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Continuation of Pandemic-Related Remote Work as an ADA Accommodation: Lessons from the EEOC’s First Lawsuit

By Janet Hendrick Employers can glean valuable takeaways from the EEOC’s recent lawsuit against a facility management company, the EEOC’s first case alleging disability discrimination for an employer’s refusal to allow an employee to continue to work from home following pandemic-related remote work.  On September 7, 2021, the EEOC filed suit in federal court in […]

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Biden orders private companies and healthcare institutions to mandate employee vaccines

By Lauren Barghols Hanna Yesterday afternoon, President Biden announced a series of executive actions and new federal rules to increase the number of vaccinated American workers. Noting that COVID-19 has killed more than 650,000 in the last 18 months, President Biden announced several expected executive orders and a forthcoming emergency OSHA rule. The expected rule […]

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Notice to Oklahoma landlords: The door to residential evictions is now open

By Ashley M. Schovanec For the past seventeen months, many Oklahoma landlords were prevented from evicting tenants for the nonpayment of rent due to various federal eviction moratoriums. Thanks to a recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, the latest eviction moratorium has now been declared unlawful and landlords are free to move forward with […]

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Q&A: Understanding divorce from start to finish

By Molly E. Tipton Q: My spouse and I want to get a divorce, does it matter who files first? There is no hypothetical race to the court house in order to be the first spouse to file in a divorce proceeding. The filing party is referred to as the “Petitioner” and the responding party […]

Is this the end of non-compete clauses in America?

By Janet A. Hendrick and Angela M. Buchanan For decades, non-compete clauses and other restrictive covenants have protected American businesses from unfair competition by preventing departing employees from working for a direct competitor for a specified time and within a specified geographical area.  Today, non-competes are still a useful tool, but their effectiveness depends on […]

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As Dallas businesses scramble to comply with murky mask mandate, Governor files court challenge

By Janet A. Hendrick On the heels of Dallas County Judge Tonya Parker’s August 10, 2021 temporary restraining order nullifying Governor Abbott’s July 2021 prohibition on mask mandates within Dallas County, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins issued an order mandating masks for many Dallas employers effective August 12, 2021.  In addition to requiring universal indoor […]

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Bankruptcy filings broke pattern in 2020, fell during pandemic onset

By Clayton D. Ketter This article appeared as a Guest Column in The Oklahoman on August 9, 2021. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, it was impossible to predict how the disruptions would affect the economy. Whole industries, such as restaurants, beauty salons, and tourism, were shuttered or significantly curtailed. Many individuals found themselves suddenly without […]

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Texas Small Businesses Beware: New Laws Expand Liability for Sexual Harassment Claims

By Janet A. Hendrick and Laurel L. Baker September 1, 2021 marks the beginning of a new era for sexual harassment claims against employers in Texas. Texas is notorious for protecting its pro-employer policies, but recent legislation goes against the grain to make all businesses, regardless of size, subject to liability for sexual harassment claims. […]

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Biden DOL Rescinds Trump Administration’s Joint Employer Rule

By Janet A. Hendrick and Phoebe B. Mitchell On July 29, 2021, the Department of Labor (DOL) rescinded the Trump Administration’s joint employer rule under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This pro-worker change makes it more likely that an employer will be considered a “joint employer” and liable for another employer’s actions under the […]

Biden administration aims to limit non-compete agreements

By Janet A. Hendrick and Martin J. Lopez III This article appeared as a Guest Column in The Journal Record on July 14, 2021. On July 9, President Biden issued Promoting Competition in the American Economy, a sweeping policy-based executive order that purports to encourage innovation and competition in the American workplace. Earlier that day, […]

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Executive order addresses cybersecurity

By Natalie M. McMahan This article appeared as a Guest Column in The Journal Record on June 23, 2021. Cybercriminals have held a number of industries hostage in recent months, and otherwise exploited companies’ vulnerabilities to profit directly from the stolen data. Most notably, ransomware attacks shut down meat producer JBS and the Colonial Pipeline. […]

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OSHA issues COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard for healthcare employers

On June 10, OSHA issued its long-awaited Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) regarding mandatory safety standards for COVID-19 for healthcare employers, which outlines what healthcare employers must do to protect healthcare workers from COVID-19. OSHA also issued voluntary guidelines for employers outside of the healthcare sector.

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Employment Law Update: EEOC’s Latest Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccines

By Janet A. Hendrick and Kim Beight Kelly On May 28, 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published 21 updated FAQs supplementing its guidance on workplace COVID-19 vaccination policies.  This represents the EEOC’s first comprehensive update of its guidance regarding COVID-19 since December 2020, prior to large-scale vaccine availability.  Notably, the EEOC prepared […]

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E-Discovery in a Post-COVID World

When it comes to e-discovery, savvy litigants and litigators who take the time to proactively tweak their practices now will be well-positioned for effective advocacy (and intact litigation budgets) in a post-COVID world.

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Oklahoma medical marijuana license holders could face custody issues

By Cassity B. Gies On June 26, 2018, Oklahoma voters approved State Question 788, legalizing cultivation, use, and possession of medical marijuana. Almost three years after passing with 57% of voter support, our state struggles to manage the competing interests surrounding a legal concept colored with controversial opinions, long standing prejudices, and discriminatory undertones that […]