Category Archives: Employee Policies

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DOL Issues Guidance on Wage-and-Hour Obligations as Pandemic Increases Telework

Prompted by telework arrangements that arose in response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (DOL) issued a Bulletin addressing important work-from-home wage-and-hour considerations. The DOL’s Bulletin presents useful guidance for employers grappling with the challenges of managing working time and pay of employees forced into … Continue Reading

Collision: Collateral Effects of California’s Lawsuits Against Lyft and Uber

The California Labor Commissioner’s Office has challenged Uber and Lyft in two new state-backed lawsuits that allege that the companies have engaged in “wage theft” by misclassifying their drivers as independent contractors. Filed in Alameda County, the suits are the most recent effort to enforce A.B. 5, which arguably caused a sea change in the analysis … Continue Reading

Multiemployer Plans Poised For More Assumption Rate Suits

Challenges to the reasonableness of pension plan actuarial assumptions are confronting corporate plan sponsors not only with regard to their own plans but also with respect to the calculation of withdrawal liability when they exit a multiemployer plan. Since the enactment of the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act, withdrawal liability under the Employee Retirement Income … Continue Reading

Don’t Forget to Check, and Re-Check, the California Reopening Guidelines

Just one week after its release on July 24, California has already issued an updated version of its COVID-19 Employer Playbook for a Safe Reopening, which is intended to offer employers clear and practical guidance on how to safely reopen their businesses during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. In the latest update, employers are … Continue Reading

High Court Articulates Test for Applicability of California Wage Statement Requirements to Interstate Workers

California employers have frequently been faced with confusing standards for the application of California’s stringent wage statement requirements for employees that routinely travel between states as a function of their jobs. The California Supreme Court recently addressed this issue in two companion cases: Ward v. United Airlines, Inc. and Oman v. Delta Air Lines, Inc., … Continue Reading

Colorado Passes the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act

On July 14, 2020, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed SB20-205, known as the “Healthy Families and Workplaces Act” (the Act), into law. The law is an overhaul of Colorado’s paid sick leave statutes. It requires employers to provide paid sick leave to employees under various circumstances. In addition to addressing general paid sick leave, the … Continue Reading

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
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