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US Federal Labor Viewpoints – Week of July 19, 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 July 19, 2021. *** This is a weekly post spotlighting labor topics in focus by the US legislative and executive branches during the previous week. In this issue, … Continue Reading

President Signs Three Executive Orders Seeking Broad Changes to US Immigration Policies; Administration Delays Changes to H-1B Cap Lottery

The following is a summary of the President’s three new immigration-related executive orders issued on February 2, 2021: Executive Order on the Establishment of Interagency Task Force on the Reunification of Families The first executive order creates an interagency task force, presided by the Secretary of Homeland Security, to reunify parents and children separated by … 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

Biden Immigration Activity on Day One: Taking Down the Walls (US)

With the stroke of a pen, President Biden immediately commenced the deconstruction of the Southern Border wall and several other immigration policies of the prior administration, including the pre-Covid travel bans. Here is a summary of the President’s immigration-related executive actions issued during his first days in office. Revoking the Pre-Covid Travel Bans Entitled Presidential … Continue Reading

IRS Guidance on the Payroll Tax Executive Order (US)

On August 8, 2020, President Trump issued an Executive Order titled “Memorandum on Deferring Payroll Tax Obligations in Light of the Ongoing COVID-19 Disaster” (the “Order”). The Order directs the Secretary of the Treasury to permit deferral of employee Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (“OASDI”) taxes for payroll dates on and after September 1, … Continue Reading

Executive Order Regarding Payroll Taxes (US)

On Saturday, August 8, 2020, President Trump issued an executive order titled “Memorandum on Deferring Payroll Tax Obligations in Light of the Ongoing COVID-19 Disaster” (the “Order”). The Order provides for the deferral of certain payroll taxes. The Order will be effective for wages paid on or after September 1, 2020 and will have to … Continue Reading

Executive Order Sets Stage for Restrictions on Government Contractor Visas and Offshoring (US)

On August 3, 2020, President Trump signed an Executive Order (“Aligning Federal Contracting and Hiring Practices With the Interests of American Workers” hereafter “Executive Order”) calling for a broad review of the government’s use of visa holders and outsourcing across its extensive government contracting networks. The White House announced that the Executive Order is, at … Continue Reading

California Governor’s Order Creates Workers’ Compensation Presumption For COVID-19 Diagnosis (US)

As California employers prepare for the gradual re-opening of business, they must now take into consideration Governor Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order N-62-20 executed on May 6, 2020, making any COVID-19 infection diagnosed within two weeks of an individual working outside of their home presumptively work-related. This has the effect for employers of reversing the burden … 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

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

Santa Clara County Orders All Entities and Individuals Disclose Supplies of Personal Protective Equipment and Ventilators (US)

Santa Clara County, the heart of Silicon Valley, issued a new Health Order on April 8, 2020. [https://www.sccgov.org/sites/phd/DiseaseInformation/novel-coronavirus/Documents/order-04-08-20-ppe-disclosure.pdf] This order requires every entity and individual in the county to submit an inventory of qualifying quantities of certain Personal Protective Equipment (“PPE”) and Ventilators by April 15. The County has provided an online site to report … 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

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 – 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

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

H-1B Update: DHS Publishes Final Rule Amending Application Process for upcoming H-1B Lottery (US)

The United States Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) issued a press release on January 30, 2019, announcing revisions to the H1-B visa program, which were made in direct response to President Trump’s April 17, 2017 “Buy American and Hire American” Executive Order (the “Order”). As we discussed in our previous blog post about the then-proposed … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Labor Expands Association Health Plans

On Tuesday, June 18, 2018, The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) released its long-anticipated final rule on association health plans, allowing small businesses to band together by geography or industry to create health plans as if they were a single large employer. Association health plans will not be subject to the Affordable Care Act’s essential … Continue Reading

Third Time is the Charm?: New Presidential Proclamation Replaces Expiring Portions of Travel Ban

On September 24, 2017, the White House issued a Presidential Proclamation (Proclamation Travel Ban) to replace expiring portions of the President’s March 6, 2017 Executive Order travel ban (EO Travel Ban) and expand affect countries to eight (8), up from the six countries covered by the most recent EO Travel Ban. According to the White House, the … Continue Reading

US Immigration Update: Executive Order Travel Ban, DACA and What Employers Need to Know

Executive Order Travel Ban Update In recent days, the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has once again weighed in and issued a preliminary ruling regarding the Executive Order Travel Ban (EO) challenge in Trump v. Hawaii. For background, please see our prior blog posts detailing the travel ban EO’s history and SCOTUS’ decision of June 26th. … Continue Reading

Travel Ban Executive Order Update: The Constitutional Tug-of-War Continues

Last week we saw another round in the battle between the Executive and Judiciary branches over the President’s travel ban impacting nationals Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. Federal District Courts in Hawaii (State of Hawaii v. Trump) and Maryland (International Refugee Assistance Project (“IRAP”) v. Trump) stayed the implementation of the revised Travel/Refugee … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms TRO – Stay of Travel Ban Executive Order Remains in Place

On February 9, 2017 a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit unanimously upheld a Federal District Court judge’s decision (TRO) to temporarily block the President’s Executive Order (EO) entitled Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States. Our previous update regarding the TRO, the current state … Continue Reading
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