Indiana Businesses: Do You Have Your Required COVID-19 Business Plan in Place?

by Shannon Middleton

Governor Holcomb’s Executive Order 20-43, signed on September 24, 2020 requires all businesses situated or operating in Indiana to create a COVID-19 response plan outlining measures and safeguards for the safety of employees, customers, clients and members of the public. The plan must be provided to all employees and posted publicly. Existing policies should be reviewed and updated to reflect current practices and standards.

The minimum requirements of the COVID-19 response plan include:

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What the Booking.com Decision Means for Trademarking Generic Names

by Greg Geiser

Recently, the Supreme Court provided some clarity and guidance to trademark protection for generic terms registered as a domain and used as a trademark. In Patent and Trademark Office v. Booking.com B. V., No. 19-46 (U.S. Jun. 30, 2020), the Court held that the mark “Booking.com” is not generic and is capable of trademark registration, even though the term “booking” is generic for a class of goods and services related to online hotel registrations. Essentially, the Patent and Trademark Office was arguing for a bright line rule that the addition of a generic Internet-domain-name suffix to an already generic term, for a related category of goods, is also generic; i.e. one cannot trademark the term “generic.com” for a generic description of a category of goods.

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COVID-19: The Heightened Risk of Litigation for Employers

by Hayes Cronk

In continuation of our recent commentary on the COVID-19 pandemic, we're examining the latest litigation risks for employers in today's blog post. Because of COVID-19, employers of all sizes have been forced to make difficult decisions regarding employment. These decisions have led to furloughs, increased sick leave, productivity concerns, pay cuts, and termination of employees, all of which ultimately raise litigation concerns.

The boundary between termination and retention is more blurred than ever before. And this lack of distinction naturally leads to contract claims. Additionally, termination can raise non-compete issues if an employee is subject to a non-compete covenant, as well as wrongful termination issues.

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Gutwein Law's Return to Work Resource Guide

by Karen Young

Whether your company or organization was deemed essential or not – we all want to be careful around co-workers and colleagues – as well as clients and customers – from now on. A multitude of articles have been published and posts have been posted on all the considerations to account for as businesses and organizations re-open their doors and bring back furloughed or quarantined employees. The list below is a compilation of the resources we believe will provide you with the most helpful information as you navigate returning your office, plant, school, or facility.

We will keep updating this chart with recent changes and additions that may impact your place of work and employees.

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Supreme Court Expands Title VII Employment Discrimination Protection

by Shannon Middleton

On Monday of this week, a divided U.S. Supreme Court decided a landmark employment law case.  In Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, the U.S. Supreme Court found that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination in employment, includes sexual orientation and gender identity.  Title VII applies to employers with 15 or more employees in 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year.  Title VII prohibits discriminating against an individual with respect to employment decisions, compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of an individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.   

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