FP snapshot of the manufacturing industry: January 2022 | Fisher Phillips


Welcome to FP Snapshot on Manufacturing Industry, where we take a quick look at the key labor law developments over the past month, with a focus on how they affect manufacturers.

Is COVID-19 a Disability?

Manufacturers should be aware of the latest guidance from the EEOC that COVID-19 can be considered a disability under the ADA as an employee working with such a disability could cause safety issues in a manufacturing facility. Examples of possible impairments caused by the virus that could be considered a disability according to the EEOC are dizziness, “brain fog”, memory or concentration difficulties, shortness of breath and associated fatigue.

An employee susceptible to such medical issues could pose a safety issue on the floor of a manufacturing facility – and you obviously want to avoid such situations. However, if such an employee can trace these issues back to a previous diagnosis of COVID-19, you will need to engage in the interactive process to avoid legal issues while ensuring the highest safety standards are maintained. Manufacturers may therefore consider introducing a process to better handle requests for reasonable accommodation from employees diagnosed with COVID-19 while taking steps to protect employees.

Prepare for a looser common employment regime in 2022

Manufacturers can expect some difficult news in February as the National Labor Relations Board is expected to introduce a union-friendly common employment rule that will make it easier for workers to be considered employed for industrial relations by more than one job. While you may have been frustrated by the yo-yo of the standard over the past six or seven years – going from one narrow rule to one broad and then back to one again – you need to prepare again for things to change.

This has the greatest impact on your company in the area of ​​personnel agreements with third-party providers. For manufacturers who rely on PEO workforce, agency workers, contract workers, or other similar arrangements, spend the next month reviewing the contracts and procedures related to your relationships – with a particular focus on reviewing contractual scrutiny rights ( both directly). and indirectly) working conditions. The language of the contract is often an important factor in determining the status of a joint employer and we anticipate that it will play a crucial role in the new regime that is about to be introduced.

The best of the rest

Some other critical developments over the past month that you may have overlooked:


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