On September 24, 2021, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force (“Task Force”) issued written Guidance to implement Executive Order 14042 (“Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors”), which was signed by President Biden on September 9, 2021.  The Guidance is a key component of President Biden’s larger “Path Out of the Pandemic: COVID-19 Action Plan.”

Continue Reading New Guidance Requires Federal Contractors to Have Employees Vaccinated by December 8th

Last month, a judge out of the Alameda County Superior Court ruled California’s Proposition 22 unconstitutional, constituting a significant legal obstacle to this young statute.

Proposition 22 (formally the Protect App-Based Drivers and Services Act, Bus. & Prof. Code, §§ 7448, et seq.) was a ballot initiative passed by a majority of California voters in the November 2020 election, which primarily aimed to classify application-based transportation and delivery companies’ drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. Proposition 22 arose in response to Assembly Bill 5, 2019 legislation codifying the California Supreme Court’s decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, which created a new “ABC” test for determining whether workers are properly classified as independent contractors.
Continue Reading Alameda Superior Court Judge Rules Proposition 22 Unconstitutional

On August 13, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) updated its guidance for employers in an effort to further protect workers from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 (“COVID”).  This update (the “Guidance”) reflects recent COVID developments, including the increased spread of the Delta variant and the July 27, 2021 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (“CDC”) updated guidance, and is intended to help employers protect workers who are:  unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, otherwise at-risk, and/or fully vaccinated but located in areas of substantial or high community transmission.
Continue Reading The U.S. Department of Labor Updates its Workplace COVID-19 Guidance to Protect Unvaccinated and Other At-Risk Workers

California employers will need to reconsider the way they calculate premium payments for meal and rest break violations following a recent decision of the California Supreme Court.  
Continue Reading California Supreme Court Adopts New Premium Pay Calculation for Meal and Rest Break Violations

On June 12, 2021, a federal judge sitting in the Southern District of Texas held that Houston Methodist Hospital could require its employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, dismissing the lawsuit brought by 117 plaintiffs who protested the requirement.  See Bridges v. Houston Methodist Hospital, No. 4:21-cv-01774 (S.D. Tex. June 12, 2021).  This opinion marks the first federal ruling on the topic of vaccine mandates, serving as an early indication of how courts may respond to the legal considerations involved in employers’ attempts to have their employees return safely to the office amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Continue Reading Federal Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Challenging Mandatory Vaccination Requirement

In the first four months of 2021, Virginia, New Mexico, New York and New Jersey passed laws legalizing or decriminalizing, in some form, recreational marijuana.  Exactly how these laws will affect employers in these states is still an open question, but for now, employers should understand the nuances of the laws so they can prepare for the emerging reality that is legal marijuana.
Continue Reading The Trend Towards Legal Recreational Cannabis: Considerations for Employers

On March 25, 2021, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed into law new protections for employees related to the medicinal use of cannabis oil.  Effective July 1, 2021, the newly enacted law will prohibit employers from disciplining, discharging, or discriminating against an employee for his or her lawful use of cannabis oil so long as the use is pursuant to a valid written certification issued by a health care practitioner for the treatment of the employee’s diagnosed condition or disease.
Continue Reading Virginia Enacts Employment Protections For Medical Use of Cannabis Oil

Following the flood of employee-friendly legislation during the Virginia General Assembly’s 2020 session, which included a significantly strengthened wage payment law, the 2021 session resulted in the passage of yet another new wage-related law that employers need to be aware of.  This new law – the “Virginia Overtime Wage Act” – goes into effect on July 1, 2021 and will usher in the first overtime pay requirement in Virginia’s history.
Continue Reading Virginia’s New Overtime Law Threatens Double and Treble Damages For Employers Who Don’t Pay Up