read…

IWD Adopts New Rule in Response to COVID-19 and the Federal CARES Act

By: Casey Alesch | 03.23.2021

  Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) has adopted a new rule in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the federal CARES Act that requires employers to notify their employees of the availability of unemployment insurance upon separation or a reduction of hours.   Prior to the emergency enactment of this new rule in August of 2020, Iowa employers were required to post notices or Read…