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On March 30, 2020, the governor issued Executive Order 55 requiring all individuals in Virginia to stay in their place of residence, with certain limited exceptions, until June 10, 2020. Specifically, the order permits individuals to leave their homes for the following purposes:

  • Obtaining food, beverages, goods, or services as permitted in Executive Order 53;
  • Seeking medical attention, essential social services, governmental services, assistance from law enforcement, or emergency services;
  • Taking care of other individuals, animals, or visiting the home of a family member;
  • Traveling required by court order or to facilitate child custody, visitation, or child care;
  • Engaging in outdoor activity, including exercise, provided individuals comply with social distancing requirements;
  • Traveling to and from one’s residence, place of worship, or work;
  • Traveling to and from an educational institution;
  • Volunteering with organizations that provide charitable or social services; and
  • Leaving one’s residence due to a reasonable fear for health or safety, at the direction of law enforcement, or at the direction of another government agency.

Continue Reading Virginia update: Governor issues temporary stay-at-home order and other measures to address COVID-19

On March 30, 2020, Governor Larry Hogan ordered Maryland residents to “stay at home” as part of Maryland’s ongoing response to COVID-19. The order becomes effective March 30, 2020, at 8 p.m. EST and remains in effect until further notice. Governor Hogan announced that the order is in response to the people of Maryland ignoring his prior orders and directives for the past three weeks, endangering themselves and others. “We are no longer asking or suggesting that Maryland residents stay home – we are directing them to do so,” Hogan stated. The March 30, 2020, order amends and restates a prior March 23, 2020, order prohibiting large gatherings and events, and closing senior centers and all nonessential businesses and other establishments.

The order requires all persons living in the state of Maryland to stay in their homes or places of residences, except to participate in essential activities, as defined below, or to conduct essential business.
Continue Reading Maryland residents ordered to “stay at home” effective 8 p.m. EST March 30 to prevent the spread of COVID-19

As part of Virginia’s ongoing response to COVID-19, on March 23, 2020, Governor Ralph Northam issued Executive Order 53 temporarily closing recreational and entertainment businesses and restricting certain other non-essential businesses statewide. The order also bans gatherings of more than 10 people and closes K-12 schools for the remainder of the academic year. These closing and other restrictions are effective from 11.59 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 through 11.59 p.m. on Thursday, April 23, 2020.

Recreational and entertainment businesses temporarily closed

The order requires the one-month closing of the following recreational and entertainment businesses:

  • Theaters, performing arts centers, concert venues, museums, and other indoor entertainment centers.
  • Fitness centers, gymnasiums, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, and indoor exercise facilities.
  • Beauty salons, barbershops, spas, massage parlors, tanning salons, tattoo shops, and any other location where personal care or personal grooming services are performed that would not allow compliance with social distancing guidelines to remain 6 feet apart.
  • Racetracks and historic horse racing facilities.
  • Bowling alleys, skating rinks, arcades, amusement parks, trampoline parks, fairs, arts and craft facilities, aquariums, zoos, escape rooms, indoor shooting ranges, public and private social clubs, and all other places of indoor public amusement.

The order also requires the temporary closing of dining and congregation areas in restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, tasting rooms, and farmers’ markets. However, these businesses may offer delivery and take-out services as long as they are able to comply with social distancing and hygiene requirements.

Continue Reading Virginia’s response to COVID-19: temporary closure of recreational and entertainment businesses, restrictions on other non-essential businesses and school closures

Maryland employers who wish to require their employees to sign a non-competition agreement beware. Effective October 1, 2019, non-competition agreements under Maryland law are valid only if the employee earns more than $15/hour or $31,200 annually. (See SB 328.) For employees who earn equal to or less than that, the agreement will be considered in violation of public policy and consequently, void.

The new Maryland law is not unique. In June, 2019, Maine enacted lawmaking non-competition agreements unenforceable for any employee earning less than 400% of the federal poverty line – nearly $50,000 in 2019. Similarly, in July, 2019, New Hampshire enacted the same restriction for employees that make equal or less than double the federal minimum wage ($14.50/hour).

Continue Reading Maryland clamps down on non-competes

On December 28, 2018, a divided D.C. Circuit panel affirmed, in part, the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB’s or Board’s) Browning-Ferris joint-employer analysis. See Browning-Ferris Indus. of Cal., Inc. v. NLRB, No. 16-1028 (D.C. Cir. Dec. 28, 2018). The D.C. Circuit’s decision marks the latest chapter in the NLRB’s ever-shifting joint-employer standard.

At issue on appeal was the Board’s divided Browning-Ferris decision in 2015 overruling longstanding precedent and relaxing the evidentiary requirement for finding a joint-employer relationship. In December 2017, after the Board’s composition changed with two Trump administration appointments, the new Board majority overruled Browning-Ferris in Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors, Ltd. et al., 362 NLRB 186 (2017). Then, in February 2018, the Board vacated its decision in Hy-Brand, reinstating the earlier Browning-Ferris holding, deciding that one of the new Board members should not have participated in the Hy-Brand decision. With the NLRB’s earlier Browning-Ferris decision reinstated, the D.C. Circuit restored to its docket the Browning-Ferris appeal. Later, in September 2018, the NLRB announced a much-anticipated proposed regulation to establish a rule-driven standard for determining joint-employer status under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). With the public comment period on the proposed regulation open through January 14, 2019, the D.C. Circuit issued its decision.

In a 51-page opinion, the D.C. Circuit agreed with the Board’s determination that an employer’s mere right to control and indirect control over terms and conditions of employment are both relevant factors in the joint-employer analysis. The Court, however, faulted the Board for failing to confine its analysis to “indirect control” over essential terms and conditions of employment, rather than extending the analysis to indirect control over “routine parameters of company-to-company contracting,” which it held was inconsistent with common law precedent. Based on that distinction, the court remanded the matter to the NLRB for further consideration on that issue.

Continue Reading Divided D.C. Circuit panel largely upholds the NLRB’s Browning-Ferris decision and challenges the Board’s authority to conduct rulemaking