Photo of Tracey Diamond

Tracey Diamond counsels clients on workplace issues, provides harassment training, conducts internal investigations, drafts policies and procedures, negotiates employment and severance agreements, advises on independent contractor, FMLA and ADA compliance issues, and partners with clients to structure their workforce in the most efficient and effective way possible.

Q. Have any court rulings upheld the denial of requests for exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine?

A. Yes. Coming on the heels of President Joe Biden’s plan to require millions of workers to receive COVID-19 vaccinations, many employers either have already implemented or have begun implementing vaccine mandates. As expected, these mandates have triggered some employee pushback, particularly from those requesting an exemption from the vaccine requirement based on a disability or religious belief. While there have not been many published decisions on this issue yet, one recent decision from the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas provides guidance to employers in determining whether a request for exemption from a vaccine mandate based on a religious belief must be accommodated.


Continue Reading Pennsylvania State Court Rules That Private Employer May Deny Exemption Request From COVID-19 Vaccination

Q: What do employers need to know about the Biden administration’s new vaccine mandate?

A: Following the Biden administration’s September 9 announcement, employers are brimming with questions about the forthcoming White House COVID-19 vaccination mandate plan. Must all employers mandate the vaccine? Which employees are covered? When will the requirements take effect? What steps should employers take now to prepare? These and many other questions are yet to have complete answers. With the new rules expected to impact as many as 100 million workers (and with them, a significant number of businesses), employers should begin to prepare as soon as possible. Here’s what we know and what employers need to consider.


Continue Reading Biden Administration Announces Vaccination Mandate Rules

Q: Does the ADA apply to internet-only businesses?

A: The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York recently ruled that the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) does not apply to websites that maintain no connection to a brick-and-mortar retail location based on a strict construction of the statutory language. Currently, the circuits are split as to the standard to be met for the ADA to apply to a website, and it remains to be seen whether the Second Circuit or other federal district courts will adopt the same rationale to afford a safe harbor for web-only retailers.
Continue Reading NY District Court Rules ADA Does Not Apply to Internet-Only Businesses

* Faith Simms is a 2021 summer associate at Troutman Pepper. She is not admitted to practice law.

Q: Can an employer be found liable for terminating an employee for misconduct after an investigation initiated by a biased supervisor?

A: In a recent decision issued by the Seventh Circuit, Vesey v. Envoy Air, Inc., the court held that the employer was not liable under the cat’s paw theory even though the investigation leading to the employee’s termination was initiated by a biased manager. The cat’s paw theory of liability applies to circumstances where a biased individual, who lacks decision-making power, influences the decision-maker into taking adverse employment action against the employee.


Continue Reading Seventh Circuit Dismisses Retaliation Claim Brought Under Cat’s Paw Theory of Liability

Register Here
Thursday, July 15 • 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. ET

Please join members of the Troutman Pepper Labor and Employment and Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Teams, along with guest Steve Kapper, Associate Client Partner at Korn Ferry, as they discuss the “new” workplace and how to prepare for the next pandemic/economic recession.

Our

* Michael T. Byrne is a 2021 summer associate at Troutman Pepper. He is not admitted to practice law.

Q: Are California employers required to rehire employees they laid off for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic?

A: Yes, but only if the employer falls within certain industries and establishes an open job position for which one of its laid-off employees is qualified. Under California’s Senate Bill No. 93 (SB 93), if a covered employer opens a job position and has previously laid off workers due to reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the employer must first offer the position to eligible laid-off employees within five days of establishing the position.


Continue Reading California Provides Right to Recall to Certain Employees Laid off Due to COVID-19

* Sean M. Craig is a 2021 summer associate at Troutman Pepper. He is not admitted to practice law.

Q: Does Philadelphia have any laws regulating drug testing for marijuana? 

A: Philadelphia recently passed an ordinance that prohibits employers from requiring “a prospective employee to submit to testing for the presence of marijuana in such prospective employee’s system as a condition of employment.” The ordinance will take effect on January 1, 2022, and applies to any person doing business in the city who employs one or more employees.

The ordinance does not prohibit pre-employment testing of certain types of employees, including police and other law enforcement positions, any position requiring a commercial driver’s license, and any position that requires the supervision or care of children, medical patients, disabled people, and other vulnerable persons. Also, there are exceptions from the pre-employment testing prohibition, for instance, where drug testing would otherwise be required by applicable law, including a federal or state statute or regulation; where the federal government requires testing as a condition of the receipt of a contract or grant; or where testing is pursuant to a valid collective bargaining agreement.
Continue Reading New Philadelphia Ordinance Prohibits Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing

Q: What does the latest decision on joint employer liability mean for businesses?

A: On September 8, 2020, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a decision overturning the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) March 2020 Final Rule, which had adopted a narrow four-factor test for determining joint employer liability in “vertical” employment relationships, such as contractor/subcontractor, franchisor/franchisee and company/staffing agency relationships. The test set forth in the Final Rule looked at whether the putative joint employer (i) hires or fires the employee; (ii) supervises and controls the employee’s work schedule or conditions of employment to a substantial degree; (iii)  determines the employee’s rate and method of payment; and (iv) maintains the employee’s employment records. These factors looked to the degree of control as the standard for determining joint employment, which was a sharp departure from prior DOL guidance which looked more broadly at the economic dependence between the parties.
Continue Reading Southern District of New York Judge Strikes Down Department of Labor Standard for Joint Employment

HiringToFiring.Law is your go-to blog for information and guidance on every phase of employment — from interviewing potential candidates, to the first day of work, to the difficult decision to let someone go. Our authors cover the intersection of employment law, human resources counseling and employment litigation, where no question is too small in the