With the approval of Cal/OSHA’s new COVID-19 regulations, the proponents of action-taking won out over those who felt California’s existing laws, regulations, and enforcement arsenal were sufficient to meet the moment. It’s clear that California likes to lead—though it’s not the first state to enact specific COVID-19 standards (Virginia and Oregon got there first).… Continue Reading
The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board has approved emergency, temporary COVID-19 regulations under California’s Occupational Safety & Health Act. California employers must now establish specific measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in nearly every workplace in California. The emergency regulations, which the Standards Board approved on Thursday night by a unanimous vote, must first be submitted to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) for final approval. Upon submission, the OAL will have only 10 calendar days to approve or deny the proposed emergency regulations. If approved, the OAL will file the emergency regulation with the Secretary of … Continue Reading
New York City employers are required to amend their existing sick leave policies as soon as possible due to amendments to the New York City Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (the “ESSTA”) that went into effect on September 30, 2020. These recent amendments attempt to align the ESSTA more closely with the recently-enacted New York State sick leave law, which also went into effect on September 30, 2020 (though employees do not have the right to use accrued sick leave under the New York State sick leave law until January 1, 2021).
To learn more about the recent changes … Continue Reading
On July 27, 2020, the first state “Emergency Temporary Standard” (ETS) for COVID-19 went into effect. The ETS requires employers in the state to develop and implement COVID-19 prevention and control measures in the workplace. The ETS is in effect for six months, although this period could be shortened if the Virginia State of Emergency expires, a permanent standard is enacted or the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board repeals it.
Employers covered by the Emergency Temporary Standard
The ETS applies to all public and private employers and places of employment in Virginia, with the exception of federal employers, private … Continue Reading
As part of the most recent New York State budget, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a new mandatory paid sick leave program affecting all New York employers. Under the law, all New York employers will need to provide their employees with paid or unpaid sick leave (whether or not related to the COVID-19 pandemic) as follows:
- For employers with 100 or more employees, up to 56 hours of paid sick leave per year must be provided to each employee.
- For employers with between five and 99 employees, and for employers with fewer than five employees but with a net
On July 3, San Francisco’s new “Back to Work” emergency ordinance took effect, requiring employers to rehire certain employees laid off as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic when the employer seeks to fill the same position formerly held by the laid-off worker, or a substantially similar position. The ordinance will expire on September 2, 2020, but may continue if extended by the City of San Francisco. For more information on the requirements of this new ordinance creating special reemployment rights, see our legal update, With San Francisco’s Back to Work Ordinance now in effect, employees laid-off due to COVID-19 … Continue Reading
Businesses with operations in New York State and, particularly, in New York City, face unique obstacles with respect to reopening their businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. With over 380,000 confirmed cases across the state, and over 200,000 confirmed cases in New York City, most New York residents have been affected by the virus in some way, and many are apprehensive about reentering the workplace. New York City’s dense population of over 8 million residents and approximately 10 million commuters — many of whom rely on public transportation — undoubtedly exacerbates these concerns. In light of these concerns, Governor Cuomo extended … Continue Reading
Many businesses quickly shifted to remote work, where possible, and abandoned operations in an office setting when COVID-19 became a pandemic or when jurisdictions required or encouraged people to stay at home. Now, as these businesses contemplate resuming operations in the general office setting, they are grappling with a myriad of issues and concerns. See our article COVID-19: Best practice considerations for resuming work in an office setting for employer considerations for resuming work in the office setting, including advice on determining when to reopen, determining modifications to be made in the workplace, employee communication and training considerations, implementing the … Continue Reading
Recently, in McPherson v. EF Intercultural Foundation, Inc., the California Court of Appeals addressed the legality of unlimited or uncapped vacation policies under California law. Three exempt employees sued the company for payment of unused vacation time at termination, despite being subject to an unlimited paid time off policy, because they argued the policy was neither unlimited in policy nor practice. The court agreed. Fortunately for California employers, the decision sets forth guidelines for employers to properly implement such policies and avoid liability. For more information, see our legal update, California court finds employer liable under unlimited vacation policy… Continue Reading
It has been nearly one month since the “New York on PAUSE” Order was implemented to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yesterday, Governor Cuomo announced that the Order will be extended until May 15, 2020, requiring non-essential businesses across New York to remain closed for at least an additional month. With these ongoing restrictions, employers continue to navigate the evolving legal landscape with the understanding that business interruptions may not be as temporary as initially anticipated. To stay afloat amidst these disruptions, companies may have to make difficult business decisions, including implementing layoffs, furloughs, and pay reductions for … Continue Reading
Employers with either 500 or more employees within the City of Los Angeles, or who employ at least one employee in Los Angeles and have 2,000 or more employees within the US, must now provide supplemental paid sick leave for reasons related to the coronavirus pandemic for those employees performing work in the city. Notably, while employers of this size are exempt from the recent federal paid sick leave law, they must immediately become familiar with this new obligation under an emergency order signed by the Mayor. For more information, see our legal update Los Angeles emergency public order imposes … Continue Reading
On April 1, 2020, the US Department of Labor (DOL) issued a temporary rule providing key guidance on paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The rule clarifies that employees covered under a federal, state or local stay–at-home order may be eligible for paid FFCRA leave but only if work or telework is available. The rule also provides detailed guidance on teleworking, the small business exemption, required documentation and a number of other points. For more information, see our legal update, US: DOL issues key federal paid leave rule, extends leave to certain employees under stay-at-home orders… Continue Reading
