From the coronavirus outbreak to a Supreme Court decision on discrimination, 2020 will be another big year for employment law. Here’s insight from an employment attorney on a few employment trends to watch for in 2020.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Challenges to Employee Leave and Workplace Safety Issues
With many experts expecting the spread of coronavirus to continue, employers will likely have to address leave and workplace safety issues on a new level. For example, many are predicting that employees will be directed to stay home because of their own illness, a relative’s illness, concerns they might become ill, or school closings. An employment attorney can advise employers if state or local paid-sick-leave laws cover such situations. Additionally, companies will be well-served to contact an employment attorney to review or draft communicable disease policies and procedures.
Is Sexual Orientation or Transgender Status a Protected Category?
In October 2019, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in three cases related to whether sexual orientation or transgender status fall within Title VII’s ban on sex-based discrimination. The Second Circuit and Eleventh Circuit reached opposite conclusions on the issue. In addition, the Supreme Court justices appeared divided at oral arguments, making it difficult to predict the ultimate outcome. Whatever the outcome, employment lawyers expect the decisions to have a significant impact on discrimination law. Look for the opinions in June.
Continued Pressure to End Mandatory Arbitration
Recently, Wells Fargo joined a growing number of employers, like Google and Facebook, ending mandatory arbitration of workplace sexual harassment claims. Wells Fargo admitted it reviewed its policies due in large part to external pressure from an investor group. Similarly, Google expanded its ban to include all mandatory arbitration due to continued pressure from its employees. Some states have also passed laws to end mandatory arbitration of sexual harassment claims. Employment attorneys expect to see how challenges to those laws play out in 2020.
Rogge Dunn Group will continue to monitor emerging employment trends throughout the year. The labor and employment lawyers at Rogge Dunn Group have the experience needed to successfully prevent and/or resolve employment disputes. Moreover, three of the firm’s lawyers are Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. For more information, contact Rogge Dunn Group here.