The Occupational Safety and Health Administration released guidance aimed at protecting nursing home workers from Covid-19 exposure. Among other things, the guidance recommends the increased use of N95 respirators by nursing home workers. As Bloomberg reports, nursing homes in the US have dealt with catastrophic outbreaks of coronavirus. Over 250,000 nursing home residents have tested positive for Covid-19 and more than 60,000 have died. OHSA’s new guidelines aim to help ensure nursing home workers are better protected while also minimizing the risk that the workers themselves contribute to spreading the virus within a home.
A former Microsoft executive is suing the company for gender discrimination. The former executive, Sophia Zouras alleges she faced gender discrimination, physical and verbal harassment, a hostile work environment, and unlawful termination at the hands of the company. According to Zouras’s complaint, her supervisor artificially deflated and misrepresented her achievements, cheated her out of credit for business deals, and diverted business opportunities to her male colleagues. After reporting the discrimination to superiors, Zouras was told to stop making complaints and was eventually terminated. The complaint was filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
For the second time in as many months, McDonald’s is being sued by Black franchisees alleging racial discrimination. According to the newest complaint, filed in the Northern District of Illinois, McDonald’s Corp. steered Black franchise owners to open restaurants in neighborhoods where they were doomed to fail. Specifically, the complaint alleges that McDonald’s pushed Black franchisees to areas with high overhead costs—areas which White franchisees refused to open restaurants. The complaint was filed by James Byrd Jr. and Darrell Bird, two Tennessee franchisees on behalf of themselves and McDonald’s other 186 Black franchisees. McDonald’s was hit with a similar lawsuit in early September by 56 of the company’s Black franchise owners. In response to the first suit, the company reportedly offered Black owners rent reductions and other benefits.
And finally, several states are suing to reverse the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s decision to limit state and local agencies’ access to its workplace diversity data. Prior to a policy shift last May, state and local workplace civil rights agencies had unrestricted access to EEOC survey data breaking down workplace diversity by employer. The May policy restricted this access, including by only allowing access to specific employer data if that employer had a charge of discrimination brought against it. Now, California, Maryland and Minnesota are seeking to reverse this policy in California federal court. The states argue that the EEOC’s decision obstructs state agencies’ abilities to enforce workplace civil rights and violates the EEOC’s own mandate.