To reduce the spread of COVID-19, many employers are requiring their employees to work remotely (either voluntarily or because several states, including California and New York, have imposed social distancing restrictions). The new work-from-home reality has implications for employers with workers employed in California and other states, as described in COVID-19: Working from home and employer reimbursement of remote-work expenses in California and beyond. For more information, read COVID-19: Working from home and employer reimbursement of remote-work expenses in California and beyond, and for additional information about legal implications of COVID-19, see Coronavirus: Legal implications of a global … Continue Reading
The US Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidance which answers a number of key questions on the new federal coronavirus paid sick leave and emergency Family and Medical Leave Act leave, including when the law takes effect, how to count employees for purposes of the 500-employee threshold, how to treat related employers and other key questions. The DOL also issued model paid sick leave posters and announced limited amnesty for violations through April 17th. For more information, read US DOL answers questions on new federal sick and family leave, issues new posters and announces limited amnesty and see our chart … Continue Reading
On Thursday, March 19, 2020, New York State enacted a law requiring that New York State employers provide job-protected time off (in some cases, paid time off) to employees who are affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in certain ways (the “NY COVID-19 Law”). The NY COVID-19 Law requires that, for each employee who is subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation issued by the State of New York or certain other government entities due to COVID-19, employers provide job-protected time off until the termination of the COVID-19 Order, as described in our legal update New … Continue Reading
COVID-19, the 2019 novel coronavirus (“COVID-19” or the “coronavirus”) continues to stress US employers attempting to prevent the disease from spreading in their workplaces while continuing to operate effectively. With each passing day, health authorities provide more information about the spread of the disease and federal, state and local governments impose additional restrictions that impact businesses, their employees and their customers/clients. As the commercial and social environment rapidly changes, we are continuing to address a wide variety of labor and employment issues arising from those changes. We address some of those basic issues in US: Critical COVID-19 labor and employment … Continue Reading
On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which provides relief to families and workers facing the global coronavirus pandemic.
The FFCRA provides: (1) free diagnostic testing for coronavirus; (2) food assistance to low-income pregnant women and mothers with young children, food banks, seniors and students; (3) increased federal assistance to state Medicaid programs; (4) enhanced unemployment assistance to affected workers; and (5) paid sick leave and emergency federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) coverage to certain employees and individuals.
COVID-19, the 2019 novel coronavirus (“COVID-19” or the “coronavirus”) is naturally on the minds of US employers as the number of cases in the US continues to rise. Although the Centers for Disease Control is still advising that most people in the US have a low immediate risk of exposure, that could change and employers are well advised to consider some basic questions that could arise in the future. We pose and answer some of those basic questions in our article US employers must consider multiple legal requirements when addressing coronavirus concerns. Remember that individual situations can vary and … Continue Reading
September 30th deadline to provide pay data to EEOC will cover both 2017 and 2018 pay data
As we previously reported in our articles Employers with 100 or more employees must provide pay data to the EEOC by September 30, 2019 and New EEOC pay data deadline: September 30, 2019, following an April 25, 2019 federal court ruling, employers with 100 or more employees should begin to prepare to report pay data to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) by September 30, 2019.
September 30th deadline to provide pay data to EEOC
Following an April 25, 2019 federal court ruling, employers with 100 or more employees should begin to prepare to report pay data to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) by September 30, 2019. While there is a possibility that an appeals court could stay this reporting requirement before then, covered employers should operate under the assumption that they will need to meet this September 30, 2019 deadline.
Background on pay data reporting requirement
Under current law, employers with 100 or more employees and federal contractors with 50 or more employees … Continue Reading
The US Department of Labor’s March 7, 2019 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking reset the salary requirements for the Fair Labor Standards Act’s white-collar exemptions. By now we all know the new numbers: the minimum salary threshold will increase from US$455 per week (US$23,660 annually) to US$679 per week (US$35,308 annually) for the executive, administrative, professional, outside sales and computer employee exemptions. The 2019 Proposed Rule also increases the total annual compensation required for the highly compensated employee exemption from US$100,000 to US$147,414 per year. It does not, however, modify any of the duties tests. The DOL anticipates that the 2019 … Continue Reading
Recently, New York State and New York City have continued the trend of enacting employee-friendly legislation and issuing broad enforcement guidance under their respective employment laws and regulations. New York State and New York City employers should be aware of the following recent developments from 2018 and early 2019, and should take action to review and update their practices and policies for compliance.
New York City lactation room and policy laws — new policy requirement
Federal and New York State laws already require employers to make reasonable efforts to provide a room other than a bathroom where a nursing employee … Continue Reading
In September 2018, we reported on New York State’s issuance of draft guidance under the recently enacted New York State law aimed at preventing sexual harassment. New York State has now issued final guidance under this law. This includes final guidance regarding:
- The anti-sexual harassment policy that every New York State employer (regardless of size and including those who employ only domestic and household employees) must adopt by October 9, 2018; and
- The mandatory interactive anti-sexual harassment training that every New York State employer is required to conduct for all employees annually.
Final Guidance Delays Deadline to Conduct First Annual… Continue Reading
Key opinion letter allows FMLA leave for voluntary organ donation
Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued six advisory opinion letters on various Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) issues. From time to time, opinion letters such as these are issued to provide legal guidance to employers.
The DOL opinion letter likely to be of most interest to US companies is the one that addressed whether an employee in good health who voluntarily chooses to undergo organ donation surgery could use FMLA leave for post-operative care. See FMLA2018-2-A. The DOL … Continue Reading