Archives: COVID-19/Novel coronavirus

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PPP Flexibility Act – Stretching forgiveness requirements to benefit employers

Last week, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPPFA) was signed into law, becoming effective immediately. The PPPFA reforms the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was passed under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and is intended to improve the terms of PPP loans obtained by small businesses to help cover payroll … Continue Reading

Update on everything you need to know about New York’s business reopening plan [Updated as of June 3]

As we previously detailed here and here, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo recently outlined guidelines for when Empire State businesses can reopen and return to “in-person” operations. Under the Governor’s plan, reopenings are being determined, first, on a region-by-region and then, once a region is eligible to reopen, on a phased industry-by-industry basis. Since … Continue Reading

Philadelphia councilmembers propose bill to increase paid sick leave for many federally excluded employees

On May 1, 2020, Councilmember Kendra Brooks (At Large) announced a proposed bill, co-sponsored by Helen Gym (At Large) and Bobby Henon (6th District), that would increase the amount of paid sick leave available to workers who continue to physically report to their jobs during a “public health emergency.” This bill comes on the heels … Continue Reading

Employers Beware: Post-pandemic litigation traps

As shutdown orders begin to subside and states across the nation take steps toward reopening, employers should prepare for a potential spike in employment claims arising out of new legislation, the application of existing laws to novel workplace circumstances and a sudden downturn in the economy. Below is a summary of some of the claims … Continue Reading

Preparing for a post-COVID-19 return to the workplace: what do UK employers need to think about from a health and safety and HR perspective?

Over recent weeks, the UK government has announced the first steps it is taking to get businesses up and running again in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This publication highlights a number of key areas for UK employers to consider as they start to plan ahead to re-establish and maintain their businesses, while at … Continue Reading

CDC issues new guidance on reopening the workplace

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released new guidance (the Guidance) and a flowchart (the Flowchart) detailing how states can safely reopen businesses and schools in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 60-page guidance document covers a wide range of topics, including surveilling, contact tracing, and controlling COVID-19 cases. The … Continue Reading

Oakland passes COVID-19 paid sick leave

On May 12, 2020, Oakland passed an emergency ordinance joining Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose in requiring employers to provide paid sick leave to employees for COVID-19-related reasons.  Codified as Code of Ordinances Chapter 5.94 and known as the “Protecting Workers and Communities During a Pandemic – COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Ordinance” … Continue Reading

OSHA revises COVID-19 recordkeeping requirements

As numerous states begin to reopen, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced a revised recordkeeping enforcement memorandum, effective May 26, 2020, that outlines when employers must record COVID-19 cases as a work-related illness.  This revised guidance replaces OSHA’s previous April 2020  memorandum and removes the relaxed application of … Continue Reading

Update on everything you need to know about New York’s business reopening plan

As we previously detailed here and here, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo recently outlined guidelines for when Empire State businesses can reopen and return to “in-person” operations. Under the Governor’s plan, reopenings are being determined, first, on a region-by-region and then, once a region is eligible to reopen, on a phased industry-by-industry basis. Since … Continue Reading

New Jersey slowly begins lifting operating restrictions for certain industries

New Jersey started the reopening process, lifting restrictions on certain business operations the State previously shut down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As employers in these industries resume operations, there are many legal considerations, including adopting policies and practices to ensure compliance with the State’s required mitigation efforts. While New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy … Continue Reading

Virginia update: Governor loosens pandemic restrictions, except in Northern Virginia, Richmond City, and Accomack County

On May 8, 2020, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam issued Executive Order 61 outlining Phase One of the commonwealth’s plan to gradually ease temporary public health and business restrictions related to COVID-19, effective May 15, 2020, through at least June 10, 2020. Since issuing Executive Order 61, however, Governor Northam issued Executive Order 62 delaying this … Continue Reading

New York announces additional reopening guidance, including a regional monitoring dashboard

As we previously detailed, last week New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo outlined guidelines for when Empire State businesses can reopen and return to “in-person” operations.  Under the Governor’s plan, reopenings will be determined, first, on a region-by-region and then, once a region is eligible to reopen, on a phased industry-by-industry basis. In the wake … Continue Reading

