July 08, 2021

Labor and Employment Newsletter

3 min


A Pandemic Within the Pandemic? Preventing Workplace Violence

Stories of workplace violence dominated the news in the first half of 2021. Three of the ten deadliest workplace shootings of the last 40 years occurred in the last six months alone. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, intentional acts of violence are the third leading cause of fatal occupational injuries—in 2019, nearly 10% of fatal workplace injuries (454 of 5,333) were not accidents but were intentionally caused by another person. But while the worst instances of workplace violence grab more of our attention, the vast majority are nonfatal yet serious injuries that often go unreported by both the media and the victims. As we move into the second half of the year, these harrowing reminders of the dangers of workplace violence should prompt employers to review the measures they have implemented to reduce the risks of violence against their employees.

Masks No Longer Required in California for Fully Vaccinated Workers in Most Settings (Including Indoor Office Spaces)

As of Thursday, June 17, 2021, California employers can allow fully vaccinated workers to shed their masks at work in most settings, including office spaces. Unvaccinated workers must continue to wear masks indoors. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal-OSHA) voted 5-1 on Thursday to approve new workplace safety regulations for California employers, replacing stricter rules in effect since November 2020. By executive order from Governor Newsom, the new regulations are effective immediately. Click below for the highlights.

Supreme Court Labor Decision Trims Union Access to the Workplace

On June 23, 2021 the Supreme Court held that a California regulation allowing union organizers a right to enter an agricultural employer's private property to recruit and organize agricultural workers violated the employer's federal constitutional rights. This decision is consistent with a string of other recent Supreme Court decisions that have narrowed labor unions' power to recruit and fund their memberships. Although based on a regulation in California, this decision has national implications because it is rooted in the United States Constitution. Click below for a discussion of the case and its potential scope.

Education Roundup – Planning Ahead: How Independent Schools Can Leverage the Summer Months to Best Prepare for the Next School Year

For most independent schools, the 2020-2021 school year has finally come to a close. While we hope that administrators and staff take a well-deserved rest after a particularly challenging year, schools would be wise to take time over the summer months to plan ahead for the upcoming school year. Click below to read about some key issues that independent schools should consider for the upcoming school year.

Attorney Spotlight

Robin BurroughsWhy are you passionate about this practice?

Robin Burroughs: Every employment dispute involves real people, real lives, and real emotions; my work is never dull. I am often dealing with difficult or painful subjects, and people with challenging personalities. Many people’s lives are understandably tied up in their jobs – they may be protecting a business they built from the ground up or the career they love that feeds their family. Even when the value of a legal claim is low, the stakes in employment disputes are always high. It is this human component that makes employment law demanding, challenging, and incredibly rewarding.

About the Labor and Employment Group

The bicoastal, 40-person Labor and Employment team at Venable provides guidance and support across the full spectrum of workplace dynamics – helping employers control costs, avoid disputes, and defend themselves when litigation arises. As co-editors of this newsletter, Michael Volpe and Doreen Martin invite you to share the content with your colleagues and reach out with any questions.