Category Archives: coronavirus

Subscribe to coronavirus RSS Feed

COBRA Election and Enrollment Deadlines Extended During COVID-19 ‘Outbreak Period’

On May 4, 2020, in response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Department of the Treasury, and the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), Department of Labor, issued rules extending deadlines for participants and beneficiaries of certain group health, disability, and welfare plans to make certain benefit elections, give certain … Continue Reading

OSHA Will Examine If Employers Determined Whether Employee COVID-19 Cases Are Work-Related For Purposes of Recording Workplace Injury and Illnesses

On May 19, 2020, OSHA issued another enforcement guidance memorandum regarding recording COVID-19 cases that rescinds the prior guidance and obligates employers to make at least some work-related determinations regarding employees who contract COVID-19. The new memorandum goes into effect May 26, 2020, and will remain in effect until further notice. By way of background, … Continue Reading

ReOpen DC Advisory Group Recommends Four-Stage Reopening Plan

On May 21, 2020, the ReOpen DC Advisory Group, led by Ambassador Susan Rice and Secretary Michael Chertoff, issued recommendations to Mayor Muriel Bowser for reopening the city in four stages. While the plan does not include specific dates, Mayor Bowser announced that Stage One could begin as early as May 29, 2020. This GT Alert summarizes the four … Continue Reading

CDC Issues Guidelines for Reopening

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued guidance titled “CDC Activities and Initiatives Supporting the COVID-19 response and the President’s Plan for Opening America Up Again.” The 60-page document details the initiatives, activities, and tools the CDC is using to support the effort to reopen the country amid the ongoing COVID-19 emergency, … Continue Reading

DOJ and FTC Issue Joint Antitrust Statements for Businesses and Workers in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

In April, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Competition of the Federal Trade Commission released a Joint Statement, warning they are “on alert” and will scrutinize employers – especially employers of front-line and essential workers such as doctors, nurses, grocery store employees, pharmacists, and warehouse workers – who engage in … Continue Reading

UK Employer COVID-19 Return-to-Work and Reporting Obligations Under RIDDOR

The UK national government has announced, in relation to England only, a programme of progressive easing of current lockdown measures due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). With respect to working arrangements, the guidance provides that: [a]ll reasonable steps should be taken by employers to help people work from home. But for those who cannot work from … Continue Reading

New York DOH Issues Business Reopening Safety Plan

The New York State Department of Health has issued a model Business Reopening Safety Plan for businesses that will be reopening in Phase 1 of Gov. Cuomo’s four-phase reopening guidelines for various regions and industries in New York state. Read the full GT Alert, “New York DOH Issues Business Reopening Safety Plan.”… Continue Reading

New Jersey to Permit Curbside Pickup at Non-Essential Retail Businesses, Non-Essential Construction, and Gatherings in Cars

On May 13, 2020, in a step towards reopening New Jersey’s economy during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 142, which among other things (i) permits “non-essential” retail businesses to operate on a “curbside pickup” basis, and (ii) lifts the ban on non-essential construction projects. Executive Order No. 142 modifies earlier Executive … Continue Reading

Governor Baker Announces Reopening Plan for Massachusetts Economy

On May 18, 2020, Massachusetts Gov. Baker announced the implementation of a four-phase reopening plan for Massachusetts. For an overview of the four-phase plan, see GT Alert, Massachusetts Announces Four-Phase Reopening Approach and Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards, May 14, 2020. Businesses eligible to reopen in Phase One must follow both mandatory workplace safety standards and sector-specific requirements. Businesses … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Announces Four-Phase Reopening Approach and Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards

On May 11, 2020, Massachusetts Gov. Baker announced a four-phase approach to reopening the Massachusetts economy in light of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The phased reopening is based on public health guidance, and is intended to allow certain businesses, services, and activities to resume, while aiming to protect public health and limit a … Continue Reading

COVID-19 and Retirement Plan Partial Terminations

Among the longer-term considerations for employer layoff and furlough decisions is the impact on a single employer pension, profit sharing, or 401(k) plan. In general, a 401(k) plan can sustain a partial termination when 20% of the participants in a given year are involuntarily terminated. 26 U.S.C. §411(d); Rev. Proc. 2007-43. Partial termination is a … Continue Reading

Handling Employee Concerns and Protests During the Pandemic: Federal Law on Interference with Operations

Work stoppages and disruption of operations are consequences of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This GT Alert provides an overview of federal law regarding employee protections associated with work stoppages that protest safety in the workplace. Read the full GT Alert here: “Handling Employee Concerns and Protests During the Pandemic: Federal Law on Interference … Continue Reading

The Interplay Between the Massachusetts Unemployment Assistance Program, the Massachusetts WorkShare Program, and the Enhanced Unemployment Benefits in the CARES Act

The current COVID-19 public health crisis has brought about significant changes to unemployment benefit programs at the state and federal levels. This GT Alert discusses these changes, the interplay between the state and federal unemployment laws, and provides an overview of the Massachusetts WorkShare program, which may provide greater flexibility to employers and benefits to … Continue Reading

COVID-19-Related Supplemental Sick Leave Benefits Now Available to Certain City of Los Angeles Workers

Mayor Eric Garcetti signed the City of Los Angeles COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (the Ordinance) into law on April 7. Originally passed by the Los Angeles City Council on March 27, the new Ordinance applies to employers who have at least 500 employees nationwide (i.e., those businesses that had been excluded from the … Continue Reading

The CARES Act and the Self-Employed: A Primer

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) offers economic aid, such as small business loans and unemployment assistance, to self-employed individuals who traditionally have not been eligible for such benefits. Businesses that rely on gig-economy workers may classify these individuals as independent contractors instead of employees, leaving such workers with limited options … Continue Reading

DOL Clarifications on Emergency Leave Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

Given the speed with which the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was legislated before its March 18, 2020, enactment, open questions remained at the time of our March 20, 2020 Alert. Employers covered by FFCRA’s paid leave provisions asked how the tax credits would work. Some of those tax credit questions have since been … Continue Reading

Employment Law Provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed into law the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” (the Act). This Act is a broad response to many of the challenges caused by the current and impending spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The Families First Coronavirus Response Act has eight provisions intended to assist people during … Continue Reading

Georgia Department of Labor Issues Emergency Rule Requiring Employers to File Claims for Employees Affected By COVID-19

On March 16, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the state of emergency proclaimed by federal and state governments, the Georgia Department of Labor issued a new Emergency Rule. This new Rule shifts the burden of filing claims for unemployment compensation from employees to employers. Specifically, starting after the week of March 15, … Continue Reading

New York Sick Leave, Disability, and Paid Family Leave Benefits for Employees Quarantined Due To COVID-19

On March 18, new legislation was enacted in New York state to provide additional paid sick leave, as well as insurance benefits under paid family leave (“PFL”) and statutory disability (“DBL”) policies to employees subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine. This legislation is limited to where there is a mandatory or precautionary … Continue Reading

House Modifications to H.R. 6201, Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Late on Monday, March 16, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives modified H.R. 6201, Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and substantially narrowed the employer leave requirements under Division C – Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act and Division E – Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. As of the time of this Alert, H.R. 6201 … Continue Reading
LexBlog