As we approach the one-year anniversary of COVID-19’s upheaval of “business as usual,” we continue to field inquiries from Empire State employers regarding their pandemic-related workplace obligations. Given that many of the pandemic-related regulations remain fully in effect, we have summarized in this blog post the primary employer obligations that remain in-effect in New York:
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, and requiring a business reopening safety plan. The New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) is charged with enforcing many of these measures with which all New York businesses have been and are required to comply.
With many regions now in “Phase Three” of the state’s reopening scheme, the NYSDOL will likely begin auditing employers and investigating complaints to ensure that businesses are complying with New York’s many COVID-19 regulations. For example, the NYSDOL may request from employers an explanation or documentation of the health and safety measures in place at their in-person places of business. In addition, the NYSDOL may inquire as to whether employees have contracted COVID-19 and, if so, what protocols businesses implemented as a result.
Continue Reading Reminder to New York employers: the New York State Department of Labor will be enforcing COVID-19 regulations
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 safety in the 22 states that do not have approved state plans, has published guidance regarding the protection of workers from COVID-19. Although the agency has not promulgated a regulation that specifically addresses COVID-19, OSHA identifies several regulatory standards that apply to the protection of workers from infectious disease hazards, including:
- 29 C.F.R. 1910, Subpart I – Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- 29 C.F.R. 1910, Subpart J – General Environmental Controls
- 29 C.F.R. 1910, Subpart Z – Toxic and Hazardous Substances
- 29 C.F.R. 1904 – Recordkeeping and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses
- Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act – General Duty Clause
Another decision has been handed down to clarify – or complicate – the position on which aspects of pay should be included when calculating an employee’s entitlement to holiday pay.
The Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland (“CA”) has held that voluntary overtime is not necessarily excluded from the calculation of holiday pay for the purposes of the Working Time Regulations 1998 (as derived under the EU Working Time Directive).
The case of Patterson v Castlereagh Borough Council held that it was a “question of fact” for each Tribunal to determine whether or not voluntary overtime was “normally” carried out by the employee. If so, it should be considered to be part of the employee’s “normal remuneration” and included when calculating holiday pay.
The case was remitted to the Tribunal to hear further evidence of the overtime actually worked by the employee within a suitable reference period. Once this is determined, the Tribunal will decide as a question of fact whether the voluntary overtime should be included in this particular case.…
In the recent case of Lorne Stewart plc v Hyde and others, the EAT made clear that it is important not to get side-tracked by the details of formal written contracts which are in place between the parties before and after a potential TUPE transfer, if such details do not reflect reality. Rather, it is essential to consider whether, in practice and on the facts, there is a service provision change and, if so, whether the employees in question are assigned to an organised grouping of employees which has as its principal purpose the carrying out of the activities concerned. …
De-industrialization is the hot theme of the presidential campaign, regardless of the political spectrum. Solutions brought forward by candidates are more or less concrete, more or less likely. They show little if any understanding of how globalization has made the world a village, through internet and its ability to give instant access to comparative data and decide to move business to welcoming countries.
But in the backyard of their courts, Appeal judges have silently elaborated what can be qualified as the dismissal visa. No more pay off of employees unfairly made redundant. Now the key question is to know whether the judges will authorize a French or foreign group to shut down a plant, downsize staff or disinvest or will merely tell them to keep their workers on the payroll.…