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US Federal Labor Viewpoints – Week of March 22, 2021

From our Capital Thinking blog, our public policy colleague Stacy Swanson shares the latest federal employment law developments in in the legislative and executive branches during the week of March 22. *** This is a weekly post spotlighting labor topics in focus by the US legislative and executive branches during the previous week. In this issue, we … Continue Reading

Considerations for Employers Contemplating Incentive Programs to Encourage Employees to Receive the COVID-19 Vaccine (US)

As we discussed in a previous post, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) published guidance in December 2020 on employer mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies. That guidance explained that subject to a few exceptions, employers can require that employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of returning to, or remaining in the workplace.  However, … 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

President Biden Signs Executive Order Extending Workplace Protections Against COVID-19 (US)

One of President Biden’s first acts in office was to sign an Executive Order (EO) on January 21, 2021 aimed at increasing the safety and health of U.S. workers, particularly healthcare and other essential workers, against the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. To that end, President Biden instructed the Secretary of the Department of Labor (DOL), through … 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

EEOC Publishes Guidance on Employer Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policies (US)

Last month we discussed whether employers will be able to require employees to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of returning to, or remaining in, the workplace. We noted at that time that the conditions for and lawfulness of mandatory vaccination policies was unclear, but that guidance was anticipated from the US Equal Employment … Continue Reading

State Law Round-Up: Year End Edition – PART ONE (California – Hawaii) (US)

As we (thankfully) reach the end of 2020, we wanted to provide a year-end update on recent and upcoming state law developments.  Despite the fact that state and local governments had their hands full with the COVID-19 pandemic (and passed many laws relating to that topic, which we will not cover here), they managed to … Continue Reading

Planning Ahead for the End (For Now) of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (US)

Throughout 2020, we have provided updates on the adoption of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), its implementing regulations, and its amended regulations. In these updates, we have noted that the FFCRA – which provides emergency paid sick leave and paid emergency family leave for certain COVID-19-related reasons to public sector employees and employees … Continue Reading

Global Guide on Employment Implications of COVID-19 Vaccination

The news that a number of COVID-19 vaccines are in the final stages of development and approval has been welcomed by employers and employees around the globe. It also has prompted a number of questions, such as whether employers can require their employees be vaccinated as part of a plan to make the workplace as … Continue Reading

CDC Updates COVID-19 Guidance to Include Alternatives to 14-Day Quarantine Recommendation (US)

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been one of the primary resources providing the public with recommendations on all aspects of the virus, and it has closely monitored the evolving science for information that would warrant reconsideration of its  recommendations. As a result of those ongoing efforts, … Continue Reading

An Update Concerning Employer Mandatory Vaccination Policies – COVID-19 (US)

With news reports emerging this week that two companies each have developed a COVID-19 vaccine that is more than 90% effective and carries few side effects, and that mass immunizations may begin as early as December 2020, when more than 20 million doses of the vaccines are predicted to be available, employers will soon confront … Continue Reading

WEBINAR – November 5 – Healthcare Employers’ COVID-19 Update: A Practical Discussion of Recent Employment Law Developments Relating to COVID-19 (US)

As part of Squire Patton Boggs’ ongoing focus on COVID-19 pandemic challenges and opportunities, on November 5, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern, William J. Kishman and Laura Lawless of the firms’ Labor & Employment Practice Group will host an hour-long discussion aimed at healthcare employers that will focus on some of the key issues that are front … Continue Reading

Remember Vacations? Considerations for Employers When Addressing Employees’ Personal Travel During COVID-19 (US)

It’s been more than six months since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in the United States, and during this period, most of us have remained either in, or very close to, our homes. Although a second wave of infections now appears to be starting, the colder temperatures of winter, the approaching holiday season, or the … Continue Reading

A Timely Redux: Walking The Tightrope: Dealing With Employees’ Different Viewpoints On COVID-19, Racial Justice, and Partisan Politics (US)

In June 2020, we added a post to Employment Law Worldview addressing the complicated situation employers are in when employees express – sometime respectfully, sometimes not – different, and indeed, opposite views on COVID-19 issues (e.g., legitimate public health emergency versus hoax or “plandemic”), racial justice (“Black Lives Matter” versus “All Lives Matter”), and politics … Continue Reading

Voting Leave: What US Employers Need To Know As Election Day 2020 Approaches

With Election Day just a few weeks away, it’s an appropriate time to refresh our understanding of state voting leave laws and the obligations imposed on private sector employers by those laws. Although absentee voting by mail and universal mail voting have become more common since the last presidential election in 2016, many voters undoubtedly … Continue Reading

Empire State Alert:  New York State Sick Leave Is Finally Here (US)

As we reported here, among the sweeping pieces of legislation signed during the early periods of the COVID-19 pandemic was the passage of New York’s permanent statewide sick leave law.  Under the New York statewide sick leave law, all employers in New York State are required to provide sick leave.  The law takes effect on … Continue Reading

A Guide for Employers Considering A Mandatory Flu Vaccination Policy (US)

As if 2020 hasn’t already presented more than its fair share of challenges, flu season is now rapidly approaching. Combined with the still ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, employers are more concerned than ever before with ensuring that their employees stay healthy and productive. As a result, many employers are weighing the pros and cons of encouraging, … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Issues Updated Families First Coronavirus Response Act Regulations, But Does Little To Resolve Employer Uncertainty (US)

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was enacted on March 18, 2020. The sweeping federal legislation provides emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) and expanded paid Family and Medical Leave (EFML) to certain covered workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. On April 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued regulations implementing the FFCRA … Continue Reading

EEOC Provides Welcome COVID-19-Related Guidance To Employers As Employees Return To The Workplace (US)

On September 8, 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued updated guidance concerning COVID-19 and the workplace. The update provides much-needed answers to questions that have been troubling employers struggling to adapt to circumstances presented by the still-ongoing public health emergency. Can we test employees for COVID-19 prior to allowing them back in … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Issues Opinion Letter Clarifying Availability of Fluctuating Workweek Method of Calculating Overtime (US)

In the U.S., employees must be paid overtime compensation at a rate of one-and-one-half times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of forty (40) per workweek unless specifically exempted by law. For many employees, this means payment of a straight time hourly rate, and then payment of one-and-one-half times that … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Schools Parents On Leave Options During Virtual Learning (US)

We previously blogged on the myriad challenges faced by workers whose children are returning to school this fall: some online, some in-person, and some a combination of both. As we noted in our prior post, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which is effective through December 31, 2020, provides up to eighty (80) hours … Continue Reading

FLSA Compliance Update: Employers Must Exercise Reasonable Diligence In Tracking Hours Worked By Remote Workers (US)  

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers have implemented teleworking and other remote work arrangements for their employees. Because these employees are not physically present in the workplace, there has been some uncertainty surrounding what obligations employers have to under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) to monitor and track hours worked by non-exempt, hourly … Continue Reading
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