Efforts to Outlaw Race-Based Hair Discrimination Gain Traction: What Employers Need to Know about the CROWN Act

In 2010, Catastrophe Management Solutions hired Chastity Jones. Jones, a black woman, was fired after she refused to cut her dreadlocks to comply with CMS’s employee grooming standards. The EEOC sued, arguing that Jones’s dismissal amounted to race discrimination. But the courts disagreed, finding Jones’s dreadlocks were not a fixed (i.e., immutable) trait constituting “race” …read more »

Lessons in Labor: Takeaways from Recent Unionization Efforts Across the Country

Seemingly every day, there is a new headline regarding worker unionization. Since the summer of 2021, workers at over 200 Starbucks locations across the country have expressed interest in organization activity and have explored the possibility of unionization. In another recent example, in April 2022 Amazon workers voted to unionize a warehouse in Staten Island, …read more »

Returning to the Office: (Re)-Creating a Positive Work Environment and Avoiding the Activision Blizzard Scenario

Many workplaces have fully re-opened in the last few months and employees are being required to return to the office, at least on a part-time basis.  With so many people back in the office after a two-year hiatus and interacting in-person with supervisors and co-workers on a daily basis, there are going to be challenges …read more »

MD Lawyers Featured in Texas Lawyer on Lessons Learned Two Years After the Start of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Texas Lawyer magazine has published an Muskat Devine article entitled, “COVID-19 at Two Years: What Have We Learned?” The article, written by Mike Muskat, Michelle Mahony, Corey Devine, Mariah Berry, and Nicole Su, identifies the lessons “that may reshape the future of labor and employment law long after COVID-19 becomes a routine workplace risk to …read more »

COVID at Two Years: What Have We Learned?

It has been just over two years since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first domestic case of COVID.  Now, the U.S. has confirmed over 78 million novel coronavirus cases and 940,000 deaths.  To say that the pandemic upended our lives is an understatement.  Employers, of course, were not spared strain and …read more »

‘Inclusion is Not Assimilation:’ Muskat Devine Attorney Mariah Berry Featured in Texas Lawbook on Law Firm Diversity and Inclusion

  In recognition of Black History Month, Texas Lawbook has published an article by Muskat Devine attorney Mariah Berry on law firm diversity. “Law Firm Culture: Inclusion Is Not Assimilation” (subscription required) discusses why the biggest impediment to achieving true diversity in the legal profession is not recruiting diverse attorneys but retaining them. The reason: …read more »

Muskat Devine’s Proposed New Year’s Resolutions for Employers

The lawyers at Muskat Devine have created a list of proposed New Year’s resolutions for you and your company to consider in the upcoming year. We hope you find them helpful. From everyone at Muskat Devine, Happy New Year and all the best in 2022!   Resolve to Implement an Updated (and Lawful) Workplace COVID …read more »

Muskat Devine Partners Featured in Texas Lawyer Magazine on Biggest Challenges for Employers in 2022

Texas Lawyer magazine has published an article by Muskat Devine partners Mike Muskat and Michelle Mahony highlighting the legal issues employers should consider and prepare for heading into 2022. “Four Key Legal Challenges for Employers in 2022” (subscription required) aims to guide businesses as they navigate the many changes expected in the new year. In …read more »

New COVID-19 Vaccination Rules: What Employers Should Know about OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard

In September, President Biden directed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue an emergency temporary standard on COVID-19 applicable to medium-sized and larger employers. This directive was one of a number of executive actions intended to increase significantly vaccination rates in the United States. An emergency temporary standard (ETS) is unusual because it …read more »

The Fifth Circuit Clarifies the Limited Circumstances in Which an Employee Paid on a Day-Rate Basis May Be Exempt from Overtime Pay

In May, we advised employers that the en banc Fifth Circuit was considering the hotly contested issue of whether a flat day rate can be the equivalent of a weekly salary for purposes of meeting the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (“FLSA”) salary basis requirement to be exempt from overtime. Last month, the Court issued its …read more »