Last Wednesday, as part of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s EXCEL Conference, three of us (me and two of the EEOC’s education and outreach coordinators) gazed into our crystal ball to predict some of the issues that employers will face as more employees return to the workplace.
Among other things, we addressed mental health concerns, friction between vaxxed and unvaxxed workers, and balancing remote work with maintaining workplace culture and fostering DEI.
Throwing caution to the wind, we let Zoom attendees turn on their cameras and unmute themselves. But, knock wood, it was a captivating hour with thoughtful audience contributions. Plus, the session maintained its PG rating throughout.
So with the EEOC’s blessing, I’m going to run it back this Friday at noon EDT on Zoom live for readers of this blog. I may have a special guest or two co-hosting. But, I’m looking for you to turn out and participate as we try to answer more of the questions that employers will have as employees continue to return to the workplace.
(Just without providing any legal advice or creating any attorney-client privilege.)
For example, can you fire an employee who refuses to work when others don’t wear masks at work? This recent National Labor Relations Board advice memo concluded that an employer lawfully discharged an employee last year when COVID-19 restrictions were much tighter because he refused to work unless the employer stopped allowing patrons to enter the workplace.
However, the same employee complained in a group meeting about employees not being paid for time spent cleaning. The memo suggested that has there been a nexus between the termination and the group meeting complaint the outcome would have changed.
We’ll tackle issues like these and whatever else is giving you heartburn about COVID-19 and return to work.
If this interests you, go ahead and register here.