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EEOC Updates Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccination Incentive Programs (US)

Since the start of the pandemic, the EEOC has periodically updated its informal guidance to address emerging topics related to COVID-19, include regarding vaccination, which is top of mind for many U.S. employers. This week, the EEOC updated its informal guidance to address questions regarding COVID-19 vaccination and vaccination incentive programs. Takeaways from the updates … Continue Reading

Coming Soon: Employers Required To Ensure Employees Are Vaccinated Or Regularly Tested – President Biden’s Sweeping COVID-19 Action Plan: What Employers Need to Know (US)

It has been nine months since the first person in the United States received the COVID-19 vaccine, and ever since then, employers have been weighing the pros and cons of whether to require that employees be vaccinated as a condition of employment. On September 9, 2021, President Biden narrowed the options for many employers when … Continue Reading

COVID-19 Vaccination Will Become Mandatory for Most Green Card Applicants (US)

According to a new policy from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), effective October 1, 2021, the COVID-19 vaccine is included on the list of vaccines required for applicants to obtain lawful permanent residence (aka “green card”). Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), section 212(a)(1)(A)(ii), foreign nationals to be found admissible … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Says Favoritism Towards A Sexual or Romantic Partner Is Not Unlawful Sex Discrimination Under Title VII (US)

Workplace romances are a tale as old as time. According to a 2020 study conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (“SHRM”) and the University of Chicago’s AmeriSpeak Panel surveying 696 American workers, 27% admitted to having romantic relationships with their work colleagues, and about 27% of those workers indicated that they dated someone … Continue Reading

US Occupational Safety and Health Administration Issues Updated COVID-19 Workplace Safety Guidance, Recommends Indoor Mask Use (US)

In the words of Yogi Berra, it feels like déjà vu all over again. With COVID-19 infections rising again throughout the country, particularly due to the rapid spread of the Delta variant strain, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance on July 27, 2021 (i) recommending that all persons living … Continue Reading

Biden Administration Suggests Long-Haul COVID Illness May Constitute A Disability Under ADA (US)

On July 26, the 31st anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), President Biden announced in a Rose Garden briefing that persons experiencing long-term COVID-19 symptoms may qualify as persons with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and other federal statutes that protect persons with disabilities, such as Section … Continue Reading

No Summer Pause At The NLRB, As Changes At The Top Levels Of The Agency Are In Motion (US)

This summer has been an eventful one as far as it relates to high-level personnel matters at the National Labor Relations Board’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. Developments in the Office of the General Counsel As one of his first acts on Inauguration Day, President Biden fired Peter Robb, the Senate-confirmed General Counsel of the National … Continue Reading

California Becomes More Expensive for Employers: Meal and Rest Break Premiums Now Track Overtime and Must be Paid at the Regular Rate of Pay, Retroactively (US)

Issuing the California Supreme Court’s decision in a much anticipated case, Justice Liu on behalf of a unanimous court explained in Ferra v. Loews Hollywood Hotel, LLC that “[t]he calculation of premium pay for a noncompliant meal, rest, or recovery period, like the calculation of overtime pay, must account for not only hourly wages but … Continue Reading

Biden Administration Nixes Trump-Era EEOC Pre-Suit Conciliation Rule (US)

Late last year, we reported that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) had released a proposed rule modifying the mandatory conciliation process the EEOC must follow before it can file a lawsuit in its own name against an employer. Under long-standing anti-discrimination statutes, before the EEOC can commence litigation against an employer for employment discrimination … Continue Reading

EEOC Releases Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Resources on Anniversary of Landmark Supreme Court Decision (US)

Squire Patton Boggs Summer Associate Taylor Hamel summarizes guidance recently released by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission relating to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination. On June 15, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, holding that the prohibition against sex discrimination in Title VII of the … Continue Reading

California Agency Says Masks Stay On At Work – At Least for Now (US)

On June 3, 2021, California’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Cal/OSHA) took the first step towards adopting revised regulations relating to COVID-19 in the workplace. These revisions include updates to requirements for face coverings, physical distancing, and other preventive measures for both vaccinated and unvaccinated workers. The rules will apply in almost every workplace … Continue Reading

Arizona and Many Other States Begin Legislative Process to Protect Employees Against Discrimination Based on COVID-19 Vaccine Choices (US)

Currently pending before the Arizona legislature, Senate Bill 1648 would prohibit discrimination in the workplace (and elsewhere) against individuals who have not received or who refuse to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. As proposed, the bill would prohibit any employer from requiring a person to receive or disclose whether they have received a COVID-19 vaccine as … Continue Reading

