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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

President Biden Removes Immigrant Visa Ban, Leaves Other Immigration Bans in Place (US)

On Wednesday, February 24, 2021, President Biden issued a Proclamation removing one of the few remaining major Trump COVID-era Visa Bans. The move repeals Presidential Proclamation 10014, which was set to expire after March 31, 2021, and temporarily paused the issuance of immigrant visas.  President Biden justified the action by explaining that the ban “harms … 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

Arizona Responds to Spike in Fraudulent Unemployment Claims With Advice for Employers (US)

Like many states, Arizona has been a recent target in the wave of nationwide fraudulent unemployment claims. When the CARES Act passed in the spring of 2020, states were authorized to award expanded unemployment relief to persons whose jobs were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including some persons who otherwise were ineligible for or had … 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

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

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

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

President Biden Ousts NLRB General Counsel; Changes NLRB Chairman (US)

UPDATE (1/25/21): President Biden named Peter Sung Ohr as the NLRB’s Acting General Counsel. Mr. Ohr is a career NLRB employee, having held positions with the NLRB in Hawaii, Washington, D.C., and most recently, as the Regional Director for Region 13 in Chicago. UPDATE (1/21/21): Less than 24 hours after firing the top lawyer at … 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

Dynamex is Retroactive Says the California Supreme Court  – The Independent Contractor Law Now Looks Back and Forward (US)

The range of employers who may be liable for the misclassification of workers just got bigger. On January 14, 2021, the California Supreme Court decided that the decision in  Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court (2018) 4 Cal.5th 903 (Dynamex) applies retroactively to all non-final cases that predate the April 2018 Dynamex decision. Dynamex … 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

President Trump Extends his Visa “Pause” Through March 2021 (US)

Presidential Proclamations 10014 and 10052 have been extended through March 31, 2021.  The two proclamations, which suspend U.S. entry and visa issuance for many immigrant and nonimmigrant visa applicants outside the U.S., were set to end after December 31, 2020.  Possible extensions were the subject of internal deliberations at the White House leading up to … 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

EEOC Announces Intent to Provide Official Agency Interpretations of Federal Employment Discrimination Laws In Response to Public Requests (US)

Except for a brief hiatus between 2010 and 2017 (see here), the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has for decades issued formal opinion letters in response to requests from employers, employees, and others for the DOL’s official interpretation of novel or complex issues relating to the application of the minimum wage and overtime compensation provisions … 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

Court OKs EEOC’s Lawsuit Against Employer Notwithstanding Lengthy Delay (US)  

It’s a not-so-uncommon scenario for employers. An employer terminates an employee. The employee files a charge with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging her termination was the motivated by unlawful discrimination. The EEOC asks the employer to provide a comprehensive response to the charge, supplemented with voluminous documents requested by the agency in … Continue Reading
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