Archives: Workplace Laws and Regulations

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Understanding the employment implications of the Supreme Court decision upholding DACA

On June 18, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision allowing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to continue operating. In so holding, the Court found the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not provide an adequate justification for terminating the DACA program and, thereby, violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).[1] But … Continue Reading

Reminder to New York employers: the New York State Department of Labor will be enforcing COVID-19 regulations

As we have reported, since March, New York State has implemented a variety of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 and to protect workers during the pandemic. These measures include essential business designations, limiting in-person work, paid leave for certain employees impacted by COVID-19, phased reopening of nonessential businesses, mandatory health and safety protocols, … Continue Reading

Pursuit of pre-litigation liquidated damages no longer the DOL’s default policy

The U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division (WHD) recently announced it will no longer automatically pursue pre-litigation liquidated damages from employers.  WHD now takes the position that recovering pre-litigation liquidated damages should only occur in a limited number of cases and it will more selectively pursue such additional recoveries. WHD issued this new … Continue Reading

New York state further restricts eligibility for its paid quarantine leave

The Empire State recently announced strict measures to protect against the spread of COVID-19 by individuals returning to New York from states experiencing a spike in cases.  Specifically, on June 24 Governor Cuomo signed Executive Order 205 (EO 205), which requires individuals returning to New York from a state that meets either of the following … Continue Reading

15 California localities increase minimum wage on July 1, 2020

California employers need to be aware of impending local minimum wage increases in 13 California cities and counties on July 1, 2020, under local ordinances.  The minimum wage will increase in the following localities on July 1 as described below.  Clients must make sure their minimum wage postings reflect these changes. Locality Employers with 25 … Continue Reading

Face covering requirements reappear overnight for many businesses operating in Texas

With the spike in reported COVID-19 cases in Texas, counties have started to re-impose previous safety measures. As a result, many of the requirements of the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” orders from earlier this year have come back into effect for a second time – highlighting the continuing challenge of COVID-19 workplace compliance. On the … Continue Reading

California now requires face coverings in public

On June 18, 2020, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued guidance mandating that face coverings be worn state-wide. While several California counties and cities have passed local laws requiring face coverings over the past few months, state public health officials had only previously recommended the use of face coverings. Face covering requirements People … Continue Reading

Harris County issues order mandating businesses to require the wearing of face coverings on their premises

On June 19, 2020, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo issued an order (the Order) requiring businesses in Harris County, Texas, that provide goods and services directly to the public to develop, post, and implement a health and safety policy that requires employees and visitors age 10 and older to wear face coverings when in the … Continue Reading

Protecting confidential information in a work-from-home world

In non-compete and trade secret litigation, key evidence of employee misconduct often comes to light through a forensic examination of the employee’s devices and accounts. These forensic reviews can identify suspicious activity, such as an employee forwarding information and documents to a personal email address, accessing large amounts of company files around the time of … Continue Reading

Moving forward: New York State Department of Health issues new protocols for returning employees to the workplace following COVID-19 infection or exposure

As New York State businesses begin to reopen – a process we have detailed here – Empire State employers will increasingly be required to make decisions with respect to returning employees to the workplace who were suspected or confirmed to be infected with, or exposed to, COVID-19. To assist the business community, the New York … Continue Reading

EEOC provides updated guidance related to excluding high-risk workers, required accommodations, and pandemic-based harassment

As we previously posted, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) CDC recently issued guidance on reopening the workplace. In its latest update on June 11, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (the Guidance) to provide further guidance on returning employees to the workplace. Notably, the Guidance covers … Continue Reading

Expanding the definition of sex: SCOTUS rules employers cannot discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

On June 15, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, No. 17-1618 (U.S. Jun. 15, 2020), which held that an employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In a 6-3 opinion authored by Justice … Continue Reading

Update on everything you need to know about New York’s business reopening plan [Updated as of June 15]

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 basis and then, once a region is eligible to reopen, on a phased industry-by-industry basis. … Continue Reading

New Jersey “lifts” stay at home order – but little changes for most employers

On June 9, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced on Twitter that he was “signing an Executive Order LIFTING [New Jersey’s] STAY-AT-HOME ORDER” as the state enters “Phase 2” of the recovery process.  Many news outlets and employers took this announcement to mean there would be significant changes for New Jersey businesses.  However, the … Continue Reading

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

Judge denies implementation of portions of major union election rule changes

On May 30, 2020, a U.S. district court judge issued an order that prevents certain provisions of a new rule governing election procedures from going into effect. However, employers should note that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) intends to implement all other portions of the new rule that the court’s order did not address, … 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

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
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