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Employment is being talked about in entirely new ways across the United States, particularly in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. We recently discussed the four lessons we learned while working from home, which is still the reality for many, and we’re also seeing legal strides in the areas of diversity and inclusion.

These articles particularly resonated with us:

1. The American Bar Association’s recent article, Lawyering in Color: The Ethics of Diversity and Inclusion

For attorneys of color, there was no explicit recourse for discrimination and bias until August 2016, when the American Bar Association formally adopted Model Rule 8.4(g), which made critical changes to the Model Rules. This rule expanded the list of protected classes to include marital status, ethnicity, and gender identity and expanded the scope of the rules to include “conduct related to the practice of law.” Additionally a “knowledge/intent requirement” was added. More recently, on November 1, 2019, attorney David Douglass introduced a revised Model Rule 8.5 designed to further highlight and eliminate bias in the legal profession. This article gives an excellent accounting of both rules.

2. Inverse.com’s article, 4 Tips for Dealing with a Workplace Bully

This article gives four solid tips to prevent “work incivility from hijacking life in and outside the office” as well as physical and mental exercises to lessen the stress this toxic environment places on workers.

3. Last week’s article from Newsday, Updated EEOC guidance ‘reminding everyone of what they should be doing anyhow’

As employees continue to return to the office after the coronavirus shutdown, workplaces must navigate new workplace requirements that can be tricky and costly for employers. Experts in the article urge employers to quit making assumptions about their staff’s needs as “more and more COVID-related workplace issues are coming up daily that employers really never had to deal with before.” The guidance also addresses pandemic-related harassment, and reasonable accommodations in the workplace.

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