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…

“Families First Coronavirus Response Act” Becomes Law

By: BrownWinick | 03.19.2020

  Yesterday afternoon (March 18 at 3:32 p.m.), the Senate passed H.R. 6201 the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” with a vote count of 90 to 8. The President signed the bill into law last night and the law will go into effect 15 days from signing. In summary, the law provides paid emergency leave Read…

Option for Avoiding Total Layoffs During COVID-19

By: Danielle Smid | 03.18.2020

  This is not a new program but has new features to assist employers in trying to avoid layoffs. Iowa Workforce Development describes its “Voluntary Shared Work Program Unemployment Insurance Benefits” (VSW) below: “The program is intended for use as an alternative to layoffs and can be an effective tool for Iowa businesses experiencing a Read…

Employer Guidance Regarding COVID-19 Impact on Unemployment Benefits in Iowa

By: Megan Erickson Moritz |

  Do employees need to exhaust all vacation, sick leave, or personal time off (PTO) time prior to claiming unemployment benefits? Yes. If an employer offers vacation, sick leave, or PTO time to employees, the employees must exhaust those benefits prior to claiming unemployment benefits.  Are employers required to lay off employees in order for Read…

Iowa Employer and Employee Unemployment Assistance Program Just Announced

By: BrownWinick | 03.16.2020

  Governor Reynolds just announced a plan to provide assistance for employers and employees affected by COVID-19-related layoffs. If an employee is laid off due to COVID-19 or stays home to self-isolate, care for family members, or because they themselves are ill due to COVID-19, those employees might be eligible to receive unemployment benefits if Read…

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

By: BrownWinick | 03.11.2020

As can be seen from the stockpiling of goods, many people are frightened by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. However, employers must not act out of fear and assumptions, but based upon facts, guidance from the government and the law. For example, the CDC provides the following sage advice for employers, “Do not make determinations of Read…

Coronavirus — Advance Planning is Key

By: BrownWinick | 03.10.2020

  As instances of the coronavirus are on the rise both nationally and across Iowa, it’s important for businesses to assess their contingency and disaster plans. Yesterday, Governor Kim Reynolds signed a disaster proclamation following the Iowa Department of Public Health’s confirmation of 8 cases of COVID-19 in Iowa. The threat is real and requires Read…