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California Legislature Enacts New Employment Laws To Take Effect in 2022 (US)

The California Legislature increased the complexity of employment law in the Golden State by enacting several employment laws that will soon take effect.  Below we summarize key aspects of the more significant new legislation. Intentional Failure to Pay Wages May Constitute the Felony of “Grand Theft” (Assembly Bill 1003) Under current law, employers who wrongfully … Continue Reading

Judge Blocks Portions of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Vaccine Mandate (US)

On November 5, 2021, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS) issued an emergency regulation requiring that many types of health care facilities and providers that receive Medicare or Medicaid funds ensure that their staff, contractors, and volunteers receive at least their first COVID-19 vaccine dose by December 6, 2021 and be fully … Continue Reading

OSHA Files Emergency Motion to Allow Vaccine-or-Test ETS to Move Forward (US)

Our colleagues Shams Hirji and Colter Paulson at SPB’s Sixth Circuit Appellate Blog provide an update on the latest legal maneuvers involving OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard requiring larger US employers to require employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to regular testing and other infection prevention measures. At 2:28 a.m. this morning [November 23, 2021], … Continue Reading

OSHA Suspends Enforcement of Vaccination-or-Test Emergency Temporary Standard Pending Court Review (US)

After at least 34 lawsuits were filed nationwide seeking to permanently stay or rule unconstitutional the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) announced by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which would have required that employers with 100 or more employees ensure their workers are fully vaccinated or test at least weekly for COVID-19, OSHA … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Updates (Yet Again) Its Rules on Paying Tipped Workers (US)

On October 28, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its Final Rule on tipped wages. As Presidential administrations have changed through the years, so too has the DOL’s view regarding the circumstances under which employers can pay tipped workers less than the federal minimum wage. [See this 2019 post for the immediately prior … Continue Reading

EEOC Provides Updated Guidance to Employers Regarding Title VII and Religious Objections to COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates (US)

UPDATE (10/29/21): On October 28, 2021, the EEOC supplemented its updated guidance on religious accommodation from employer vaccine mandates by making public its own internal accommodation request form. The agency explained: “Although the EEOC’s internal forms typically are not made public, it is included here given the extraordinary circumstances facing employers and employees due to the … Continue Reading

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

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

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

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

Not Vaccinated Yet? How About $100 For A Shot? Updated EEOC Guidance Confirms Employers Can Offer Employees Vaccination Incentives (US)

On May 28, 2021, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its ongoing guidance on COVID-19 issues in the workplace to cover additional topics relating to vaccination of employees. This updated guidance addresses a number of questions that have been arising now that a majority of the adult US population has been fully vaccinated … 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

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

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

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

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

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
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