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Weekend Roundup: Little Fires Everywhere and Background Checks, Pregnancy Laws, McDonald’s Compliance

In this week’s Weekend Roundup, Hulu’s series Little Fires Everywhere starring Reese Witherspoon and Karee Washington take liberties with employee background checks. Vanderbilt law professor, Jennifer Shinall takes a look at legislation designed to protect pregnant employees. As businesses reopen, Chicago’s McDonald’s Corp. is sued by workers and their families for compliance of health guidelines. Click the headlines below to learn more.

Hulu’s Little Fires Everywhere Takes Liberties with Employee Background Checks

My wife and I are currently binge-watching Little Fires Everywhere, a Hulu miniseries based on a book of the same name. Set in Shaker Heights, Ohio, during the late 1990s, Fires stars Reese Witherspoon as Elena Richardson (a white, married, upper-middle-class newspaper reporter with four children) and Kerry Washington as Mia Warren (a black, single mother who works as an artist and supplements her income through other part-time jobs).

Early in the series, Elena hires Mia to work in her home and rents an apartment to her. Based on concerns arising from a reference check from someone Mia claims to be a former landlord, Elena asks a friend in the police department to conduct a criminal background check on Mia (Elena misleadingly claims that the background check is for a newspaper story).

Which Employment Laws/Policies Actually Help Pregnant Workers?

The difficulties faced by pregnant employees, whether they work in large corporations, local stores, or in the government, are difficult to overstate. A number of federal and state laws, such as the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, are designed to protect pregnant employees from discrimination at work. But the question remains: which types of laws/programs fare better in helping pregnant employees.

Covid-19 Lawsuit Takes On McDonald’s Like It Was A Rowdy Bar

As U.S. businesses reopen, worried workers and their advocates are borrowing a legal strategy commonly used to shut down rowdy topless bars to try and force employers to strengthen protection against further spread of the coronavirus.

Workers and their families at McDonald’s Corp’s Chicago restaurants have filed a class-action lawsuit against the fast-food chain that does not seek money for sick staff, but compliance with health guidance such as providing clean face masks.

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