American Society of Employers - Michael Burns

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OSHA Issues Updated COVID-19 Safety ETS and General Industry Guidance

15 June 2021

OSHA Issues Updated COVID-19 Safety ETS and General Industry Guidance

Author: Michael Burns

Last Thursday the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published two directives addressing COVID-19 workplace safety. The formal regulatory standard called the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) covers health care workers. These apply to hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, emergency responders, home health care workers, and employees that do ambulatory care. The ETS rules for these categories of covered jobs are workplace requirements.
U.S. Supreme Court Limits Employers’ Recourse Against Errant Employee Computer Usage

8 June 2021

U.S. Supreme Court Limits Employers’ Recourse Against Errant Employee Computer Usage

Author: Michael Burns

As the U.S. Supreme Court’s (SCOTUS) 20/21 term wraps up, last week it issued a ruling impacting employers’ employee computer usage policy. In its Van Buren v. United States (No.19-783) case SCOTUS ruled the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) could not be used against employee abuse of company owned computers and databases. 

EEOC and OSHA COVID Related Updates for This Week

1 June 2021

EEOC and OSHA COVID Related Updates for This Week

Author: Michael Burns

Following the May 25th Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) COVID-19 and vaccination guidance revisions, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its technical guidance for employers regarding incentivization of vaccination programs.

MIOSHA Modifies Emergency COVID-19 Workplace Safety Rules and Withdraws its Proposed Permanent Workplace Safety Rules

25 May 2021

MIOSHA Modifies Emergency COVID-19 Workplace Safety Rules and Withdraws its Proposed Permanent Workplace Safety Rules

Author: Michael Burns

On Monday, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Agency (MIOSHA) changed its COVID-19 emergency rule on workplace safety protocols following the Governor’s previous announcement of the same more than a week ago. Employers have waited for MIOSHA to catch-up to the Governor’s announcement last week, being caught between the Governor’s office change and MIOSHA’s existing rules published last October.

Michigan Starts Loosening Public Pandemic Safety Rules. Employers Are Told to Follow MDHHS While They Await MIOSHA Updates.

18 May 2021

Michigan Starts Loosening Public Pandemic Safety Rules. Employers Are Told to Follow MDHHS While They Await MIOSHA Updates.

Author: Michael Burns

Michigan reached the first stage of the Governor’s Vacc to Normal plan with over 55% of Michigan’s population now having at least one COVID-19 vaccination. As of May 24th the work from home order will be rescinded. In addition, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) revised its masking rules, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) updated its Gathering and Face Mask Order to coincide with those new rules.

U.S. DOL Pulls Trump-Era Independent Contractor Rules

11 May 2021

U.S. DOL Pulls Trump-Era Independent Contractor Rules

Author: Michael Burns

Last week the U.S. Department of Labor officially repealed the Trump rules on independent contractor status. Going back to the Obama Administration, the Trump rules loosened up a very strict or narrow definition of independent contractor that virtually had eliminated most forms of independent contractor status.

Biden Moves on Several Fronts to Turn Federal Labor Law in Favor of Organizing

4 May 2021

Biden Moves on Several Fronts to Turn Federal Labor Law in Favor of Organizing

Author: Michael Burns

As EPTW has previously stated, President Biden is not just a pro-labor supporter in order to get their election endorsement. He is reportedly a true believer.

One More Employer Vaccination Concern - OSHA Reporting

27 April 2021

One More Employer Vaccination Concern - OSHA Reporting

Author: Michael Burns

SE is getting quite a few questions from employers surrounding vaccination policy and practice. Employers are advised to make vaccination a voluntary practice.  In other words, do not mandate vaccinations if it is not absolutely necessary. Mandating vaccinations opens employers up to not just employee relations issues but as of last week, OSHA would also require employers that mandate vaccines to record adverse reactions from the vaccination as a recordable workplace illness on their...
Bereavement Leave Benefit – What’s Trending

20 April 2021

Bereavement Leave Benefit – What’s Trending

Author: Michael Burns

With the reality that the loss of a loved one can be one of the most difficult challenges a person will ever face, most employers have provided a bereavement benefit consisting of three days (sometimes more) of pay. The historical purpose for this benefit was so an employee could make funeral arrangements but has not historically provided a lot of time for the personal grieving process.

Amazon Workers Vote Down Union in Huge Big-Labor Defeat

13 April 2021

Amazon Workers Vote Down Union in Huge Big-Labor Defeat

Author: Michael Burns

Last week the National Labor Relations Board finished tallying the union election votes at Amazon’s Bessemer, Alabama warehouse facility. The union lost – 1,798 against vs. 738 votes for unionization. A huge defeat for organized labor.
Michigan Employer Workplace Pandemic Safety Regulations Are Still in Effect

6 April 2021

Michigan Employer Workplace Pandemic Safety Regulations Are Still in Effect

Author: Michael Burns

ASE is receiving calls asking whether worker pandemic safety rules are still in effect. Yes, they are. MIOSHA Emergency Rules put in place last October remain in effect until at least April 16th and are, at this point with Michigan cases on the rise, expected to be extended possibly for another six months.

Employee Speaking to Reporter Was Protected Concerted Activity

30 March 2021

Employee Speaking to Reporter Was Protected Concerted Activity

Author: Michael Burns

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) held that an employer committed an unfair labor practice when it fired an employee for participating in an interview with a journalist about minimum wage law in Arkansas.

Center for Disease Control (CDC) Issues Employer Vaccination Program Guidance

23 March 2021

Center for Disease Control (CDC) Issues Employer Vaccination Program Guidance

Author: Michael Burns

Last week the CDC published guidance for employer vaccination programs. The CDC is encouraging employers to promote the value of getting vaccinated as soon as possible. This includes building employee confidence toward getting vaccinated, helping determine when employees can get vaccinated, deciding whether onsite or offsite vaccination programs make sense to promote, and suggestions about how to avoid workers unexpectedly having to be off work due to vaccine side effects.

Questions to Consider if Your Organization is Evaluating the Use of Vaccine Passports

16 March 2021

Questions to Consider if Your Organization is Evaluating the Use of Vaccine Passports

Author: Michael Burns

Vaccine passports, documentation that an individual received a vaccination and is presumably better protected against a virus or has recently been tested and found negative, are being debated and considered by many before allowing employees to return to work. Having one’s shots to travel internationally is not new. But expanding the use of a vaccine passport for entry into concert venues, sport events, or using that passport to come to work is new.

What Should Your Organization Be “Skilling” Toward?

9 March 2021

What Should Your Organization Be “Skilling” Toward?

Author: Michael Burns

Skill:  noun – In the workplace it is “A particular ability that you develop through training and experience and that is useful in a job.”

Skilling: noun/verb – Also in the workplace is “The action of training a worker to do a particular task.”

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