Category Archives: Labor & Employment

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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

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

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

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

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

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

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) – Dutch Government Issues Emergency Measures for Employers and Entrepreneurs

On 17 March 2020, the Dutch government announced that exceptional economic measures must be taken in relation to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) crisis. Part of the measures entail the withdrawal of the Reduction of Working Hours Scheme (werktijdverkortingsregeling). Under the Reduction of Working Hours Scheme, it was possible for employers to apply for a permit … 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

New York, New Jersey Employers Now Prohibited From Inquiring About Salary History

As noted in our 2019 legislative update, New Jersey and New York have joined a growing number of states in prohibiting employers from asking job applicants about their salary history. Both states’ legislation became effective earlier this month after being signed into law last year. As of January 2020, other states that prohibit all private employers … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Holds Judicial Approval Not Required When Settling FLSA Claim Pursuant to Rule 68(a) Offer of Judgment

On Dec. 6, 2019, the Second Circuit issued a decision in Yu v. Hasaki Restaurant, Inc. that will likely impact settlement of wage and hour actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In a split decision, the court reversed a district court ruling and held that judicial approval is not required when settling an FLSA claim … Continue Reading

2019 Employment Law Snapshot: New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania

In 2019, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania each enacted substantial legislation affecting companies that employ individuals in those states. This GT Alert provides a summary of the most significant of these legislative changes and will help employers stay abreast of the changes relevant to their businesses. Please note that the laws described extend protections to … Continue Reading

California Labor & Employment Legislative Update 2019 – Spoiler Alert, Things Have Not Moderated

Gov. Newsom signed 870 bills into law and vetoed 172. Fortunately, not all of them were labor and employment related. This GT Alert provides an overview of the new employment-related laws, which will likely create additional challenges for California employers. As always, we focus here on what is likely to be important as opposed to … Continue Reading

2 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back: California Supreme Court Nixes Plaintiffs’ Ability to Recover Unpaid Wages Under PAGA, but Forecloses Defendants’ Path to Arbitration

On Sept. 12, 2019, the California Supreme Court in ZB, N.A. v. Superior Court of San Diego County (Lawson) delivered a victory for California employers, clarifying that a plaintiff bringing a Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) action may not recover as a “civil penalty” the “wages” referenced in Cal. Labor Code section 558, and thereby … Continue Reading
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