Category Archives: Employee Policies

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Reminder: Virginia’s New Employment Laws Take Effect July 1

Virginia’s General Assembly and governor worked together this year to enact a broad range of new employment laws that impact virtually every aspect of the employment relationship. These laws create new substantive and procedural protections for employees and impose new liabilities and burdens on employers, and they take effect July 1, 2020. Read the full … Continue Reading

Philadelphia City Council Passes Bill Prohibiting Employers from Retaliating Against Workers for Speaking Out About COVID-19 Safety Violations

In advance of Philadelphia entering the “green” phase and many businesses reopening, the Philadelphia City Council unanimously passed the Essential Workers Protection Act (Bill No. 200328) on June 25 and was signed by Mayor Jim Kenney on June 26, 2020. For purposes of this Act, introduced by City Councilwoman Helen Gym, essential workers are employees who … 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

Fewer Commissioned Employees Eligible for Overtime Under New Employer-Friendly Department of Labor Rule

The United States Department of Labor (DOL) issued revised regulations on May 18, 2020, effectively expanding the exemptions under Section 7(i) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which permits certain commissioned employees of “retail or service establishments” to be considered exempt from overtime. Designed to “reduce confusion,” the new rule, which takes effect immediately, … 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

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-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

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

Employers: Stop, Drop, and Ensure CCPA Compliance as to Employees Residing in California

Despite being in effect since Jan. 1, 2020, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) continues to generate confusion for employers of California residents. Much attention has been given to the CCPA’s effect on a business’ obligations in collecting, using, and sharing California customers’ data. However, given the CCPA’s broad “consumer” definition includes “employees,” it also imposes … Continue Reading

Amendments to Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act Clarify Limitations of Employer Liability

On December 4, 2019, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed into law Senate Bill 1557, which makes various changes to the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (the “Cannabis Act”), including providing much-needed clarity with respect to potential employer liability. The Cannabis Act, which legalizes (under Illinois state law) the adult recreational use of cannabis, goes … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Announces Final Changes to Overtime Rules

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on Sept. 24, 2019, announced a final rule raising the annual minimum salary requirements for the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime exemptions for executive, administrative, and professional employees. The final rule, effective Jan. 1, 2020, will significantly impact businesses. Experts predict the rule could result in the reclassification … Continue Reading

Changes to Illinois Law Prohibit Salary History Inquiries and Impact Employer Drug Policies

Several amendments to the Illinois Equal Pay Act will become effective Sept. 29, 2019. The most significant of these amendments is a ban that prohibits inquiry into and the use of a job applicant’s pay history in making hiring and employment decisions. Illinois has now joined with 13 states that have imposed such a ban. This … Continue Reading

Chicago ‘Fair Workweek’ Ordinance Requires Employers to Provide Scheduling Notice to Covered Employees

On July 24, 2019, the city of Chicago enacted the Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance, intended to “enact and enforce fair and equitable employment scheduling practices in the City of Chicago…” Most provisions of the Ordinance go into effect on July 1, 2020. The Ordinance covers employers primarily engaged in building services, health care, hotel, manufacturing, … Continue Reading

IRS Expands Retirement Plan Self-Correction Program

Our January 2019 GT Benefits and Compensation Alert addressed the unprecedented level of potential liability for compliance failures in 401(k) and other retirement plans and the importance of performing a plan compliance review and correcting plan document or operational failures before an IRS auditor knocks on the door. Doing nothing and playing the audit lottery … Continue Reading

Budding Use of Legal Marijuana Creates Sticky Situation for NJ Employers

Kristine J. Feher and Danielle E. Gonnella co-authored an article in the New Jersey Law Journal titled “Budding Use of Legal Marijuana Creates Sticky Situation for NJ Employers.” The article discusses the whole new arena of substance-related challenges faced by employers in states where marijuana has been legalized for medical and/or recreational use, or decriminalized. To … Continue Reading

New NYC Sick Leave Law Expands Usage for Persons ‘Equivalent of Family’ and Safe Leave

The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs has issued a revised Notice of Employee Rights under the Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (ESSTA), formerly the Earned Sick Time Act (ESTA), codified at § 20-911 et seq. Effective May 5, 2018, ESSTA now permits employees to use sick and safe time to address safety … Continue Reading

April 1 Deadline for Massachusetts Pregnancy Act Requirements

Massachusetts employers are reminded that the provisions of the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (the PWFA) take effect April 1, 2018. The PWFA was signed into law in July 2017, and a previous GT Alert summarizes the law’s major provisions. The PWFA amends the Massachusetts statute prohibiting employment discrimination (MA General Laws Chapter 151B) to … Continue Reading

Avoiding Holiday Season Employment Headaches

As the holiday season approaches, employees look forward to time with family, vacations, and holiday festivities, all of which can mean requesting more time off or calling in sick.  For retailers, however, the holiday season typically means increased customer demand, staffing challenges, and potential for more wage and hour exposure.  Given these issues – and … Continue Reading

Workplace Implications of the Massachusetts Recreational Marijuana Law

On Nov. 8, 2016, Massachusetts voters passed Question 4, which legalizes the recreational use of marijuana (Recreational Use Law). The Recreational Use Law follows passage of a 2012 Massachusetts ballot question which legalized the medicinal use of marijuana. Please see our previous May 15, 2013 GT Alert, What Does the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Act Mean … Continue Reading

Philadelphia Expands the Reach of Its ‘Ban the Box’ Ordinance

On Dec. 15, 2015, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter amended the city’s current “ban the box” law to expand the number of employers it covers and increase restrictions on the use of criminal background checks during the hiring process. The amendments take effect in just 90 days and make several noteworthy changes to the city’s original … Continue Reading
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