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Black Lives Matter, Racial Unrest and Corporate Culture – How Do Employers Respond? (US)

As the daily news continues to show protests and calls for justice in response to the death of George Floyd and others at the hands of police officers, there is, unsurprisingly, a desire from employees to hear from their employers regarding the ongoing violence and racial unrest in our communities and across the country. Many … Continue Reading

DOL Update: COVID-19-Related Guidance and New Opinion Letters (US)

During the week of June 22, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) issued three Field Assistance Bulletins, each providing guidance to WHD field staff regarding three unique compliance issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, on June 25, 2020, the DOL released five fact-specific opinion letters discussing various … Continue Reading

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

We’re living through a period of time in the US unlike any we have previously experienced,  simultaneously grappling with a deadly public health emergency, mass protests – some peaceful, some not – seeking racial justice and police reform, and an increasingly bitter, partisan political landscape that likely only will intensify as we get closer to … Continue Reading

COVID-19 Temperature Testing? Yes. Viral Testing? Yes. Antibody Testing? No! (US)

Employers undertaking the reopening process following COVID-19-related shutdown orders are grappling with what measures they can implement to reduce the potential for transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in their workplace. In addition to requiring face masks, mandating physical distancing, and encouraging regular handwashing, some employers also are requiring employees to submit to medical testing as … Continue Reading

Landmark U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Prohibits Sexual Orientation And Gender Identity-Based Discrimination In Employment (US)

“Today, we must decide whether an employer can fire someone simply for being homosexual or transgender. The answer is clear. An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable … Continue Reading

Venture Law Meetup Webinar June 5: COVID-19: Considerations for Getting Back to the Office (US)

Please join colleagues in our Venture Law Meetup Group for a monthly webinar on Friday June 5 at 9 am EDT. Leah G. Brownlee will be joined by Matthew Cooper and Matt Secrist to discuss considerations for getting back to the office in the COVID-19 pandemic. Register using this link. This complimentary webinar series aims … Continue Reading

“I Am Not Wearing That!” – What Can An Employer Do When An Employee Refuses To Comply With COVID-19 Workplace Requirements? (US)

With the reopening process well underway in all 50 states, employers are implementing a variety of plans, policies, and protocols to minimize the potential for employee transmission of the coronavirus in the workplace. These plans – discussed in our Employer’s Guide to Return-to-Work Issues – include making physical changes to the workplace, rearranging employee schedules, … Continue Reading

Navigating Employee Return-to-Work Issues (US)

On Friday, May 15, 2020, Arizona’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected” order will expire. At that time, only a handful of states (Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New Jersey) will still be under broad stay-at-home restrictions, but even those remaining states will begin the phased reopening process between May 15 and 30. As employers begin … Continue Reading

US Department of Labor Issues Additional Informal Guidance on Families First Coronavirus Response Act (US)

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) has been in effect for nearly six weeks and, as practical challenges with interpreting and implementing the Act surface, the Department of Labor (DOL) continues to update its informal guidance in piecemeal fashion. On May 12, 2020, the DOL added five additional questions and answers to its FFCRA … Continue Reading

City of Los Angeles Right of Recall and Worker Retention Ordinances Take Effect (US)

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Los Angeles, California Mayor Eric Garcetti signed the Right of Recall and Worker Retention Ordinances into law to protect employees in some of the industries hardest hit by the economic fallout caused by the coronavirus.  The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is considering extending these ordinances to … Continue Reading

EEOC Provides Updated Guidance on Return-to-Work Issues Addressing Accommodations For Employees With COVID-19 Vulnerabilities (US)

Update (5/7/20):  On May 7, 2020, the EEOC re-issued guidance concerning what actions an employer may take if it knows that an employee has a medical condition placing him/her at a higher risk for severe illness if he/she gets COVID-19, and thus is concerned about the employee’s return to the workplace, but the employee has not … Continue Reading

Wardrobe Malfunctions, Zoombombing, and Other Torrid Tales from the Home Front (US)

With more of us working from home than ever during the COVID-19 public health crisis, employers and employees face unique challenges. Videoconferences have replaced in-person meetings, and our pets, kids, and partners are now our temporary “coworkers.” From the occasional mild annoyances, like barking dogs and ringing doorbells, to the truly humiliating examples trending on … Continue Reading

