Archives: Workplace Laws and Regulations

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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

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

Newly-updated Main Street Lending Program implicates key workplace-related considerations for U.S. employers

On April 30, 2020, the Federal Reserve System, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, released updated guidance outlining the parameters of a program to support lending to small- and mid-sized businesses by eligible lenders.  The April 30 guidance expands on and, in several areas, supersedes prior materials published on April 9. Known … 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

Illinois releases model sexual harassment training

On April 28, 2020, the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) released its model Sexual Harassment Prevention Training (download here), providing guidance for employers with employees operating in Illinois. Under the Workplace Transparency Act (WTA), effective January 1, 2020, employees must receive training on sexual harassment prevention by December 31, 2020, and on an annual … Continue Reading

Virginia adopts a wave of new employment laws. Part 3 – Wage payment laws

As we previously reported on April 23 and April 27, 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic dominating the news, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam recently signed into law a slew of bills passed earlier this year by the General Assembly that transform Virginia’s employment laws. This is the third in a series of alerts … 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

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
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