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EEOC Reminds Employers: Antidiscrimination Laws Continue to Apply During the COVID-19 Pandemic (US)

The United States currently is experiencing an unprecedented public health emergency due to the COVID-19 virus.  The economic fallout of this crisis has been sudden and brutal on US employers, with vast numbers of businesses ordered to close and nearly 1 million new unemployment claims filed in the past two weeks alone.  In response, Congress … Continue Reading

US Department of Labor Publishes Regulations Clarifying Various Aspects of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (US)

Some questions answered, many still remain On April 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released new regulations (29 CFR Part 826), attempting to clarify certain provisions in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  As we previously reported here, under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act provision of the FFCRA, certain public employers and … Continue Reading

UPDATED: New York State Issues Additional Guidance for Emergency Paid Sick Leave Bill (US)

New York State’s COVID-19 sick leave law has been in effect since March 18, 2020 (see our prior posts here and here). Since then, several questions have remained largely unanswered for both New York employers and employees as they navigate the eligibility and application requirements of the new law, which offers individual job-protected paid or … Continue Reading

UPDATE: US Department of Labor Publishes Further Guidance Concerning Paid Sick Leave and Paid FMLA Leave under FFCRA; Finally Clarifies Small Business Exemption (US)

Since the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) became law last week (amazing how long ago that feels, right?), the US Department of Labor (DOL) has been publishing and updating guidance concerning the public health emergency paid sick leave and emergency Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave required under the law.  (See our prior … Continue Reading

US DOL Releases Additional Guidance Regarding Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Coverage, With Special Focus on Employers Facing Furloughs and Worksite Closures

On March 25, we reported that the US Department of Labor (DOL) had begun to release informal guidance regarding its interpretation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which requires that certain employers, including, among others, private employers with fewer than 500  employees, provide paid sick and paid family leave in certain circumstances resulting … Continue Reading

Regulations under Families First Coronavirus Response Act Not Anticipated Until April (US)         

As we previously blogged, last week Congress passed and the President signed into law the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” which contains sweeping provisions requiring employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide emergency paid sick leave and emergency leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to employees impacted by in specific, enumerated … Continue Reading

“Furlough” – 1. Verb (US): grant leave to; 2. Verb (UK): grant hope to

Some recent UK employment legislation has been harder to untangle than a sack of coat-hangers so we must hope that Rishi Sunak’s Job Retention Scheme announced on Friday is simpler than its own publicity suggests. “Furlough”, a US word not previous seen in English employment legislation and now probably the most-googled word in the UK, … Continue Reading

US Department of Homeland Security to Permit Flexibility Relating to I-9 Compliance for Hiring of Remote Employees

On March 20, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it would exercise discretion to defer the physical presence requirements associated with Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) in relation to hiring and re-verifying employees.  Prior to this announcement, DHS policy required employer representatives to conduct the I-9 verification process in person, examining an employee’s … Continue Reading

Employers Can Take Advantage of Tax Credits Offsetting Emergency Leave-Related Expense Under Families First Coronavirus Response Act (US)

What a week it’s been.  As of today, March 21, it has been three days since Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or the Act) and it was signed into law.  It’s also been three days during which employers have faced dwindling workforces due to employees who are self-quarantining due to exposure, … Continue Reading

OFCCP Exempts New Federal Contracts Entered Into to Provide COVID-19 Relief From Certain Equal Employment Opportunity Requirements (US)

On March 17, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued a temporary, three-month exemption from certain equal employment opportunity requirements for new supply and services and construction contracts “entered into specifically to provide Coronavirus relief.”  In the National Interest Exemption Memorandum (NIE Memorandum), the OFCCP provided modified equal … Continue Reading

UPDATE – 20 March 2020:  New York Orders All Non-Essential Workers to Stay Home

With the number of coronavirus cases now topping 7,000 in New York state, on Friday, March 20, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo officially declared that all workers in non-essential businesses across New York state are required to remain at home starting Sunday evening, March 22 in order to combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  Businesses that do … Continue Reading

A WARNing – Business Closings and Mass Layoffs: The Unfortunate Reality In Light of COVID-19 (US)

