On June 9, 2022, Tyson Foods and its subsidiary, The Hillshire Brands Company, were sued over alleged employment discrimination. The lawsuit is by a former employee, Redina Hayslett, who claims she was terminated after refusing the COVID-19 vaccine on religious grounds.

Why it Matters:

We previously predicted companies should prepare for a litigation trend over

Magic Mushrooms and workplace discriminationLast week Amazon was sued over alleged employment law violations. The lawsuit asserts the plaintiff was unlawfully terminated after reporting a co-worker for using mushrooms that naturally contained an active but illegal psychoactive chemical called psilocybin.

Why it Matters:

Psilocybin and similar psychedelic compounds are considered Schedule I substances. This means they are illegal under

Workplace StressThe Michigan Dept. of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) established a dedicated workgroup to focus on mental health, trauma, and resiliency in the workplace. The workgroup recently released its findings. The report also offers strategies for employers to help build supportive workplaces by integrating employee mental health strategies that establish healthier workplaces, enhance employee wellbeing

Trade secret misappropriationA recently filed trade secret misappropriation lawsuit in the Michigan Eastern District Federal Court is a good reminder for both employers and individuals about the dangers stemming from not protecting or wrongfully using confidential or trade secret information.

Going Deeper:

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Van Dyke Horn LLC, a public relations company.

Covid Religious Discrimination ClaimsOn May 17, 2022, the Mayo Clinic was sued by a former employee who believes her religious freedoms were violated by the Clinic’s workplace vaccine policies. Notably, Mayo Clinic accepted the plaintiff’s request for a religious exemption from its vaccine requirement. But the employee, Sherry Ihde, claims Mayo Clinic’s requirement that employees exempt from the

Springing noncompete restrictions on job applicantsCVS Pharmacy Inc. sued online pharmacy retailer Capital Rx Inc., claiming the web-based business is trying to keep a former employee from working for CVS. The lawsuit, filed on 9/16/2021, claims Capital Rx’s noncompete agreement violates Massachusetts law.

Why It Matters:

CVS’ lawsuit highlights an all-too-common issue new hires often face – the surprise non-compete

Dreadlock race discrimination A Michigan bill to amend Michigan’s principal anti-discrimination statute to explicitly ban race-based hair discrimination, e.g., prohibiting discrimination based on hair texture and style, has stalled in the state legislature.

Specifically, Michigan House Bill 4275, also called the CROWN Act (an acronym standing for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair), was introduced

unfair competition
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President Biden signed an Executive Order broadly targeting anti-competitive tactics that disadvantage smaller businesses and people.

One aspect of this order targets the use of noncompete agreements. Under the Order, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is encouraged to ban or limit noncompete agreements.

The noncompete provision of the Order