Archives: Workplace Laws and Regulations

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Texas metro areas issue shelter-in-place orders to slow the spread of COVID-19

Texas is taking a localized approach in trying to slow the spread of COVID-19. Since Monday, March 23, 2020, county and city governments from some of Texas’s largest metropolitan areas have issued “stay home-work safe” orders. This includes Dallas County, Harris County (where Houston is located), and Travis County (where Austin is located). Each of … Continue Reading

States expand unemployment benefits for employees impacted by COVID-19

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the U.S. Department of Labor recently announced new guidance outlining ways states can be more flexible in administering and expanding unemployment insurance (UI) programs in order to assist employees affected by COVID-19. Generally speaking, UI is a joint state–federal program that provides cash benefits to eligible workers. Although each … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania issues order closing all non-life sustaining businesses

On March 19, 2020, in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf issued an order directing all non-life-sustaining businesses to close their physical locations effective March 19 at 8 p.m. The order provides a process for applying for a waiver, but, due to the high volume of waiver requests, enforcement … Continue Reading

Connecticut orders all non-essential businesses to close offices to reduce in-person workforce amid COVID-19

In an effort to reduce in-person workforces in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Connecticut has joined New York, California, Pennsylvania, Illinois, New Jersey, and several other jurisdictions in restricting the operation of “non-essential” businesses. More specifically, on March 20, Governor Ned Lamont issued an executive order requiring all “non-essential” businesses to reduce their in-person workforces … Continue Reading

New Jersey issues “remain home” directive and limits on business operations

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, on Saturday, March 21, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy issued an executive order that takes effect at 9:00 p.m.  The order prohibits social gatherings and contains a “remain home” directive absent proscribed needs, like obtaining food, seeking medical services, visiting family, attending religious services, engaging in outdoor recreation … Continue Reading

New Jersey grants protections to employees with any infectious disease

Updated on April 8, 2020 Since the effective date of this law, the New Jersey Department of Labor has issued regulations related to same.  The regulations make clear that even if an employee is on leave for a protected reason, the employee is not entitled to reinstatement if the employee’s position is eliminated during a … Continue Reading

DHS responds to COVID-19 by allowing exceptions to Form I-9 compliance for remote new hires

Employers seeking to continue business operations while also abiding by CDC guidance and other health and safety directives to curb COVID-19 exposure have been struggling with how to adhere to the in-person document review requirements for completing a new hire’s Form I-9. Yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that, in limited circumstances, it … Continue Reading

Illinois governor issues “stay at home” order in response to COVID-19

On March 20, 2020, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker issued an executive order directing all Illinois residents to “stay at home.”  The order goes into effect on Saturday, March 21, 2020 at 5 p.m. (CT), and lasts through April 7, 2020.  Illinois now joins the ranks of California and New York, which have issued similar “stay … Continue Reading

Getting to 500 – employer considerations for meeting the head count exemption threshold in H.R. 6201

The employment-related provisions of H.R. 6201, also known as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the Act) apply only to employers with fewer than 500 employees. However, determining whether a business entity – or a group of separate but related entities – has 500 or more employees is not as straightforward as it may seem. … Continue Reading

COVID-19: Practical implications of March 19, 2020, state of California and Los Angeles County emergency orders

On March 19, 2020, governor of the state of California, Gavin Newsom, issued Executive Order N-33-20 (California Executive Order), effective immediately until further notice. This California Executive Order requires all individuals living in the state of California to stay home, except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of the federal critical infrastructure sectors, as … Continue Reading

New York to ban all “in-person” work

Two days ago, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order requiring that, by 8 pm tonight, Empire State businesses reduce their “in-person” workforces at any physical work locations by 50%. Yesterday, that number jumped to 75%. Today, however, Governor Cuomo announced that he is increasing the reduction to 100% of “in-person” New York … Continue Reading

Big Apple employers: Governor Cuomo announces job protections and paid sick leave for New Yorkers quarantined due to COVID-19

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, yesterday, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill providing job protection and benefits to certain employees quarantined due to COVID-19. Principally, the legislation provides certain job protections to employees subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation issued by the state, … Continue Reading

New York requires remote working, 50% reduction in employees at physical work locations

As one part of its continuing approach to combating the COVID-19 pandemic, New York State will soon be requiring employers statewide to utilize remote work arrangements to the maximum extent feasible and to slash the number of employees in their physical work locations. Pursuant to an executive order issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo late last … Continue Reading

NJ Department of Labor issues guidance on COVID-19

While the New Jersey Legislature is considering legislation to address the employment consequences of COVID-19, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) has published a Q&A regarding COVID-19 and how it interacts with New Jersey’s current employment laws. … Continue Reading

California executive order suspends and modifies California WARN requirements due to COVID-19 but employers contemplating furloughs are not yet in the clear

Employers are facing increasingly difficult business decisions as a result of COVID-19 and, in developing a plan of action, must take care to avoid the many risks for wage and hour litigation that may be asserted in the wake of those decisions, especially as they relate to the execution of temporary layoffs or furloughs. On … Continue Reading

What employers need to know about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201)

The afternoon of March 18, 2020, the Senate passed H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Division C of the Bill details the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, and Division E provides additional protections under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. Both divisions apply to employers with fewer than 500 employees. At … Continue Reading

San Francisco to provide expanded paid sick leave for workers impacted by coronavirus by way of Workers and Families First Program

On March 16, 2020, San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed announced a Workers and Families First Program to provide additional paid sick leave benefits for employees affected by COVID-19.  The plan includes $10 million in funding that will allow businesses to provide an additional five days of sick leave pay beyond their existing policies. All … Continue Reading

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. Below is 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 days. These general FAQs are current as … Continue Reading

California privacy, harassment and discrimination considerations during the coronavirus outbreak

In addition to considerations under federal law and California’s wage and hour laws, California employers should consider privacy, harassment and discrimination laws that are unique to California. California laws tend to be more protective of employees than federal counterparts and these differences may impact how an employer needs to respond to coronavirus concerns. Privacy Unlike … Continue Reading

California wage and hour considerations during the coronavirus outbreak

In addition to considerations under federal law, employers with employees in California should consider additional wage and hour issues that are unique to California. The Labor Commissioner’s Office has issued an FAQ to provide guidance on issues related to COVID-19. If an exempt salaried employee performs any work during the week, that employee should be … Continue Reading

OSHA and state agencies issue COVID-19 guidance: what employers and businesses need to know

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and certain state plan safety regulators have issued guidance regarding potential workplace hazards resulting from exposure to COVID-19.  This article discusses the content and implications of the new guidance, as well as related guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). OSHA, which regulates worker health and … Continue Reading

COVID-19 and the Family and Medical Leave Act: An employer’s guide to medical leave and job protections

From March 6 to March 8, the United States reported more than 500 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), spanning at least 34 states. As the number of cases continues to grow, so will the number of employees seeking job protection under the Federal Medical Leave Act (FMLA). What is the FMLA? At a very … Continue Reading

Action items for employer task forces responding to novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads domestically in the United States, employers should take proactive action to address employee concerns regarding COVID-19, plan for the potential impact of its transmission at the workplace, and be ready to take action in the event of suspected or actual virus exposure at work. Centralized communication and planning: Employers … Continue Reading

The NLRB offers “clarity” on its joint-employer test by issuing its final rule

On February 26, 2020, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued its final rule governing joint-employer status under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) in the federal register. The final rule will undo a more relaxed Obama-era joint-employer test by reinstating the joint-employer standard that the Board followed for several decades prior to its 2015 … Continue Reading
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