Employer’s Guide to Return-to-Work Issues: COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (US)

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency has changed life as we know it, including by severely disrupting business on a nationwide scale.  In some cases, employers have been forced to temporarily close their doors and cease operations, while others have had to make radical changes to the workplace in order to maintain operations. … Continue Reading

California Provides COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave for Food Sector Workers (US)

In a move that mirrors the efforts of several local California communities to fill gaps not otherwise addressed by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), California Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-51-20 on April 16, 2020 (“Order”).  Specifically, the Order provides COVID-19 related paid sick leave for “food sector workers” throughout the state … Continue Reading

EEOC Updates Guidance To Permit Employer-Mandated COVID-19 Testing (US)

As the COVID-19 public health emergency begins to (hopefully) progress down the curve and employers contemplate reopening and returning employees to the workplace, many employers are considering what measures they can implement to ensure that returning employees are not infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.  In March 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued … Continue Reading

EEOC Offers Employers Post-COVID-19 Return-to-Work Pointers (US)

Since early in the pandemic, the EEOC has been maintaining a Technical Assistance Questions and Answers page, which it updates from time to time. As employers’ attention turns to life after COVID-19 and planning for our return to the workplace, on April 17, the EEOC updated its COVID-19 pandemic informal guidance to address the challenges … Continue Reading

WEBINAR April 21 – US ESH Webinar Series – COVID-19: Safety and Health Law on the New Frontier (US)

While COVID-19 has turned everyone’s focus toward safety and health generally, it has forced US employers specifically to focus on the safety and health of their employees during an unprecedented time. Employers in the US have common law and statutory duties to ensure safe workplaces, but the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly disrupted many of the … Continue Reading

Los Angeles Implements Multiple Employment-Related Measures Responding to COVID-19 Crisis (US)

Ordinances and Executive Orders require paid sick leave, provide additional protections for grocery, drug store, and food delivery employees, and mandatory face mask use Like many other US cities and counties, the City of Los Angeles – the second most populous city in the US and home to four million citizens – has taken decisive … Continue Reading

REMINDER: Webinar on April 13 and Summary of Families First Coronavirus Response Act Analysis (US)

Throughout this past week, we have provided a comprehensive analysis of the various provisions of the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), the first ever federal law requiring the payment of paid sick leave and paid family leave for various COVID-19-related reasons.  These daily updates include consideration of employer and employee coverage; qualifying reasons … Continue Reading

SPB IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS – The Families First Coronavirus Response Act – Part Five of a Five-Part Series (US)

Previous installments of our series analyzing in detail the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the regulations interpreting that law issued by the US Department of Labor addressed the following issues: Part One – employee eligibility and employer coverage; Part Two – the coronavirus-specific circumstances why eligible employees may take paid leave; Part Three … Continue Reading

Update on Most Recent US DOL Guidance on Unemployment Provisions of CARES Act (US)

The US Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a number of publications offering guidance to the states for implementing certain federal unemployment insurance provisions contained in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), including the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs.  As … Continue Reading

SPB IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act – Part Four of a Five-Part Series (US)

The first three installments of our five-part series analyzing the US Department of Labor regulations interpreting the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) examined eligibility and coverage issues.  Part One looked at which employees are eligible to take, and which employers are required to provide, emergency paid sick leave and public health emergency paid family … Continue Reading

SPB IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS:  The Families First Coronavirus Response Act – Part Three of a Five-Part Series (US)

The first two installments of our five-part in-depth analysis of the emergency paid sick leave and public health emergency paid family leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) – see here and here – analyzed the statutory language and regulations governing employer coverage, employee eligibility, the circumstances under which employees can request … Continue Reading

New York State Enacts Paid Sick Leave Program and Extends PAUSE Restrictions (US)

In light of the ongoing pandemic crisis, on April 6, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he is extending the “PAUSE” restrictions in New York State, which means that non-essential businesses will remain closed until at least April 29, 2020. Additionally, last week on April 3, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed the FY 2021 Executive Budget: … Continue Reading
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