Archives: Employment & Labor (U.S.)

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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

Illinois to extend stay-at-home order, require face masks May 1

On April 23, 2020, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced he will be extending the state stay-at-home order through May 31, 2020. While the new executive order has not yet been published as of the date of this blog’s publication, a press release issued by the governor’s office previews modifications to the order, including: A requirement … Continue Reading

Virginia adopts a wave of new employment laws. Part 2 – Worker classification and clampdown on restrictive covenants

As we previously reported on April 23, 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that is dominating the news, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed into law a slew of bills passed by the General Assembly that transform Virginia’s employment laws. This is the second part of a series of alerts discussing Virginia’s groundbreaking new … Continue Reading

What comes next: Reopening the workplace after COVID-19

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many U.S. businesses remain shuttered or operating at reduced levels. While the ultimate decision to allow employees to return to “in-person” work will likely involve a staggered, multi-faceted, jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction approach, on April 16, 2020, the federal government nevertheless announced a three-phase plan for “reopening America,” including guidance for state … Continue Reading

Texas employers who do not participate in workers’ compensation face heightened workplace liability risks as employees return from COVID-19 quarantine

Texas employers who have opted out of workers’ compensation coverage may face significantly increased workplace risks in the weeks and months ahead. All employers will face unique challenges due to the risk of workplace exposure to COVID-19. But, the potential liability from COVID-19 workplace illnesses is particularly problematic for Texas employers who have opted out … Continue Reading

Virginia adopts a wave of new employment laws. Part 1 – Expansive discrimination and retaliation protections

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that is dominating the news, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed into law a slew of bills passed by the General Assembly that transform Virginia’s employment laws. Effective July 1, 2020, Virginia’s long-standing status as a business-friendly state with few labor and employment laws will end. These new state … Continue Reading

DOL issues new guidance on Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

Earlier this month, the US Department of Labor (DOL) promulgated regulations to implement the recently enacted Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA), both of which are part of the broader Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The regulations address several key issues that were unclear in … Continue Reading

Employers must face it: Face covering requirements growing across states and municipalities

As we have previously reported, several states, including New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, now require employees, customers and/or the public to wear face coverings.  As we have also written about, in other states, like California, local governments are leading the way.  For example, Bay Area counties Sonoma, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit examines the job duties required for the highly-compensated employee exemption from overtime pay under the FLSA

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) exempts certain highly-compensated employees (HCEs) from the requirement that they receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek.  To be considered highly compensated, the employee must receive both (1) at least $684 per week paid on a salary or fee basis; and (2) at least $107,432 … Continue Reading

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (updated position as at 20 April 2020)

On 20 March 2020, the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (the Scheme) as part of the UK government’s measures to help support businesses through the current COVID-19 pandemic. We have seen various iterations of guidance on the Scheme (on 26 March, 4 April, 9 April, 15 April and 17 April), and … Continue Reading

New Jersey implements additional mitigation requirements for restaurants and transit providers

As the Garden State continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has signed Executive Order 125, expanding the industries subject to additional mitigation requirements.  This Executive Order includes similar requirements to those set forth in Executive Order 122, discussed here, but applies these requirements to the Restaurant and Transportation Industries. Bars … Continue Reading

Bay Area counties mandate face coverings for essential businesses and other public areas

Health officials in six Bay Area counties – Sonoma, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, and Contra Costa – have issued orders mandating the use of face coverings in public areas like essential businesses, common spaces, and on public transit. The San Francisco, Alameda, San Mateo, and Sonoma county orders went into effect on April … Continue Reading

What’s old is new again – New York to revert back to pre-2019 voting leave law

What’s old is new again in New York. In non-COVID-19-related news, earlier this month, New York state passed its fiscal year 2020–2021 budget. As part of the budget, New York’s voting leave law, which was amended last year, will revert back to the pre-2019 version of the statute. By way of background, in April 2019, … Continue Reading

Updated COVID-19 FAQs for employers with U.S. employees

The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has had, and will continue to have, a substantial impact on the U.S. workplace. Please click here for a series of FAQs we have compiled based on some of the more common questions that clients with U.S.-based employees have posed to us within the past few weeks. These FAQs are general … Continue Reading

New York issues guidance on face coverings for essential businesses

As we detailed last week, on April 12, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order requiring all essential businesses to provide their employees with “face coverings” to be worn when the employees are “in direct contact with customers or members of the public.”  The New York State Department of Health (DOH) has now … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Health Department answers FAQs about worker safety order

This article supplements our earlier article about the April 15, 2020 worker safety order issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH).  The order requires essential businesses in operation in Pennsylvania to implement new workplace requirements, including a mandate for all workers to wear masks.  DOH accompanied the order with a guidance, which was available … Continue Reading

California requires expanded COVID-19 paid sick leave for food sector workers

On April 16, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order requiring employers to provide up to 80 hours of COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave for food sector workers.  The executive order is effective immediately and extends paid sick leave requirements to cover not only employees, but also independent contractors working in the food … Continue Reading

San Francisco Board of Supervisors approves amended paid sick leave ordinance in response to COVID-19 pandemic

On April 7, 2020, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed the Public Health Emergency Leave Ordinance (PHELO) to expand paid sick leave and emergency family medical leave benefits in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  That ordinance was not signed and enacted by Mayor Breed, and the Board of Supervisors has now passed an amended … Continue Reading

Illinois makes workers’ compensation more accessible for COVID-19 essential workers

Effective April 16, 2020, an emergency amendment to Illinois’ workers’ compensation rules will make it easier for workers at essential businesses to obtain workers’ compensation benefits for COVID-19 related injuries. Specifically, the emergency amendment creates a rebuttable presumption that exposure of a “COVID-19 First Responder or Front Line Worker” to the virus arises out of … Continue Reading

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (updated position as at 15 April 2020)

On 20 March 2020, the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (the Scheme) as part of the UK government’s measures to help support businesses through the current COVID-19 pandemic. We have seen various iterations of  guidance on the Scheme (on 26 March, 4 April, 9 April, and 15 April), and on 15 … Continue Reading

Latest challenge for essential businesses in Pennsylvania: Immediate compliance with new workplace requirements mandated by the Department of Health

On April 15, 2020, the Pennsylvania Department of Health issued an Order that mandates numerous workplace obligations on nearly all businesses permitted to maintain in-person operations in the Commonwealth.  The Order became effective immediately upon its issuance, with enforcement scheduled to begin at 8:00 p.m. on April 19, 2020. Even if not immediately applicable to businesses … Continue Reading

New Jersey again amends Family Leave Act

On April 14, 2020, Governor Murphy signed bill S2374 into law, marking the second time since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak that the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA) has been amended. Our blog post about the prior change is available here. The NJFLA, which covers all employers in the state with 30 or … Continue Reading

New Jersey amends mini-Warn Act amid COVID-19 pandemic, providing some relief to employers

On April 14, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed S-2353, which amends the New Jersey Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act (New Jersey’s mini-WARN statute) in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we previously reported here, New Jersey amended its mini-WARN statute in January 2020. Among the January amendments was the requirement … Continue Reading

Connecticut extends non-essential business restrictions and implements mandatory safe workplace rules

On Friday, April 10, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont issued an executive order extending the state’s “non-essential” business restrictions until at least May 20.  As we previously detailed, this measure applies to all businesses deemed “non-essential” under a prior executive order (and was initially scheduled to last until April 22). In addition, last week Governor Lamont … Continue Reading
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