EEOC Announces New July 19, 2021 Deadline for Employers to Submit 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 Data (US)

On March 29, 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) announced that data collection for 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 Component 1 filing will open on Monday, April 26, 2021, and that employers will have until Monday, July 19, 2021 to submit their data for those years. Each year, employers with 100 or more employees (and federal … Continue Reading

Spring State Law Round-Up (CT, IL, OH, NY, PA, DC)

State legislatures have been busy in 2021 passing new employment-related laws. Here we look at some of the highlights of new laws in Connecticut, Illinois, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. Connecticut is the latest state to prohibit discrimination based upon traits historically associated with race, including hair texture, protective hairstyles such as wigs … Continue Reading

Recent Ninth Circuit Equal Pay Act Decision A Reminder To Examine and Eliminate Gender-Based Pay Disparity (US)

On Monday, March 15, 2021, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed, in part, a district court’s order denying a federal Equal Pay Act (“EPA”) claim filed by a former University of Oregon tenured psychology professor who claimed she was paid significantly less than her male colleagues. The decision serves as a reminder to employers … Continue Reading

New Jersey Extends Employment Protections To Recreational Marijuana Using Employees (US)

On February 22, 2021, New Jersey’s governor signed the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act (“CREAMMA” or the “Act”), legalizing the recreational use of cannabis items, i.e., marijuana, for individuals age 21 and older. Importantly, the Act also provides job protections to recreational marijuana users and imposes new drug testing requirements … Continue Reading

Biden’s DOL Withdraws Trump-Era Opinion Letters Regarding “Gig Economy” Workers and Sleeping Truck Drivers (US)

On February 19, 2021, the US Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) withdrew two Trump-era opinion letters.  The first, FLSA2019-6, discussed whether a service provider for a virtual marketplace company (“VMC”) is an independent contractor or an employee subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The second, FLSA2019-10, involved the compensability … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Issues Timely Reminder Regarding the Importance of Employers Maintaining Accurate Wage Records (US)

A recent decision from a federal appeals court highlights the perils for employers associated with lax recordkeeping of employee work hours and wage information. It is well-established that every employer covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) is required to keep certain records for each covered non-exempt worker (i.e., those that are paid on an hourly … Continue Reading

Arizona Expands State Law Employment Protections for Pregnant Workers (US)

Arizona employers are now expressly prohibited by state law from discriminating against employees on the basis of pregnancy or childbirth. On January 28, 2021, the Arizona Legislature passed, and on Thursday, February 4, 2021, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed into law, HB 2045, which amends the state civil rights statute to clarify that existing statutory … Continue Reading

Biden-Led Department Of Labor Pulls The Plug On Voluntary Wage And Hour Compliance Program (US)

In early 2018, we reported [see here and here] that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) had launched a pilot program to encourage employers to voluntarily report violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime requirements. Employers who opted into the self-reporting pilot program, called the Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) … Continue Reading

Federal Court Decision On WARN Act And COVID-19 Could Signal Problems For Larger Employers (US)

UPDATE: On January 21, 2021, the defendants filed a motion with the district court for permission to take an interlocutory appeal to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on the following question: “What causal standard is required to establish that a plant closing or mass layoff is “due to any form of natural disaster” under … Continue Reading

US Department of Labor Releases Final Rule Clarifying Standard for Independent Contractor Versus Employee Determination Under FLSA (US)

On January 6, 2021, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced a final rule clarifying the standard under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) for determining whether a worker is an independent contractor versus an employee. This distinction in critical under the FLSA, as employers must comply with its minimum wage and overtime requirements for employees, … Continue Reading

Stimulus Bill Extends Tax Credits for Paid Coronavirus Leave, But Not FFCRA Paid Leave Framework Itself (US)

On Monday, December 21, Congress unveiled the nearly 5,600-page text of the latest COVID-19 relief package. If signed into law by the President, the omnibus spending and stimulus relief package will provide direct cash payments to many adults in the U.S., extend unemployment benefits, reopen the Paycheck Protection Program, and provide wide-ranging rental and educational … Continue Reading

State Law Round-Up: Year End Edition – PART TWO (Illinois – Washington, D.C.) (US)

In Part One of our year-end State Law Roundup, we covered national minimum wage developments and developments in states at the beginning of the alphabet: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, and Hawaii.  In Part Two below, we look at developments in the rest of the states (and localities), from Illinois to Washington D.C. Illinois: Illinois employers … Continue Reading
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