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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

California Privacy Rights Act Makes it to the November Ballot (US)

As California employers continue to grapple with compliance with employee-related portions of the California Consumer Privacy Act, it is worth keeping an eye on a follow-on law, the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), which now has enough signatures to be on California’s November 3, 2020 ballot. Of particular concern to employers should be the fact … Continue Reading

NLRB Issues Key Changes Regarding Arbitration Agreements, Confidentiality Provisions, and Employee Discipline (US)

The National Labor Relations Board continues to clarify and update employers’ obligations in key areas. As discussed below, one recent decision clarifies when employers may enter into arbitration agreements that require employees to keep the proceedings confidential. Another recent decision rescinded a rule issued by the Obama-era NLRB and clarified, for employers who are negotiating … Continue Reading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

An Extended Pause: New Presidential Proclamation Halts US Entry for Thousands of Workers

As expected, President Trump signed a presidential proclamation (“Suspension of Entry of Immigrants and Nonimmigrants who Present a Risk to the United States Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak” hereafter “Nonimmigrant Proclamation”) extending the duration of his prior suspension of immigrant visas (for those entering the U.S. permanently) and … Continue Reading

DHS Extends Flexibility Relating to I-9 Execution for Remote Workers While Increasing Civil Penalties for Violations (US)

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently announced another extension, through July 19, 2020, of its COVID-19 temporary policy of deferring the physical presence requirements associated with Form I-9 compliance in relation to hiring and re-verifying certain remote employees.  However, within days of announcing this reprieve for employers, DHS … Continue Reading

Dreamer Deferred: The Supreme Court DACA Ruling’s Effect on Employers (US)

On June 18, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration’s attempt to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) fell short of the legal requirements for ending such a broad executive program.  The Court held that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) effort to terminate DACA was “arbitrary and capricious” and … 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

BREAKING: US Supreme Court – Title VII Prohibits Discrimination In Employment Based On Sexual Orientation And Gender Identity

Resolving a question that previously had vexed lower courts and resulted in inconsistent rulings across the country, on Monday, June 15, 2020, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the prohibition against sex-based discrimination in employment set forth in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 includes claims of sexual orientation and gender … Continue Reading

EEOC Updates COVID-19 Guidance With Answers To More Return-To-Work Questions (US)

Throughout the current public health emergency, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has been providing regular updates to its guidance on COVID-19 and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other federal employment statutes (see our prior posts here). On June 11, 2020, the EEOC provided answers to approximately 10 new questions, … Continue Reading

Take Two: Illinois Enacts Law Providing Presumption of Workers’ Compensation Coverage for COVID-19 (US)

On June 5, 2020, Illinois Governor Pritzker signed into law HB 2455, which creates a rebuttable presumption of workers’ compensation coverage for first responders and front-line workers who are exposed to and contract COVID-19. This recent legislative enactment follows the withdrawal of Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission’s emergency rule which included similar language. In enacting this … Continue Reading

The Customer May Not Always Be Right When It Comes To Sexual Harassment (US)

We all know that employers have a legal obligation under federal law, as well as under various state and local laws, to provide their employees with a safe work environment free from sexual harassment, and that under certain circumstances, an employer can be held legally responsible for harassment directed at its employees. However, do companies … Continue Reading

New PPP Legislation Provides Employers More Flexibility On Use Of Loans For Payroll Expenses (US)

In this post from Squire Patton Boggs’ Capital Thinking blog, our colleagues Kirk Beckhorn, Pablo Carrillo, Keith Bradley, Karen Harbaugh, George Schutzer and Tom Reems discuss changes to the Paycheck Protection Program established by the CARES Act as a result of the signing of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 in to law on June 5, 2020. ***  ***  … Continue Reading

Third Circuit Clarifies That A Disability Must Be Both “Transitory and Minor” To Qualify Under The Exception To The “Regarded-As” Prong of The ADA (US)

With the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) now 30 years old, most people, and certainly all HR professionals and employment lawyers, know that it is unlawful to discriminate against employees (and applicants) on the basis of a physical or mental disability. What is less widely known, however, is that the ADA not only prohibits discrimination … 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

USCIS Premium Processing Service Returns for Certain Petitions in Different Stages (US)

USCIS announced on May 29, 2020 that it will resume premium processing for Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Workers and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, in stages during the month of June. Premium Processing Service has been suspended since March 20, 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). Premium processing provides expedited processing … Continue Reading

Federal Judge Says NLRB’s Revised Election Rule Was Improperly Implemented (US)

UPDATE: June 1, 2020: The NLRB announced via a press release and General Counsel memorandum that notwithstanding the judge’s order remanding the rule to the NLRB for reconsideration, “it will implement in full all of the rule changes unaffected by the recent U.S. District Court order.”  Accordingly, the following provisons in the rule are in … Continue Reading

U.S. Presidential Proclamation Suspending Entry of Certain Students and Researchers from People’s Republic of China

On May 29, 2020, the President issued a proclamation blocking certain nationals of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) from entering the United States in F-1 or J-1 nonimmigrant status in order to study or conduct research. The proclamation takes effect on June 1, 2020 at 12:00 pm (EDT) and remains in effect until terminated … Continue Reading

New Electronic Delivery Option for ERISA Retirement Plan Information (US)

There is a new electronic delivery option for retirement plan sponsors who are looking for an easier and more efficient means of providing required plan information disclosures to plan participants and beneficiaries. Retirement plan administrators can now electronically notify participants and beneficiaries that certain disclosures are available on a specified website. In addition, retirement plan … Continue Reading

WEBINAR May 28: Mandatory COVID-19 Updates to Injury and Illness Prevention Programs for California Employers (US)

The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued new guidelines for protecting workers as businesses expand activities during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. These guidelines include updated control measures as well as specific topics which must be addressed in employers’ COVID-19 response plans and written Injury and Illness Prevention Programs. Not only could failure to … Continue Reading

Updated OSHA Guidance Demonstrates Employers’ Need for Further Pandemic Planning (US)

On May 19, 2020, OSHA issued two updated memorandums to regional administrators and state plan designees. The first updated the agency’s enforcement guidance for recording COVID-19 cases in the workplace. As we discussed here, OSHA originally indicated on April 10, 2020 that it would be exercising “enforcement discretion” and focusing COVID-19 recordkeeping requirements in the … Continue Reading

White House Expands COVID-19 Travel Ban to Cover Brazil (US)

The Trump administration announced an expansion of its COVID-19 travel ban to include those seeking to enter the U.S. from Brazil.  The new Proclamation issued on Sunday, May 24, 2020, bars all non-U.S. citizens who have been physically present in Brazil during the 14-day period prior to entering or attempting to enter the United States. … 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
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