In light of COVID-19’s global economic impact, employers continue to face the harsh reality that significant and even perhaps permanent changes to their business, including their workforce, will be necessary.  As employers consider their options, unfortunately, closings and mass layoffs are amongst them. In the US, employers must consider the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining … Continue Reading

New York Orders All Non-Essential Businesses to Reduce In-Person Workforce (US)

On March 18, 2020, New York Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order that all non-essential businesses shall reduce their in-person workforce by March 20 at 8 pm.  On March 19, guidance was released clarifying that in-person workforces at each location must be reduced by 75% from pre-state of emergency declaration employment levels.  Employees are of … Continue Reading

Ohio Unemployment Expansions Amidst COVID-19 Crisis (US)

Ohio, like all other states, is facing an unprecedented rise in unemployment claims as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  In Ohio, 111,055 unemployment claims were filed between March 15-18, 2020.  At the same point just one week ago, there were under 4,000 claims.  These numbers are expected to increase in the coming days and … Continue Reading

Staying Open in California (and Elsewhere) During Mandatory Coronavirus-Related Closures (US)

At last count, ten counties in Northern California have issued Health Orders dictating the mandatory shut down of all but “Essential Businesses”.  The Counties are Alameda, Contra Costa, Sacramento, Santa Clara, Marin, San Mateo, San Francisco, Sonoma, Monterey, and San Benito.  These Orders are substantially similar and, as drafted, specify numerous exceptions to permit Essential … Continue Reading

Congress Passes Sweeping Employment Protection In Response to Coronavirus (US)

On March 18, 2020, the U.S. Senate approved a bipartisan bill aimed at addressing the coronavirus. After rejecting two attempted amendments to the House bill, the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” passed the Senate by a vote of 90-8. As we reported on March 17, the comprehensive emergency measure expands nutrition and food assistance, unemployment … Continue Reading

WEBINAR 16 March 2020: Addressing Coronavirus Practically and Legally: What US Employers Need to Know

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), commonly known as the “coronavirus,” is now impacting employers all across the US.  Every organization should have a plan of action in place concerning the coronavirus as the threat of an outbreak at your workplace cannot be ignored. Please join us for a live webinar on Monday, March 16, 2020 … Continue Reading

Key Provisions of “Colorado Overtime and Minimum Pay Standards Order (COMPS Order) # 36” (US)

COMPS Order 36 (“Order 36”) is scheduled to go into effect March 16, 2020 and makes major changes to wage regulations affecting Colorado employers. Order 36 applies both to hourly and salaried employees and requires significant compliance adjustments for employers. The key changes of Order 36 are summarized below. Colorado employers should carefully review Order … Continue Reading

Update: Obesity as a Disability in the Ninth Circuit (US)

As we previously reported here, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the Washington Supreme Court have been wrestling with whether obesity qualifies as a disability under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (“WLAD”). The dispute involves an applicant for a position with a railway company who sued in 2010, alleging that the … Continue Reading

California Passes Slew Of Worker-Friendly Laws, Most Notably Banning Mandatory Arbitration of Employment Claims

California Governor Gavin Newsom just signed a new batch of worker-friendly laws sponsored by Democrats in the California Assembly and Senate.  These laws cover a range of topics from arbitration agreements to workplace safety. AB 51 will garner particular attention because not only does it substantially prohibit arbitration agreements, it criminalizes them.  The new law … Continue Reading

EEOC Opens Online Filing System: Are You Ready for the September 30, 2019 Pay Data Reporting Deadline? (US)

As we have reported previously (here, here, here and here), sweeping changes to employer obligations under the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) EEO-1 reporting requirements are under way. By September 30, 2019, employers must report 2017 and 2018 pay data for their workforce (referred to as “Component 2” data), broken down by race/ethnicity and sex. … Continue Reading

Illinois and City of Chicago Poised to Implement New Laws Addressing Changes in the Workplace – Signs of Things to Come? (US)

Illinois Restricts Use of Artificial Intelligence in Hiring On May 29, 2019, the Illinois Legislature unanimously passed the Artificial Intelligence Video Interview Act, which, not surprisingly, addresses how employers use artificial intelligence to analyze job applicant video interviews to determine the applicant’s fitness for the position.  Under the new law (assuming it is signed by … Continue Reading
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