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California expands Family Care and Medical Leave eligibility

On September 17, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 1383 (SB-1383), which significantly expands employee eligibility for family and medical leave under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). The law, which will go into effect January 1, 2021, reduces the number of employees required for an employer to be covered under the CFRA and … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Labor proposes new “reality” for classifying independent contractors

This week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) proposed a new rule that would create a uniform approach to the way companies classify workers as independent contractors or employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The notion of classifying workers as independent contractors versus employees has continued to gain importance in recent years, given … Continue Reading

DOL doubles-down on FFCRA rules (but amends others) in response to federal court decision

On September 11, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a new administrative rule concerning the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), a federal law that provides two forms of COVID-19-related paid time off to employees of businesses with fewer than 500 employees. The rule comes just over a month after a New York … Continue Reading

Updated COVID-19 FAQs for New York employers

Please see an updated version of our FAQs as of July 25, 2020.   We have compiled FAQs concerning New York’s COVID-19-related health and safety protocols for businesses across the state. These protocols apply to all New York businesses – regardless of size, location, whether the business has physically reopened, or whether it was deemed “essential” – … Continue Reading

Responding to employee advocacy and workplace walkouts during times of protest

Several labor organizations, along with racial and social justice organizations, conducted a mass walkout on July 20, 2020 to protest racial inequality and working conditions in the United States.  Thousands of workers in more than 200 cities walked off the job on a full-day strike while others who were unable to strike for a full … Continue Reading

California’s recent guidance for employers facing COVID-19 outbreaks

On June 16, 2020, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released guidance for employers responding to COVID-19 outbreaks in the workplace. An outbreak at a non-health care or congregate setting workplace is defined as three or more laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 within a two-week period among employees who live in different households. The guidance … Continue Reading

COVID-19 FAQs for New York employers

Since early May, New York State has published – across multiple platforms – a slew of materials related to business reopenings and workplace-related health and safety. We developed a FAQs based on some of the more common New York-specific questions that clients have posed to us since May. The FAQs touch on a host of issues, … Continue Reading

Update on everything you need to know about New York’s business reopening plan [Updated as of July 1]

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. Since the Governor … 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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

Please see an updated version of our FAQs as of April 18, 2020.  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 … Continue Reading

“Ask the EEOC” whether COVID-19 is a disability: Its answer may surprise you

On March 27, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) posted a pre-recorded webinar called “Ask the EEOC” on its website. The purpose of the webinar was to answer COVID-19 workplace questions arising under the federal employment discrimination laws the EEOC enforces.  Prior to recording the webinar, and in an effort to ensure that the … 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

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

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
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