California Executive Order expands workers’ compensation eligibility for employees diagnosed with COVID-19

On May 6, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-62-20, which dramatically expands workers’ compensation eligibility for employees who are diagnosed with COVID-19, as part of his continued plan to create a robust safety net for California workers. The Order creates a rebuttable presumption that employees who test positive for or are diagnosed with … Continue Reading

Returning to work during the COVID-19 pandemic: Employer’s rights and obligations to high-risk workers

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated and expanded a Technical Assistance Publication on May 5, 2020, and then again on May 7, 2020, focusing on employer obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related laws during the COVID-19 pandemic. The EEOC’s guidance comes as many states are reopening their economies and allowing … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania’s governor issues additional requirements for businesses currently authorized to be open

On May 4, 2020, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf issued a document titled “Guidance for Businesses Permitted to Operate During the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency” (the Business Guidance or the Guidance). The Business Guidance contains the latest requirements applicable to businesses during Pennsylvania’s Red, Yellow, Green phased reopening approach. These new requirements are directed at businesses already … Continue Reading

Los Angeles City’s New Right of Recall and Worker Retention Ordinances

On April 29, 2020, the Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, signed into law two COVID-19-driven workforce ordinances: the Right of Recall Ordinance and the Worker Retention Ordinance. The ordinances cover “Airport,” “Commercial Property,” “Event Center,” and “Hotel” employers, including: Owners, operators, or managers of (i) Event Centers (g., concert halls, stadiums, sports arenas, racetracks, … Continue Reading

Illinois withdraws rebuttable presumption rule for COVID-19 workers’ compensation claims

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission has withdrawn an emergency rule it passed just weeks ago that would have made it easier for essential workers to claim they became sick with COVID-19 while on the job. The withdrawal comes in the face of a Sangamon County Circuit Court decision granting an emergency request by the Illinois … Continue Reading

COVID-19 FAQs for California employers

The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has had, and will continue to have, a substantial impact on the U.S. workplace. We have prepared a series of FAQs compiled based on some of the more common questions that clients with California-based employees have posed to us over roughly the past six weeks. These FAQs are general and high-level … Continue Reading

Gov. Cuomo announces guidelines to “reopen” New York

Yesterday, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo outlined guidelines for when Empire State businesses can reopen and return to “in-person” operations.  Under the Governor’s plan, reopenings will be determined on a region-by-region and industry-by-industry basis.  And when businesses do ultimately reopen, they will be required to adopt a plan to protect employees and consumers, make … Continue Reading

Employees refusing to return to work? The SBA offers some protection of PPP forgiveness

The SBA’s latest round of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) gives employers an important new tool to address one of the biggest challenges of trying to maximize PPP forgiveness: How to respond to employees who refuse to return to work by June 30, 2020. Loan forgiveness is the cornerstone of … Continue Reading

Wage and hour considerations in the post-COVID-19 era

As businesses reopen and employees begin returning to work, employers will have to navigate complex wage and hour issues they may have never considered before. Employers will need to adapt to a “new normal” of major workplace changes, including increased teleworking, social distancing, and new health and safety measures. Wage and hour issues for employees … Continue Reading

Face coverings required in Illinois, and other updates to stay-at-home order

On April 23, 2020, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced he would be extending the state stay-at-home order through May 30, 2020. The new extended order, which goes into effect on May 1, 2020, imposes a number of new restrictions, while lessening others. New restrictions and requirements Face covering required in public settings: Illinois residents over … Continue Reading

Does workers’ compensation protect employers from liability arising from workplace transmission of COVID-19?

As employees begin returning to work over the coming weeks, employers will face unique challenges created by the risk of workplace exposure to the coronavirus.  These risks take on an added urgency in a number of states where workers’ compensation coverage may not create an absolute bar to lawsuits related to workplace exposure to COVID-19.  … Continue Reading

Texas partially reopens businesses effective May 1st

In the first phase of an effort to restart parts of Texas’ economy, on April 27, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order allowing certain businesses – retail establishments, restaurants, movie theaters, shopping malls, museums, libraries, golf courses, and services provided by an individual working alone in an office – to reopen on May … Continue Reading
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